JULIAN Wood, who played for Reading Cricket Club’s 4th XI, last season, has just returned from coaching in Bangalore.

“Their passion for this great game is remarkable, their willingness to learn incomparable.

“We could learn a lot from how they play their cricket,” said Wood, the former Hampshire batsman and Berkshire county skipper who specialises in power hitting.

He is planning to return to the Indian city shortly, but in the meantime is helping England Young Lions at Loughborough.

The England senior side, of course, are in Australia for the Ashes series and among them is Surrey paceman Tom Curran, who received a late call-up to replace the injured Steven Finn.

Curran is no stranger to the Berkshire cricket scene, having played for Wellington College in Crowthorne, along with brother Sam.

Berkshire-based umpire John Reed was “delighted” to see Curran selected, saying: “This is a dream come true for him and I could not be happier for this very talented young man.”

Reed, who umpired matches involving Tom when he arrived at Wellington College with his brothers (Sam and Ben), added: “Tom always gives 100 per cent and will not be fazed. He ticks all the boxes.”

Khalid Zafar, who captained and coached Reading’s 1st XI before returning to play for Falkland CC last season, has been offered an ICC Global Level 3 contract in Dubai.

  • PRIME Minister Theresa May lives close by, but the gossip around Reading Cricket and Hockey Club these days is more about ‘Chexit’ than Brexit.

That’s what they are calling the pending split of the two sections.

“We have been talking about it for many years – it maybe as many as 20 – and a couple of attempts have been made in the past,” commented hockey chairman Tim Mann.

“But now all parties realise there are no remaining synergies and that both sections need their own freedom to manoeuvre to be able to thrive in their own sports.”

In recent years there has also been talk of another hockey pitch being installed at Sonning Lane and the obvious site would seriously encroach on the outfield of the main cricket field.