Six weeks into the new season without a ball being bowled in anger has given Aberdeenshire’s longest-serving player the chance to reflect on his 24 years in the game.
Kenny Reid, 34, Aberdeenshire’s captain last season, recalled some of the big influences on him over the years, not least his grandfather Alistair Reid, a leading light at Boddam, where Reid first saw the game played.
He said: “I lived in Aberdeen, but at the weekends went out to visit my grandparents where I was introduced to the game. One of my worst moments in the sport was when, as a 10-year-old, I participated in a single wicket competition.
“I was drawn to play one of the top players at the club and managed to get him to nick my first ball to him to the wicketkeeper who just happened to be my grandad, only to see him drop it.
“I have never really forgiven him, especially as the batsman went on to win the tournament.”
But despite the disappointment, the partnership flourished, leading to the young Reid becoming a member of the Boddam side with his mentoring grandad, while getting his first visit to Mannofield to see Aberdeenshire play on days when their club had no game.
He said: “From then I was hooked, going on to play for St Ronalds, where as a 14-year-old I got a Scotland under-15 cap.
“I was happy there, but on the advice of Cricket Scotland moved to Stoneywood-Dyce to supposedly bring on my game.
“On reflection it was a bad move. As with St Ronalds, I was opening the batting and keeping wicket in Grade 1 in a team that was particularly strong and included players of the calibre of Scott White, Alex Keith and Martin Murchie.
“We got to the final of the Aberdeenshire Cup and came within a whisker of winning the top Grades league.”
In 2004, Reid moved to Mannofield and after a year in the second team made his debut for Aberdeenshire at Prestwick, going on to stake his claim in the team under the watchful eye of player-coach Neil Macrae.
Reid said: “Neil was without question the best coach I have ever had, including those I encountered on my trips to Australia and South Africa.
“He was thorough, thoughtful and always available to us young players. He was a great tactician and a quiet but effective motivator.”
Despite some lean times at Mannofield in recent years, Reid held his place in the team in the Eastern Premier side and last year was proud to be announced as captain of the 163-year-old club.
He said: “It was a great experience, but things didn’t work out for us, as through no fault of a very young team we were relegated to the Strathmore Union.
“I am convinced we would have bounced back this season, but the coronavirus outbreak has put paid to that.
“We’ll just have to wait until next season. There’s one thing for sure, for apart from injury or illness, I will be back for another season next year.”