By John L. Aaron
There was no unfurling of the Union Jack or the flag of St. George draped around the cricket ground, no Paul Revere, nor was the English Barmy Army present, when the cricketing Brydon brothers; Archibald, 15, and John, 14, arrived in New York City last year.
As unheralded as their arrival was, the two talented brothers are set to make their mark on the American cricket scene. Already drafted under the watchful eyes of veteran youth cricket mentor and cricket administrator Clifford Hinds, Archie and Johnnie Brydon will be exposed to the best New York cricket has to offer aspiring gentlemen of the leather and willow.
Archie, a Libran and mythical tiger according to ancient Chinese astrologists, was born in London, just shy of one year, three months ahead of his brother Johnnie, a Sagittarian and represented by the mythical rabbit; according to Chinese astrologists. The two brothers are considered fleet footed players who use their speed and youthful athleticism on the cricket field.
Archie is an opening batsman, while Johnnie is a wicket-keeper batsman, and a delight to watch behind the stumps. Archie is much more comfortable with a bat in hand, and already has two years of senior league cricket under his belt, having played most of his cricket in London, England. He rose from playing in the 3rd Division to the Chiswick & Latymer 1st Division XI at age 14, last year, quite an accomplishment, given the competitive nature of youth cricket in the UK and Chiswick & Latymer’s location in Middlesex, England.
Last year, Archie Brydon scored over 1,300 runs at an average of 43 runs per appearance. To his credit he also added a dozen half-centuries playing regional and league level cricket in 2013. Last year both brothers played Junior Colts cricket for Ealing Cricket Club’s Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 squads. The younger of the brothers; Johnnie also played on the Ealing Under-21 squad. Ealing is one of the premier cricket clubs in the UK and located a few stops on the underground from Central London on the Piccadilly Line. Ealing is well known for its junior cricketing programs and is an excellent farm academy for youth cricket.
While at Ealing the Brydon brothers played alongside Arjun Tendulkar, son of, yes, Sachin Tendulkar, at the Under-13 level. The latter once took offence to Johnnie Brydon standing up to his fast bowling while keeping wicket.
Last year, Archie Brydon played in the Under-14 London Borough Championships and was the top scorer in the West Region. Shortly thereafter, he was selected to captain West Middlesex County Cricket Club in the Regional Championships – a five regions tournament in the Borough of London. West Middlesex won three of the four matches played. The Borough Championships is a pathway for Under-10s, 12s and 14s to progress to the next level and also serves as a platform for selection for Ark Regional Cricket; the selection process used to identify players for County Cricket in the UK.
The Brydon brothers have been on the horizons of excellence in the English youth cricket environment for some time now. In 2012 Johnnie Brydon was selected to play for the Middlesex County Cricket Club’s squad as a wicket-keeper and turned in some outstanding performances behind the sticks at the Regional Under-14 level. He has also played for the Ealing Cricket Club’s Under-21 in the Middlesex Development League. At age 12, he was already playing senior men’s cricket, having received a special dispensation from the County cricket administrators, because he was only 12 at the time.
Simon Brydon, father of the two emerging stars played school cricket in Edinburgh and later for the Scottish Police, and league cricket in Edinburgh alongside notable West Indian player Nehemiah Perry. A modest Papa Brydon says Archie likes Alistair Cook and Jonathan Trott, while Johnnie likes Chris Gayle, Dinesh Ramdin Jos Butler and Tino Best, attributing the influence of those players to the success of his two talented sons, more so than himself. Mrs. Brydon, from all appearances is quite content to be the chauffeur to the cricketers in her household.
Simon Brydon is no doubt very passionate about cricket and his sons being afforded every opportunity to perform at their maximum potential. He should be applauded for his support and that of the household “chauffeur” Mrs. Brydon, having migrated, along with their two boys to the US, and away from such a rich cricketing culture as the United Kingdom.
This weekend the Brydon youngsters both get an opportunity to demonstrate their gratitude to their parents, and to emerge unto the US cricket scene, representing the New York region in an Under-15 tournament in North Carolina. The tournament is scheduled to be held over the Memorial Day Weekend. Archibald will serve as the squad’s vice-captain.
The full New York squad for the tournament includes some other very talented youngsters – Mohammed Akeem, Abdullah Afridi, Mutassin Billah, Archibald Brydon (Vice Capt.), John Brydon, Sanjay Dhanira, Nicholas Harripersaud (Capt.), Parish Jain, Abbas Kazmi, Chaitanya Parwal, Vedant Parwal, Hussnain Shah, Gurtej Singh and Ekok Soubir. Coach: Rudy John, Manager: Lloyd Dixon.