John Birch held up on drugs charge

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Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club's former player, and coach, John Birch has been arrested and charged with drug offences.

The arrest took place in April and Birch is accused of producing 36 cannabis plants, a Class B drug, in Eastwood, Nottingham and also dishonestly diverting £703 of electricity on the same site.

Appearing at Nottingham's Magistrates Court on Thursday August 21 Birch did not enter a plea but was granted unconditional bail and ordered to appear at Nottingham's Crown
Court for trial.

The career

The 59-year-old endured a very successful playing career at Trent Bridge. In a 16-year career, between 1973 and 1988 Birch scored more than 8,600 runs, averaging almost 28, and took 50 wickets in 250 first-class games. In 234 one-day games Birch also scored over 3,700 runs and took 35 wickets.

He was part of a star-studded Nottinghamshire side who completed the County Championship and NatWest double in 1987.

As a coach Birch also served Nottinghamshire well. After finishing his playing career he became coach of the Trent Bridge club and in 1991 he guided the club to the Sunday league trophy.

Since resigning in 1992 Birch became heavily involved in local league cricket. He became Papplewick and Linby's coach and transformed the club as they became a leading team
in the Nottinghamshire Premier League after working their way through one of the Premier League's feeder leagues, the Bassetlaw League.

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Moving forward

In 2011 Birch took over as chairman of Rolls Royce Leisure cricket club where he also guided from the other Premier League feeder league, the Gunn and Moore South Notts League, to the Nottinghamshire Premier League only a year later. In their first season in the elite Premier League Rolls Royce finished runners-up after a huge recruitment of players which transformed their hopes.

This season though Rolls Royce have not had such a successful time as they currently sit in mid-table.

Birch's trial date is set for September 10 at Nottingham's Crown Court.

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