With a number of World Cups being fought recently, one that has flown somewhat under the radar was in the world of croquet, in which England emerged victorious for the first time in 10 years, in no small part due to Redhill resident Jamie Burch.
The MacRobertson shield is generally held every 4 years, and sees England take on the other top nations – Australia, New Zealand and USA, with 6 of the top players from each country selected to play a mix of doubles and singles over a 3 week period. Generally viewed as the most prestigious tournament in the Association Croquet world, the most recent “MacRob” was hosted in Melbourne, and was live-streamed throughout for viewers across the world.
Having been introduced to croquet by his parents in his youth, Jamie has been in or around the top 10 in the world for over a decade, and has a reputation for incredible shooting and his friendly, relaxed demeanour even in the most trying of circumstances. A painter and decorator by trade, and a family man at heart, Jamie is a member at Reigate Priory Croquet Club, which will be celebrating its centenary in 2023.
Jamie went into the tournament on a high, having ended the English season by winning the South of England Championship for a record-equalling fifth time, and was the highest ranked of his team-mates. While the England squad were slight favourites on paper, the quality each team brought meant nothing could be taken for granted, with the winners only being assured on the final day.
While the team result was the only thing that mattered, Jamie had a superb individual tournament, becoming only the second player in history to win every single one of his matches (both doubles and singles), culminating in beating the world number one on the final day to cement his rise to third in the world!