Welcome to 2019, from Chris Beckett, Cricket Club Captain
Happy belated New Year to all of our members, I trust you had a fantastic festive period and are all wintering well. We have a big season of cricket coming up. Our own season aside, we have the World Cup and home Ashes series to keep us all cricket mad over the summer!
It's just over 3 months to go now before the new season which begins on Easter Saturday 20th April. We are eagerly anticipating the League fixtures for our 2019 campaign. There have been a few changes for this season, I'll outline them later.
More imminently, winter nets begin in February, with the first one being Monday 11th February at 7.30pm at Birkenhead Park. Please make every effort to come along for several reasons. Not just for the honing of your skills and rekindling last season's form, but utilising our new bowling machine provided by OPAL during the 2018 season and, finally, doing your bit to ensure that the money invested in providing winter nets is not wasted.
Don't forget we have to pay for the nets booked irrespective of the numbers attending. The more people who attend and contribute the less the potential financial loss on something that's provided for your benefit.
We are also looking at getting Kukri down to one of our net sessions so members can try on various kit and place orders there and then.
There will be no Junior nets this season. Unfortunately we lost our Junior Section last season and also our Clubmark accreditation. We are working hard to rectify this and during the summer we are starting our first All Stars cricket sessions which promotes entry level cricket to 5-8 year old children.
If any members have children of this age, or friends or family who have children of this age, please encourage them to come and give cricket a try. Adam Westwater will be leading All Stars this year and we will be looking for volunteers to help out. Perhaps a valuable opportunity for some of our junior members to gain some valuable coaching experience!
For those of you who were not at the AGM and have been in hibernation, I am pleased to tell you that I'm staying on for my sixth season as Club Captain and we also we have a new 2nd XI Captain. After several superb seasons from David Buey, Mark Rayner is taking over the helm. I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing Mark the best of luck for the season.
Following the UKFast CCL AGM, there have been a few alterations to how we will play our cricket this season.
Firstly, the 1st XI T20 competition will now be played as a local mini league, guaranteeing us at least 3 fixtures.
Secondly, the 2nd XI league format has changed for this season. Even though we voted against it, many clubs backed proposals to remove the draw from 2nd XI cricket and reduce the playing time. We will now play 40 overs a side, straight win or lose. Bowlers will only be able to bowl a maximum of a quarter of the scheduled overs. We hope that although this change may adversely affect us, we must remain positive and do our best to support Mark and continue to play cricket to the best of our ability.
Due to popular demand, Fantasy Cricket will be available again this year. Entry cost is likely to be around £5-10 and the winner will receive a cash prize, with profits going straight back into our Club.
The ever successful Bonus Ball will be running again, see Stew McEwen for available ball numbers.
The Cricket Tour this year is yet to be confirmed, but we will be going on either 20th or 27th July. Suggestions are welcome, as are volunteers to help organise it. Worcester, a favourite location of ours has already been mentioned for this summer.
Finally, I have several dates for your diaries! Please make note of these dates and make every effort to support your Club.
- Winter nets: Monday 11th February
- Season Start: Saturday 20th April (Easter Saturday)
- Easter Social: Sunday 21st April
- Sixes day: Sunday 7th July
- Presentation evening: Friday 27th September
I look forward to seeing you all very soon!
Chris Beckett, Club Captain