18 March 2021
Chairman’s March update – Off the field and ground preparation
Happy March everybody! Hopefully we are all starting to feel a touch more upbeat and optimistic about life now that the seasons are turning, Spring is on its way and vaccines are being distributed at a rapid pace (in the UK at least). March’s committee meeting has taken place and we have some updates for our membership.
Hopefully you all saw the news recently about reduced membership prices for this year. This proposal, put forward by both the Finance and Community sub-committees, was supported by all of our main Committee members and is a fantastic gesture from the Club, giving back to those people who supported us throughout potentially uncertain times. Hopefully our existing membership will renew and appreciate the gesture, and I hope that we will gain some new members also, people who want to be a part of something. This is a Club that is run by its members, for its members, and I am very pleased with how the relationship between the management and the membership is developing.
I was also delighted to be able to welcome our 4 new T20 and cup kit sponsors. Sponsorship is a key revenue driver for a local cricket club, and results like this reflect a lot of hard work behind the scenes from various volunteers. Over the last few weeks myself and our esteemed Treasurer have replaced some of the Club’s border fencing that was damaged by storms. The new fencing will give us a further focal point for sponsorship opportunities and I expect these will be made available sooner rather than later.
Drainage continues to be a worry given the recent weather. The field at the back of the Club is backing up and it appears some of the drainage that runs underneath the ground may be blocked. Regular dialogue has been opened and maintained with the farmer and we hope to get any blockages cleared in the very near future. In the meantime – pray for a period of dry weather!
As always, we will need your help (this is relevant to all members but in particular the players) with jobs to get everything ready for the season. We have picked out the weekend of Saturday 27th / Sunday 28th for a concerted ground work effort – there will be morning and afternoon slots on both days – members please can you let any committee member know if you are able to assist at any point on that weekend. There is also work being undertaken this coming weekend on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 1pm – please come and help us if you are able to do so.
The square will also need to be rolled for hours before the season gets underway in earnest. If you can spare some time at any point (even if it is a couple of hours on a weekday) then please do get in touch with either myself or Cec and we will make arrangements to allow you to do some rolling. The more rolling gets done prior to the first game, the better the square will play for the whole season!
Finally – we are still awaiting the detailed guidance around what restrictions will be in place when we are permitted to open. Please be patient with us – no decisions can be taken until that guidance is received and our Covid sub-committee have read through it and can make their recommendations. Please also remember that the restrictions which are put in place are neither designed or desired by the Club – if we had our way, there would be no restrictions at all and normal life would be the ideal in a Covid-free world, but unfortunately that is not currently the world we live in and we will rightly be constrained and led by the guidance relevant to our sector.
Chairman’s March update – On the field
To on the field matters! Some of you could argue (maybe correctly?) that things like rolling the square and groundwork come under the bracket of on the field. For the sake of clear delineation I decided to include those within ground preparation. Training wouldn’t necessary classify as on the field either if we include the nets. Maybe I should have titled this section as ‘Cricket’? Anyway!
The Cricket committee have, with heavy hearts, decided that we will be unable to welcome any overseas players this year. The possibility of ‘travel passports’, quarantine, bans on non-essential travel until the middle of May and red listed countries just mean that there are so many barriers to even get overseas players into the country, never mind by the start of the season. This obviously presents an opportunity for more of our home-grown players to play First team cricket, which I hope the lads will relish, and it will have a knock on effect on our junior cricket plans, which are being formulated over the next week or so.
The season starts in earnest on Saturday 17th April. We are going to do an intra-club warm up the week before, Saturday 10th April similar to what we did last year, so please make yourselves available. We are still awaiting detailed playing conditions, but expect group training to be able to start the week of Monday 29th March. With this in mind, the first official club training session will be scheduled for Thursday 1st April, and will coincide with a Players meeting led by myself for any questions our playing members may have.
The Club has invested in some new nets; the highest quality of netting that was available to us – reflecting the Committee’s desire to invest not only in infrastructure but also in our players. The intention is to ensure that senior training is well organised and beneficial to all, as well as focusing on all core elements of cricket – mainly not forgetting the importance of fielding drills. More information will follow at the Players meeting. I’m sure that you are all champing at the bit to get going given that we have been unable to net indoors; once the netting is fully affixed to the frame we look forward to getting back in there and feeling bat on ball!
Player registration and payment via CricHQ was postponed last year. The GMCL has seen fit to support a player registration fee of £10 per person, which the Club fundamentally disagreed with at its inception and still does, yet has agreed internally to fund on behalf of our players. Hopefully you will all appreciate this and when I begin the process of administering registrations, make it easy for me by giving me all the information I ask for. I don’t want it just for the fun of it! Nor do I enjoy doing things like this!
We were also lucky enough to be the beneficiaries of some high quality cricket gear from our very own Saqib Mahmood. Saqib has dropped us off lots of his old gear, some of it still brand new and completely unused; this includes training gear, whites and some kitbags. All our members from last year will benefit from this generous donation and I will soon be getting on with the task of sharing out the goods!
So, this time a month from now we will be back on the field! Get those whites out of the cupboard, give them a wash and try to find your spikes! See you all soon!