Chairman's Corner

In each of our regular New Bulletins the Chairman, Nigel Hancock, writes his observations on Cricket Society matters. You can read the latest edition below. 

January 2020

A merry Christmas and happy new year to you all. May your favoured teams and players meet your expectations of them in 2020 and cricket in general take the place in your lifetstyle that you want it to. With next season’s domestic fixtures now announced, I expect many of you will be beginning to populate your paper or electronic diaries with cricket fixtures. Do include there some of the Cricket Society events in our four locations as they are listed in these and subsequent Bulletin pages and on our website cricketsociety.com . Whether or not those Hundred fixtures in July and August attract you, I expect that few of us will be able to resist making a date with the old BBC to have a peep. Oh, our Arlott and Laker of not so long ago. Was it?

We plan in 2020 to raise our game in communicating with members. Please bear in mind that our website should have the most up to date information about meeting dates, venues and speakers. We hope to make it easier for you to access all the information there. Those of you in the London and West of England areas in particular can expect to receive regular emails from, respectively, Nick Tudball and Stephen Chalke, about meetings in those places. If we don’t have your preferred email address please let us know – via David Wood and (for up to date information about London meetings) Nick Tudball.

Remember that as a member you can attend all those meetings in London, Birmingham, Chester-le-Street and Bath. The latter at present attracts the largest audiences and it wouldn’t surprise me if Bath Abbey (holding 1200 apparently) has to be booked before too long! A particular pilgrimage worth thinking about is in good time for when the West of England hosts Ashley Giles.

Whilst most of you will be marking the advent of 2020 in the UK, between the first and second Test matches in South Africa, whilst stoically braving whatever our seasonal and changed climate provides, 21 Cricket Society members will be winging it to Cape Town. This will be the second recent such tour, with several repeat offenders making the trip. And a few new ones too. Look out for some colourful coverage in the Spring Journal.

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A third tour - this one open also to members of other cricket societies, relatives and friends – will set off for Sri Lanka on 17 March and take in both Tests in the series, at Galle and Colombo. This offer, which represents exceptional value for money, is available to members, relatives and friends of The Cricket Society and of other cricket societies. It is not generally available. Details are in a flyer on our website. Test match tickets for the ten days cricket are included in the prices quoted. Attempts will be made to match up singletons wishing to share accommodation. LycaFly is The Cricket Society's exclusive travel partner and Allan Hutchinson - contactable at allan.huthinson@lycafly.com - is the LycaFly named contact for the tour. Could those who express interest/ book please mention The Cricket Society when doing so.

I hope you agree that the Cricket Society membership you are renewing (if a direct debit instruction is not already in place please consider that) represents excellent value for about the price of a decent bottle of wine. I hope that you see one of the benefits as the support given to young cricketers in particular through our awards structure. The joy and encouragement given to our schools award winners and their families is often commented upon by members who attend our Spring Lunch. The names of those winners will be known soon. Meanwhile, our new Executive Committee (EC), following the AGM in October, met recently and along with much else decided that Zak Crawley of Kent should become the Society’s Most Promising Young Cricketer with Freya Davies of Sussex, Western Storm and England receiving the Most Promising Young Woman Cricketer. Ryan Higgins of Gloucestershire will have the Wetherell First-Class Award for 2019.

Nominations for the Schools’ Wetherell Award, the Christopher Box-Grainger Trophy (selected by our sister organisation the charity Cricket Society Trust) and the Don Rowan Award (for the use of cricket in special needs schools in Surrey) are under consideration. Candidates for the Ian Jackson Award – our ‘spirit of cricket award’ won last time by John Holder - were mooted and EC members are reflecting further.

Your Committee has discussed our award structure for individual cricketers and is disposed to move towards gender parity. A schoolgirls award, with the enthusiastic approval of our new Vice President to be called The Charlotte Edwards Award, will be introduced from 2020 (re 2019 performances) and we are in discussions with the English Schools Association about the two schoolboy awards currently made on their recommendations. We are disposed to increase the cash value of our awards for individuals and to make sure that family members can attend the awards lunch with them.

We are also inclined to introduce a new award, in conjunction with the British Society of Sports Historians (BSSH), for ‘cricket research’, to be agreed by both the EC and the BSSH on advice from a small group. As with the Ian Jackson Award, the emphasis will be on a body of work although the author of an outstanding single book would not be excluded. Candidates might be both ‘popular’ writers with particularly strong research credentials and academic writers whose well researched work has been communicated strongly to a wider audience.

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There is currently a vacancy for an EC Meetings Secretary. Anyone interested should please contact me. The main duty will be to minute EC meetings and the AGM. Other duties are negotiable and might include related administrative tasks such as maintaining a list of officers, working with our London meetings convenor to arrange EC meetings and liaising with EC members on follow-up actions. Travel expenses will be claimable and refreshments provided.

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Nigel Hancock