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 2021 - the newly re-titled Chair's Cricket Diary

Wednesday 2 December. Our last Bulletin of 2020, an unprecedented year for everyone. Our condolences to those of you who have lost family and friends during the pandemic. Our renewed best wishes to everyone for a safe and enjoyable holiday period, and may the coming year bring increasingly better news. And some cricket with crowds that we can help form. Watching Australia and India at Manuka Oval, Canberra this morning – ahead of our latest Zoomcast this afternoon with Stephen Chalke – was a good reminder of what we have been missing. The noise from spectators was reassuring, and a step up from the choreographed responses we were in danger of becoming used to. Time soon to populate our 2021 diaries, real or electronic, with a few sporting dates on which attendance will be possible. Real Cricket Society meetings too, although – welcoming reaching many of you who for whatever reason do not normally attend in person – we plan to Zoom from some of our events and hold others solely via Zoom.

The Cricket Society down under
Sri Lanka in 2018, South Africa just in time in early 2022, where is a Cricket Society party going next? It was to be India, earlyish in 2021; not now of course. The West Indies in early Spring 2022 is a bit far away, and on the expensive side Treasurer Phil tells me. Now, if there can be 20,000 socially distanced spectators in Sydney last week and rather less in Canberra this morning, what are the prospects for a year hence? So, the Ashes down under it is. We are planning a trip to Brisbane and Adelaide for the expected first and second Ashes Tests in late 2021, and are discussing options - including flexibilities around a standard package of 14 to 21 days - with potential suppliers. Several people from our trips to Sri Lanka and Cape Town have already said they are thinking of coming with us. If you would also like to receive details when available please email to register your interest. The tour will of course be subject to prevailing Governmental and Cricket Australia rules and policies.

1 December. The year watching England teams began and, not envisaged by the fixture schedulers, is to end with cricket from South Africa. Today I enjoyed England’s third T20 fixture from Newlands, a ground some of us had the good fortune to be at for the second Test in January. At the weekend the play was in an equally stunning location at Paarl, a ground I walked around in January with no cricket in sight. Turning on the other day though, I was surprised to find myself watching England playing South Africa at East London. Was this a dream? Ah, no, a replay from the archive. I still haven’t worked out when exactly the match was played but it was an exciting one (a one run victory for the hosts). A bit like re-reading a book enjoyed a long time before, it did not seem to matter that I had no clear recollection of it. The current matches may not last long in the memory either. Here though is a report from Daniel Wright, our youngest member at 10, of the first of the three T20 matches:

“England won the toss and Captain Morgan chose to bowl. Sam Curran started off well claiming Temba Bevuma’s wicket when he tried to scoop but feathered it to Jos Butler who simply took the catch. South Africa fought back well, Faf Du Plessis making a impressive 58 before Sam Curran bowled an effective bouncer and Du Plessis got a top edge and was caught at deep square leg. Some cameos brought South Africa to a respectable 179 for six.

England opened with Jason Roy and Jos Butler, two range hitting players. Roy threw his hand at a poor ball short of off stump and nicked it. Dawid Malan stepped to the crease and got England of the mark with a airborne flick to Square Leg for one. He was eventually dismissed for 19. England looked like it was a definite loss until a masterclass from Johnny Bairstow who scored an outstanding 86 not out. Ben Stokes contributed with 37. And eventually England had nail-biting victory after a brilliant innings from the extremely powerful Bairstow to seal England a narrow triumph.”


Recruit a new member please
“Hi Nigel, I’ve done it” proclaimed Charlie, my favourite postie, happily, not least because his football team Leeds were on a bit of a roll. “My application form is on its way to Leighton Buzzard. My colleagues will make sure it gets there. But Charlie’s not my real name, you know”. That’s two new members I’ve found recently. The other - the Rev’d Prebendary Mike Vockins – was prompted to join by our anniversary issue Journal. “I can’t really believe I’ve not joined previously, especially having spoken at Society events and lunches over the years.” Now, please members out there: the beginning of a new year is a good time to recruit new people. Try and persuade someone to join, or treat them to the first year. What a bargain at still only £21 or £17. Print out a form and pass it on, better still fill it out first!


Christmas Card 2020
I hope you liked getting a card from us with the last mailing, our best for years I thought. Apologies to those of you who were unable late on to buy cards. This was largely because of serious postal difficulties arising out of the pandemic, including the closure of premises producing the cards following a Covd-19 outbreak.

Tuesday 24 November. Wow, over 400 (the official Zoom return) tuned in to enjoy David Lloyd in conversation with our President Johnny Barclay; the “Bumble and Trout show”. A perfect mix of the serious and humorous opined organizer Nick Tudball. “Things like this are invaluable for people under the current restrictions … including me!”, emailed Bumble, later helpfully tweeting to his vast army of followers. The Presidential verdict was that “Bumble was terrific and made it very easy for me.” John Barclay was pretty good too, and is considering who he might best interview next.

Tuesday 17 November. About 70 members attended our Zoomed AGM, the largest attendance that I can remember. The draft minutes will appear in the members’ section of the website and the new Executive Committee will be considering the main points made; the scope for an earlier in the year AGM, perhaps Zoomed; renewed guidance on legacies to The Cricket Society or Cricket Society Trust; and encouraging recruitment by making it possible to purchase membership and joining packs from the website.

Nigel Hancock