Chairman's Notes

In each of our regular New Bulletins the Chairman writes his observations on Cricket Society matters. You can read the latest edition from Acting Chairman Nick Tudball below.  

November/December 2021 - Membership Matters

I am writing these notes as Scotland and Namibia (along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) qualify for the Super 12 stage of the Men’s T20 World Cup. How exciting to see Papua New Guinea and Oman in the tournament alongside the more established nations. I was surprised that this is the seventh Men’s T20 World Cup. I certainly did not remember all the previous winners. The 2016 tournament was thoroughly enjoyable and I am hoping to set aside a few hours to watch or listen to this one. As an England supporter I would love to see us win but does some part of me secretly hope for an Afghanistan victory? They certainly have the players. The England Men’s and Women’s tours to Australia look like they will probably take place having been touch and go for some time. Let’s hope there is plenty of cricket to look forward to over the Winter months.  

The Society held a successful AGM at the Union Jack Club on 27 September 2021. The Minutes are available on the Society’s website. The Committee’s decision to increase the membership fee to help with future planned expenditure was unanimously passed. We have decreased the rate for under 25s to just £10 so please encourage younger cricket enthusiasts to join and maybe consider a gift of membership to an under 25 at £10. A clear message from the AGM was that members are keen to retain face-to-face meetings but they also wish the Society to continue to host online events. We are planning some Zoom-only events to complement the face-to-face meetings planned around the country.  

Nigel Hancock has stepped down as Chair of the Society to pursue his academic studies and his PhD. Many congratulations to Nigel on a very successful nine year term as Chair. He is the third longest serving Chair in the Cricket Society’s 75 year history. Nigel’s leadership will be missed by all of us on the Committee. He has been an inspirational leader, hard-working and always driving the Society forward with his ambition and clear strategic thinking. Recently Nigel’s vision for a series of online meetings through the dark days of the pandemic and lockdown meant the Society flourished at a difficult time. Over 20 Zoom meetings with a wide array of speakers were arranged for Members. As well as chairing the Committee, Nigel has organized London meetings and our ‘Days at the Cricket’, edited the Journal and run the Book Of The Year (which he will continue to do). The Committee is delighted that Nigel has agreed to remain on the Committee and we will value his experience. Part of me will miss the regular five emails a day about Society matters from Nigel but maybe he will still be sending them! Nigel has been a sounding board for the rest of the Committee in our various activities and we have all been so used to asking ‘what does Nigel think?’ that it will take us time to readjust. We will almost certainly still ask Nigel what he thinks. 

The Committee hopes to appoint a new Chair (or co-Chairs) soon. In the meantime different Committee members as Acting Chair will chair each month’s Committee meetings. The Committee is in active dialogue with each other via email, WhatsApp and even occasionally on the phone. As well as the day-to-day running of the Society, the main focus of the Committee remains the two major interconnected projects: the new website and the related change to an automated membership system. The two projects are being managed from the Committee by Geoff Levett, Andrew Cashmore-Till and Matthew Stevenson. David Wood, the present Membership Secretary, is also working on the projects and will be handing over his duties to Matthew at the appropriate time. Thanks to all four for their work on these two projects. The implementation of the new website and new membership system will ensure the Society is well equipped to face new and future challenges. We will outline more regarding the move to the new system in the next Bulletin. Ahead of the upgrade and to help in the efficient running of the Society we would remind members again for their email addresses. So - unless you have already provided your email address and currently receive the ‘Cricket Society News Updates’ - please provide David Wood with your email address. 

We welcome Peter Hardy to the 10 person Committee. Peter is a regular player in the Cricket Society’s XI and is writing the Statistical Section to the Bulletin. 

In London we have held our first face to face meetings - the first at the end of September and the second at the beginning of October. And by the time you are reading this our Awards lunch will have been held at the Oval - our first such event for two years. 

The Book Of The Year 2021 ceremony at Lord’s in October was another great success with a worthy winner in Ashley Gray for ‘The Unforgiven’ about the rebel West Indians who toured Apartheid South Africa. We were absolutely delighted that Ashley was able to travel from Australia to accept his award in person. 

Nick Tudball