Weighty Matters

posted 31 May 2015, 21:00 by Mike Madden 

Ah the power of Facebook! I have been asked a number of times about rants on the WBCC FB page, and what I think about moving with the times, and copying Tinitwistle’s example with sponsorship etc. 

Well, we are not selling valuable online advertising space, we are selling cheap and cheerful low budget advertising to patrons who give without question because it is the local cricket club. And if just one additional customer is gained by this then the advert has paid for itself. The handbook provides hours of pleasure for those who want to spot Caddy’s mistakes, and it also raises the not insignificant sum of £1,000 per year, whether it is consigned to the bottom of the bag, retrieved only to find out who we are playing next week, or stuck behind a bar just in case anyone wants the phone number of the local joiner, gas man or printer. I haven’t seen a WBCC calendar for a few years. Maybe we are already moving with the times. 

As a club we must also be vigilant in financial terms, but through excellent stewardship (one notable blip excepted) the club are on a sound footing. Yes, the traditional fund raisers are dwindling, and in some cases significantly so, but they are slowly but surely being replaced or revamped. 

£100 from the Champions League sweep, the Village Six A Side that now allows signed on players to participate, the new ECB sanctioned T20 (if our opponents ever manage to get their fixture calendars aligned), as well as a long overdue increase in match levies. People sneered at the sponsored walk, but it raised a tidy sum and reinforced that which can only make us stronger, team spirit. 

Facebook can be an easy place to hide behind a well thought out argument, but where are the flaws debated as the writer disappears into the murky world wide web? 

The latest almost one hundred line missive has gained two likes, whereas Elliot’s ‘Good luck today lads!’ gained three. As someone once said, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. 

Readership is another issue. If I wanted to get a point across so eloquently and passionately, I would not use a medium that may peak at 55-60 views. Our mischievously maligned website surpasses that daily, and is read throughout the league. 

I am always happy to put anything on here, as unedited as decency allows, and there are several other people who also have access to edit. And if someone wants to post past scoresheets then go for it. All you will need to do is find the relevant book, locate the relevant page, maybe make some alterations to be able to decipher the scorer’s handwriting, find a scanner that will accommodate the notoriously odd sized and shape scorebook, and upload it. Simple. History shared, egos massaged, another 22 hits (unless the umpires want to read it too)! 

Hopefully, in the coming months we will have a newer, sexier version, but as a revenue stream I very much doubt that it will surpass the handbook. 

Anyway, on to more important matters. We have been fined £5 for a late junior result being submitted. We are not alone! A total of 23 £5 fines have been issued, together with 3 £20 fines for failing to fulfill a junior fixture, and we are only in week 4. Interestingly, High Lane have failed to even put an under 13s team into the supposedly compulsory age group, thereby eliminating any possible fines. Doesn’t really seem fair! And anyway, what is the point of a £5 fine? It might exasperate a club chairman and treasurer, but will it really encourage an already stressed volunteer to email a result within 24 hours after standing in the rain in a desperate attempt to get some junior cricket played in this biblically cold and wet start to the season? And not being able to field a team? How does a financial penalty help? I see the same old faces turning up at many junior fixtures, running teams often alone! A little more input from senior members would not go amiss, and to encourage that how about a 1st XI points deduction for teams that fail to fulfill a junior fixture? That might focus the minds of clubs a bit more than a nominal fine. 

And now onto a different problem. I fear the worst for the career of Andrew Gibson, the jovial second team slow bowler who has suffered with some weighty injuries in recent years. He made a comeback against Compstall on Saturday, but it was not a pretty sight. He was bowled for 1, and with the ball he conceded almost six runs per over in his 24 deliveries.However, it was in the field that the true level of his fitness was revealed. He was never the quickest or most agile, but things have become significantly worse, culminating in Peter Crowley giving him a 40 yards start in a 50 yard chase for the ball and still getting there comfortably ahead of the rotund trundler. To be fair, Gibbo reckons he has taken steps to address the slide (didn’t someone once say…). His particular fitness regime is Boxercise, but I am not convinced that he actually knows that this doesn’t involve just opening the box that a MacDonalds Happy Meal comes in. Regardless, we wish him well, and offer him every encouragement to get back to his fighting weight!