Ah, the depths of winter – as far from the cricket season as you can imagine, with football matches falling foul of the snowy winter weather and rosy cheeked youngsters hurling themselves down icy meadows that are soon to disappear forever (allegedly). Of course, cricket never sleeps, it simply rests its eyes occasionally during these dark days, always vigilant for an upturn in temperature.
Administrators seem to be permanently busy, and this close season is no exception. The league have issued a “strong rebuttal” against the allegations of poaching issued by the League Cricket Conference, and I await the outcome of this with interest. It is highly possible that the club in question decided that their league were issuing too many fines, or creating inflexible policies that seemed to deter players from actually playing the game, or even tampering with junior organisation to suit one or two clubs rather than tackling a longer term problem. They came from the Cheshire Alliance, a league I know very little about, and therefore I am not qualified to speculate on their reason for wanting to leave, but it seems that they must have found something at fault with their league, and it was something significant enough to approach the DCCL with a view to playing at Buxton, but only for one season, Buxworth, Charlesworth, Whaley Bridge, etc. Unless, of course, the DCCL made the first move. It promises to be an interesting case and we wait to see how the rebuttal is considered.
In terms of Offerton, we should welcome them with open arms, for they bring a picturesque ground, good organisation, and a plethora of benefactors (according to their website). From personal experience, I know that they also bring gnats. Hordes of them! DEET should be packed in large quantities.
Now, with Offerton joining and High Lane coming back there are 23 teams in the league. So, divisions 2 and 4 will contain 11 teams. Obviously, this is an odd number, and therefore teams in these divisions will get two “bye ” weeks. I don’t think this has been fully explored, for instance if a club has a 1st XI in division 2 and a 2nd XI in division 3 what is there to prevent the first XI playing in division 3 during a bye week? And do teams get 20 points for a bye week as they did in the albeit unusual circumstances of High Lane folding last season. As we know, High Lane has risen from the dead, but what if the same thing happens? Not necessarily with High Lane, but any club could hit problems. So if another folds a team could have a bye week followed by another bye week. I suppose the team could use the opportunity to go on a team bonding break to Benidorm.
Fundraising got a welcome boost with the Christmas raffle and the sponsored walk – but we are always looking for more. Neil Woolley is looking at a golf day (not sure if this will actually raise funds but its usually good fun), and a Festival. I have reservations about this, but if it happens it will need all of our support. And if anyone has any suggestions to boost the event please get in touch.
The clubs within the league have some interesting things to vote on, including the start time for matches. It seems that 12.30 or 1pm are favoured – but I have heard no reasoned arguments as to why 1.30 is too late. Earlier starts could cause problems for people who have to work on Saturday mornings, or who have parental responsibilities amongst other things. It is less time to prepare the ground, particularly if there has been a heavy dew, and it is less time to prepare teas, if that is still necessary (see below). There will be one advantage though, the earlier finish will provide less exposure to the gnats at Offerton that seem at their worst as the sun starts to set. And on to teas, there is the proposal from Whaley Bridge that the responsibility for teas should be shifted from the clubs to the individual players. I suspect that this will not be the most popular proposal, but it is important to point out that WBCC did not suggest that we scrap teas, just to make the players responsible for their own provision. Our secretary felt obliged to point this out, at great length, to the league, and I do not intend to go into the whys and wherefores of this – our secretary has already done this at great, great, great length elsewhere on this website. However, I’m still not sure who would provide the umpires’ teas, or the scorers, but I suspect that it will be irrelevant come the day of the vote.
And speaking of things of great, great great length, the secretary’s annual report can be found in the “documents” section of the website. I will not comment further, except to say that I had to remove several items from the website to fit it in.
Someone once said that when a man sees a hill he will climb it to see what is at the summit. When he sees a mountain he considers it to big to tackle, and so he goes around the side, ignoring the view from the top.
Bring on the cricket!