Firstly I hope that you and your families are safe and well. My apologies for the slight delay in this months Chairman’s Update but I was waiting on some good news from the Government and the ECB about recreational cricket which finally came yesterday (Friday 3rd July) announcing the restart from 11th July meaning competitive matches with adjustments to respect both hygiene and social distancing can start. What FANTASTIC news!
As I write there still remains some uncertainty around what this ‘adapted play’ in this new world of ‘social distancing’ will look like and we are awaiting detailed ECB Guidance to clarify this. Similarly we are also awaiting news from the League on likely playing structure for the remaining months of the season and this is not easy with consideration needed around travel and any ground or volunteering issues clubs may be facing into. The likelihood is that what ever is agreed will commence from the 25th July. I will of course keep you all updated on this.
As a Club I am pleased to say that your committee have plans well in hand to be able to allow matches to commence from the 11th July, subject to reviewing and implementing the additional ECB Guidance once received, and this will include the opening of a ‘restricted’ bar service. Rick, Jake, Stacey and George will now be proactively reaching out to mobilise all our players so that we are ready to go. Positively we have also agreed with our friends at Dorset CCC (Nick Eckland) to host a potential 50 over match against Devon CCC on Sunday 26th July.
Having said that plans are well in advance we still have a few jobs to sort around the ground like putting the sight screens back up and unrolling the boundary rope, so if any of you are available to support we are looking to pull a working party together on Sunday morning (5th July) to get these done. Mark will post further details on SPOND to canvass your support.
Away from Willis Lane the committee met ‘virtually’ again this month to ensure the safe and secure running of the Club. Here is an update on a few of the discussion points this month that I’d like to share to keep you all informed:-
1) Membership subscriptions – thanks again to those that have already paid. I’d particularly like to acknowledge and thank the large number of VPs that have paid their subscriptions. Your support is greatly appreciated and has helped keep the Club going over this difficult period. The Committee and I are working hard to arrange an event, a socially distanced one of course, at some point over the coming weeks to publicly thank you all so watch this space! With our membership remaining at the reduced sum of £20, to reflect the times and the availability of cricket, for the time being I would ask that those still to pay do so at your earliest convenience please so that you are fully covered by the Club’s insurance whilst at the ground. Also as I have previously referenced it will go some way towards supporting the Clubs on going costs at circa £600pm. A membership form and ways to pay can be found on our website.
2) Outdoor ‘all weather’ net facilities – with planning agreed and a sub committee set up we have agreed on a potential supplier/installer and are working through the final few details on funding before confirming a start date which we hope will mean it see’s some use maybe at the very back end of our extended season. A copy of the plan can be found on our website.
3) Youth Cricket – it was great to see some sessions with our younger members start a couple of weeks ago and build on the popular adult sessions that had been available.
4) Pavilion & grounds – with our lovely Pavilion now having been in situ since 2000 it’s become apparent that some TLC is needed and work has started on the replacement of broken roof tiles plus the removal and cleaning of the guttering to allow the painting of wood work. Similarly the magnificent Turkey Oak in the car park needs a trim, following the falling of some branches over the last couple of months, to keep it safe which is not as straight forward as you might think given it’s size and that we are in a conservation area. The committee have also been undertaking a review of the Pavilion Management Plan and supporting Risk Assessments to reflect the current COVID-19 position which will allow us offer a restricted bar service whilst ensuring the safety of our members.
Anyway I hope you’ve found the update useful and let’s keep our fingers crossed that the good weather returns to support our return to ‘adapted’ cricket. I will write out with further updates as they are known.
NPCC - Chairman