With the world being plunged into chaos as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we've been somewhat poor at keeping the website updated. So here we are.
Before I go into any of the cricket that has been played I will first extend an invite to our members and friends, on behalf of the President and the committee, to attend the annual President's Day next Saturday, 29th August, 11am onwards. This year is extra special, as we will be seeing two presidents; incumbent Gareth Owen who will be handing over to his successor (and cricketer - at least for the day!) Kev Keaney. On behalf of the committee and the entire cricket section, I'd like to extend thanks to Gareth for his loyal support, hard work and generosity in his time as President of the club and we look forward to seeing Kev step into Gareth's shoes.
League Cricket in 2020
On to matters cricketing! It's been a strange year, as we all know. As a result league cricket was up in the air for a long time. Leagues up and down the country have found different ways of dealing with the upheaval caused by the pandemic; some have been cancelled completely for the summer and others have opted to create a "half season". The leagues which our Saturday XIs align with - Surrey Championship & Surrey County League - amalgamated for the purpose of organising competitive fixtures to create regional leagues throughout the county, where 6 or 7 matches would be played. Much like the Bob Willis Trophy, no official winner will be named for the Championship this year, but sides will have some recognition for winning their regional divisions.
The committee, given availability and uncertainty over the government and ECB's approaches to managing Covid-19, opted to pull-out of the league system organised in Surrey this year. It was the committee's belief that varying availability and therefore uncertainty over the standard and mix of sides from Saturday to Saturday would bring little benefit to the club, especially when placed in a tough-looking regional division. It is a shame not to be playing league cricket but in extraordinary times, looking at the bigger picture, considering our members' and players' opinions views was entirely necessary.
The lack of league cricket at Brownacres this summer itself brought opportunity for us in other ways. In the first instance it has allowed us to get plenty of friendly fixtures organised at home and, whilst the world is still in the midst of a crisis, it has been fantastic to see these fixtures so well supported both by players and spectators alike.
Further to that, whether we had been playing "competitive" league fixtures or just friendlies, as is the case, I think it is fair to say that the pandemic has allowed everyone involved at the cricket club to appreciate the enjoyment of just playing the game once more.
I'm delighted to report that the opportunity to play cricket has been extended further than perhaps it might have in an ordinary season. For the last five weeks we had managed to get one Saturday and a Sunday XI out. As I type, it is fantastic to report that Vandals are fielding an Academy XI (possibly for the first time since I played in one about ten years ago!), led by coaches Woo & Jonny Powell. Our coaches and the set-up they provide, as well as the fact we have colts playing in an Academy XI on a Saturday once again, are things we should be very proud of at Vandals. It is safe to say that without the commitment of our coaches to provide these opportunities to our colts, the future of our club wouldn't be anywhere near as secure. What is even more extraordinary is the fact I have just learned that Jonny has hit a 6. Not sure we can believe that without evidence!
Scores & Highlights To-Date
I'm aware that news articles/ newsletters aren't a common occurrence at the club nowadays, so I'm trying my best to give at least something worthy of reading (I hope this has informed some of you at least), without boring you all like Connor's stories of grounds he's scored 50 at (in losing causes). With that in mind, here are some statistical highlights:
1) Connor Baker (pictured at Blackheath at the top of article) 376 runs @ 75.20 (6 inns) inc. 2 x 100 (103 & 100 - both rtd) and 2 x 50. I know, unbelievable! Especially if you are well-acquainted with his exciting tales of 50s against Byfleet.
2) Harry Nirwan 146 runs @ 29.20 (6 inns) inc. 1 x 50.
3) Aman Singh 140 runs @ 46.67 (4 inns) inc. 2 x 50.
4) Garry Foreman 140 runs @ 46.67 (3 inns) inc. 1 x 50.
5) Drew Churchwell 105 runs @ 52.50 (3 inns) inc. a fabulous knock of 87* against East Molesey
1) Garry Foreman 11 wickets @ 5.36 inc. 5/13 and a strike rate of a wicket every 8.18 balls.
2) Oscar Powell 11 wickets @ 18.27 and a best of 3/33.
3) Manny Kaleem 8 wickets @ 16.57 and a best of 4/17.
4) Harry Nirwan 7 wickets @ 19 and a best of 2/30.
5) Jonny Powell 6 wickets @ 6.67 and a best of 4/21 (and a hat trick).
Full results and statistics can be found on ur play cricket page www.wvcc.play-cricket.com. That website is regularly updated by the very capable Dan Fenton.
Cheers all and perhaps we'll get some more news articles out soon. I hope to see many of you at the club on Saturday 29th August. Until then, stay safe!