I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year and that you are looking forward to the cricket season which is now less than 3 months away! As our new President, Simon Jackson, alluded to in his recent message, the committee has not been idle through the winter months. As well as the lively and well-attended AGM, the committee have been working on a range of initiatives to improve both the on-pitch and off-pitch enjoyment for players, members and friends of our great club. Sunday cricket across the county is in something of a decline, with many teams facing the challenges we saw in 2017. However, we firmly believe that, with a few changes and the commitment and energy of you, our members, we can buck this trend.
The fixture list for 2018, will be less ambitious in terms of the number of games than in previous seasons and there will be a more flexible approach to match formats and start times. We hope that this will enable more players to be available for a higher percentage of games. As Simon mentioned, 2018 will be somewhat experimental, but we are retaining a number of traditional fixtures and events which remain popular. A full fixture list will be circulated as soon as the fixtures are finalised. I am able to advise however, that our first fixture of the season will be The Nick Clough Cup event on April 29th. This multi-team, short format event has proved an excellent “season-opener” over the last few years and is always an enjoyable day with food, fun and competitive cricket – I hope to see as many of you there as possible. Please put a note in your diary – more details soon.
Turning to the appointments made at the AGM, I would like to congratulate Simon on his appointment as President – a role he thoroughly deserves for his many years of hard work and support of Mount, both on and off the pitch. He has a tough act to follow and I would like to personally thank William Wilcox for his efforts in the role. Will was an excellent President, working very hard behind the scenes and not just behind the BBQ!
Toby Duffin was appointed as Fixture Secretary, taking over the role from me. I will work with Toby in this transitional season but I know that Toby will bring his trademark energy, creativity and commitment to the role and will make it his own.
I am particularly excited by the creation of the Players’ Representative roles – the committee relies upon feedback and ideas from the wider membership and I think these positions are an important step in the right direction. I welcome Justin Montellier and Paul Offord to these new roles and know that they will do a great job – please use them to put over any thoughts and ideas you have… anonymously if necessary!
I am proud and delighted to have been appointed as Club Captain. I have been with Mount since 2011, a relative newcomer in some eyes, but Mount CC quickly became very close to my heart and I hope I am able to do the role justice. I too have big boots to fill and must say a very special thanks to my predecessor, Ilan Frankel. Ilan skippered the team through one of its most successful periods on and off the field and a huge amount of credit for that must go to him. Personally, he produced record breaking performances with the bat, and led the team to its greatest number of wins in a season, its most successful tour as well as overseeing an increase in membership during his time as Captain. It was a pleasure to be his vice-captain for 3 seasons and he will be another tough act to follow. I only ask that he score as many runs for me as he did during his own stint as skip!
Finally, the President and I would like to invite you for drinks on Thursday 8th Feb. We will advise the venue soon but have agreed to stump(!) up for a few beverages for those in attendance. However, any attempts to curry favour with the new administration and secure preferred batting, bowling or fielding positions for 2018 will be thoroughly encouraged!! I hope to see you then.
Here’s to a great 2018!