I hope you are all keeping well and managing to cope with the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves.
At this time of year you would usually see an increase in both frequency and content of these Captain’s missives, with news of upcoming fixtures, new format experiments for the coming season, tea provision and the usual impassioned pleas for player availability alongside pre-season social events and a general excitement about getting back to action. Easter is just around the corner, the sun is out and has already performed its annual trick of turning March’s unplayable muddy fields into early season bowler friendly tracks which, for balance between bat and ball, are surrounded by tightly clipped outfields, and yet there is no sign of a fixture on the horizon – I need not tell you the reason.
Alongside almost every aspect of life, the impact of Covid19 on the sporting calendar has been immense and well documented. It continues to effect a host of major events, with The Championships at Wimbledon probably the latest big name cancellation. It seems extremely unlikely that this situation will change in the immediate future but we at Mount will take our lead from the Government’s advice generally and the ECB’s guidance on cricketing activities specifically. The ECB have announced that there will be no professional cricket played before 28th May and has suspended all forms of the recreational game - including training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity. They have placed no time limit on this suspension at this stage. More information on these announcements can be found on the ECB website.
We have not cancelled, postponed or rearranged any fixtures as yet but it is fair to say that it is unlikely that the season will start in May as planned. We will continue to follow and adhere to the advice given and will keep you posted of any updates and decisions taken.
As you can imagine, there is not a great deal to share with you by way of cricket or social updates - however, as always, I’ll do my best to make this as long as I can!
I am pleased to advise that we finished our first indoor league season with maximum points from our last 2 games. Rayleigh Fairview failed to raise a side and were forced to concede that fixture. Rumours that this concession came from a fear of facing the mighty Mounties, seemed far more credible as in our final game we saw off Leigh 1s in one of the shocks of the competition. Mount made 148/4 from our 12 overs largely due to a stunning 91 not out from Noel Smith, ably supported by Paul Offord (19no) and Steve Johnson (13). This despite Offord and Summers’ telepathic ability to read each others’ minds once again failing (presumably a spelling error somewhere) and leading to the first breach of social distancing policy with them both at the strikers end! Montellier was run out and the skipper fell first ball to a 100% correct, indisputable LBW decision that could not in any way be questioned. No argument. None. At all. Hmph! Anyway.
Leigh’s run chase was looking threatening until Montellier came back at the death and wrapped up their innings at 128 all out. Monty took 3/23 including an incredible c&b and a canny piece of bowling to take the last wicket. He finishes top wicket taker for the competition on 7 with Noel unsurprisingly leading the batting stats. 4th overall in the league was a great effort in our first season. As it turns out coping well indoors is a far more vital skill than any of us could have predicted.
Socially our initial pre-season plans have been scuppered but we have held 2 “virtual” happy hours at the Mount Arms - a chance to catch up over a drink online. These have been a great success and will hopefully be a weekly event. We are working on our first pub quiz – if you would like to join us, drop me a line and I’ll send details.
That really is all there is to report for now – as and when I have more, I’ll be in touch. In the meantime, please do take care of yourselves and stay safe.