Message from the Chairman
I would just like to reflect on an amazing week for our Club and share my thoughts with our membership.
On Friday evening I helped with the coaching of our 5-8 year old All Stars; the new ECB initiative to get young children into cricket. We have 45 All Stars signed up, which is a brilliant effort and is one of the highest numbers of all the clubs in Berkshire. In addition on Fridays we have c. 55 colts between 9-11, so c.100 kids playing cricket. We even had an U11 match going on, which we won.
Last Sunday we hosted the first Berkshire Ladies' Softball tournament, supported by the ECB and Berkshire Cricket. We had 40 Ladies and 15 Girls playing cricket, some for the very first time. We were thrilled to be invited to host a Festival and we had a brilliant afternoon in hot sunshine. It was fantastic to see all the Ladies and Girls playing cricket. With the Women's World Cup about to start, we are definitely a club at the forefront of developing female cricket in Berkshire. Next season I would like to see many more wives, partners and mums joining in the fun please, when we host another festival.
On Tuesday afternoon we hosted the inaugural Girls' schools Kwik Cricket Festival, organised between Berkshire Cricket and Ascot & Maidenhead School Sport Partnership. We had 8 Girls' teams from 6 local Primary schools playing cricket, with scorers and umpires provided by Newlands Girls' school. A truly wonderful spectacle and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
On Monday evening both our U17 Boys and our U14 Girls won their respective cricket matches and our U15 Boys won their match on Tuesday, against the odds, which was an amazing performance.
It is fabulous to think that we now have c. 150 boys between 5 and 17 playing cricket at the Club and our Girls section, which, incredibly, is now into its 6th year, has 55 Girls signed up, from ages 7 to 16. If you've not seen what the Girls get up to on a Monday evening, please come down one week.
This is the 2nd year for our fantastic Ladies section, which also offers a terrific opportunity for our Girls to continue playing and developing their cricket. Female cricket is thriving. I'm delighted how everyone has embraced the initiative for our Ladies cricket and the Ladies themselves are truly wonderful and have added real value to our Club. Many of our Ladies are supporting our Girls with Monday coaching, which is brilliant.
To finish the week, we were absolutely thrilled to announce that we would be fielding 5 Senior sides on Saturday, the first time possibly ever! Teams include Colts (including our 1st XI) and Ladies. And we mustn't forget that we are one of the few clubs around still offering regular Sunday senior cricket. Our Sunday sides play some terrific 'wandering' sides, one of cricket's great traditions. Long may our Sunday cricket continue.
I joined the Club committee in 2011 and we had only 2 regular Senior sides, having to cancel scheduled 3rd XI matches because of lack of availability. We were building our Colts section, but went a while without an U15 and U17 side. There was no Female cricket, be it Girls or Ladies at the Club!
I took over the position as Chairman of the Cricket Club this April. I am honoured to be associated with a club trying to do the right thing. Our 1st XI may not be playing in the highest league, but we are on an exciting journey and that success will come in due course.
We don't have any overseas superstars. We do have a (baggy) green 18 year old Australian, who is over here on a cricketing and life experience and will be touring with the Crusaders in July and August. Ashley has embraced the club and we are delighted he is here.
We are an amateur club, run by brilliant volunteers, with a great membership. A big thank you to everyone that supports the Club in some way. We operate with an amazing team spirit and an ethos of fun, respect and support for each other and we all thoroughly enjoy being in each other's company. We are one big cricketing family and the winner has to be the marvellous game of cricket. May it live in Maidenhead and Bray forever!
With very best regards,
Maidenhead & Bray C.C.