2014 Cricket Season
CCC completed its 2014 season with a high intensity trip to Jersey with a very strong Under 25 squad. At the request of Jersey Cricket, the squad was to play 4 T20 matches over two days, to assist in Jersey’s preparations for the ICC Europe Division 1 tournament, to be held on the island at the beginning of next season. The squad consisted of a number of regular Minor County and County 2nd team players, with George Russell (High Wycombe CC) making his debut appearances for the Conference, following in his father’s footsteps of yesteryears. Imran Qayuum, Kent CCC, made a guest appearance, having been a regular player for CCC prior to being awarded his county contract at the beginning of the season.
Michael Payne Tring Park CC (Capt)
Sajid Ali Burnham CC
Eddie Ballard Bishop's Stortford CC
Gordon Harris Aston Rowant CC
Husnan Kazmi Shenfield CC
Abhishek Kulkharni Stanmore CC
Tom Phillippe Shenfield CC
Imran Qayuum Canterbury CC
George Russell High Wycombe CC
Jamie Southgate Welwyn Garden City CC
Matthew Stear Stanmore CC
Andrew Westphal East Molesey CC
Simon Routh Tunbridge Wells CC (Manager)
Philip George Colchester and East Essex CC (Umpire)
Alan Jones Wembley CC (Scorer)
Mark Stear Stanmore CC (Coach)
It became most evident through the duration of a wonderful weekend weather-wise that whilst most club players are now engaged in T20 cricket to some extent, their preparation and training in this form of the game falls well short of ICC associate nations such as Jersey; of the four matches played, Jersey won three and their success was based very much on their game plans with bat and ball and fielding routines that were applied ruthlessly in match situations. Jersey are a fine T20 team and they played with a dynamism in their batting and suffocating bowling, most often slow, supported by fielding of the highest class that applied pressure on our batsmen and threatened run outs throughout. The CCC team held together well and were only really outplayed once before recording a very good win in the last match of the trip. There is no doubt that talented as the squad was, the players will have learnt a lot about the craft and the skill sets that are uniquely applied to T20.
The season as a whole again illustrated the value of our cricket programme; sadly we lost three County 2nd team matches to the weather, never even taking the field against Kent, Surrey and Hampshire. Despite that, the fact that CCC now has 5 counties on its fixture roster plus Minor Counties and their academies, demonstrates the relevance of the cricket we play and the quality of cricketers we are able to call on from our member clubs. Overall, 95 players representing 54 clubs took the field in Conference colours in 2014, either for our full representative side, the Under 25s or in Presidents X1 matches against member clubs that were celebrating anniversaries. Our Ladies squad too, enjoyed 2 victories out of three and are now gearing themselves up to be a part of the centenary tour to Grenada and Barbados in 2015, where they will be joined by our full representative squad and a CCC veterans squad. What a trip that promises to be.
Thanks go to the Cricket Committee, Min Patel and Mark Stear for their coaching, Pauline Osborne for her management of the Ladies squad and to Stan Nicholson, whose magical capabilities to muster players at short notice when the inevitable late withdrawals occur, is bewildering! Thank you too, to this year’s President Paul Hooper, who managed to attend almost every match and who represented us so well on match days, whether as host or guest…..he now has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the cricket club bars of London and the Home Counties!!
In closing, thank you to the clubs that have staged our matches this season and to those clubs who hosted our President’s X1. We greatly value our member clubs involvement in our cricket programme and would remind you all that you are free to recommend your players to us that you believe capable of representative cricket; we are always seeking new talent that reflects the quality and flare of the club game throughout the southern counties.
Secretary and Chairman of Cricket, CCC