Looking forward to a summer of cricket – Steve Calder Smith- Chairman WGCC
After a winter that would make Noah consider building another ark, I sit here looking out of my kitchen window with the definite feeling of summer. Warm sunshine! – Who knew! The days are getting longer, I can smell new mown grass so it must mean it is time for cricket. Like players old and young I will be soon seeking out the kit, finding what still fits and what needs renewing and dreaming of a few successful days of cricket throughout the summer. At my age I have to recognise I might have to wait a bit longer for these, but if I can watch that little red ball scuttling over the boundary rope once or twice after its hit the middle of my bat, and be part of a fun team, then I have plenty to look forward to.For all you other players, whatever your aspirations I hope you achieve them. I also hope that you recognise the enjoyment of being part of a team, and being lucky enough to play at Wisborough on the green. I don’t know of many better places to play when the sun is shining. I also hope you spare a moment’s thought and more importantly offer a personal “thank you” to those who have made cricket possible again this year. As usual a huge amount of work goes on unnoticed behind the scenes and I feel sometimes that this may be taken for granted. However, without the endeavours of a few, the Friday nights we all enjoy, the practice, the training and the matches could not take place. Firstly, I would like to thank all clubs and their representatives on Wisborough Green Sports Association. We have taken feedback over the last couple of seasons about the pavilion and have tried therefore to improve the facilities. The ladies toilets and the downstairs bar area have been upgraded in an attempt to make the pavilion more inviting to families. I hope you approve of the efforts. By the time the season is underway the upstairs will also have had a face lift, this is where cricket teas are taken and here I would personally like to acknowledge the efforts of Nick Payne who has taken it upon himself to make these improvements. I know that the task has been bigger than he first thought so I truly appreciate what he has given to the Sports Association.Secondly I would like to thank all those who are involved in the preparation of the ground. John Pleasants, who managed the ground so well last year has moved to Cumbria so others have stepped in to try to ensure the high quality square he established is maintained and is suitable for cricket. Because of the weather this is a difficult task and much rolling is required still. I wish to thank Kenny, Mark Day, Richard, Franny and all those who are doing their best to help to ensure cricket can be played. Perhaps just as difficult is to try to prepare an outfield which is holding too much water and has suffered damage at the top of the green due to the fair and at the bottom as the football season ended late. Again thanks to all who are trying to rectify and sort to create a field suitable for cricket.Thirdly I would like to thank all those who are involved in the administration of the club. The committee who ensure that all runs smoothly Tarni and the team of junior administrators who organise the matches at each age group. I would also like to acknowledge the senior and junior league reps who have to sit in cold halls over winter to understand the latest rules, league structures etc; the umpires and scorers who will step forward for each game and the coaches and managers who make each team run smoothly. A big thank you to all. Finally I would like to thank the sponsors of the club and those who make donations to the club as their contributions mean that we can continue to develop. This year we have invested in a new pitch mower which was a significant investment. We are also hoping to be able to announce the development of a further field for practice and will be raising money to develop an artificial wicket which will allow for junior matches to be played as well on this area. Hopefully I will be able to share this news with you soonI was also hoping to send you news of the plans to redevelop the pavilion. We circulated the latest plans over the winter and those that responded to me liked the look of them. The design was conceived based on discussions with Chichester and the Parish Council as to the best place to site a new building and its best footprint. The parish council approved the original design concept unanimously and since then the Sports Association have developed the design employing architects and have gone through pre planning with Chichester who recommend that the plans are submitted for consideration. Unfortunately the Parish Council now say they are unhappy with the proposed site of the building and its proposed size, this 11th hour volte face is extremely disappointing and flies in the face of all that has been agreed. As I write we are still trying to resolve how to move forward and we will keep you posted.So good luck to you all this year. If you are a player be successful, if you are a nervous supporter I hope that your nails remain intact, if you are an umpire I hope every decision is a wise one, if you are a scorer I hope that everything adds up and if you are a team manager there are no late drop outs.Let’s all cross our fingers and hope we are blessed with good weather for the cricket season and that the green is full of life, laughter, bonhomie and a tipple or too. Cheers!