Secretary's Report - 2013
2013 has been a season where our Club has continued to progress, culminating in promotions for both our 1st and 2ndX1s who now find themselves competing at a higher level than either have
achieved in the past. In 2014 both teams will be playing two divisions above where they stood only five years ago.
This is an achievement of we all should be very proud. Our 1stXI will be competing at a higher level that any of our local rivals and we have done this with mainly players who have been with us since
young colts and have risen up through our senior sides. We also continue to attract players who see us a progressive Club with great facilities and team
spirit.... a Club heading in the right direction. This year we have been joined by Adam Cossins, Adam Seymour, Poojan, D and Sedge.
Gentlemen you are most welcome at Harefield and we hope you will continue to enjoy your cricket with us for many years to come.
We should be very proud that we have got to the top of the recreational game without having to resort to paying players which everyone else at the level where our 1stXI play appear to do.
This means that we know our players are here for the right reasons, their love of the game and love of this Club....... Long may it continue.
Our colts system continues to provide us with players for senior cricket. This year saw Calum Woodcock, Howard Lippyatt, Jordan McLeod, Ryan Finch, Sam Beacham,
Jack Fosberry and the Ogden brothers making significant progress & contributions to senior teams. Several more, most notably Tom McLeod, Will Shepherd and Freddy Lavers have been introduced to senior cricket with success.
This Club has always backed our young players by giving them game time in senior cricket, not just to make up numbers but to significantly contribute in batting and bowling. We of course value our
Senior players in lower teams who help with development of our young players. It is an important Club policy that youth will always be given its chance at this Club.
For this we can thank Akshay Reddy who on taking over as 1stXI captain eight years ago was keen to promote our colts and his vision has been rewarded by the progress of those young players who
now make up the majority of our successful 1stXI.
Also this year the Club was delighted to win the Thames Valley League`s "Respect your League" Award. The Award recognises Clubs with the highest standards of discipline and administration
within the League. Thanks go especially, to Paul Dean, Vic Devers and our T.V.L. Captains for ensuring all results, scores and the marking of facilities and Umpires are reported efficiently and on time.
Also commended are Club Officials and staff for the smooth running of all match days at Harefield. Thanks also to all the TVL players for having no disciplinary issues in our league matches
The Award comes with a prize of £1,000 which will go towards all our cricket requirements for next season. The Club is delighted and very proud to have been recognised as the best in this field amongst all the 57 Thames Valley League Clubs.
League Cricket in 2014
Most of you will be aware that all Hertfordshire Clubs in the HCPL have left the League with immediate effect to form their own League structure within their own county. Their main reasons
being reduced travelling and costs. This has had a significant effect on the structure of the HCPL and the Thames Valley League which feeds into it. It means our 1stXI who finished runners up in Div 2 West are promoted to Division 1.
They will now be playing the highest level of the recreational game and will be up against some of the strongest Clubs in the Country so a big challenge for us all lies ahead and we owe it to ourselves to have a good crack at it.
The consequent restructuring of the TVL does not affect our teams as to where we play. The 2ndXI are promoted as champions of Div 3B to Div 2A, the 3rdXI remain in 5A and the 4thXI stay in 8B. The format of these Divisions was
drafted a week ago and they are posted on the Club Web-site. Fixtures are expected to be published in January and they will be posted as soon as we have them. As for the Chess Valley Sunday League our 1stXI remain in Division 2
and our 2ndXI are promoted to Division 7.
I will now briefly touch on the season`s performance of our teams - The Captains Reports to come will go into detail on individual and game performances.
Under new skipper Simon Macey in only our fourth season in the HCPL our team had by some distance the most successful season in the Clubs history.
With nine wins and only three defeats and a total of 287 points, all Club records we finished as runners up and will be promoted to Division 1.
We also made it to the regional semi final of the National T20 competition before losing to Banbury, who went on to National Finals Day at the Oval in September.
Performances were at a high level throughout the season which included a new 50 over format for half the League matches.
Major individual performances this year came from :-
Simon Macey with 464 League runs including one century.
Dan Evans with 35 League wkts including a spectacular match winning 6-10 against Aston Rowant.
Our Overseas player Justice Chibhabha consistently played his part scoring 401 League runs and taking 33 wickets.
Again a personal highlight was brilliantly improvised innings by Luc Baldwin scoring a run a ball 46 against Gerrards Cross including an outrageous switch hit for six off their opening bowler.
However all players should be commended for playing their part in a real team effort for a successful season.
Under the strong leadership of Jamie Knife the twos played some geat cricket to convincingly run way with the Division 3B championship. The Twos have been in Division 3B for twelve years since the restructuring of the TVL and never before,
have we even challenged for promotion let alone the title. This shows what an improvement the team has made in 2013. The main reason for this is the overall playing strength of the Club. Regularly our 2ndXI would field half a team with
significant 1stXI experience. For the first time ever the Club has 15/16 players of genuine 1stXI ability/experience and this of course adds to the strength of all our teams in the Club.
Major individual performances for the 2ndXI came from:-
Our consistent opening partnership of Barry Webb and Dan Ogden with 427 and 467 runs respectively. A brilliant performance by young Dan who is just 15 years old and who will surely be scoring big runs in the 1stXI before too long.
On the bowling front spinners Scott Morris and Martin Webb continued to take match winning hauls, ably backed up by seamers Tom Crick, Jordan McLeod and Dharval Narotam. The overall strength of the Club was highlighted in the
twos by Jack Shiel, Olly Richards and Poojan Vyas making big runs for the twos when not required by the 1stXI.
The Threes were not as successful as 2012 but nevertheless finished in a creditable 5th place in Div 5A with 236 points which surprisingly was five more than in 2012 when we missed promotion on count-back after finishing equal on points with
second place. Cobus Jordaan had a stunning season with the bat scoring 844 runs including three centuries and was the leading run scorer in TVL Level 5. He was well supported by Joe O`Hara and David Cokeley who both scored over 300 runs
in the season.
The Threes should be eternally grateful to the new ground-staff who would appear to have turned the Dairy Farm into a road / batsman`s paradise. Sejil Ramniclal and Hannes Verwey were our leading bowlers with 31 and 26 wickets respectively.
Like the Threes our Fourth XI had a mid table season finishing in 5th place with 252 points. Mark Petley with 304 and Craig Saunders with 265 were our leading run sorers. Spinners Ryan Finch, Tom McLeod and Danny Dawson were consistent
performers all regularly taking wickets. However our leading wicket taker was again the evergreen Neil Parnell with 24. Special congratulations are due here for Neil. This was 15th bowling award for the Club since his first senior match in 1990. His bowling
action has remained exactly the same throughout his career although a bit down on pace these days..............and I have still never seen him operate downhill.
The 1stXI had a disappointing finish to the season missing out on promotion. With the strength of our Club we really shouldn`t be in Division 2. Stronger leadership to ensure we take some matches just a little more seriously should see us promoted
Our 2ndXI managed to win all the games they played and have been promoted. However it was very disappointing that we had to cancel two games through not having enough players. This should not be happening at Harefield given the number of
players we have. Whoever is captain in 2014 must be pro-active in encouraging players to make themselves available to ensure this does not happen again.
We have a new ground-staff which has been in place now for a year. Craig, Barrie and myself are prepared and able to put in much more time on the ground and surrounds than our previous groundsmen. We can all see the benefits in the clearance
of trees and shrubs around the main ground and the general tidiness of both grounds. Also more time spent preparing the Dairy Farm, including regular rolling has seen a significant improvement in wickets....... which Cobus can endorse. The main
ground square which was re-laid a year ago will we are told by the Contractor will take three years to settle, but the signs were good towards the end of last season as wickets were seen to improve as the season progressed. Furthermore the Club has
invested £12K on new ground equipment over £5K on Autumn maintenance works on both squares and both outfields. Works done include:-
1) Weed-killer and fertilizer has been applied to both outfields
2) Main ground outfield has been verti-drained
3) Both squares have been scarified, seeded, top dressed and fertilized.
I must finish by talking about the one problem the Club has which keeps recurring, namely our poor discipline record in the HCPL. Despite warnings we have again had problems in 2013. Whether we like it or not Harefield CC now has a reputation in
the HCPL of being over aggressive and ill-disciplined and now, following the ball tampering at Farnham Royal we have the stigma of being proven blatant cheats. Make no mistake that is what it is. It is not funny it is pathetic. It is cheating and the Club
will suffer for it. It worries me that I hear some players not appearing to take our poor discipline seriously. I hear comments like “everybody does it” as if that means we are alright. Well we are either being very naive or we are not very good at it as no
other Clubs seem to get caught and given the penalties Harefield have received. The fact that our TVL teams have won an award involving good discipline makes the 1stXIs disciplinary record over the past three years even more frustrating.
Warnings given regarding player conduct at previous Player AGMs would appear to have gone unheeded. However we really must now take serious note of the penalties hanging over the 1stXI after the recent Farnham Royal ball tampering hearing.
Any disciplinary issue however minor, reported by an Umpire next season will result insuspended penalties being imposed, namely :-
1) Our Captain being suspended for two matches.
2) Our 1stXI being docked 25 points.
And it will not stop there......this will be in addition to any further sanction the HCPL deem appropriate.
We are now in a new League with different Umpires and our reputation will go before us. New Umpires will I am sure be on the look out for any transgressions however minor, by our team. I am also sure opposition will try to wind up our more volatile
players looking cause us problems. We really do have to wake up, grow up and act responsibly and make sure this Clubs reputation is restored.
Finally on discipline I would direct you all to the “Sprit of Cricket” which is part the laws of the game and is posted in the Club and in the Home Team Changing Room.
This is a serious document that we all need to observe in the best interests of the game of cricket and above all the best interests of Harefield CC. Please take time to read the “Spirit of Cricket” and play the game in accordance with it.
Thank Yous – Finally I would like to thank on behalf of all the players :
Steve & Tracy for their award winning cricket lunches and teas - without doubt they are the best on the circuit.
Timber, who has announced his retirement. Thank you for umpiring our 2nd XI matches and a big thank you for your years of service to the Club as an Umpire.
Paul Dean for his efficient scoring, administration and statistical works.
Vic Devers for his scoring and administration for our 2ndXI.
For the fifth season running we had no disciplinary issues or administration problems in the TVL, mainly due to the efficiency and reliability of our two quite excellent scorers.......Such loyal service has been rewarded by the TVL
Respect your League Award mentioned earlier.
Steve, Bob and the staff for pouring our beer.
Thanks to all those who are involved in our colts organisation :-
to Steve Finch our Colts Manager, all the team mangers and to our qualified coaches and to the parents for their help and support of youth cricket.
Thanks to Justice Chibhabha our new overseas player for his contribution to the 1stXI and the Club in general. We hope to welcome him back as our overseas player next season and are currently in negociations with Mluleki Nkala to return as overseas player for the 2ndXI
To Finchy again for his work towards the renewal of our ECB ClubMark status.
To our many sponsors and benefactors without whom this Club would not have made the strides we have in recent years. You will have noted in the balance sheet presented earlier the Club received a staggering total of £27K this
year. All this money is spent on cricket, cricket equipment, training equipment, match day costs and Club facilities.
Thanks also to Club Officers especially Craig, Barrie & Finchy who have worked hard to chase up, pester and acquire for us most of these sponsorship funds.
I would like to thank Pete Morris for taking on the role of Director of Cricket and assisting the 1tXI with training and recruitment.
We are also very lucky to have such active and valued support from parents of our colts and young players - particularly Pete Morris, The Shiels, the McLeods, the Lenchs, the Richards`s,
...............Thanks for all you do for Harefield CC
Momentum continues in the right direction here at Harefield, while many Cricket Clubs struggle.
It has taken a lot of hard work to get the Club where it is today at the very top of the recreational game. It is incumbent on us all to maintain our high standards of cricket and administration to keep us there.