2016 has proved a difficult year for Harefield CC. After fifteen years of unrelenting upward progress the Club has taken a knock back on the cricket field. Whilst our 2nd XI and 3rdXI finished
comfortably in mid table in their Divisions both the 1stXI and 4thXI suffered relegations.
Furthermore perhaps most disappointingly the Club found it difficult to sustain playing strength on several weeks of the season, culminating in our 4thXI having to concede four League
matches due to lack of players.
The 1stXI in our third season in HCPL Div 1 ultimately succumbed to relegation despite battling hard all summer. There were a number of encouraging performances towards the end of
the campaign which offer hope for next season.
The 2ndXI started the season in great form at the top of TVL Div 2A before a dip in fortunes in the second half of the summer saw us slip to a final mid table position
The 3rdXI also started the season well in TVL 5A only to see poor results from mid-July result in a mid-table finish.
The 4thXI suffered from the retirement of several senior players and general poor availability throughout the Club. Playing in TVL Div 7B after promotion last season they never stood a
chance and were relegated without winning a match all summer.
Sunday 1stXI had a season of relative success but ultimately finished as runners-up in CVL Div 1.
However as I have said in previous years reports the strength of teams we field in this competition means we really should be winning this League. I hope 2017 will see this put right.
Sunday 2ndXI Disappointingly there were never enough players available all summer to field two sides so matches were conceded and the team was forced to withdraw from the League.
The availability problem leading to cancellations is embarrassing for the Club and is something that has been getting worse in recent years. The problem is that too many players are not
committing for the full season.
To field consistent and strong sides players have to commit for at least 15 games a season out of the 18 League matches.
1stXI players do take their cricket seriously and do commit. However far too many players in our other sides appear to think that playing half a season of 9 or 10 matches is acceptable.
So think on, the Club really does need greater commitment from players or our standards will continue to slide.
Despite lack of team success there were a number of notable individual performances this season.
Dan Ogden made 457 1stXI League runs
Darval Norotam made 386 1stXI league runs
There were several outstanding bowling performances from Jordan McLeod who took thirty 2ndXI and nine 1stXI League wickets.
In the 3rdXI Neil Woodman scored 306 runs and took 32 wickets in League matches.
Congratulations are also extended to our 1stXI scorer Paul Dean who received an award from the HCPCL in recognition of scoring 100 matches in the League
The Club is so lucky to have enjoyed Paul`s services for over 30 years now and we were very proud of his appointment as scorer for the England v Pakistan Test Match at Lords.
Many congratulations to Paul on this well deserved accolade.
The performance of our 1stXI was again severely affected by our overseas player having to return home after only a handful of games. The second year running this has happened.
This problem has led to the cricket committee looking in another direction for next season.
For a number of reasons the engaging of overseas players has become fraught with problems in recent years:
- Until recent years cricket was only played in England between May and Sept. It is now played in many other countries making it so much harder to get the quality of player
- we need for HCPL Div 1, without the risk of them being recalled home.
- Border control and immigration regulations are now very strict and getting correct visas for players is a nightmare.
- Penalties for getting these wrong are severe with threat of serious fines or even imprisonment of our Chairman.
These problems have led to the cricket committee looking in another direction for next season.
It is something we have considered in the past and we are now going to use resources allocated for our overseas player to take on a former professional cricketer as 1stXI Coach.
Doug King through his contacts with Buckinghamshire CCC has acquired us the services of Jason Harrison, formerly of Middlesex, Bucks and Lincolnshire. As well as his coaching we
also hope to use Jason`s contacts in the game for 1stXI player recruitment. I will leave Doug to go into greater detail of just how we plan to utilise Jason.
I for one think having Jason on board is a very exciting opportunity for our Club.
League Cricket in 2017
Saturday fixtures for both the HCPCL and TVL have now been published.
1stXI Fixtures are posted on the Club web-site and the TVL fixtures for the 2ndXI, 3rdXI and 4thXIs soon will be.
The HCPCL AGM is this Thursday (15th December) so I will not know of any changes for a few days.
The HCPCL are exploring the possibility of playing the 50 over matches in coloured clothing with white/pink balls, black sight screens etc. However a recent poll of Clubs did not
find enough backing for this and it will not be put to the vote at this year’s AGM.
One possible change to be voted on is starting 50 over matches half an hour later at 12 noon.
The recent TVCL AGM has extended the split format 50 over/timed matches to Level 2 for this season. So the 2ndXI will have a season including nine 50 over win/lose matches in
the same way as the 1stXI have in recent seasons.
The TVL is also planning to expand League membership for the 2018 season and have advertised for Clubs who wish to join. Clubs will have to have facilities as required by League
rules before their membership is put to the Clubs for a vote.
The League is also looking to introduce a way for champions of the Chiltern and Bucks Leagues to gain promotion to the TVL in future seasons.
Our new ground-staff have now been in place for four years. Craig, Barrie and I are prepared and able to put in much more time on the ground and surrounds than our
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.
The main ground square which was re-laid four years ago and we were told by the Contractor it would take three to four years to settle.
This would seem to be the case as the wickets continue to show an improvement and again have received good markings by Umpires and Captains in both the HCPCL and TVL.
Rest assured we will do our best to see improvements continue.
Autumn Renovation Work
We used a Contractor this year to deeply scarify both squares. This got the job done properly, removing all the thatch and dead grasses and creating a good seed bed.
The Club groundstaff then spiked, seeded, top dressed and fertilized both squares.
These works were completed in early October
We have since continued spiking and cutting the squares and outfields as the weather has allowed.
We would like to thank Vinnie Fazio for spraying both outfields with weed killer and spaying both squares and outfields with an anti-worm material.
Vinny has also today been verti-draining/spiking the main ground outfield.
Other than the unfortunate incident involving Dale Morris the on field discipline of our players has not been an issue in 2016.
Dale has been dealt with by the Club and furthermore by the TVL.
Other than that game, discipline marks from Umpires and Captains have been good.
Well done to the rest of all you players for playing the game in the right spirit….and long may it continue?
Thank Yous – Finally I would like to thank on behalf of all the players :
Tracey and Matt for their award winning cricket lunches and teas - without doubt they are the best on the circuit.
Paul Dean for his efficient scoring, administration and statistical works.
Vic Devers for his scoring for the 2ndXI and administration work for all our TVL XIs.
Thanks to Cobus Jordaan for his pro-active and efficient work as Team Secretary.
Steve 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.
To Finchy again for his work towards the renewal of our ECB Club Mark status.
To our many sponsors and benefactors without whom this Club would not have made the strides we have………….. All sponsorship money is spent on cricket, cricket equipment, training equipment, match day costs and Club facilities.
Custer - 13th December 2016