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Season Preview - Part 1

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

As we head into our 19th season as a merged club, we continue to embrace new challenges both on and off the field. Behind the scenes, there has been a great deal of work from the committee (and the chairman in particular) especially on the new ground at Abingworth (Thakeham). We were delighted when Abingworth (the developers) and Oakford Homes included a new cricket ground in their plans. The new pavilion is stunning meaning we will have access to yet another superb facility that when added to the one at West Chiltington we will have potentially two of the best in the county …. not bad for a village club.

The new playing area is large and although there are some houses to tempt the batsmen, these are - with a few exceptions - quite some distance from the square. We have been in contact with and met a resident in Pavilion Close which surrounds the ground who has agreed to be a conduit between the club and other residents. Imperative we have a good relationship with them from the outset. Discussions with Thakeham Parish Council and the developers have been ongoing from the very start of the development and a good relationship has been established.

As the official “handover” date gets ever closer the Cricket Club will be entering final discussions with the Parish Council and will be looking to conclude the various agreements that will allow the facility to formally become the West Chiltington and Thakeham CC second ground.

This new facility will become the home ground for our 3rd XI and under the new leadership of Simon Capel allow them to relocate from Amberley (aka Amberlords) which has been the 3rd XI home since we started the side in 2012.

It is anticipated that the new ground will also host various Women’s T20 games and numerous colts matches, especially on weekend including Saturday and Sunday mornings

Usage will be carefully monitored. The new square is comprised of only 5 wickets and in the first few seasons it is important that long term damage isn’t incurred through overuse.

There are plans to add more strips in due course in order to alleviate this issue and provide greater capacity.

Other highlights

After a break of a couple of years, the club will also be going on tour again in 2019 (June 10th to 14th) Jason and Mandy (who else) have sourced a couple of boats on the Thames near Reading which we will pick up in mid June and head east towards Maidenhead. People can stay on the boats drinking Captain Morgan but risk being told to walk the plank by Cut Throat Jase; alternatively cricketers and supporters can stay on land and help with logistics and if you can't take the week off work, you can tell us that you're just playing one or two games. It should be a lot of fun so let Jason or Mandy know what your preferences are if you haven't already done so.

As we work through our extensive build-up to the start of the new season, we will bring you news of all adult and colts' sides. All three adult men's sides have new captains.

The Men's 3rds have Simon whilst the 2nd XI are certainly in safe hands with Callum and “French” Phil Martin managing the team this season. They will no doubt be ably assisted by Woody who will hopefully be recovered from his injuries which stopped him playing much of last term and our resident geriatrics, Fitz and Chaloner.

The 1st XI has lost their captain who has returned to Brighton. So stepping up from Vice Captaincy we now have the wizard that is Jack Elliott-Monday as our new captain. JE-M is the second Monday to have captained this club and whilst it's still very sad that his father,Timbo, is not here to see this great day, Jack knows he has the full support of the club behind him who will be willing him and his young team on from the sidelines. Jack will have a number of more than capable colts and ex colts to assist him on the field of play; Jake - one of our original colts in 2005 will be his vice-captain and unlike the 2s and 3s the 1st XI could easily prove to be the youngest team in the league especially with the likes of Ben Lucking, Charlie Davies and Reuben Taylor and other colts all likely to play big roles.

Jack takes over as First XI captain

As ever at this time of the year there are still unknowns, especially regarding the general level of availability of existing players but also the possibility of any new players. Last year we were very fortunate to acquire two new senior players who made big impacts in the senior teams. Hugh Warmisham joined us from Burgess Hill and Phil Martin, who lives in Worthing, was introduced to the club.

However and subject to Visa approval, one newbie we do know about is our new overseas player for 2019, who this year hails from South Africa. Morné is an opening batsman and a proficient keeper. He also bowls a bit. As we made no serious runs in any of our men's league sides last year, he will be a welcome addition to the top order and will hopefully influence those around him. The captains are working hard on flushing out as much availability as possible in time for the opening friendly match at Southwater on April 27th.

Phil Abbott continues to manage the Sunday side as he did last year. Jon Denton has indicated he'd like to captain the Vets and as ever, Cricket Week captains will be appointed in June.

If you'd like to assist either junior or adult sections or the committee in any way, please get in touch as usual

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