Chairman’s lockdown newsletter – Week 1

Warmest greetings to all Christleton CC members and friends. It is the time of year when I normally look for-ward to settling into the Chairman’s seat and getting ready for the roller coaster ride of another cricket season. This time around, that will not be the case as our ground is all dressed up with nowhere to go. All cricket play-ers, officials and supporters know that the cricket season’s 22 weeks normally pass by in the blink on an eye. This year, it will progress a bit more slowly. I have fingers crossed in the hope of some cricket, although other things are clearly much more of a current priority.

April is always a tricky month for cricket as you try to find some early season form and confidence. In times gone by, it was a productive month for bowlers on uncovered, soft pitches. Bowlers themselves would look sur-prised at times at the extravagance at the movement. Mid Off was always busy as you scooped one up after weeks of indoor practice. It’s raining as I write, and this is so typical on the first cricket Saturday after a spell of fine weather.

As there is no current cricket to comment upon, I have been having a look through the archives to see what our teams were up to in seasons gone by. Obviously, I am going to pick out mostly successes of the past. Therefore, we will be having a lot more April wins than has sometimes been the case in the sluggish starts of several recent years. I’ll try to mention a lot of people in the coming weeks.

1st XI makes a winning start to the season

In 1996 our 1stXI travelled to Woodford for the season’s opening fixture, dodging the showers in that year’s wet April. The scorer for this and many other seasons was the inimitable and much-missed Harry Graves, always a vociferous and enthusiastic presence, usually encouraging batsmen to, ’Run up, there’s three** there.’ The 1stXI attack was in miserly mood that day, bowling our hosts out for 116 in 44.2 overs. Neil Glover opened the bowl-ing and set the tone, conceding only 4 runs in 6 overs. There were wickets for Richard Dandy and Jim Gillson, with 2 for Chris Spencer– the first 2 of his 54 that year– well bowled Spen! Chief destroyer on this occasion though was Guy Newell with 5-33. Terry Jonas bagged his first stumping of the season and there was a ct. P.W. Evans b. R. Dandy in this match– a classic dismissal if ever there was one.

After tea, Jim Gillson 58* and Steve Johnson 27 made rapid inroads into the required total before Paul Evans applied the coup-de-grace with a quick 23*. This was a 21 point haul on the day and a great start to the season.
** Or four, or sometimes even 5.

Get your kit on

Opening day win for the 2nds

The first day of the 2011 season saw a strong Christleton team travel to Upton for the 2nd X opening fixture. After winning the toss the hosts opted to take first use of the pitch and found batting tough against an accurate attack. 2s-2011Russ Butcher (3-18), Jason Ashcroft (4-23), Ollie Morgan-Jones (2-6) and Steve Jackson (1-11) had their personal bowling radars finely tuned that day and, remarkably, extras was the highest scorer with 27 out of a total of 89. After tea, Harry Peel decided that attack was the order of the day as he smashed a rapid and powerful 60* to help land the win. The team that day was very strong and looks very sociable- with Rob Marks, Andy Heyland, Matt Allen, Matt Astbury, George Bryant and Keith Jaynes all turning out on this occasion in an encouraging start to the season.

Mentioned in dispatches

Not quite a win but a great effort from the Morgan-Jones brothers

We’re heading back to the first week of the 2014 season and a very good home game against Cheadle Hulme, played during an excellent spell of weather. Skipper Mike Gaynon won the toss and was delighted to take first use of a straw coloured wicket. The Morgan-Jones boys then proceeded to put on ninety for the first wicket. Olly was the more circumspect of the pair with 35, whilst Josh raced away to a rapid, boundary-crunching 93. The engine room then chipped in as Alex Powell 30 and Adam Gittins 34* helped to post a highly respectable half-time score..A draw was the eventual outcome with CH 9 down at close. Details… website/results/1569666


Sadly, not a great deal has changed since I wrote to you at the start of lockdown. In the meantime, the club’s activities are largely paused, though certain essential work in grounds care and financial matters continues My thanks to all those who are still working hard on behalf of the club.

The events that we would be looking forward to are on hold. I’m sure that you would have been looking forward to doing some of these things: attending pre-season training and practice games; playing in the opening fixtures; junior registration and first action; getting some new kit together or dusting off a time-honoured cap; seeing if your kit still fits, always an anxious moment; knocking-in a new bat; trying to remember which guard you take or how many paces your run-up consists of; being stood under the first catch of the season; enjoying cricket teas and thanking the lovely people who provide them; meeting our sponsors at afternoon tea time; seeing old friends and talking about how good we all were – (strangely, the longer you’re retired, the better you get!); competition against respected opponents; unleashing the new shots and/ or deliveries you’ve been working on over the winter; seeing if you can still hit it, land it or catch it; watching the change from April to May as our lovely ground takes on its full resplendence again. Please remember: these pleasures are merely delayed, they are not cancelled. Hopefully, we will enjoy them again before too long.

Cricket is not top of our priority lists right now, but please be ready to support your club when our activities resume. Take care and stay safe.

Important Dates:

1st August – Cricket Rocks
5th December – Christmas PartyLittleHeath vista