St Annes chairman John Cotton has responded to the disappointment of his club failing to raise a team for their scheduled T20 round robin games against Blackpool and Preston at St Annes CC last Sunday (22 June). St Annes had to concede both games.
In the club programme for the Carnforth fixture on Saturday Mr Cotton wrote: On Sunday we were set to host the 20/20 between ourselves, Preston and Blackpool, but most embarrassingly we had only 8 players at the designated start time of 10.30am.
As Chairman of the Club it makes you wonder whether it is worthwhile for the Committee to endeavour to provide the facilities that are available to enable the cricket players to concentrate solely on the cricket, when it is quite apparent that a significant number have no commitment to St Annes Cricket Club at all.
I feel that prior to the start of next season we need to establish what each player's position is with regards to playing Sunday and Cup matches and make a decision on how we move forward.
My personal opinion is that unless people have work commitments or any other important event, if they cannot play on a Sunday they should not play in the first team. Short term this may lead to slightly weakening the side but long term will lead to a side that is worthy of both St Annes Cricket Club and its supporters.
I feel that at present as we are without a cricket chairman there is an element within the player membership that are using the Club for their own benefit and that is something that needs to be resolved. I think that the players sometimes forget that they also have some responsibilities and people are actually paying to watch them play.
DARWEN CRICKET CLUB NEWS
Darwen enjoyed a straightforward win over struggling Fleetwood at Birch Hall on Saturday in the Northern Premier League to mark the end of the first half of the season.
Darwen captain Andrew Cook asked Fleetwood to bat first on an overcast day that threatened rain at any point. He was soon rewarded as his opening bowlers Stuart Hampson and Yakub Bhamji tore into the Fleetwood top order. Bhamji took two wickets in his opening spell and Hampson one to leave the visitors struggling. Adam Parker (30) and Fleetwood skipper Wayne Clarke (57) offered most resistance as they tried to set Darwen a reasonable target. However with all of Darwen's bowlers in fine form runs were always hard to come by. Kamran Anwar and the Darwen skipper both took a wicket as the innings progressed but it was left to Bhamji and Hampson to take the plaudits as they returned for their second spells. Bhamji just outshone his partner by taking four wickets for 28 from only 10 overs whilst Hampson's four wickets came from 17 overs at a cost of 45 runs including the last wicket to fall with the total on 154.
The Darwen reply got off to a steady start with the new opening partnership of John Cordingley and Jordan Clarke moving the score on steadily before Clarke fell for 19. Darwen Professional Atif Ashraf now came to the crease and he and John Cordingley steadily moved Darwen to within sight of victory. Atif hit a bright 44 before a mistimed shot saw him caught on the boundary. John Cordingley was then joined by his brother Gareth. John cruised to his 50 and then eased Darwen home for the loss of just the two wickets as he finished on 60 not out, with Gareth also there at the finish on 20, Darwen reaching 157 in just 43 overs.
Skipper Cook was delighted with the team's performance. This is a real confidence booster at the end of what has been a tough baptism of fire for many of our young players. I'm delighted with the progress we have made with all our young players making positive contributions. I'm particularly pleased with the performances of 16 year olds Kamran Anwar and Yakub Bhamji with the ball whilst Niall Burke has really impressed with the bat, it also good to see John Cordingley coming into form at the right time. There are plenty of others chipping in and together with the support of Professional Atif Ashraf and our leading run scorer Gareth Cordingley I'm beginning to see just how much we have come on as a team this season and I'm sure it will just keep getting better.
Darwen's next league game on Saturday 5 July is also at home against last season's Champions St Anne's with a 1.00pm start.
Darwen's last home Twenty-20 fixture of the season, against Leyland, that was washed out on Friday has been rearranged for this Thursday, 3 July starting at 6.00pm.
Cricket Chairman Gary Jackson is delighted to have managed to have re-set the date so quickly. Leyland currently top our group and also head the Northern League so it should be a great match. We gave them a good run for their money last time around and I expect there to be more fireworks from Atif and Jo Anderson to keep the crowd happy on Thursday too. "For those who've not been to a twenty-20 fixture before the game normally lasts about two hours fifteen minutes with bowlers being limited to a short run up and no break between innings. It's well worth a visit and there will be refreshments available.
During the weekend of 19 and 20 July there will be fun and games for everyone at Darwen Cricket Club.
On the Saturday as the Club host their Northern League fixture against Carnforth there will be a "Family fun Day" from 2.00 till 4.00. There will be a bowl at the stumps competition, face painting, bat the rat, refreshments, prize games, a raffle and an opportunity to face the bowling machine!
The entrance fee will be reduced for the day to £2 for adults and £1 for children and concessions.
On the Sunday the Club will be running a prize Treasure Hunt, with cars setting off between 10.00 and 11.00am at a cost of £10 per car.
Further details will be available next week.