I hope you’re all well.
This is my usual welcome to the season article with all of the important things you need to know ahead of the 2017 season, although a couple of games have already taken place.
1. What’s happened over the winter?
The England Visually Impaired Cricket Team reached the semi finals of the 2017 Twenty20 World Cup including some superb performances by Peter Blueitt. Reports on all of England’s matches can be found by clicking here.
The matches were spread over January and February 2017, with the tournament’s results and group stage table available by clicking here.
B. Playing Rules
We now have a rule on coaches entering the field of play, this is:
During either innings of a match the only time that a coach may enter the field of play is either during a drinks break or to check on or assist a player who has sustained an injury.
The rules have been clarified on what is the minimum length of a league game for it to count as having been completed, for more details please see the playing rules.
A minimum over rate for National League matches has been set at 12 overs per hour. There are various contributing factors that the umpires will be able to look at when deciding if a team has failed to keep up with this rate. This rule will not apply at all in the regional leagues during 2017 but may be introduced in the future. Again for full details please see the playing rules.
Myself and Colin Baxter have swapped part of our BCEW committee roles. Alongside our other roles, Colin is now Chairman and I am now Vice Chairman.
BCEW have formalised the role of Treasurer, with Amanda Large elected to that post.
My BCEW committee position has been renamed as Business and Competitions Director.
2. The Season Ahead
A. Teams and Competitions
Nottinghamshire Knights have joined the BCEW National League.
Worcestershire Elizabethans will be making their competitive debut after joining the Regional League.
As is becoming an annual tradition, Durham have another new name, they are now Durham Viper Jets.
The southern of the three regional leagues has been renamed as the South and West Regional League. This is because Gloucestershire have moved back into it.
The England Visually Impaired Cricket Team will be holding an open trial on Sunday 14th May at Edgbaston, full details can be found by clicking here.
The Regional international ball development centres have now closed as their Sport England funding has finished.
During this summer the England mens team will be playing a number of performance fixtures on Sundays, and the UK Womens Team will be playing a series of friendly matches.
C. New Venues
The rearranged 2016 BBS Cup Final between Warwickshire Bears and Somerset VICC will be held at Bath Cricket Club, full details can be found by clicking here.
BCEW David Townley Memorial Twenty20 Cup Finals day will return to Wolverhampton Cricket Club in September, the final of the qualifying competition will again be hosted by Old Elizabethans CC in Worcester and the BCEW Brian Johnston Memorial Trust Development Festival will as usual be held at Leicester University.
3. How to keep up with what’s happening
A. BCEW Website
As always the BCEW website is the way to get any information you need instantly. The site includes National and Regional sections that feature fixtures, results and league tables. There is a link on every page to “All Fixtures” which includes literally every fixture in one place including international ball matches and some friendly matches.
The rules section of the site is linked to from the home page and contains the up to date rules for every competition.
The about section of the site includes information on umpires and scorers, including downloads for any paperwork you need relating to those officials or that those officials need themselves. There is a welfare and safeguarding section, profiles of every club and all sorts of other stuff.
The best way to keep up with information from ongoing matches is by following @UKBlindCricket on Twitter, but please do remember that the updates we are able to provide depend on the information that we receive so if we don’t know the score we can’t pass it on.
The about section of the BCEW website also includes a page called Twitter links, this is a list of every club’s Twitter account, or at least all of those that have one.
4. Other Information
Every club that have ordered wrist bands or shades this winter should now have received these.
We will have plenty of international style blackout glasses if you need them once our new stock arrives in the next few days and we also have a good stock of soft shades, so any club needing more of either or of wrist bands just needs to contact me.
We will have a massive stock of domestic blind cricket balls for sale once our new stock arrives, but I don’t have a date for that yet. I will let all clubs know when the new stock arrives.
Good luck to everyone for what I hope will be a competitive season played in the best of spirit.
By Dave Gavrilovic
Vice Chairman, Business & Competitions Director
Blind Cricket England & Wales
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