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Welcome to BCEW 2011

12th May 2011

Last weekend saw the opening fixture of the 2011 competitive season when newcomers, Metro Devils, hosted defending champions, South Wales Dragons, in the BCEW National League. Devils put on a strong showing, but it was the more experienced Dragons who prevailed. Welcome Devils! As this month progresses, we see the remaining six title challengers begin their campaigns for glory.

Much remains the same in the National League, but with a few tweaks here and there to improve the game. Pete Marshall, once again heads up the success of last season, the Umpires Panel. With a year’s experience under the belts of both clubs and umpires, I believe it can only go from strength to strength. Also, I can confirm that every competitive game this season has been allocated two umpires.’ Many thanks’, to all the umpires who have made themselves available.

The one major change that you may notice is the Scorers Panel. Similarly to the Umpires Panel, we are trying to ensure that every competitive fixture is covered with an ‘official’ scorer. I can tell you that we are very close to doing so, with just one, or two, fixtures outstanding. I can only say ‘thank you’, to the scorers who have volunteered to take this on.

Leamington Cricket Club once again hosts the ‘Presentations and Finals Day’ for the BCEW/Bill Frindall Memorial Trophy, the T20 knockout cup. In a similar fashion to Dragons dominating the National League, Warwickshire Bears have claimed this prize as their own. They have a tough task to make the ‘Finals Day’ on September 24th, with a quarter-final fixture with last season’s losing finalists, Metro.

As well as league fixtures this weekend, we see two more new clubs, Durham and Somerset, face each other in the opening round of the BBS/Primary Club Knockout Cup at Washington Cricket Club. The prize for the winners is a quarter-final tie against Hampshire. Of course, the ultimate prize is a Cup Final place, this year to be held at Bristol on August 13th. Sussex Sharks will be hoping to defend this crown.

BCEW Development Director, John Garbett, leads another season of an extensive development programme countrywide, culminating with the BCEW/Brian Johnston Memorial Trust Development Tournament. Leicester University hosts this year’s event over the weekend of 10th/11th September. There was a great turnout last year at York where Northants Steelbacks triumphed. This year’s event promises to be as good, if not better.

England do not have a competitive series this year, but there has been a successful recruitment drive in order to attract new players to the international version of the game. The reports I’ve had so far have been very positive. Training camps continue throughout the year, including a trip to La Manga in August. All part of the build up to the Ashes series next summer. For those players not making the main squad, and other new players, we are hastily trying to organise some development  sessions throughout the year.

Staying with the international ball, Bethan Evans at Cricket4Change continues to progress with training sessions for the women’s version of the game. Anyone interested should get in touch.

With regard to our website, we are currently in the process of securing funding in order for us to engage a professional company to re-vamp and update it. Once that is complete, they will take on the day-to-day running of the sit. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, Jemma Brown has created a temporary site for us to use. You will find it at bcewblog.wordpress.com . Well worth a visit. It will carry fixtures, results, league tables, etc.

At this point, I would like to thank our major benefactors, The Primary Club, the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust, and the ECB. It is vitally important that I thank my colleagues on the BCEW committee for their efforts throughout the close season to get this new season underway smoothly.

And finally, best wishes to all clubs, players, officials, and volunteers, for in your quest for a successful summer. Most of all, have fun playing cricket!

David Townley

BCEW Chairman