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BCEW message on the 2015 season

28th April 2015

The 2015 blind cricket season officially started this weekend with two National League and four Development League fixtures. Although for those eager fellows in Lancashire and Yorkshire this is old news as they snuck a Development League game in on the previous Sunday!

As you are all aware we have the new ball for 2015, the main features of which are that it is easier to grip, it lasts far better than its predecessor and most importantly it gives a much better level of sound which should make a big difference for all of our B1 and low partial players. I need to extend a massive thank you to Nikhil Nair for his help with developing both the ball and our new working relationship with Mitre who specially produce the ball for us.

London Metro - 2015 National League Champions

We also have some big improvements relating to both the umpires’ and scorers’ panel. Over the winter the umpires’ panel have recruited a number of new umpires to vastly increase the size of their roster. The panel has taken on the responsibility of arranging umpires for Development and National games for this season and despite this much bigger schedule to cover they have already got the majority of games assigned. I would like to thank our new Head Umpire Les Clemenson and his committee including Bob Southward, Darshak Patel, Paul Richardson and Roger Barker for all of their hard work over the winter.

As for the scorers’ panel, Paul Toplis has taken over responsibility for managing the panel and has done an equally impressive job. The scorers’ panel has a scorer appointed to the vast majority of games already and again that includes both National and Development competitions, so my sincere thanks goes to Paul for his work on this.

As National League teams will be aware, for the past few seasons I have sent out a ‘match details’ document to each club as well as the umpires and scorers for each of their games. John Garbett had been doing a similar thing for Development games over the past two years. This season I will be sending these documents out for all matches and will aim to have the details to you by the Tuesday before each game.

The aim of all of this is to ensure that we have two umpires and one scorer appointed for every match, but we do need a little help from you. If any match changes date or start time you need to let me know immediately and we also need you to ensure that the ‘umpire report form’ that I circulated last week is filled out promptly for each of your games, home or away. This is so that if an umpire is struggling with an aspect of the game or with a specific rule, the panel can work with them to improve their performance.

I would like to welcome Adam White, Colin Baxter and George Ferguson to the BCEW committee, and in addition Adam and George to the BBS Cricket committee, too. They have all taken up their new positions over the winter and will I’m sure help to improve the way blind cricket is managed. I would also like to thank Jemma Brown for all of her hard work over the past few years as she has left both committees during the off-season.

Welcome to Surrey VICC who have joined the Development League this season and, with my BBS Cricket hat on, welcome Gloucestershire Growlers who have entered the BBS Cup for the first time.

John Garbett continues to do excellent work in developing our game and this was again demonstrated recently as Staffordshire Wolves and Worcestershire played a match against each other for both side’s first ever game. Staffordshire have more friendlies booked in for later this season and have shown excellent progress over the past eight months.

England Visually Impaired Cricket team

The England Visually Impaired cricket team has a series this summer against the current World Champions, India. This series will run from 24th to 30th May taking in Leamington CC, Wolverhampton CC, The Oval and Arundel Castle CC for a series of three Royal London One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals. England will also play a number of friendlies against fully sighted opposition during the season including against Beckenham CC, Cleethorpes CC and Bishops Cannings CC (Wiltshire).

I will email out regular updates during the summer but the best way to keep updated with what’s happening is via our website - www.bcew.co.uk - and by following @UKBlindCricket on Twitter.

I would like once again to thank Final Third Sports Media for the excellent work they do on our website. Some regular features on the website are the Domestic, Development and International sections. Each of these specialise in the activities their name suggests; in the case of domestic it focuses on national-level cricket and the other two are self explanatory. Each section includes fixtures, results and league tables for the relevant competitions. The about section of the site is also extremely useful as, amongst other things, it contains all blind cricket rules documents (except International which are in the International section), as well as a profile of every current playing club in the clubs section.

The new section we are about to launch is called Key Links. This will feature some familiar content as well as two new items; ‘all fixtures’ will be a list that contains every single fixture from every part of our game and ‘Hall of Fame’ will have a page dedicated to every player or official who has been inducted into the Blind Cricket Hall of Fame.

On behalf of all of our clubs I would like to express our thanks to those who provide financial support to one or more aspects of our game. This includes The Primary Club, The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust and of course the England and Wales Cricket Board - blind cricket wouldn’t exist without your support so our heart felt thanks go out to each and every one of you.

Lastly, I would like to close by thanking every volunteer who helps make blind cricket such a competitive, well organised and friendly game including David Townley, Geoff Smith, Pete Sugg and David Ellingham who are the members of the BCEW or BBS Cricket committees that I haven’t mentioned before now.

I would also like to thank every umpire or scorer, every team manager or coach, everyone who gives up their time to support our game. Without you blind cricket couldn’t survive, so thank you all. I hope you all enjoy a terrific 2015 season.

Dave Gavrilovic
Vice Chairman
Blind Cricket England and Wales