This year we celebrate our centenary at the current ground. It should have been last year, but the pandemic made that impossible. 101 not out with four senior teams, a large and active junior section, two pitches in a beautiful setting and excellent training facilities. Not bad for a village club. We are lucky, and we do know it. That we have got to this point is down to the hard work of many generations of players and supporters.
Celebrations will focus on two matches, the first against an MCC side, the other featuring many of those who played in our first final at Lords in 1997. On these days we would like to welcome back anyone who has ever played for a Shipton side, even once, or helped at the club, along with their families (Covid regulations permitting!), to watch and reminisce. We shall also be producing a commemorative brochure and holding a dinner in the autumn.
Our much-loved pavilion, which predates 1920, is now showing its age. We want to retain its character by conserving the main structure while modernising the interior, with new showers, toilets and changing facilities, including better provision for our women cricketers. The Parish Council have kindly funded nearly £18,000 of the expected £50,000 bill with Section 106 money from the housing development by the school.
The second, and more ambitious project, is to replace the tearoom, built in 1974, with a more functional space including a bar, which could be used year-round. This will be our biggest fundraising exercise since we developed the nursery pitch twelve years ago.
On the playing side recruitment is always a challenge when you have four teams to fill. We have over 100 players who play during the season. These include many juniors who work their way through the ranks as they get older and better. It’s one of our strengths that we can offer cricket to players of virtually all abilities and ages. As 4th team captain I alone maintain a list of about 70 cricketers who form the squad for the 3rd and 4th XIs. I’m the one who has to find last minute replacements if others drop-out. Friday night and Saturday mornings are nervy times for a 4th XI captain; I only relax when the match begins.
Key to the club’s great success and growth in recent years has been the development of youth cricket, from age five through to 17. We offer All Stars and Dynamos soft ball cricket for the youngest and hard ball cricket for years 5 and 6 onwards. We also have a team and specific training for girls.
We hope all readers will join us at some point during the year, to watch a match, have a drink or volunteer to help in some way – we are always looking for help with umpiring, scoring and ground maintenance. For full details of the events in our Centenary year, matches and youth cricket please visit www.shiptoncc.co.uk