Shipton under Wychwood Cricket Club

Oh for the crack of willow upon leather!

By coincidence, and the requirements of the editor’s deadline, I’m writing this ten years to the day after I suffered a cardiac arrest. Thanks to our brilliant Wychwood Surgery, I am still here. In recovery, one of the many things I promised I would do if I was lucky enough – distant though it then seemed – was to play more cricket, and in those ten years I have been fortunate to play far more than in the previous five and a half decades. So, you may gather that the chance to contemplate a new season is, for me, a thrilling one indeed. I’m also pleased to say that the club now has a defibrillator, conveniently sited both for players and visitors to the Wild Garden, just off the Avenue. Hopefully it will never be needed.

The club begins the new season in buoyant mood after the successful centenary celebrations of last year and with a new chairman and new 2nd and 3rd team captains. For the 1sts, 2nd, and 3rds youth is very much in the ascendancy (the 4ths do their mature best to balance up the age profile), but most of our players do have several years’ worth of senior cricket behind them, having come through the junior ranks together. So, we are hoping that this blend of youth and experience will stand us in good stead.

Even before the league season commences on 8 May we have a full pre-season of friendlies and a short tour to South Wales. From then our four senior teams will each play 18 league games, together with numerous cup matches, T20s and friendlies. As 4th XI captain, the prospect of trying to get all those teams out each week can be a daunting one, but right now I’m just entranced by the vision of summer days and the music of willow on leather.

The junior schedule is just as busy, although thankfully not quite as long. Here are the start dates:

U13s – (hardball) 20 April, 6-7.30 pm
U15s – (hardball) 21 April, 6-7.30 pm
U11s – (hardball) 22 April. 6-7.30 pm
All Stars (softball) for 5-8 year olds and Dynamos (softball) for 8-11 year olds- 20 May for 8 weeks

The club welcomes cricketers of all abilities, genders and ages; senior nets are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  And do come along to our fabulous Friday Youth Nights from 22 April to the end of the summer term when, if the weather is kind, the bar will be open and the BBQ will be sizzling. It really is the perfect way to start the weekend.

Graham Nelson

April – May 2022