Park Hill Cricket Club 2014 Sunday Captain report by Dan Ransom

I would like to start off my Park Hill Cricket Club Sunday Captain report by saying thanks to Nick for all the hard work he has put in over the years as Saturday captain and getting his report out before me for a change!

I’m afraid to say I still don’t have play-cricket up to date with all the Sunday scorecards but I’m still waiting to get the scorebook from someone. Hopefully this can be sorted out soon and I will get some stats out before the dinner.

From memory and looking at the fixture list I believe we lost all but 3 games where we drew with Bank of England and got 2 wins over Deando and Chessington. This probably isn’t a fair reflection of how we played most of this season. The first half of the season we got a bit of a trouncing but our win over Deando turned it around and people started to believe in their ability again. One example of this was when we were put in to bat first against Headley. We posted a very respectable score and had them under a bit of pressure until some freak bashed all of us all over the park. If it wasn’t for him it would have been a very close game.

There are a few teams we played this season where we did let ourselves down badly and didn’t perform at all. We should be performing better against teams like Battersea Ironsides and Franklin Lewin. I hope this can change next season.

We have also had several additions to the Sunday who I believe have all added something to the team and the club as a whole. Rich Goldsbrough became the established number 4 in the batting line up with some brilliant knocks. He also adds to the team spirit and added another fantastic throwing arm to our ranks…. Stu Radcox joined the club through Nick Blake and has been keen to learn from day 1. His fielding has come on leaps and bounds while I hope he kicks on with his batting next year. Maybe a few less emails about damp wouldn’t go a miss. Then there is Barry Smith, I couldn’t big this man up enough and if there was someone made for Park Hill cricket club it’s him. His bowling turns any cricket field into a desert and he loves staying for a beer after.

The main thing that stands out to me about these guys is they have bought right into the ethos of the club and they care. Sometimes they care too much and get upset when they feel like they have let the side down but they should never feel like that! On the other side of the coin a few of the older players could learn to care a bit more.

I would also like to say thanks to all the regular players who put their name forward every week. There are too many of you to thank in this report but I’m sure you will get your mention at the dinner.

Thanks also to the guys who normally just play Saturdays who have helped us over the year. I have to single out Bhupesh as he did hit a 100 this year in the last game of the season but all you guys have been a great help and we couldn’t have won the games we did without you.

In terms of next season I have to admit this winter has been the first one where I have some doubts about continuing as captain. I don’t want to be too down in this report as most people have enjoyed this season but I feel to move forward as a team and as a club a few things need to be mentioned now before it’s too late.

As a club I feel a minority of the people do the majority of the work. This was my first season back after injury and I was hoping to enjoy playing but most weeks I couldn’t because I was too worried about sorting everyone else out and all the things that come with it. People seem to think we all just rock up on a Sunday, play the game, have a drink and go home. I can assure you this isn’t the case at all!

I’m not asking for much because I’m the one who put myself forward as captain but a little help wouldn’t go a miss. Little things like organising your own lift before Sunday morning, volunteer to write a match report or update play-cricket once every couple of weeks would be a massive help. A small job like Nick Blake offering to collect the money at the end of games is a prime example of this as it makes my day a little easier.

There are some other things along these lines that I would like to address but I’m going to wait until the AGM as I feel this is a club wide issue and not just with the Sunday side.

The other issue I have is the general team spirit on the field. Overall it’s been as good as always but there have been a few troughs* with a couple in particular that I’ve not been happy with. We should be supporting each other on the field as we are all trying our best and if you have an issue with something I’ve done on the field as captain, speak to me after the game rather than let your team mates down during the game.

Before someone else mentions it I do see the irony in me telling people not to trough* in the field and I accept it is something I have to improve on but as previously mentioned I’m sure I’ll be happier if I didn’t have so much to worry about.

That being said I still believe the club is going in the right direction and I still want to be involved for another year. This was Kev’s first year as president and I believe he has done a fantastic job. The website has taken off and brought in players of all standards that have improved both teams and the club as a whole. Major and Worrell have been a massive help at summer nets offering advice to whoever needs it. Tour is going from strength to strength and I believe most players are improving and still enjoying their cricket.

With Nick stepping down the club we are obviously going to be going through a few changes. The Sunday team will also have a change of its own as Phil is stepping down as my vice-captain after being my right-hand man for 4 years. I would like to thank him for all his hard work especially the year I was injured and I’m he is going to be hard to replace.

My first choice of replacement of a traffic cone was too busy so I have had to go a different route. I know this isn’t normally the way but I would like to put forward my nomination before the AGM so it’s not a shock to anyone. A couple of guys have mentioned to me they would like to put their name forward and while I think they will make great captains in the future and the chances will arise, I would like to nominate Rich Goldsborough for the role.

He may have only been at the club for the year but I feel his personality, ability and experience will add something to the side that’s been missing over the last couple of years. Of course, if you feel differently about Rich or indeed I, please speak up at the AGM as it’s your club and your voice will count.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the dinner to celebrate another superb season and if you’re lucky I’m sure Nick Williams will buy you a drink to celebrate this reign as captain

Up The Hill!

Dan Ransom

Park Hill Sunday Captain 2014

*Trough – Moody, Upset, Angry and Depressed