Not that you would think it by looking outside or judging by the temperature, but British Summertime is officially here, which means the new cricket season is almost upon us.
So the next few weeks promise to be a hub of activity, starting at my club – Willoughby CC, this coming weekend.
Normally most cricket clubs up and down the country go into hibernation of sorts over winter, but ‘The Green’ has been a busy place in the last few months (not that many will recognise the fact) with some of the WCC ‘elders’ undertaking some pretty extensive drainage work and maintenance around the ground, plus in the last few weeks re-decorating the Pavilion.
On from that and with the new season a few weeks away, this coming Saturday (6th April) will see young and old converge on The Green for a ‘spring clean’ and works morning as part of Natwest Cricketforce, an England and Wales Cricket Board volunteering initiative aimed at rejuvenating cricket facilities throughout England and Wales.
NatWest CricketForce encourages cricket supporters, their friends and families to give back to their local cricket club by volunteering to undertake renovation work in club houses and grounds, typically over a specific weekend before the season starts.
WCC have been involved in NWCF for several years and our gathering/event has steadily grown year-on-year as players of all ages, parents and club officials come along and ‘do a bit’ in and around the ground.
To give you an idea, this Saturday morning we have a whole heap of jobs lined up, including everything from maintenance and painting of the sightscreens, mowing the outdoor net area, preparing the square, raking up leaves to sorting kit and polishing and freshening up the pavilion.
We will have a free BBQ breakfast on the go to keep everyone fed and watered, plus have a rake of NWCF t-shirts on hand to dish out and wear.
One of several great things about NWCF is it bring together cricket clubs ahead of the new season to rally round and undertake jobs normally ‘relied upon’ by a hard core to do and generates a wider community spirit and involvement.
To that end, WCC have had great support from the local Rugby stores of Asda, Wilkinsons and Tesco with kind donations of cleaning materials and products and gift cards to purchase items. As one of those entities states, every little helps.
Plus following a similar enquiry, Yorkshire Tea have supplied us with a huge box of tea samples which will see us through the morning and probably through half of the season!
And regardless of what the weather may bring, we’re hoping many hands make light work to get our new season off to another positive start off-the-field.
For more info on Willoughby Cricket Club, go to www.willoughbycc.org.uk, or follow us on Twitter @willoughbycc (watch out for updates on our NWCF throughout Saturday!)