March is one of my favourite months of the year. The long dark nights are behind us and more importantly the cricket season is just around the corner.

The 2017 season was always going to be hard to match but the 2018 season was still a very enjoyable one. Lots of good performances, (some bad ones too), great weather, a full social calendar, lots for the club to be proud of. Unfortunately, there was one negative that came up on a regular basis.

Player availability.

Speaking to other clubs and reading bits on social media it’s clear that Reed is not alone in having this problem. With people’s lives increasingly busy, and cricket taking a high proportion of the day, getting players to commit is becoming increasingly difficult. Membership levels seem to have remained constant, but the number of games people are playing in a season has dropped.
Poor availability affected our Third team most. Some games were forfeited and some were played with 10 players or less.

So what does the future hold for Reed and the 3rd team in particular? We have a lot of good Colts coming through but most of them won’t be old enough for Open-Age (or “Adult”) cricket for a few years yet. Will there still be a 3rd team when they are old enough? I really hope so. (We all remember that we had a Fourth Team until 2 years ago and look what happened to them.)

So here’s the challenge to the playing members. Please try and do everything you can to increase your availability. However many games you played last year please see if you can up it by 2 or 3 games at least. Make sure you keep the captains updated with your availability.

At the end of the day, we can’t force people to play and if they don’t want to we will have to accept that. However, I strongly believe we have enough players to put out three Elevens on each Saturday and a competitive team in the traditional Sunday Friendlies this season. I guess time will tell.

On a more positive note, indoor nets are now taking place on Sunday’s at Burloes in Royston and we will soon be outdoors at Reed in the evenings. The Village Cup draw has taken place and all the fixtures are on the website. Here’s hoping for a long hot summer, some good cricket on The Green and a few beers after.


(This Occasional column is written by Stuart Smith, Club Chairman of Reed Cricket Club. The views expressed in the article are his own and do not necessarily comprise those of the Club’s General Committee)