Club Cricket Conference

Tuesday, 30th November 2021

CCC Cricket Report 2021 Season

20 October 2021

Planning for the 2021 Representative season was never going to be easy; with the previous season’s representative cricket almost entirely wiped out by COVID and the protocols surrounding its management, we were uncertain as to how many of our fixtures for 2021 might be adversely effected again, as COVID bubbles, safety regulations and the willingness of clubs, players and administrators to “put themselves out there” were unknown quantities as the season commenced. 

In the event, the grasping tentacles of the pandemic did put paid to two of our regular County fixtures, against Kent 2 and Middlesex 2. Weather too, had its way with another of our County matches, rain and flooding seeing us not even traveling for the scheduled game against Hampshire 2 at the end of June. 

So frustrations abounded and as we headed into the early summer it became clear that despite selection having been undertaken pre-season as ever, getting competitive teams onto the pitch on match day was going to be no simple task either. This, in the main, was due to a group of regular players over the past seven seasons becoming less available as their lives unfold, careers develop and families commenced. It is always the intention of Conference to identify new, upcoming cricketers from its club membership and to provide opportunities for them to play representative cricket at as high a level as possible within the amateur game. In recent seasons we have witnessed the development of a number of club cricketers into professionals who have graced our programme. Imran Quyuum (Finchley CC and Kent CCC) has been a notable success, though very sadly he has had to announce his retirement from elite cricket due to injury. In 2021, the likes of Steven Reingold (Stanmore CC and Glamorgan CCC), Tom Cullen (ex Stanmore CC and Glamorgan CCC) and Dan Moriarty (ex Aston Rowant CC and Surrey CCC) had breakthrough seasons with their counties having been recent representatives of the Conference. Many more Conference players have been regulars in various NCCA teams through the summer, and it remains a source of great pride to see the ongoing development of young cricketers into fully fledged representative players at a high level of the game. 

Another

Almost predictably the season commenced with a rained off against Oxford University - not before we had traveled however and where, once there, it became evident we were never going to change into playing kit! This was a great shame because the match would have afforded us an early look at a raft of new players and on paper, we were strong. 

It was a month later then, when Conference eventually took the field in late June against British Police at Uppingham Town CC. Of the original elected eleven, only 2 actually played and right up to the morning of the match we were seeking a player or 2. It was therefore, a young and inexperienced side that took the field - albeit with an eye to the future, one with plenty of potential. On the day however, a flying start by British Police with the bat enabled them to wrest control of the game for the day as they ran out comfortable winners for the first time against Conference in almost a decade. Great work is being done within the Police ranks by David Fraser-Darling and his team of coaches; Police cricket is looking once again, very strong and this augurs well for future seasons of this long standing and competitive fixture. 

With the cancellation of the Hampshire match our next fixture was against the Army at Aldershot. Again, a young and new side with four debutants slipped onto the pitch under the experienced captaincy of Dan Roberts (Walton-on-Thames CC) to bowl first……..and it was a fine performance too with debutant Casper Mason (Aston Rowant CC) taking 5-11 from his 10 overs as Conference restricted the Army to 170-9 off 50 overs. Our reply with the bat however, was not equal to the task and a deal of naivety on a wearing and slowing wicket betrayed the lack of experience in the group. Only Baber Choudhary (Old Brentwoods CC) showed any real acumen and demonstrated just what a quality cricketer he is - something he would repeat regularly during the season. Another loss then, but building bricks beginning to cement…….