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
Almost predictably the
season commenced with a rained off against
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