1.8.2013 – Still struggling to get a side July 2013

The  summer began with 4 proposed fixtures, one of which has been played, and a great day it was too. One fixture was cancelled because not enough Casuals were available. Another, albeit impromtu, fixture could not be fulfilled because, quite frankly, no one could be bothered. Greg wrote this

Dear Fellow Casual,
In March this year I produced a ‘Proposal for Cricket’ which was submitted to the Chairman and his Committee. The aim was to safeguard social cricket in the Holme Valley played in the Casuals spirit, by joining forces with Thongsbridge CC to guarantee a full complement of players on match days. At the time this idea was greeted with much enthusiasm. Sadly the reality has been very different. For each of this season’s three fixtures, Dave Walker and myself have organised opponents, grounds and teas. Of the fixtures, only one has been fulfilled due to a lack of Casuals wishing or able to play. To be let down late in the day by Casuals Members is not only disappointing but it is disrespectful to opponents and to Thongsbridge CC and deeply depressing for Dave and myself – this cannot continue or inevitably the reputation of the Casuals as a cricket club will be forever tarnished.

We still have three fixtures remaining this Season and Dave and I are committed to getting a team on the field and fulfilling them – without Casuals involvement if that is to be the case. Should any Casual Member wish to be play in the future please contact either me or Dave.

Marc Davis then wrote this

With experience of around 20 years of Casuals match captaincy, organising a game required a considerable amount of hard graft, often having to make up to 30 phone calls contacting the opposition and drumming up a team. The club used to have 22 fixtures between the end of April and mid September and, being a nomadic team, 70% of these were away from home. Most of the fun and camaraderie was to be found in the travels off to N and E Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire and even trailing off to London twice to stuff the weirdoes of Wealdstone. Matches were never cancelled due to the club being unable to raise a side. I found it somewhat odd that players no longer wanted to travel to interesting away venues but the reality of the situation would now seem to be that club is unable to raise 6-7 to fulfil a handful of fixtures.

 Tim Beaumont wrote this

It were different in my day! Not only raising eleven “players” and ensuring the opposition expected the fixture but, in April and May, often having to find a ground; bloody cup games.

Thank you and Dave for keeping me “in the loop”. DP keeps me informed of the trials and tribulations of our Casuals and, like him, I support your efforts; though it’s a bit difficult to turn out unless there is an away fixture in the West Midlands.

It seems you have been badly let down by our members; though if the members, contacts to whom your letter is addressed, are the ones expected to provide the team, elderly would be polite.

Not being privy to your March presentation, I do not know who the enthusiastic committee members were. The Committee, who include the Match Captains, have the responsibility of getting an eleven on the field. Using friends and other contacts 30 or so phone calls/visits to pubs generally produces eleven, if not the required result.

You, Dave and our esteemed Chairman lead by example; the committee must follow suit even with the truncated fixture list.

I have written a reply several times and, fortunately, binned them. The Casuals will have and be playing fixtures next season, even if under the title of Thongsbridge Casuals.

Jack Wade wrote this

Dear all, as a casuals member since 1973 it is sad to see our present situation. Casuals cricket and social life was brilliant.

There have been periods in the past when player support dropped off due to retirement but we manged to recruit new blood and managed to carry on.

Nowadays it is becoming more and more difficult to recruit due to the much wider availability of other entertainment.

The present situation however seems terminal and the clubs reputation is being seriously damaged by not fulfilling fixtures.

Would it not be better to wind up at the end of this season content in the knowledge that we have had a good long run and some fantastic times together.

We have now come to several conclusions

  • Captains can no longer take the responsibility for raising a side
  • The Casuals as we have known them since the 1950s are no longer 
  • Social cricket is still something worth fighting for in tandem with promoting youth cricket in that awkward period between juniors and the second eleven
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