Legislation prevents our having the AGM this year but it is the Committee’s intention to convene it as soon as possible in 2021. A formal agenda will then be issued in line with the Constitution.
Until then, there is important information to share about annual subscriptions and match fees.
Further to the Committee’s email on 29 July, it is now time to honour the commitments made.
The Committee is focussed on doing what’s right for both you and the future financial security of the club but if you have any concerns and questions please advise.
We now have 22 fixtures confirmed for next season - please see Fixtures 2021.
The season starts on Saturday 10 April at Marble Hill Park v. Crossbats, though this game is dependent on the readiness of the outfield, recently relaid by English Heritage.
We hope to have our home grounds confirmed in January or February 2021.
There is one new ground, the famous and beautiful Kempton CC. Holtwhites Trinibis welcome us back to the charming Holtwhites Hill, Salix to Chiswick House and Teddington Town to their sumptuous ground in Bushey Park.
Review of the 2020 season (see Gent 170 for more information)
When on 23 June the Prime Minister described a cricket ball as “a natural vector of disease” it seemed catastrophic. Would no cricket be played in 2020? But glory be, 12 days later the Gents enjoyed the first of two hard, structured outdoor nets at Wycombe House and 26 days later embarked on a thrilling campaign uninterrupted by the weather. Ten weekends of play was a blessed holiday from the horrors of the outside world. Coronavirus played havoc with the pitches but Old Tenisonians and, for one game, Wycombe House hosted well amid the chaos.
The Gents scored at 5.4 runs per over and conceded at 4.2, the fewest since 2008. They took 4.6 fielding dismissals (caught, stumped and run out) per game, the highest since 2016, many catches being made possible by the captains’ excellent field placement. Though the sample size was small, these dry statistics confirmed an improvement in outcricket noted by the club’s most experienced player S. Patel.
Guests played no little part, supporting a well-rounded, confident squad of members. In two memorable recoveries the Gents were skittled for 98 at Northfields and were struggling at 101-7 at Winchmore Hill Tigers. They won both with astonishing bowling and fielding: it was as hard to defend 187 on the benign Paulin Ground pitch as 98 on the Durston House minefield. However, the best performance was not reflected in the scorebook; a past and present Gents team and Squirrels raised £500 for the Snellings’ nominated charity, the Sue Ryder Hospices. This will make a real difference to the folk helped by the hospices in a time when their revenue is in decline. This relaxed gathering of the clans, with legends and their children appearing alongside newer players is now an established annual event. Thank you all.
Bricklayer’s Arms and Squirrels deservedly beat the Gents. Brick’s talented batsmen chased a large total with vigour and intelligence, while Squirrels showed guts and determination to overcome a moderate score on a troublesome pitch. Only one new ground was visited, the splendid Holtwhites Hill.
The concept of batting and bowling averages was defined in the era of three day, five day and sometimes timeless matches. There remains a tendency at the recreational level to ignore bowling economy rates. Not here. R. Patel and Krishna paid under three runs per over with Kumar, Chatharaju, Pingili and Gulati under four. H. Patel took 16 wickets, including two five-wicket hauls, Namilikonda 14 and Gulati 12. Some of the catching and fielding had to be seen to be believed; Pingili’s run out of Tiger Ranger and his slip catch to see off Rosa of Millfields will remain in the mind’s eye forever. Sudireddy, the only ever-present, caught nine, stumped two and ran out two.
Two partnership records were broken, 144 by Namilikonda/Kota v. Clapham In and 140 by Sudireddy/Gulati v. Kempton. Sudireddy’s 96 was a personal best. Only three fifties were scored, though there were seven forties. The consistent Kota twice notched 49! He scored most runs (325), Gulati in a strong season and Sudireddy ticked off 200, and Namilikonda, S. Patel and Francis 100. The Ahmeds, Kumar, Newcombe and Pentakota each had his moment in the sun.
Dubey captained nine times, Kumar and Sudireddy once each. Their ethos was to involve everyone. The current Cricket Clubmark framework describes leadership in terms of governance, policies and stakeholder engagement. But that isn’t leadership, or it isn’t all of leadership. Keeping interest high with a reduced fixture card, trying to accommodate players keen to bat and bowl every time, is. The captains, and other senior players who sacrificially stood down from time to time, rose to the challenge.
Twenty-five played, 16 fewer than in 2019. Four debuted, taking the roster to 391. H. Patel (247) overtook Snelling (246) to go second in the appearances total behind S. Patel (378). Kota overtook Gilkes to go sixth in the career runs total, in which Kumar jumped two places to seventh, overtaking Gilkes and Buck. It was a pity that our friends Basker, Khan, Puli and Toft could not play or support, Basker and Khan missing a campaign for the first time since 2013. We hope to see them all next year.