Well, I think it’s fair to say we didn’t see this coming! Neither did the editor of the April edition of The Cricketer magazine which landed on my doormat recently, kicking off with the words, “As we embark on a new county season it is worth considering how cricket in 2020 might be remembered.” The 2020 season will be remembered for many years, of that I’m certain, but not for cricket related reasons. The clubhouse is shuttered, the tennis courts are deserted and whilst the lone figure of Dan J can be seen pottering around the ground, in splendid isolation, it’s not entirely clear whether his work will result in pitches which see any action this year.
The speed with which the crisis has progressed has been stunning, literally and metaphorically and whilst it seems like an age since we were consolidating plans for the new season, winding down the pre-season training and turning our thoughts to outdoors practice, it was actually only a few weeks ago. Such a lot has changed since the start of the lock down and the prospects for the season are entirely uncertain. What is certain is that there will be no cricket in April and almost certainly May too and the league seasons for both Junior and Senior teams will be seriously curtailed. At this stage even a half season looks optimistic.
It’s no exaggeration to say that I am gutted by this turn of events. The prospects for the 2020 season were genuinely exciting for HCC. The Junior section is flourishing with a significant increase in terms of players and coaches and recruitment for the Senior sides has been successful with a number of new players lined up to make their debuts at the Gate over the coming weeks. But this will all have to be put on hold whilst the virus runs its ghastly course and our thoughts go out to all of those affected.
In the meantime of course the club continues to incur the costs of unavoidable overheads and hopefully you will by now have seen the message to our members inviting payment of annual subs or at least whatever percentage of the annual figure you can afford to contribute. We will be arranging rebates for those that require them…. but if we are to have a club to come back to whether it is later this season, or the beginning of next it is crucial that we have the funds to do so. All contributions will be gratefully received and will be vital to ensure our survival so please dig deep if you can.
Let’s all hope that the crisis recedes swiftly and that it isn’t too long before we hear the thwack of leather on willow reverberating again around the Field of Dreams. Until then, stay safe, be healthy and try not to whack tennis balls into your mum’s face when she sends down a rank long hop.