Great news for LSCA and our 90th Birthday
Yorkshire agree to a celebratory Roses match
After much back of the scenes activity I have some great news for Lancashire Schools and in particular for the Under 15 team. Talks have been taking place between ourselves and the LCB, and between the LCB and the County Club, trying to get some dates in the Old Trafford diary for this season. Last week we finally arrived at the point where we were able to accept the offer of two dates to put in the LSCA Calendar.
The first of these is Monday May 21st. This day is just one day before the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association reaches the ripe old age of 90. Please note this is the Association itself and not me. There have been times over the past couple of weeks when I have felt 99 never mind 90 but I have a few years to go yet.
To mark the occasion we have invited our good “friends” from across the Pennines to bring their Under 15 team to play our U15’s in a special Celebration Fixture. It has been a tradition at our major anniversaries to play each other and the Yorkshire committee were delighted to accept our invitation. They are of course good friends until the umpires lead us out into battle.
You may wonder at the day chosen but in planning for these events we have to be able to fit in to the Old Trafford programme. The County have a CB40 match against Essex on the Sunday and we will use that wicket for our game on the Monday.
The decision to choose that date means that our traditional North Lancashire v South Lancashire Under 15 game will have to be moved away from Old Trafford. I am in the process of negotiating a venue for that fixture.
The second date at Old Trafford I mentioned in my last Blog relates to the Ainsworth Trophy Final which will be played on Monday September 17th. This will follow the LCB Knockout Final which will be played on the day before.
We are extremely grateful to the County Club for giving us the opportunity to play at Old Trafford enabling a number of our young players to enjoy the thrill that so many others have enjoyed in the past. For the lucky youngsters in 2012 it will be a little different as the “new” Old Trafford emerges.
Every time I have been to headquarters this year I have been amazed at the progress being made. The new Players’ Pavilion and Media Centre along with the new stands are taking shape so quickly.
I will be at Old Trafford on Thursday as we have a Lancashire Schools Executive Meeting. This is an important meeting when we try to ensure our plans for the season ahead are in good shape.
Our County Programme is coming along nicely and I would hope to be able to update the LCB Website Fixture List before long. Just to whet the appetite I can tell the Under 11’s that they will meet Yorkshire in their away game at Scarborough CC. The Warwickshire away game for the same team will be at Nether Whitacre CC ?? The Under 12’s begin their campaign with a home game v Durham at Middleton CC.
Just as an aside it was at Middleton CC many moons ago and just before I was due to go and bat at number 11 with Roy Gilchrist bowling that I discovered the true colour of adrenaline. Just think you lads of today – he bowled at 90+ mph, was very nasty all of the time and the protection of then did not compare with the protection of today. Yet I lived to tell the tale. Gary Sobers scored a hundred that day and made Gilchrist look like an off spinner. Mind you the ball which removed my off stump nearly spearing the wicketkeeper who was 30 yards away did not feel like an off spinner to me.
Where was I ??
The Under 13’s home games in 2012 include Haslingden and East Lancs, two of the top Lancashire League grounds with famous histories. The Under 14’s start their ECB campaign in Durham at Sedgefield. If my history is correct I think there was a famous battle there once.
As reported earlier the U15’s will have a special match v Yorkshire at Old Trafford in May. The ECB Cup home game will be played at St Annes but I have no news of the away venue yet.
The LSCA meeting on Thursday will also have a report on where we are with our Inter-School Competition entries. This is a mad week for the Heaton household as Wednesday (today) is the official closing date for ENTRIES. By close of play on Tuesday we had received 72 schools entry forms. We normally have between 100 and 110. I let my good friend Nigel Warne have a list of schools who would normally enter but who had not submitted anything. Now Nigel has a way with words and his rather short but sweet email that he sent out to the offending schools produced a rapid response.
I feel sure following the emails, phone calls and the occasional pigeon post-delivery that we will sweep up the majority of missing entries. What always gets me at this time of the year is that we have every explanation for missing the deadline except the truly accurate one and really truthful one – “I forgot “ !!! Having been a Headteacher I should of course know that this is an admission that teachers do not like to make. Mind you Heads were not too keen either.
Other matters for discussion on Thursday will relate to the County District Competition and the draws for the Quarter Finals onwards will be made. The final matter to attend to will be to set up the second round of nominations for this summer’s county squads.
I suppose we will spend a little time talking about how to handle our special day at Old Trafford on May 21st. I am hoping that on that day my epistle ……….
.... will be published and available for purchase. Over the next couple of weeks I am hoping we will be able to reach a conclusion on how to best handle this process. The favourite at the moment would appear to be asking for anyone interested in obtaining a copy to register their interest. There will be an advisory price to help. Once we have ascertained interest then we can move forward. Hopefully the exercise will help strengthen our financial position to help continue with our activities towards our 100th – the Associations that is.
Just before I log off for tonight I must express my congratulations to my dear wife who has now overtaken David Attenborough as the wildlife expert of all time. Her Zoo now occupies most of Radcliffe and Whitefield and is fast expanding. There are now certain critical times in the day when we have to be alert to new arrivals. I now think we have more pandas than in the whole of China. You may notice the “we” appearing here. I have no intention of her becoming world famous and leaving me behind – well not for long.
Just to finish I must tell all those Under 12 parents who were at Old Trafford on Sunday and wondering at the sight of me in my “wellies” – and how I fared in removing them. I had put them on to help in clearing my drive at home of six inches of snow in readiness to collect Thomas from Walshaw to transport him to Old Trafford for the Squad Nets. As I explained the dreaded “G??T” meant I had been able to place just one loose fitting pair of shoes on my footsies for the past couple of weeks. Having got my “wellies” on I was concerned I would not be able to even fit my comfy shoes on. So I made the journey to Old Trafford and return with “wellies” intact.
I am pleased to say that with the help of Mrs David Attenborough and some occasional poor English the “wellies” were removed and replaced with my comfy shoes.
Tomorrow I see Nurse Janice at the Health Centre. I am risking a severe telling off as I am feeling a Tesco Moment coming on.