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Lancashire Cricket Board - Record attendance ahead for Presentation Evening
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Record attendance ahead for Presentation Evening

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The Point will be buzzing

At my last count we had 584 players, parents and family booked in for the Annual Presentation Evening for the LCB’s Development of Excellence Committee on Wednesday night (Tomorrow or tonight or last night dependent on when you read this). When you add to that the officials and staff of all the teams involved in 2012 then the numbers in attendance should top 600. This is a record by some considerable distance but with three teams celebrating national success then it is something we should expect. I have been behind the organisation of these evenings since I became Secretary of Lancashire Schools 28 years ago but prior to that I can remember attending our “Get Togethers” as we called them before then. We started modestly at Rawtenstall Cricket Club but it was our then President, Cedric Rhoades, who insisted we moved to Old Trafford, where we have remained ever since. I am looking forward to the evening now I have completed my preparations. I will have the responsibility of reviewing the Under 10 to Under 16 season for both boys and girls teams, It’s a little bit like school Speech Nights again although I do not suppose anyone will think of organising a sweep on the length of my spot. They used to do that at school every year. At least I knew that once a year it would make somebody at school say something nice about the boss.


My bit will be quite lengthy unfortunately as I will have to handle a total of ten teams including two of the age group champions. I promise to try and skip through as quickly as I can but we must not gloss over what has been a great year after all. What with all the doom and gloom of the weather we do have a lot to shout about. Two national champions at Under 13 Girls and Under 15 boys along with Under 13 Festival winners in Brighton need proper celebrations. Plus whatever some people may be saying I have every confidence that Glen and the lads will bounce back from Division 2 in 2013.


Still not too sure who will be with us from the club as the weather has played havoc with cricket again today. No play at Liverpool or Northern. The 2nd XI Trophy Final has now been put back to Thursday hopefully freeing up our guest for the evening.


All these numbers coming plus the number of games played has created problems for me with the Results Booklet running to eight pages. My brilliance with MS Word and Adobe Acrobat has enabled me to put together a Booklet for the occasion but printing 300 of them occupied a great deal of Monday afternoon at headquarters. I was there on my Vice President ticket to watch the England v South Africa 20/20 match. I had a very convivial meal prior to the start of the game in the company of Mr and Mrs Simmons, with Peter Marron,  Faroukh Engineer and John Gwynne to name drop a few. It was also great to see Phil Neville, with sister Tracey and father Big Nev. I did suggest to Phil he would get a place with the Mount next season but he said we would have to wait another year. Well when I think about it then he did not say no. Wonder if he could talk big brother into a comeback as well. He could work wonders for the Bolton League.


None of us saw a great deal of cricket as befits this season of 2012 – because it rained buckets. I am pleased to see that the County Club are going to issue vouchers to ticket holders as the ECB refund system will not. 13.4 overs were bowled so the ECB scheme does not pay out. It only cost £45 quid a ticket – that works out at nearly £3.50 a ball.


Back to the Presentation Evening – I signed certificates this afternoon for all the age groups up to 15 and my good friend Geoff Ogden is arriving early tomorrow to do his signing. The irrepressible Shaun Anders is due to collect the trophies tomorrow and deliver them to Old Trafford. I just hope we have got everything right.  Dipesh will be handling the Powerpoint Presentation on the big screen and Jenny will be taking the pictures.


The big moments come toward the end of the evening when we will announce the winners of the Player of the Months for both boys and girls. Stanny will have taken over from me at that stage to do his review of the 17 to 19 age group. Now John Stanworth is renowned for his meticulous and detailed preparation of his spot at this annual event. He can be terse and pointed or wax lyrical dependent on his mood. He will I hope be more than lyrical when he comes to the Under 17 girls and their national title.


The really top moments will come at the end of the evening with the awards to Player of the Year for both girls and boys. I know who they are and they both deserve this honour. The decisions were made by Jenny Laycock and by Steve Titchard and John Stanworth after much consultation and debate. I can tell you they had a difficult task because of the performances of so many over the season. All will be revealed at about 9.15 on Wednesday night.


The Player of the Year for the boys wins the Cedric Rhoades Trophy. I mentioned earlier that I had sat with Peter Marron, ex-Head Groundsman, at the 20/20 game on Monday and we reminisced about Cedric. He was Chairman of the County Club for many years and was President of Lancashire Schools. He was a most formidable person who fought hard for what he believed in. His support for county age group cricket was immense, and as Peter said when Cedric said jump, you jumped as high as you could. I can remember turning up for an Under 13 County match v Yorkshire at Old Trafford when it was clear the square was very wet. Cedric had a walk round the outfield and promptly told Peter to get his mower out and prepare a wicket on the outfield – which he did without demur. We started just a little late but played the game and beat Yorkshire. Mind you Ronnie Irani on a green wicket in the outfield at Old Trafford was quite lethal.


I am looking forward to tomorrow because this signals the wind down from the season. We are not done yet but are almost there. The Mount have their final game this weekend and need a seven pointer with Farnworth getting zilch to present the Bolton League officials with a problem. If this miracle occurs then both teams will have an identical points total.


The LCB Knock Out Final is at Old Trafford between two true amateur cricket clubs in Bamford Fieldhouse and Northern. The following day sees us take over the ground for the Bolton v Sefton Ainsworth Trophy Under 15 District Final. I am sure all the players, parents and officials of both teams are looking forward to their big day at Old Trafford. With the new players pavilion and media centre alongside the now completed new grand stands the ground is beginning to look great. I did put a bid in for us to use the new changing rooms but we will be in the ones under the Executive Boxes. I do hope the weather stays fine for both games over the weekend.


After that final we will have two Inter-School Finals to complete and the season will be over. Do we sit down and rest. Not on your nelly. The work begins almost straight away with the September assessments due for many age groups. We will need to finalise dates for the winter coaching and then the serious business of sorting dates for next season will begin. I sometimes wonder whether it is getting time I slowed down a little – but then I will get caught up in the excitement or something like that.


A serious issue must now be mentioned. Wherever I go people who have read my “Book” heap praise on me and suggest it should be considered for the Book of the Year Competition. The problem is that unless I can sell a few more and pay the mighty LCB back for funding the printing of it then the brokers men may be knocking on my door. When the Presentation Evening finishes I am imploring all of you who read my Blog and will be there on Wednesday night – like almost tonight – to take an extra ten quid with you.


There will be a special offer to beat all special offers – for one night only the price has been slashed to ten notes of the realm - £10.00 precisely. I am expecting a huge queue to form because as well as getting this great book at a knock down price you can have it autographed for free as well. I am also asking all of my readers to act as sales agent for the non-believers who do not read my blog and get them to join the queue. We will have a number of boxes at the ready with a fast car to collect more from the store if they start selling like hot cakes.


Seriously if Bob Dearden says it is “SUPERB” then that is the first complimentary thing he has said about me in the 50 plus years I have known him.


You will also not be able to use the excuse that you have not got enough cash. Your credit cards will be accepted for payment. Look at it - 230 pages plus 32 pages of pics mentioning all the great cricketers who have graced Lancashire and England teams over the 90 years of LSCA History - cheap at half the price.




I feel a Tesco Moment coming on. May have a problem raising the glass tonight as I have stapled 300 Results Booklets today with two staples per booklet equalling 600 staples.


Just been looking at some rather juicy priced cruises for the New Year. I wonder how the Stock Market has fared today. We won a tenner on the Lottery on Saturday so that could help.


That Brentford supporter and erstwhile scorer for the Under 11’s and 12’s has been sending me emails about Youvay Rozzler and his army. He does of course realise that the Shakers are already in the doo doo having collected just two points from our first five matches. After this weekend when cricket at the Mount ends I will begin a winter with Sophie and Tom with alternate weekends at Gigg Lane. I have a feeling it is going to be a long hard winter.


Definitely time for a Tesco.

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