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Lancashire Cricket Board - It only seems like yesterday
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It only seems like yesterday

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Wish it was!!!

A couple of weeks ago my good friend John Stanworth told me he was being inspected sort of. Bigwigs from the ECB were coming up to see how the Academy was behaving after ten years of existence. I can’t believe it was only ten years ago. He asked if I could provide him with some documentation linked to the Levels system which he could show to the assembled brethren and impress them. I did as commanded and dug out some of last year’s Players Handbooks and a document outlining our system of registration of players to cover the Safe Hands requirement. I also provided a full list of the 257 young players currently registered on the Levels Scheme. I placed these with loving care a couple of weeks ago on Titch’s desk in the LCB Offices for John to collect.


I called in today (Friday 08) to see the Mighty Titch re fixtures, nominations and levels status to find my documents still in situ. To be fair to Stanny, the day he was due to meet up with the high and mighty from the ECB was the day we had rather a lot of snow – and the meeting was called off. I feel sure that when it is re-scheduled that he will be able to make use of the stuff I did for him. You might wonder where this is leading. Well also on Titch’s desk today was a document found when Dipesh decided to clear out the printing room a week or so ago to create the new and impressive G Room. This was a copy of the official document I produced when we were considering starting the Levels of Excellence process in 1999. It only seems like yesterday??


Well I have been doing a little (only a little) tidying at home – and just this week I found some pictures taken at the official launch of the Levels of Excellence Scheme in the year 2000. The date was April 25th and we had the radio, television and news people in attendance along with the County Squad and the young players, boys and girls, who had represented Lancashire in the previous season. All the young players received a package of information about the Scheme and rather a posh file with lots and lots of log sheets amongst other things. These were handed out to individual teams by players from the County Club.


Have a look at the picture below here where you can see Digger Martin and Chuckie Hegg surrounded by a group of the then Under 16’s stroke 17’s. Recognise anyone. A couple stand out quite clearly but others even I am not sure about. Please feel free to email or add a comment below if a) you know someone or b) you have recognised yourself and cannot believe how you were dressed.




In following blogs I will include groups photographed with Athers, Harvey Fairbrother and Graham Lloyd. Actually Graham looked younger than many of the players.


The latest version of the LCB Fixture List is now on the website. I am delighted to tell you that in 2013 there will be Development Teams at Under 11 Boys, U12 Boys, Under 13 Boys, Under 14 Boys and Under 15 Boys & Girls.


The Under 10 Boys team will be in its second year of existence and requests for nominations will be going out before the end of this month. They will have a small programme of friendlies before going down for a Festival at Kings College, Taunton


The Under 11 Boys will have a full programme of Friendly matches and will end their season with a week-long Festival at Kings College, Taunton. There will be an Under 11 Development team playing three friendlies. We had the chance of a Development Festival but decided to hold off for this season.


At the moment the County Girls Fixtures are not available but should be pretty soon. There will again be an Under 11 Girls team and I should imagine they will be involved in a Malvern Festival again in 2013.


The Under 12 Boys will have a full programme of friendly matches and will end the season as usual in Taunton. This age group will have a Development Squad for the first time playing three friendlies before being involved in a Festival at Bedford College organised by London Schools.


Similarly there will be two teams at Under 13 Boys. The main team will have a programme of friendlies and matches in a Northern Counties Competition. As reported a while back the ECB decided to get rid of their 40 Overs Competition played at this age group and leave it to us to arrange friendlies. Quite a few of us were not keen on just friendlies so got together to set up this new competition. Well really it is not new as prior to the arrival of the ECB the English Schools Cricket Association organised competitions in each of its regions leading to national finals. Ken Lake, the ESCA General Secretary, is quite chuffed at what has happened and has promised some financial support. There are six of us involved – Cheshire, Cumbria, Notts, Staffordshire, Yorkshire plus ourselves. There will be a Final twixt the top two in September. The main county team will travel down to Kings College, Taunton to end their season.


The Under 13 Boys Development Team will have three friendlies before winging their way to Ardingly College in Sussex for a week-long Festival. This is the same week as the main County team being located at Taunton. What a great opportunity.


The Under 13 Girls programme will be broadly similar to last season. They were also involved in a Festival at Malvern.


At Under 14 Boys Main County Level we will have the ECB 45 Overs Competition with seven games but no National Finals. The points gained in this season will be added to those accrued in 2012 to decide which Division we will play in for the Under 15 Cup in 2014. The plan at the moment is that after the conclusion of the ECB programme that this team will go to Scarborough for an Under 14 Festival. In 2012 we sent the Development Team to test the waters. The Under 14 Boys Development Team will take our place at the Taunton Festival. This follows a programme of three friendlies.


At Under 15 Girls there will be a main County Team and a Development Team playing in ECB Competitions. This is a particularly strong age group and the ECB have recognised this by allowing us to enter two teams. Malvern College was the site of an Under 15 Festival in 2012 and looks to be on the agenda for 2013.


The Under 15 Boys will have two teams again. This has been the case at this age group for some years now. The main County team will play in the ECB 50 Overs Cup where they will play Notts, Yorkshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire home and away. This year sees the return of Quarter Finals prior to the National Finals themselves.


The Under 15 Boys Development Team will play a number of friendlies and we have some matches where there will be a mix of players from both squads.


All in all in the age groups up to Under 15 the whole programme looks exciting and befitting a county of our size and importance. The programme for the age groups above the Under 15 age group is taking shape and I will have something to say in a later blog about that.


Enough business as I have to confess to a SENIOR MOMENT. I always used to ensure when I left my office at school to have a wander that I was carrying something that looked important. You may have noticed that cabinet ministers heading into Number 10 usually do the same, except they are often daft enough to allow nearby photographers to take a snap of the front page getting them into deep trouble. My deep trouble came today when I got home from Old Trafford and realised that although I had taken masses of papers with me to look important – I had returned home minus the most important thingy – my diary. Now this does not contain personal minutiae that could lead to criminal proceedings but it does have all the fixtures from the top County Level down to the Mount page by page. This of course means another trip in on Monday or Tuesday or ????.


What lies ahead this weekend. The Shakers are down in London to play Brentford. With a bit of luck I may be able to give some stick to that John Hood fellow. He has informed me this week that he is not travelling down for this fixture as it cost him enough at the Chelsea weekend. Thomas has footie tomorrow and is at OT on Sunday for Under 13 Squad coaching. I am glad he is due early at 10.00am as the other Old Trafford will be busy with Everton starting at 4.00pm.


Sophie appears to have a sport free weekend at the moment. Perhaps I can get her to counsel the Most Famous Zoo Keeper in the World about what to say and when not to say it. Last weekend after our Sunday dinner the family were being sociable. The television was showing the aftermath of City v Liverpool. Number One Son was on his EyePhone. His missus was on her EyePhone. Tom was on either his Raspberry or Mini-iPad. Sophie was on her iPad as was the Good Lady. I cannot complain as I was reading a book on my Kingle. I told you that we are a very sociable family. Silence was golden.


Then – out of nowhere – she who must be obeyed at all times without question exclaimed >>>>




Now we all knew that this referred to the fact that she was likely to be adding to the number of animals in her gynormous zoo – but it did tear everyone from their non-sociable finger punching texting anti-social habits. I suspect before long we will stop talking altogether.


It only seems like yesterday – wish it was !!!!


Tesco Tesco


Shall I text the good lady for a top up – or just do it.


Cannot resist.


Have a butchers at this pic. Athers looks just the same as he does now.




It only seems like yesterday. I wish it was.

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (2 posted)

ted 11/02/2013 08:42:28
Well done everyone at LCB for getting all the youth fixtures out in good time. As Secretary of the Ribblesdale Youth Cricket league I will be publishing, in our league handbook, all the youth fixtures that affect our clubs and league in 2013 so that all the youngsters and their mums and dads can follow progress.

I am also now able to complete my diary with dates of relevant events and plan my cricketing season.

I wonder how many people actually appreciate all the many hours of hard work that goes on behind the scenes during the winter months, the planning, the telephone calls, travelling to meetings, etc so that things can go as smoothly as possible during the cricket season. Its not magic nor does it just appear.

Again, well done everyone, and thank you John for your very informative blog which takes the chill of winter days.
ted 12/02/2013 07:24:43

The youngsters today are so very lucky to have the full support of LCB and their staff to organise and support their cricket season. Every level is catered for, boys and girls, and no one can say that they are not given a decent chance to shine and make the grade.

It doesnt happen overnight and nothing is done without the full support of all the mums and dads who have to constantly take their budding cricketers all over the county and country. The 2013 season has already started for many youngsters with netting and coaching in the LCCC indoor school.

In my day, early 1950's I was lucky enough to be invited to the indoor cricket school at Clarendon Street Bolton, a far cry from the facility now at Old Trafford, but it was a place where we learnt our skills and enjoyed rare time once a week during the winter months.

I think its absolutely marvellous that the better youngsters are able to go to cricket festivals held at some of our best private schools, play on decent pitches and show their talent. The ones who are making it to the top of the class within their age group are playing every day of the week, usually in an organised game, be it at their club, district, county, or representative.

As you know John I have been in cricket a very long time and I have always enjoyed umpiring any game of cricket at whatever level but my rent appointment as Secretary of the RYCL has given me a new life, being involved at the roots of the game, seeing a youngster come into the game at a very early age, (we have a thriving under 9's league) is the real pleasure, especially when you see that child develope and go onto play for his county, either youth or at senior level. I have been very lucky to see quite a few go on to play for England and when I sit down on cold winter nights and think about my life in cricket its warming to bring these names to reality.

I have always been grateful to LCA/LCB and LSCA for the many opportunities I have been given and now I am giving something back, herein lies the pleasure for me.

Lets hope that 2013 brings us some glorious weather and that lots of young players begin to blossom.

Ted Holden
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