Chairman’s Message

Chairman’s Message

Whether you are a senior or junior player, patron, parent, or casual visitor, a very warm welcome to the 2018 North Devon Cricket Club Yearbook. I hope you find this publication an informative and useful document.

We are very lucky to have one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in England and, thanks to the tireless work of our groundsman Andrew, what is widely regarded as the best playing surface in Devon.

The front cover this year shows a very proud moment for the Overton family and North Devon Cricket Club as a whole; Craig, on his Test debut in the Ashes, taking the wicket of the world no 1 batsman, Steve Smith. I reckon this makes us the only cricket club ever to have provided an Ashes umpire (David Shepherd), an Ashes Aussie (Chris Rogers) and an Ashes Englishman.

Our key aims as a club continue to be;

  • to be a serious contender for the Devon Premier League championship (having been champions in 2007 and 2011).
  • to maintain three teams in the Devon League.
  • to have a thriving junior section where we introduce boys and girls to the joys of playing cricket and hopefully instil a lifelong love of the game.
  • to nurture and develop girls’ and women’s cricket through being the home of North Devon Tarka Ladies (Devon League Champions 2015, 2016 and 2017) and Tarka Girls (National under 15 champions 2015).
  • to be a club that is friendly and welcoming to all, and that genuinely contributes to the social well-being of the local area.

There are a few changes this year. We will only be fielding one team in the North Devon League on Sundays, as there are fewer players who wish to play on both Saturdays and Sundays. The Devon League has moved to an “allthrough league” split east and west. This means our 2nd XI are in a new division, D Division East, made up of first and second eleven clubs from the eastern half of Devon. This should mean more competitive cricket and less travelling time but may take a year or two to settle down.

We thank the Commodore Hotel for their three years as our main sponsor and welcome our new main sponsor Toyota Roundswell.

After several great years at the helm, Stuart Ware has handed over leadership of the junior section to Clare Arthur, who has taken on the role with great energy and enthusiasm and run an excellent winter nets programme. We are very lucky to have a group of enthusiastic parents supporting Clare as the individual age group managers – the junior section is so important as it is where we create our future first, second and third team players. We shall be continuing our participation in the new ECB All Stars programme for 5 to 8 year olds, under the enthusiastic and
vociferous leadership of Russ Young and Jess Rogers.

Also moving on from our kitchen are Sarah Kelly and her team at SK Catering. They have been wonderful over the last six years, but Sarah has decided to take on a catering role at St Mary’s Primary School in Bideford and so will not be doing match teas at the weekends any more. I am delighted to say that she has kindly agreed to do the catering for Saracens/Strollers week, the Devon CCC fixtures and the Patrons Luncheon. We extend a warm welcome to the club to Kelsey, to whom Sarah is handing over the Saturday match day teas.

Looking back on the 2017 season, once again the stand-out performance was from our ladies team, North Devon Tarka Ladies, who won the top division of the Devon Womens Cricket League for the third successive year – a great reward for the tireless work put in by Mark Overton and Jan Witheridge. You can read more about their successes in the Ladies and Girls Cricket section.
At the end of last season Frank Biederman organised a four team T10 tournament as part of Somerset CCC’s James Hildreth’s Benefit Season. Despite the rather miserable weather, it was a great event with many Somerset players gracing the occasion.

The pavilion with its improved facilities really is a great place for any of you and your friends to hold social events. Please do get in touch with Matt Dart if you would like to book it.

The club’s success is based on the incredible hard work of a fairly small group of volunteers who give up an enormous amount of their time. The more people there are in this group, the more enjoyable it is for those involved and the better it is for the health of the club. So, if you would like to help by taking on a role, however simple (such as umpiring, scoring, coaching or volunteering behind the bar), then please do get in touch with myself, Tony, or another Committee member. We are always looking for new Committee members and we still have a vacancy for Treasurer!

Finally, I wish you all a great season of either playing or watching competitive and enjoyable cricket.

Mark Ansell, Chairman, March 2018