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Something old, something new

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2009

It’s all over. It only seems like yesterday that we were first told that Calne Cricket Club was going to be one of the showcase clubs for NatWest CricketForce 2009.

And now, after all the planning, effort and organisation that has been put in by so many people, we as a club can say that the weekend was a huge success.

On the Friday, Pete had organised a Kwik Cricket Festival for local primary schools in the area to take part in. We were also lucky enough to have England Under 19 captain Liam Dawson down at Beversbrook which was a real bonus for everyone.

Chris Tremlett, NatWest Cricket Force, Calne

Hampshire's Chris Tremlett gets involved as NatWest CricketForce comes to Calne

The tournament ran like clockwork. Throughout the whole day, records were being broken at the new ground with players hitting the first four, taking the first wicket or posting the highest team total. There was also the first ball bowled at the ground and this was commemorated by a certificate to the young person involved - another a piece of history being made. Everybody enjoyed the experience and a day off school!

Just in case we didn’t have enough to do, somebody thought it was a good idea to organise a sporting dinner for the Friday evening. Was this just to keep everybody on their toes and would it come back to haunt us next morning?

So a quick shower and change and it was up to the Calne Leisure Centre to set out tables, name mats and have a well deserved glass of beer. David Graveney was the guest speaker, but we were also privileged to have Mike Gatting there, which was a real bonus and surprise for everybody. Seventy people enjoyed the evening, which also proved a useful fund raiser for the club.

The evening wound up at about 12.30am but, unfortunately, on the way home in the taxi somebody suggested having a last drink and put the final finishing touches to the next day (or same day as it was now). Not a good idea!

The morning after. CricketForce weekend is here! At 8:15am the council and the committee - some more bleary eyed than they should have been - were there bright and early setting up all the activities. The CricketForce Roadshow set up their bowling speedometer and catching simulator up straight away which we all had to have a go on, some of us with more success than others!

At 9:30am everything was go, go, go! Volunteers were coming thick and fast though the gates. Straight away, the shed was being put up, the fencing was being transported and erected, the cement mixers were churning, the patio was being cut and laid and sightscreens were being fixed together. The kitchen was in high demand with cups of tea and coffee, burgers and hot dogs being produced for the workers. CricketForce had started in earnest.

We were also lucky enough to have other events on as well as the Cricket Roadshow. There was powerkite flying, demonstrations by the police, golf, netball games and so on.

Around noon, we were joined by Chris Taylor and Tom Stayt from Gloucestershire. They helped paint and put up fencing as well as holding an autograph signing session. People were getting their bats and their CricketForce T-shirts signed.

At 1pm our other guests arrived. Chris Tremlett from Hampshire and Anya Shrubsole and Caroline Atkins attended the presentation where everyone gathered. The chairman of the ECB Giles Clark also attended and said a few words and presented our club with a scoreboard, donated from Easyscore, and pictures. The three cricketers also helped with painting and signed autographs. Anya and Caroline also brought the World Cup which they won this year.

The final few hours were filled with work and activities. By the end of the day, the patio was all but finished, the shed completed, the fence surrounding the outfield all nicely painted, and the sightscreens all put up and in place. We had loads of volunteers turn up and help. After all of the planning, donations from businesses and work put in from everyone involved, CricketForce weekend probably couldn’t have gone better. Even the weather was perfect!

So that was it…but not quite. Charlie, the first team opening batsman, had picked this of all days to get married. The lengths some people will go to avoid laying a patio! So, out of politeness, and to give him some well deserved stick, a group headed on over to the wedding, not before they had gathered their thoughts over a pint.

It would be great to say that the CricketForce lot were bopping away on the dance floor, doing the riverboat and generally being party animals, but at one stage they were spotted curled up in the corner of the room resting their weary legs, eyes and everything else that ached.

CricketForce weekend was a great success for Calne Cricket Club and the community. Such a success that we are already thinking about NatWest CricketForce 2010. What about the scoreboard, outdoor lights, electrics for the bowling machine, storage box for the changing rooms…oh let's just switch off for a while.