ASHFORD CRICKET CLUB 2008
Committee Report 2008
It is with much joy that I, on behalf of the General Committee, congratulate the members on what has been the most successful season for the Club in recent years. This is a direct result of the commitment and enthusiasm of members, and I commend everyone on their efforts.
I’m pleased to report that the shelves of the clubhouse trophy cupboard are groaning under the weight of new silverware: the Shepherd Neame Surrey 20/20 trophy; 1st XI Division 4 and 2nd XI Division 5 titles; the U15s Plate; and the U13s West Middlesex league title. Not to be out done by the men’s top two teams, the Ladies section secured promotion too.
This remarkable season and change in atmosphere at the Club are best exemplified by the exploits of Richard Mansfield’s side in the 20/20 competition. Showing no respect for reputations, the team swept aside three Premiership outfits on its way to winning the Shepherd Neame Surrey 20/20 trophy – much to the joy of a boisterous crowd of supporters. Imbued with confidence and accompanied by fantastic support, the side travelled to Kent CCC’s Canterbury ground to represent the county at the southeast Four Counties 20/20 finals. Many expected Ashford to repeat its giant-killing achievements and defeat in the last over the final was met with great disappointment by players and supporters alike. However, this disappointment was soon to melt away leaving everyone to reflect with pride on the Club’s performance.
In league competition the 1st and 2nd XIs powered to their respective titles and promotions, winning 24 games and losing only two between them. As 1st XI captain Richard Mansfield has fashioned from a squad of excellent players a team that believes in its collective abilities and knows how to win games. Meanwhile Kully Banwait led a skilled 2nd XI on a remarkable run of 13 consecutive wins that saw them crowned champions of their league with three games remaining. Both sides will look to carry their form and momentum into 2009 and strive to achieve back-to back-promotions.
The 3rd XI recovered from a poor run in the first half of the summer to finish comfortably mid-table in Division 1. The 4th XI, led by new skipper Ikie Gill, finished 4th in its league and next year, following a reorganisation of the Surrey 4th XI setup, will be competing in the Premier league. So that’s another promotion (of sorts) for the Club, isn’t it?
The Ladies XI’s, captained by Becky Halls, achieved a fine set of results in its league campaign, earning promotion to Division 3 of the Women’s Cricket Southern League.
The extended 20/20 cup run did have an impact on the Club’s involvement in regular Sunday cricket towards the end of the season. But for much of the summer the new Sunday captains Ian Antonio and Jon White led teams that enjoyed their cricket, even if the wins were few and far between.
The Colts teams themselves enjoyed mixed results, the pick of the sides being David Frost’s U13s. I’m glad to report that a growing number of talented colts are making valuable contributions to the senior teams at weekends. This augurs well for the continued well-being and success of the Club.
I direct you to the captains’ and colts’ managers’ reports included with this mailing for some more personal insights on each team’s performance.
The many good results have led to a joyous mood in the clubhouse, which has been nurtured by our new bar manager Tracey. Tracey recently wed her beau Robbo and I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing them well for long and happy future together.
Tracey’s immediate enthusiasm and effort have inspired great support from member volunteers and special mention of thanks must go to Keith, Mark and Elaine, Alison and many others – you know who you all are. The imagination, hard work and persistence of Tracey and these volunteers helped the members to raise money for the new plasma TV and the continuing fundraising activities will further improve the facilities at Short Lane. Thanks must also go to Safdar for managing the bar rota once again and to the growing group of members who are willing to help out behind the bar on Monday and Tuesday evenings.
A good size group of playing members, their partners and families recently returned from the tour of Cyprus. Although less successful on the cricketing front than previous overseas tours (all three matches were lost), the week was a great chance to unwind and full of fun. Many thanks to the members on the Tour Committee who volunteered their time and efforts to organise the flights, accommodation and tour itinerary.
With prize money of £3500 from the 20/20 success, £1000 income from the £1 colts training fee introduced at the start of the year, and income from the other core activities, the Club has enjoyed an encouraging year financially, achieving a net income for the year of approximately £6,400. Enclosed you will find a detailed breakdown of the Club’s income and expenditure, which has been prepared by the Club Treasurer Paul Frost.
The year’s performance puts the Club in a position of some strength from which the General Committee can look to invest in initiatives aimed at developing the Club’s facilities and performances on the field. For example, the Club will be investing in a new roller, which will allow groundsman Andy Goulding to more efficiently prepare and improve our excellent cricket squares, thus releasing more of his time to work on other aspects of the ground. The Club is also continuing its commitment to reimburse the cost of coaching courses incurred by members who want to acquire UKCC Level 1 and 2 qualifications and coach our colts.
Two events remain in the Club’s 2008 calendar. The Annual General Meeting will be held at the clubhouse on Monday 24th November at 8.00pm. Accompanying this letter is a copy of the agenda and the minutes from last year’s AGM. Members are encouraged to attend the meeting – this is an opportunity for you to discuss items on the agenda, to air your views on how the Club is being run, and to offer suggestions for its future development.
But first there is the final celebratory get-together of the year – the Annual Awards Dinner at Ashford Manor Golf Club on Saturday 15th November. I hope to see many of you on the night to toast the Club and a most memorable 2008 season.
Let’s hope that the Club maintains its momentum into 2009 and that we have further achievements to celebrate come this time next year.
For and on behalf of the General Committee
1st XI Surrey Championship Report 2008
Surrey Championship Division 4: Played: 18; W: 10; L: 1; WD: 4; LD: 1; AB: 2; Points: 149; League finish: 1st – Champions
It is no exaggeration to say that 2008 was the most successful season for Ashford in recent memory, possibly the most successful in the 153-year history of the club.
The 1st XI and 2nd XI both dominated their respective divisions to be crowned champions well in advance of the last weekend of the season. The 1st XI won no fewer than six consecutive games against higher-ranked opposition, including three against Premier league outfits, to lift the Shepherd Neame Surrey 20/20 Trophy at Guildford CC in early September. They then toppled Essex 20/20 champions Colchester & East Essex to earn a place in the South East 20/20 Final at Canterbury Cricket Ground – home of Kent CCC – in which they were narrowly defeated in the last over by Middlesex champions Stanmore.
That the players and the large and enthusiastic Ashford crowd that day were genuinely disappointed not to have lifted the South East 20/20 Trophy is an indication of just how far the 1st XI squad had come in one short season.
With new captain Richard Mansfield taking charge of the 1st XI, and with the return of Wendel Sebastian to his Ashford roots, expectations at the beginning of the year were high of promotion from Division Four. The team did not disappoint, winning 10 of the 16 completed matches played, and recording only one defeat.
Home and away double victories were recorded against Churt, Edward Alleyn & Honor Oak and local rivals Chertsey. In two vital late-season promotion clashes against Old Hamptonians and Old Rutlishians, the team played mature and measured cricket to secure important winning draws. The only reverse of the campaign came against fellow-promoted Old Rutlishians in June, when the side let themselves down with an uncharacteristically poor batting performance.
Richard Mansfield was a crucial element in the team’s success. He topped the batting with 590 league runs at an average of 53.6, including three magisterial centuries. His bowling collected 22 wickets at 18.5, amongst them a 6-for in the early-season win at Old Hamptonians. But as valuable as his runs and wickets was his leadership. Richard has played the game at a high level, and his tactical awareness and professionalism – if not always his timekeeping – were invaluable to the team. With him at the helm, Ashford will look forward to a 2009 season to match the triumphs of 2008.
However, notwithstanding Richard’s contributions, the successes earned this year were in large part down to the strength of the 1st XI squad and the team ethic that was fostered. Three other batsmen recorded over 400 league runs (Chris Evans 477 @ 29.8, including an exceptional century in the away win against Churt; Paul Frost 435 @ 29; and Wendel Sebastian 428 @ 30.6) and a further two over 300 (Shaun Cousens 304 @ 20.3; and Ross Wright 302 @ 37.8). Following this top six, no other side in the division could boast a lower order with a destructive potential to match Rashid (Doc) Mahmood, Trefor Evans and Riaz Khan. With the defeat at Old Rutlishians being the one exception, the team could always rely on this strong batting unit to set a challenging target or chase down a score.
The quality and depth of the batting was matched by a five-strong bowling attack, all of whom recorded more than 20 wickets in the season. Riaz Khan led the attack with 34 wickets at 19.5 and once again formed a potent opening partnership with Neil Smith, who bagged 30 wickets at 22.5. Ali Syed injected some pace when called up from the 2nd XI. A triumvirate of spinners was on hand to support the pace attack, including Mansfield, Shaun Cousens (21 wkts at 19) and Asif Prasala (20 wkts at 11.4). The spinners proved particularly effective in choking the opposition in the 20/20 matches.
Ross Wright again performed admirably behind the stumps, as did Dan Rose when promoted in his absence, and the standard of ground fielding and general commitment from the team was notably higher than in previous seasons.
Many thanks go to Steve Smith for once again giving up his time to umpire with authority and consistency. Steve is in search of a new role for 2009, as our promotion means we will face the perils of panel umpires once more.
The 2008 season shows just how much can be achieved by a squad which combines the qualities of fine leadership, team spirit and self-belief. Let us hope that this year marks the start of a golden era for Ashford cricket.
Paul Frost, for and on behalf of the 1st XI
1st XI Sunday and Non League Report 2008
First and foremost I would like to thank all players for giving their best when playing and thanks to the parents because without you we would often have found it difficult to get our predominately young team to games.
Right that’s enough of being soppy. It proved to be an up and down season with regard to player turn out and performances for Sunday’s premier XI – towards the end of the summer the fantastic successes of the 1st XI in the 20/20 competition had an unavoidable impact on availability. Despite finishing second from bottom of the Thameside league and getting knocked out in the early stages of the Cup competitions we had a good spirit within the team throughout the season. I cannot fault the effort of the players.
Although thin on the ground, there were a few highlights. These included a comfortable six-wicket win in the league against Wimbledon, who were dismissed for 182 and then Shaun Cosuens (72*) led the run chase with good support from Paul Frost (40) and Wendel Sebastian (40). In a friendly match against Hackney College Cricket Academy Chris Evans (76) and Wendel Sebastian (80) shared a 154-run partnership as we amassed 243 for 5 in just 35 overs. The young guns of Hackney were then undone by the craft and guile of Paul Rowland, who produced a spell of 5 for 30 reminiscent of Ashford legend Steve ‘Scud’ Adams.
Even losing Sunday sides boasted some quality performances by individuals. There were half centuries from Shaun Cousens (57) and Dan Rose (64) against Byfleet; 66 from Jon White and 4 for 17 by Graham Doggett at Staines and Laleham; and another fifty for Dan Rose (54) and a 5-for by Simon Cook against Hillingdon Manor. And Shaun Cousens batted wonderfully in the cup match against a strong Beddington side, carrying his bat for 63*.
Thanks to all the mature (older) players such as Frosty, Wendell and Jimbo who led by example and were supportive mentors to the younger players such as Tips, Graham, Harry, Dan etc who all performed superbly throughout the year. These youngsters are top players for their age and will enjoy great success in the future. I hope next year more players who feature regularly in Saturday’s teams will make the time to enjoy a few games on Sundays – when you’re struggling for form Sunday cricket offers a great opportunity to work at your game. With more consistent availability and a bigger pool of players to select from, we will be able to move onwards and upwards and follow in the footsteps of the Saturday teams.
Simon Cook - 1st XI Sunday vice-captain
2nd XI Surrey Championship Report
Surrey Championship Division 5: Played: 18; W: 14; L: 1; WD: 1; LD: 1; AB: 1; Points: 188pts;
League finish: 1st – Champions
This was a remarkable season not just for the club as a whole but also for the 2nd XI which secured promotion with five games left of the season and claimed the Division 5 title a week later at Thames Ditton with still three games left to play.
The league campaign started with a tremendous win at Oxted & Limpsfield, courtesy of a fine bowling and fielding effort, the high-quality bowling was to become the norm during the season. We then stuttered and dropped down the table after three consecutive games without a win. Particularly frustrating was missing out on a winning draw at Godalming by two runs and not getting the last two wickets against Wallington as they closed on 90-8 set 205 to win. This turned out to be last game we didn’t win.
Fortunes did not seem to be improving until after tea at Brook. After Ashford had been bundled out for a mere 130, Zain Hussain and Mohammed Usman tore into the Brook batting line up to skittle the hosts for just 36 runs in 15.1 overs, with Usman returning remarkable figures of 6 for 11. From this stage we never looked back and the side went on a steamroller run of 13 consecutive wins. Having a very well-balanced side certainly helped the skipper and all bases were covered for any type of conditions or match situation. Having the bowling options and variety in the bowling was the key to this year’s success. The outstanding bowler in the 2s and leading wicket-taker in the league was Zain Hussain who finished with 47 wickets at just 14 runs a piece, with five 5-fors including back to back 7-fors at Kempton and Thames Ditton.
Zain Hussain was superbly supported by the Waqar Younis like Usman (33 wickets at 12), which include a superb spell of 7 for 17 against Godalming. Other notable performers who helped win matches were the miserly left-armers Nad Rashid (21 wickets at 19) and James Berressem (18 wickets at 13), and also when available our old spearhead Ali Syed (12 wickets at 16) did himself credit. Youngsters Ben Simper and Graham Doggett also bowled very well when called upon. One of the many highlights of this season was the win at home against the early pace setters Thames Ditton. With our batting having faltered again on Short Lane’s perfect batting wicket, the visitors, chasing just 146, were well placed during their reply at 130 for 4. But we showed our will to win and never say die attitude to produce an amazing performance to bowl them out two runs short of their target thanks in main to deadly spells at the death by Usman and Ali.
The batting was hit and miss during the first half of the season barring the solid and reliable Chris Davies (467 runs @ 39) but everybody found form during the amazing run of 13 straight wins. New skipper Kully Banwait led from the front with (466 runs @ 36) and Gareth Evans (335 runs @ 28) were the mainstays of the batting. Match-winning contributions also came from Rob Ford, Will Gaines, Ian Antonio and all-rounder Usman. Vital runs were also contributed by other squad members Umair Aziz, Aman Gill, Keith Horton, Jon White, James Berressem, Nad Rashid as well as youngster Dan Rose, whose wicket-keeping also continues to impress. Many thanks go to the whole squad who contributed to some fantastic competitive games of cricket, all of which were played in the right spirit.
Special mentions go to: Trevor Allen for umpiring week in week out; the groundsman Andrew Goulding for producing fantastic cricket wickets considering the damp weather; Rosemary for the teas; Chris Davies for his help organising warm-ups, fielding drills motivational team talks and one post-mortem; and Chris Evans and Rob Ford for their background work at the club which helped things run seamlessly.
As thoughts turn to next season the hope or dare I say expectation is to carry forward this confidence and self belief running through the club into Division 4. The consensus within the squad is that much more is possible individually and collectively next season from a fairly young group of players. Bring on Division 4.
Kully Banwait - 2nd XI captain
2nd XI Sunday and Non League Report 2008
My first season as 2nd XI captain started off not quite as I had wanted it to with defeat in a friendly game away to Caterham. Results soon picked up though with our first league match against Chiswick & Latymer, in which we pulled off a comfortable win. Runs from James Knill (61), Himesh Patel (52) and myself (42) contributed to a total of 265. This left the opposition with no choice but to bat aggressively and thanks to some straight bowling we bowled out all 10 wickets for 185, myself returning figures of 4 for 29
Our next three games proved us to be slightly out of our league. Two of the games were against an extremely well-organised British Airways outfit; the other was against the previous year’s champions Worcester Park. The latter game was a close contest with Ashford being bowled out for 155, Ian McAllan (39) and Dan Rose (35) the top-scorers. Faced with some good, disciplined bowling Worcester Park crept to their target with only eight balls to spare.
Our first game against British Airways was played at home and was nothing short of poor. We were bowled out for 83 after only 21 overs, myself getting the only real runs of the day with 43*. The visitors chased down our score for the loss of only two wickets and within 23 overs! The return away leg came the following week and was even more disastrous and somewhat comical. Batting first our innings lasted only 10.3 overs and closed on 27 all out. NOT GOOD! The hosts scored the runs in a speedy 3.5 overs. To keep our hopes up, we decided to play a friendly 20/20 game to see if we could get our own back. But we failed in this as well!
With all of our other games being abandoned to the weather or conceded, we completed our last match on 20th July. This proved to be a one man show on the part of the opposition which had among its ranks a young overseas Aussie who smashed 209* and propelled their total to 353. This pretty much killed the game, which was disappointing and demotivating for the Ashford team. Despite this our chase got off to a solid start thanks to James Knill (54) and Himesh Patel (64) andour spirits were starting to lift until they dismissed us for a respectable 187, which we felt in any other game would have almost secured victory! Overall, not a season to be too pleased with but certainly one we can all learn from as individuals.
Jon White - 2nd XI Sunday captain
3rd XI Surrey Championship Report 2008
Surrey Championship Division 1: Played: 17; W: 7; L: 8; WD: 1; LD: 0; AB: 1; Points: 96; League finish: 10th
It looks a reasonably comfortable season, finishing halfway in Division 1, winning seven games and drawing one. However, the season did not start well and it was not until the second week in August that relegation became mathematically impossible. By the 12th of July we had only won two games and we did not seem able as a team to turn things around. The captain had run out of ideas and his own performances were of a poor standard. However, a week later things started to improve and our run in to the close of the season included five wins and just one loss, with one game abandoned. The reason for the improvement was unknown, except that everyone started to pull together and enjoy the games. Amazing what a win can do to change morale!
Until mid-July, the only batsmen to show any consistency were Rob Evans and Chris White with six half-centuries between them. Other innings worth noting were Graham Doggett’s 48 in 29 balls against Weybridge, Simon Cook’s 43 against Valley End, which enabled Ashford to secure a
winning draw, and Alex Jackson scoring 100 not out against Esher.
During the turn around of the team’s fortunes other players started to show some form and consistency to help out Rob and Chris. Ian McCallum, probably our most improved player of the season, scored 69 against Warlingham. Some of the bowlers started to bowl with real effort and
thought. Harry Jackman took 5 for 22 in the same game and from then on he never looked back ending up with 18 wickets. In the following game against Caterham, Harry excelled at batting as well as bowling and scored 60 not out to help Ashford to a win.
Alex Jackson scored a quick 49 against Egham in probably the most exciting game of the season.
With one ball remaining Ashford needed to take the last wicket and Egham required four runs to win. The Egham skipper told his batsman to try and hit the winning runs rather than defend for the draw. Andrew Tippell, who had already bagged seven wickets in the match with his off-spin, bowled another special ball and the stumps went flying, leaving Andrew with 8 for 83.
Rob Evans returned from his holiday to bat through and score 70 against Chipstead. In the final league game of the season Josh Thomas showed his quality scoring 86*. He’s one to watch for the future.
Most of the games were played in the correct spirit and each game was a pleasure to play in. All of the opposition played fairly and were a credit to their clubs. Egham should be thanked for playing fairly with their umpires giving three LBW decisions at critical parts of the game. The fairness they showed was an example to many clubs.
Players who scored over 200 runs in the season included Rob Evans, Chris White, Harry Jackman, Umair Aziz (promoted to the 2nd XI), Ian McCallum and Alex Jackson. Dan Jones and Jon White also performed well. Graham Dogget, Andrew Tippel, Harry Jackman and Josh Thomas all proved
that they can bat comfortably at this level.
Bowlers who took more than 10 wickets were Andrew Tippell (32), Graham Dogget (18), Harry Jackman (18) and Dan Jones (18). Ben Simper, plagued by injury took nine wickets at under 10 runs. Antony Dench, when available, again produced consistent performances with ball, taking
seven wickets. When called upon Chris White bowled tightly and took five wickets at 15. Chris is likely to be used more next year as the youngsters in the team will surely be called up to the 2nd XI more often. Paul Cousens, who bowled rarely, had career best figures of 4 for 9 runs in one game. Rana Rehman and Jenny Tippell showed the team how to bowl with a smile on their faces.
The effort on the field was admirable. Dan Jones, Alex Jackson, Jon White and the lively Ian McCallum fielded well. Paul Cousens and evergreen Chris White took 20 catches between them. Andrew Tippell stopped everything at point and Graham Doggett was a revelation at leg slip.
Of all the players who played for the 3rd XI in 2008, two stood out. Andrew Tippell took 32 wickets at 18.69, including his fantastic 8-for against Egham. I am not expecting Andrew to be playing for the 3 rd XI too much next season! The other player to perform very well was Rob Evans who again took the most stumpings in the club. However it was batting where Rob really excelled this season, scoring 386 runs @ 26. During our poor start to the season, Rob was the one person who kept batting sensibly. He occupied the crease for long periods as required and often batted right through the innings.
Personal thank yous to Chris White (vice-captain) and Rob Evans who helped me to run the team throughout the season. Without a doubt, their advice ensured we were successful in more games than we would have predicted at the start of the season. Also a thank you to Bernie Tippell for scoring for us in many of our games.
Many thanks to our groundsman and all those who helped prepare the pitches. Ashford continues to boast a 3rd team pitch that is among the best in the league and compares with many of the 1st team pitches in the county. There were many other players who took part this season. They know who they are and I thank them all for helping to make 2008 an enjoyable season.
Paul Cousens - 3rd XI captain
4th XI Surrey Championship League Report 2008
Surrey Championship West Division: Played: 16; W: 5; L: 5; WD: 3; LD: 2; AB: 1; Points: 80;
League finish: 4th
It was a challenging season for the 4th XI, finishing fourth in the league. The start of the season saw the 4's contest winning and loosing draws against Woking. The first win came against East Molesey where we scored an impressive 254 for 7 off 41.5 overs and bowled out the opposition for just 71. Batting performances of the season included some memorable half-centuries from Saqib Ansari, Tiamoor Anwar, Hasib Butt, Jas Rehncy and Manoj Perera. Youngster Jas Sangera chipped in with a 65 in his first game. Saf managed to get out on 49! Great way to avoid buying a jug.
The up and coming youngsters that played in the 4th XI included Jiwan Gill who regularly opened the bowling very well and dismissed the openers on most occasions. Ian Doggett kept and batted well and nearly got his first half-century (48). Other youngsters that I am sure will find themselves playing adult cricket very soon include Joe White and Diljit Gaurav. Only Ali Sidiqui got five or more wickets during the season, taking 6 for 41 against Woking in the first game.
The stand out player of the season for his overall performance was Ashraf Mougal, who batted in very difficult circumstances and took wickets at key stages of games.
Overall, all games were played in good spirit and the Ashford players behaviour was impeccable. I am very proud of all of the players that took part and it was pleasure to captain the side this year.
Ikie Gill - 4th XI captain
Ladies Cricket Report 2008
It’s been a couple of years coming and after feeling robbed last season, we did it – we finally got promoted! Overall, we finished 4th in Division 4, which was enough to earn promotion for 2009.
We played 15 games in total, 12 of which were league games and won eight of them. We also entered the cup competition and managed to get through to the second round.
Our home performances were unprecedented, winning all but one of our league matches at Short Lane. The highlights were a 10-wicket win over Spencer and an eight-wicket win over Wokingham. It must have been the home support that cheered us on. Unfortunately, when we played the return fixtures it was a very different story, winning only two games on the road. The low of the season was at Hastings where the whole game took less time than the journey down there! We’ll face them again next season and are keen on getting revenge.
This season our strength was the bowling attack. Our bowlers took 80 wickets in total, which smashes previous years’ records. Jenny Tipple was our strongest bowler and on three occasions took four wickets in each game. She deservedly has been named player of the season for the Ladies. All the other bowlers took their share of wickets with excellent economy rates. It was wonderful to have so many bowling options and to be able to mix pace and spin to pin down the opposition.
Sharp fielding led to catches and run outs, which supported the bowlers well. Behind the stumps Liz Kinsman once again had a successful season taking numerous catches and three sharp stumpings.
Our batting was possibly the weakest part of our game, with only two half-centuries in the whole season. We struggled with some of the better bowling and gave away too many wickets to what should have been run-scoring balls. Consistent performances by Urusa Ahmed and Fiona Grant scored valuable runs and achieved what the openers couldn’t. The middle-order also provided good support, with Beth Evans and Liz Kinsman seeing us home in victories.
I would like to thank all the players for their commitment and performance this season. We picked up some new players and as the juniors are getting stronger we are building a great team. Special thanks go to Steve Smith for umpiring and Helen Cook for scoring; we would have been lost without you both.
Looking to 2009 we need to build on this year’s performance and establish ourselves in Division 3. Over the winter we will be working on our batting to bring this up to the standard required to face up to the tougher opposition we can expect next season. I’m looking forward to next year and another enjoyable season.