Merry Christmas everybody and welcome to our December newsletter.
Guildford Festival 2018
Surrey will host Somerset in the 80th anniversary of the Guildford Cricket Festival next June.
The first-class fixtures from the ECB, released late last month, have brought Woodbridge Road a four-day Specsavers County Championship Division One match starting on Wednesday June 20, although there will be no one-day game.
When the sides last met at Guildford, in 2006, records were smashed. Somerset achieved a new highest Championship total of 688-8dec at the ground thanks to Australian opener Justin Langer’s 342 – the best individual score at Woodbridge Road – only for it to be overtaken by Surrey’s 717, led by Rikki Clarke (214) and Mark Ramprakash (167).
That second division match was played in record heat, the temperature on the first day being recorded at 36.5c just up the A3 at Wisley, the hottest ever recorded in the United Kingdom since records began in 1659. That came in the middle of a baking July which meant that batting on a blameless pitch was made even easier by lightning-fast boundaries. A thunderstorm early on the final day ended the bowlers’ torment and forced a draw.
Somerset escaped relegation from Championship Division One last season thanks to outgoing champions Middlesex being deducted two points, thus taking the drop, and will hope to continue Surrey’s miserable run in four-day matches at Woodbridge Road, having failed to win since 2002. They lost to champions Essex earlier this year.
The match is preceded at the ground by the Guildford Beer Festival, which is on Friday/Saturday June 15/16.
With the hoardings coming down and final touches being made to the exterior, Guildford’s pavilion is showing its impressive new face to the world. Now we can look forward to making ourselves at home in time for the season and getting everything shipshape.
New third team captain
Tim Walter has been appointed to lead the third team next season, taking over from Rav Garcha, who becomes vice-captain.
Tim’s vast expertise will be invaluable in reviving the fortunes of the thirds, who were relegated last year, not least in the hugely important task of helping youngsters take their first steps in senior cricket. Having led Guildford to the Surrey Championship twice – in 1987 and 2001 – plus a fistful of Flora Doris Cup titles, Tim’s leadership qualities have few rivals and his enthusiasm both for cricket and the club remain undimmed.
At the club’s autumn meeting, hosted by Surrey Cricket Centre with the pavilion unavailable, all the club’s major officers were re-elected for another year.
Subscriptions and match fees will remain as last year at all levels of the club.
Ladies & Juniors – news
Junior winter training resumes on Sunday January 28 at Royal Grammar School’s indoor sports centre, running for eight weeks (excluding Mothering Sunday on March 11).Winter training events
There will be free taster sessions – running from 11am for an hour, on January 28 plus February 4 and 11, for those wanting to try out cricket for the first time. The only requirement is wearing clothes in which you can move around easily.
Training will be divided into the following groups: Women and girls (12-1pm); U6-8 (1-2pm); U9-10: (2-3pm); U11-12 (3.30-5pm); U13 (5-6.30pm); U14-14 (6.30-8pm).
Girls are invited to the age groups as well as the 12-1pm session while newcomers are welcome to all relevant groups plus the tasters. Age is calculated as being from September 1 and those groups remain the same to the end of next season.
There is no parking on site at RGS but there are three public car parks within easy reach.
One player who will be looking to build on her success of last year is Liz Jurzcenko. She finished the season with a personal triumph in the final match of the campaign, against Brighton & Hove.
Liz enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Nikki Chaudhuri as she scored the first century of her career and overcame frustrations from earlier in the season to crack 121 before rain, which had already soaked the ground, ended the Development League match after 28 overs.
Although Liz was understandably proud to have her picture taken in front of the scoreboard, the innings did not count in official records, so she will be hoping for better luck in 2018.
Colts – update
Junior training resumes on Sunday January 28 at Royal Grammar School’s indoor sports centre, running for eight weeks (excluding Mothering Sunday on March 11).Winter training events
Staying on the ball
Next season will see several new laws introduced and the best place to learn about them is through one of the courses run by the Surrey Association of Cricket Officials, who are responsible for training umpires and scorers in the county.
So if you are keen to don a white coat or learn to score then take a peek at http://www.surreycricketfoundation.org/news/umpire-education-courses-launched-21287/.
Information on presentations for the new laws is available at http://www.surreycricketofficials.org.uk/?page_id=215.
Farewell to old friends
Guildford were sad to learn of the passing of Peter Hounslow and Mary Lloyd-Jones.
Peter Hounslow was a former treasurer and secretary of the club, roles he conducted with quiet efficiency and dry humour. He was a prominent figure in the town, both in business – where he led his accountancy firm into a merger with Moore Stephens – and at Guildford Cathedral, where he worshipped as well as playing a role on the financial side and became a Canon. Peter’s sons, Piers and James, both played at Woodbridge Road in the 1990s. He died aged 68 following a long and debilitating illness. David Watts and Chad Murrin represented the club at his funeral, held at the Cathedral, and our condolences go to Peter’s widow Lesly and the family.
Mary Lloyd-Jones was a friend of the club for many years, serving as a councillor with Guildford Borough Council for 12 years, being elected Mayor in 1990-91 and then becoming an Honorary Alderman. She retained an enthusiasm for the game, having played as a young girl, attending the Guildford Festival each year and possessing an “encyclopaedic knowledge”, according to David Watts.
Dernbach in charge
Jade Dernbach will captain Surrey next season in the NatWest T20 Blast.
One of Guildford’s graduates from colts level all the way to playing one-day internationals and T20s for England, the fast bowler is joining forces with Rory Burns, who has succeeded Gareth Batty as club skipper. He steps up from the role of vice-captain and will lead in the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup.