Fringe Box



Listen For the Sound of Willow on Leather as Cricket Returns

Published on: 1 Apr, 2021
Updated on: 1 Apr, 2021

You can hardly miss the smart new pavilion at Woodbridge Road – Photo Mandy Millyard (click on image to see full size)

The Dragon’s new sports reporter previews the coming cricket season…

By Julian Cooper

Walk along Woodbridge Road and you’ll see Guildford Cricket Club is being made ready for the new season. There have been some changes made over recent years. Most noticeable is the amazing new pavilion.

Look a little more closely and you’ll see the ground has now become enclosed on all four sides with a new fence and this fits in with the desire of the club to provide the county with the best secondary county ground in the country.

Early each morning staff from the Oval attend – Photo Mandy Millyard

Early each morning, staff from the Oval in Kennington arrive to provide their expertise in the preparation of a first-class wicket that will be used by all levels throughout the season. And by Surrey themselves when they make their yearly visit for the Guildford Cricket Festival later in the season.

The pitch is being lovingly prepared in hope of a proper season – Photo Mandy Millyard

I had the opportunity to have a quick conversation with the club president David Watts because I wanted to understand what work was being done within our community.

Trying to pick up the fantastic momentum that had been attained following the country’s success in 2019, winning the Cricket World Cup Could be difficult. The risk is that the initial interest shown by the younger generation could be lost following the Covid-19 shutdown of the sport last season.

David told me representatives from the club had been attending local schools, reminding everyone about cricket and what Guildford Cricket Club can offer, with a keen push on tempting more women and girls to try the sport. Also offering advice to anyone who would like to get involved, regardless of gender, age or ability.

The Guildford club itself has been running since the 19th century, though in recent times there has been a great development in the women’s game.

Their cricket section was formed at the club in 2002. One of the founding members had been involved at Bramley Cricket Club where the first recorded Ladies cricket matches were played in 1745. The women’s 1st XI plays in Division 1 of the Surrey League.

Guildford CC is one of the largest, most successful cricket clubs in Surrey, founder members of the Surrey Championship League and the 1st XI plays in the First Division.

On a Saturday, they field four men’s Xls and on a Sunday they run an Academy (U-21) team and play in the u19 Surrey Trust League. The women’s 1st XI plays in Division 1 of the Surrey League and the club also field men’s and women’s teams in the Surrey Slam (T20)

Visit their website for further information about what’s on and when.

They have great holiday camps running for all ages as well. I look forward to following all the teams over the coming season.

At the upcoming Easter Camp, there are still spaces left in the morning session (9am – midday) which is under-5s to under-10s.

There is also the All-Star Programme – this is an ECB (English Cricket Board) initiative aimed at 5-8year-olds of all abilities. These sessions are starting on Friday, May 7 and are running for eight weeks (5-6pm).

I shall be keeping you all posted on results for Guildford CC regularly this summer here at The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

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test 3 Responses to Listen For the Sound of Willow on Leather as Cricket Returns

  1. David Roberts Reply

    April 1, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    “Ah, the sound of willow on leather – as a bored outfielder kicks a tree.” (BBC Round the Horn, 1960s)

  2. Mark Worley Reply

    April 1, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    A nice ground and it’s great to see Surrey play there but GCC itself seems to show no interest in having spectators to watch their own games. I would have thought that, especially with some publicity, they would have the potential to attract more spectators and maybe take some money at the bar.

  3. Stuart Barnes Reply

    April 2, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Good news indeed.

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