Former Player’s Day 2021 – 22nd August 2021

Great Harwood CC are delighted to announce that we shall be holding a special Former Players Day during our 1stXI home game versus East Lancashire CC on Sunday 22nd August 2021.

We hope to have a special day to pay tribute to the many players who have helped make the club what it is today.

Anyone who has played for the club at any level over the years is invited to attend on the day.

We have no doubt the event will prompt much reminiscing, recollection and great memories, and hopefully some entertaining cricket to lives up to the billing of ‘it were tougher when I played’.

If you are able to attend, please send a short note to chairman@gtharwoodcc.co.uk so that we can reserve sufficient space in prime viewing spots on our balconies.

Notice of (delayed) 2021 AGM

Following the relaxation of national restrictions, we are now in a position to hold our postponed 2021 AGM.

Members are hereby given notice that our 2021 AGM will take place on Tuesday 17th August 2021 commencing at 8.30 p.m. in our clubhouse.

The delayed start is intended to give opportunity for playing members (engaged in practice sessions) and bowling section members (engaged in league fixtures) the opportunity to attend the meeting in full.

We hope all members will be able to join us to review what has been a remarkable last 18 months and hear our plans for 2022 and beyond.

If you require a copy of the agenda or a copy of the club’s annual accounts in advance of the meeting, please contact us: chairman@gtharwoodcc.co.uk or secretary@gtharwoodcc.co.uk

Any members who have business to be moved at the meeting should give notice to the Club Secretary within 14 days of the meeting in accordance with our Club’s Constitution.

Club Membership 2021

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Dear members, players, supporters and friends.

Thank you to all of you who have already renewed your membership for the 2021 season, which began last week.

Ahead of our first 1st XI home game this Sunday, I would usually be looking forward to meeting with many of you at Cliffe Park as our teams take to the field for a new season, however whilst we can hopefully look forward to this later in the season, the club are not currently allowed to invite spectators to watch our games.

Club members are, however, currently able to visit to use our hospitality areas, providing strict conditions (detailed in previous posts) are adhered to.

I felt therefore, I should write to update you on some of the steps we have taken through the winter and provide details of this years’ club membership.

Following what has been an incredibly difficult year for everybody, we are delighted that Lancashire League Cricket is set to return for what hopefully will be a full and uninterrupted season. Firstly I wish to put on record our thanks to each and every one of you who renewed your memberships last year without knowing whether there would be any cricket to watch at all. You really have helped us survive.

Our committee have been busy guiding the club through the pandemic, but have also worked hard to progress our development plans through this time. I’d like to briefly take you through some developments

Thikshila de Silva returns as professional for 2021. Despite Covid restrictions presenting difficulties, we are delighted to have Thikshila return for the coming season. He’s arrived, has come through his entry shielding and started well last week, hitting a tremendous 123* away at Nelson, despite us ultimately falling short.

Hawks Cricket Academy. We’ve taken the step to formalise our junior cricket offering under an academy structure, which will help our vision to identify and develop young talent, helping young cricketers to develop their skills, attitude and create a cricket culture that will enable them to develop into District and County cricketers. Paul Newton has been appointed to the lead role of Hawks Academy Manager, working alongside Mick Deasey, who will continue to support him in the role

Development 4th XI. We enter the 2021 season with four senior mens teams. Our 4th XI will be led by Liam Noon and comprise a development XI, helping our best young cricketers gain the experience and game time needed to become the best they can be. They will compete in Lancashire League 3rd XI Division Group A.

Cliffe Park has a new name for 2021 as we are delighted to have arranged a ground sponsorship agreement with Evolve Document Solutions. The partnership will see the ground renamed as “The Evolve Document Solutions Cliffe Park”.

Lead Club Sponsors – The Philip Maher Foundation. Everyone at Great Harwood Cricket Club are thrilled that the club is in a position, for the first time in our long history, to have a local charity as our Lead Club ‘Sponsors’ for 2021-22. The Philip Maher Foundation will appear on our match day kit and training wear for 2021-22, in an effort to support the work of the charity as opposed to seeking to secure an income from such an arrangement as would usually be the case.

Bar Opening – Current Rules – At the time of writing, we are unable to welcome supporters to our club to watch games, but club members can attend to use our hospitality section. There are some strict conditions to this, detailed here, along with our opening times for the week ahead on our homepage please familiarise yourself with these conditions prior to attending.

Membership Subscriptions 2021

Playing Members

Men’s Playing Membership

  • Opt 1   £75 plus £7 match fee
  • Opt 2   £150 (no match fees)

Ladies Playing Membership         £30

Junior Players

  • U10-U18                                  £45
  • Up to and including U9       £35

Advance match fees for juniors playing senior cricket     £50

Non-Playing Members

  • Ground Member                  £30
  • Ground Member (conc)     £20
  • Social Member                     £15
  • Family Membership           £50

(plus £25 per junior player for junior match fees)

  • Patrons – by arrangement
  • Donations – we would always welcome any donations from existing and new members

Ways To Pay

Bank Transfer

Sort Code:         20-09-72

Account No:       93078418

Please include your name as the reference so we can allocate it

By Post

By cheque made out to

Great Harwood Cricket Club

Thank you in advance for your continued support. Keep safe and look after yourselves, and I hope to see you all at some point this summer at The Evolve Document Solutions Cliffe Park.

Kind regards

Andrew

The View from the Balconies

We had intended that these messages would be a little more regular than we have achieved so far, but the rapid pace of change of government, council and ECB guidance on multiple aspects of the operations of our club, coupled with the usual increased workload to have the cricket facilities ready for the season ahead, has prevented finding time to do so.

We are delighted to be in a position to welcome some members and guests back to GHCC this weekend in our newly-formed hospitality zone around the clubhouse, patios and balcony areas. The Committee and staff have worked tirelessly to prepare for our re-opening in a safe manner, and we hope to see many of you over the coming days and weeks.

Full details of the – admittedly complex – arrangements for our re-opening can be found here.

Turning to the cricket side, it’s been quite a busy month to say the least. The pro Thikshila has arrived and has completed his expedited quarantine and trained with the senior men’s squads on Thursday, before assisting with the Hawks Academy practice night yesterday evening.

It’s great to have him back with us for the season. It does give the whole club a lift to have a player of his international quality amongst our ranks, and I am sure you will join me in wishing him well ahead of the season and the first 1stXI fixture of the season tomorrow

Special thanks must go to Shirley & Malcolm for their tireless efforts in furnishing and preparing his accommodation prior to his arrival.

Our ground and facilities are in fine fettle ahead of the season. Mick & John together with Nathan have for us ready for the season, and after some significant investment from the club and from sponsors we feel we are in a good place with our facilities, coming out of an unprecedented pandemic as we are.

Do take the time to come and visit and see what we have done with the place. COVID-19 restrictions have meant we have needed to adapt our cricket operations too, and sadly spectators are not permitted at the ground unless they are seated within and attending to use our hospitality zones.

We hope the governments Roadmap remains on track which should see spectators return from mid-May, as well as the reopening of changing facilities and our clubhouse itself.

We have however invested further and hope to have all our senior matches streamed live online for the season ahead. Stay tuned to our website and social media feeds for details of how to access the matches online.

Work has also commenced on preparing facilities for our bowling section, although sadly their governing body and associated rules and regulations will delay the recommencement of their competitive leagues. The green is coming back to the condition we expect to provide at GHCC and lots of hard work has gone in within that section to get things ready for the safe return of bowls once they get the green light from the BCGBA.

So much more has been achieved, too much to remember to report here. It really has to be seen to be believed. We do hope you will visit us soon.

Looking back at the to do list we set ourselves at the start of the year, possibly with one eye on the likelihood of our season being delayed due to the pandemic, we set ourselves an ambitious development plan. Remarkably we seem to have achieved everything we set out to do in that shortened period of time. Thanks must got to the committee and all volunteers who really have worked miracles fitting in the demands of running a cricket club into their busy personal, work and family lives.

Never have the demands on cricket and club administrators and volunteers been so high. Our commmunities should be thankful we are lucky to have such brilliant people involved and entrusted with the future of our club, as well as the here and now.

Here’s to a long, dry and hot summer ahead.

Looking back at the to do list we set ourselves at the start of the year, possibly with one eye on the likelihood of our season being delayed due to the pandemic, we set ourselves an ambitious development plan. Remarkably we seem to have achieved everything we set out to do in that shortened period of time. Thanks must got to the committee and all volunteers who really have worked miracles fitting in the demands of running a cricket club into their busy personal, work and family lives.

Never have the demands on cricket and club administrators and volunteers been so high. Our communities should be thankful we are lucky to have such brilliant people involved and entrusted with the future of our club, as well as the here and now.

Here’s to a long, dry and hot summer ahead.

Announcing our new lead club partners, The Philip Maher Foundation

Everyone at Great Harwood Cricket Club are thrilled that the club is in a position, for the first time in our long history, to have a local charity as our Lead Club ‘Sponsors’ for 2021-22

The Philip Maher Foundation are our Lead Club Partners for the coming season, as the club has taken the unprecedented step of supporting a local charity as our headline supporter. The charity will appear on our match day kit and training wear for 2021-22, in an effort to support the work of the charity as opposed to seeking to secure an income from such an arrangement as would usually be the case.

Both the Club and the Charity wish to make it perfectly clear that the Charity are not providing any funds to the Club within this arrangement. Every penny the charity raises is put back into our local communities via the installation of community defibrillators, renewing existing equipment which passes its expiry date, and training volunteers in their use.

Being the site of the 1st of the 21 defibrillators the charity has helped to install so far, we are proud to support their continuing work, which has seen our cricket colleagues at Rishton, Lowerhouse, Salesbury, Whalley, Oswaldtwistle Immanuel, Enfield, Padiham & Baxenden supported with secure cabinets and/or defibrillators.

When the pandemic hit us all, it was no surprise to us to see so many of our members join up to volunteer with Hyndburn Hub. Our club is full of wonderful human beings, who always do their best to support those in need, as well as our club. It is their generosity, both in terms of their time and their significant financial support, which has enabled the committee and the club to navigate our way through the most difficult period in our history.

This is an ethos which permeates throughout our club and its members, and we are delighted to be in the position where we can for the first time use our profile as a local sports club and community hub to support the profile of a local charity, and to help them raise money over the next 12 months through a number of events.

The Philip Maher Foundation branding will appear on our senior weekend match kit, and on our men’s T20 and ladies team kits. Additionally, training kit and casual wear will also bear the charity’s name as we look to help them continue their work and provide more defibrillators to local communities.

The Committee of the club has worked tirelessly over the past 12 months throughout the pandemic, and have made great strides in developing key facilities at the club. We are very proud of the facilities we have created.

We hope to see so many of you through the coming months as we emerge from this pandemic.

We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you find, on and off the field.

Launch of our Hawks Cricket Academy

We are delighted to add to our thriving junior cricket offering at Great Harwood Cricket Club by formally launching our Hawks Cricket Academy for 2021 and beyond.

Our junior cricket section is already thriving, with teams at Under9s, Under 11s, under 13s, Under 15s and Under 18s in the top divisions of the Lancashire Junior League. We also host a successful All Stars Cricket programme for 5-8 year olds, and will this year host a Dynamos course for 8-11 year olds for those newer to the sport.

The move to a formal Academy structure will help our club with our vision to identify and develop young talent, helping young cricketers to develop their skills, attitude and create a cricket culture that will enable them to develop into District and County cricketers.

Paul Newton takes over as Junior Cricket Co-ordinator

Our junior set-up goes from strength to strength every year, and we are also delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Newton to the lead role of junior cricket co-ordinator. He will work alongside Mick Deasey who will continue to support him in the role.

The Professional British Butler School sponsors the Great Harwood Hawks Cricket Academy

We are also delighted to have on board The Professional British Butler School as our lead academy sponsor for 2021. Wayne and his team are very passionate about the development of people in their work, and supporting the development of our junior cricketers sits hand in hand with their ethos of developing young people.

The Managing Director of The Professional British Butler School, Wayne Fitzharris, commented:

‘We’re delighted to support Great Harwood Hawks for the next 5 years and hopefully beyond. We are proud to be investing in the future of the club and our town. Kids deserve great life coaches and I’ve been amazed at how much effort our coaches put in.’

Club Chairman Stuart Maher commented: ‘We are incredibly grateful to Wayne and his team for his long-term commitment to support the growth of our Hawks Cricket Academy. Our already succesful junior teams will only go from strength to strength with continued investment in facilities, equipment and coaching.

‘Everyone at the club looks forward to working together to continue our sporting and personal development of our boys and girls.’

A View from the Balconies – An Update from Your Club Committee

A Review

What a year it’s been. Our country has rarely faced such a challenge, certainly in peace time.

I’d dare say no other committee of this great club of ours will ever face a year like it. And we all hope we never have to again!

We approached the spring and summer of 2020 with such optimism. Optimism that turned to worry, fear and despair in March, April & May of 2020. But, we were able to invest time in our club, providing a break from the troubles of life for so many within our community, despite all the restrictions the pandemic has imposed upon us all.

The club’s committee, its many volunteers, and everyone who has helped us over the last 12 months deserve praise for what we have achieved. We are indebted to club members and supporters for their financial support, without which we may not still have our club.

I have never been prouder to lead the management team behind our club than I have been in the last 12 months. What we achieved is nothing short of remarkable. Despite all our worries and fears, our club is better than it ever was. Our facilities continue to improve. We continue to be a community hub for all of our town.

The Future

We look forward to the 2021 season ahead with so much optimism. Many local businesses, notwithstanding the pandemic, are investing in our community projects, supporting what we do for the benefit of so many. More details will follow over the coming days and weeks.

Finances remain tight, but we will provide as much as we can for the benefit of our community. That is why we are still here. That is why we will always be here.

We hope to see many of you in the weeks and months to come. We will be there for our community. We hope you will be here for us too.

Stuart Maher, Club Chairman, Great Harwood Cricket Club

Captains appointed for 2021 season

The Committee of Great Harwood CC are delighted to announce the appointment of our team captains for the 2021 season.

Allan Armer

1st XI

Allan Armer has been appointed as our 1st XI captain, replacing Matt Oddie who stood down in 2020. The Committee would like to express our thanks to Matt for his service as captain, and wish him well as he returns to the playing ranks.

Allan has captained the 1st XI on a permanent basis before, most notably in 2008 when he led the club to its first Ribblesdale Cricket League title in 108 years. Stuart Maher has been appointed as his vice-captain. We wish them both every success in what we hope will be a season where normality returns to all our lives!

Paul Houldsworth

2nd XI

For the first time in our club’s history we have taken the decision to appoint joint 2nd XI captains in the shape of Russell Whalley & Paul Houldsworth. They bring a combined wealth of priceless experience as they are tasked with developing the next generation of 1st XI cricketers.

3rd XI

Richard Law-Riding will continue to lead our 3rd XI in 2021 and continue his work in developing our junior players into senior cricket in a competitive environmment.

Liam Noon

4th XI

We are also delighted that the continued hardwork of our junior section, led by our coordinator Mick Deasey and his cohort of brilliant managers and coaches, has neccesitated the introduction of our first-ever 4th XI, entered into the Lancashire League Third Divisions alongside our 3rd XI.

We anticipate that this team will allow those keen junior players the opportunity of more senior cricket, to help their development into the next generations of 1st XI cricketers.

We are delighted that Liam Noon has agreed to take on the role of our inaugural 4th XI captain. We wish him all the best for the season ahead.

Ladies Team

Our Ladies Team will once again be led by Vicky Cocken, as the team look to develop throughout 2021 having almost all of their 2020 season wiped out by the COVID-19 crisis

Thikshila De Silva to return as pro in 2021

The Committee of Great Harwood Cricket Club are delighted to confrm that we have again secured the services of professional Thikshila ‘Sanka’ De Silva for the 2021 season.

This is following his successful stint in 2019 and our mutual agreement that he would not be in a position to take up the role in the delayed 2020 season which has just concluded.

Sanka signs again!

In 2019 he scored 838 runs and took 51 wickets in all competitions, with his remarkable 141 against East Lancs the highlight of an entertaining season.

Chairman Stuart Maher said:

‘We are delighted to have secured Sanka’s services at this early stage as we look to plan for 2021 and beyond. It will help us with our ongoing planning and development needs to have him in place for next year and allow us to plan properly throughout the winter.’

‘His attitude from the day he arrived at our club has been nothing short of exceptional, and he has kept in regular touch with all our players since his return to Sri Lanka in September 2019.’

‘We fully believe that notwithstanding the current climate, whereby the very question as to whether we should even have professionals in our leagues has been widey discussed, we feel that he – and the many exceptional talents that have come before him – make such a difference to our club and had no hesitation in re-signing him for 2021.’

‘The example he sets on the field at both practice and in matches to all players, both seniors and juniors, is testament to what he brings to our club. He will continue to help push our players to improve their games, and we can’t wait to have him back with us in April 2021.’

The Graham Porter Challenge Trophy

Both Rishton & Great Harwood Cricket Clubs are delighted to announce that this coming weekend we will compete for the inaugural Graham Porter Challenge Trophy.

Graham has been a wonderful friend to both clubs, and his legacy had been invested by both clubs in their facilities in recent years. We are both indebted to him for all he has helped us improve at both our facilities in the last couple of years.

So with that in mind, and to carry on our ‘friendly’ local rivalry, we are delighted to have agreed 3 competitive fixtures taking place across the weekend of 18th/19th July.

The Graham Porter Challenge Trophy will have 7 points available.

A 3rd XI fixture held at Great Harwood CC on Saturday 18th July 2020 will be worth 2 pts to the victor.

On Sunday 19th July 2020, our 2nd XI and 1st XI will face off.

At Rishton, our 2nd XIs will face off in a contest worth 2 pts

At Great Harwood, our 1st XI’s will face off in an all-amateur match worth 3 pts

All matches will be over 40 overs and will start at 1.00 p.m.

The club with the most points at the conclusion of all 3 ties will take home the Graham Porter Challenge Trophy.

And the Trophy will be played for as annual event thereafter

We hope you can support our brilliant community clubs on what will hopefully be a brilliant weekend.

 

John Curran, Chairman (Rishton) & Stuart Maher, Chairman (Great Harwood)

Cricket is back! With a Talent Showcase, in Great Harwood’s Biggest & Best Beer Garden

We are delighted to be in a position to host some live entertainment for you this weekend, in what promises to be improved, sunny and warm weather.

We have not one but THREE games for you to enjoy, as we showcase our talented cricketers in an inter-club festival of cricket.

We start on Saturday from 1.00 p.m. as our junior cricket co-ordinator Mick Deasey showcases our Under 13s and Under 11s in a mixed battle, before our Under 15s & Under 17s face off from approximately 4.00 p.m.

Then on Sunday, our club Committee will show showcase our senior players as they take to the field in a ‘Young v Old’ battle. Our talented but youthful senior players will take on their experienced teammates in a 40-over battle commencing at 1.00 p.m.

The Green Cafe will be serving from our kitchens via the rear door on both days, and our bar will be open, and following our already-announced social-distancing measures.

We hope the weather will hold so that we can also showcase all our hard work which has gone in to the club during lockdown for the benefit of you all.

Clubhouse re-opening Saturday 4th July from 2 p.m.

We are delighted to be in a position to re-open our doors to our wonderful members and their guests from this Saturday, 4th July. Our Committee have worked wonders in their limited spare time to have our facilities ready for you to re-open from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday 4th July 2020

The club has not been sitting idly by in our imposed hiatus from cricket, and thanks to our volunteers significant areas of our club have been improved in recent months. We hope you will take time out of your weekend, or in the coming days and weeks, to come and appreciate all the hard work that has been put in for everyone’s benefit.

We re-open this weekend on Saturday only, but remain closed on Sunday owing to the lack of any cricket.

We will then re-open on Monday to Friday evenings from 6.30 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. to complement our junior and senior practice sessions which have been exceptionally well run since early June, closely following ECB guidance to ensure they have been conducted in an appropriately safe manner.

Now all we need is some proper cricket!

We have implemented safeguards and protections for the benefit of both our staff and our members and their guests, and we will undoubtedly learn from our initial re-opening and the service limitations and adapt these safeguards accordingly.

We will announce further information, including any amended opening times, on our social media feeds. We hope you can come and support your club. We rely heavily on our bar for our income to support all of our activities, and your support in these coming weeks and months will be appreciated.

Our aim – as always – is to provide a safe environment for our members and their guests. Our approach to COVID-19 has been no different. When you come to visit, you will notice a few keys differences:

  • Hand sanitisation stations will be available at all entry points to our clubhouse
  • In order to comply with our NHS Test & Trace obligations, on entry you will be asked to scan a QR code in order to provide your contact details which we will retain for a period of 21 days. Staff will provide assistance to any member or guest who requires it.
  • In order to maintain social distancing, our indoor capacity has been reduced to a maximum of 58 people. Table seating is restricted to 14 separate tables. Advance booking is therefore recommended. Please contact info@gtharwoodcc.co.uk to confirm your reservation
  • Members and guests must refrain from moving any tables or chairs. To do so will reduce the capacity available to us
    Service will be by table service only, both indoors and outdoors. There will be no service at the bar, for the protection of our staff at this time. Our staff will be on hand to take your order and keep you well hydrated.
  • Contactless payments by card is preferred, but payment by cash will be accepted.
  • Members and their guests are reminded of the strict social distancing guidelines:
    Indoors – there is a maximum of 2 households per table
    Outdoors – there is maximum of 6 people from any households at a table
  • Members must remain seated and are not permitted to move between tables due to government guidelines
  • Children are always welcome at our club, but all parents or carers or reminded of their obligations to ensure their children abide by all social distancing guidelines
  • All toilets are restricted to a maximum of two persons at any one time

We would also take the opportunity to remind everyone that owing to the terms of our licence, membership of our club is required to take advantage of our facilities. For more details, please see here: https://gtharwoodcc.co.uk/the-club/club-membership.html

We would remind all members and their guests that these rules are not imposed by us, but have been imposed upon us. Our staff will take time to get to grips with them too, so your support and understanding will be appreciated.

Any questions can, as always be directed to your club Chairman, Stuart Maher: chairman@gtharwoodcc.co.uk, or Secretary, Richard Law-Riding: secretary@gtharwoodcc.co.uk

We hope to see you soon.