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.

1st XI vs Bacup (h)

We complete the 2020 Lancashire Cricket League season by welcoming Bacup to Cliffe Park.

2019 saw Bacup leave with 10 points after edging a close game by 39 runs

1st XI vs Rawtenstall (a)

Our 1st XI travel to the Worswick Memorial Ground to face Rawtenstall in the Lancashire League.

GHCC will be hoping to repeat last year’s result where we were victorious in a fantastic game that saw Thikshila de Silva’s 82, Allan Armer’s 56 and Stuart Maher’s 38* helping us to 251/7, before a spirited fightback from Rawtenstall seeing them fall just 3 runs short in a game that went to the last ball.

1st XI vs Enfield (a)

Our 1st XI travel to Dill Hall Lane to take on Enfield in a local derby in the Lancashire League.

GHCC will be hoping to improve on last year’s result, which saw Enfield take maximum points.

1st XI vs East Lancs (h)

Today’s Lancashire League fixture sees us host East Lancs at Cliffe Park.

Last year’s fixture was one of the highlights of the season, with Thikshila de Silva’s 141 with the bat and 4/13 with the ball supporting a comprehensive 76 run victory for GHCC.

1st XI vs Church (a)

Our 1st XI travel to Blackburn Road to take on Church in a Lancashire Cricket League fixture.

1st XI vs Haslingden (h)

Our 1st XI host Haslingden at Cliffe Park in the Lancashire League.

2019’s fixture was rained off without a ball being bowled, with both sides taking 3 points.

1st XI vs Littleborough (h)

Our 1st XI host Littleborough at Cliffe Park, in what promises to be a competitive fixture.

We will be looking for a better result than 2019 where Littleborough left with maximum points

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)

1st XI vs Rishton (a)

Today’s game is the small matter of a local derby, as our 1st XI travel down Lee Lane to take on Rishton at Blackburn Road.

Thanks to the Lancashire League fixture compilers for putting this one on a Saturday!  Tomorrow is a write off, whoever wins.