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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Bath University Venturers Cricket Club, 2010.

The 2010 Bath University Venturers Cricket Club AGM took place in All Bar One opposite the Guildhall in central Bath on Wednesday October 13th. Not quite eleven people were present, as has happened rather a lot this year: Simon Shaw, Alex Willcocks, Alex Cox, Tom Robinson, Chris Middup, Gregory Sankaran, Paul Snow, Roger Peabody, Santha and Alistair Brandon-Jones. We just fitted round a table, so perhaps it was as well that nobody else turned up: anyway, the quorum is six.

  1. Captain’s report.

    Not the most successful season. In 40 over games we won four and lost six, with one abandoned. In 20 overs we won eight and lost seven, with one abandoned. The main trouble was that on six occasions we had to cancel 40-over fixtures because of not having a team, including both Winsley games; on a seventh occasion the opposition did the same before we could.

    The leading batsman in terms of runs scored was probably Roger, although records are incomplete, with significant contributions also from Richard, Kevin, Iain and Rob among others. The leading bowler in terms of wickets was Simon, followed by Gregory, Kevin and Santha. Nobody took very many catches but the fielding generally was competent. The wicket-keeping duties were shared by Roger, Alex C, Simon, Alex W, Alistair and briefly Iain, all of whom performed well. Richard made three fifties and Roger two, and there were three five-wicket hauls, all by Simon. There were also two hat-tricks, in consecutive matches, by Adam and Simon.

    High points of the season included the one-wicket win against Bill Owen, the two-wicket win in the delayed last match of the Bristol T20 tournament, and improbable wins against Canal Taverners and Bradford Town. Low points included a bad defeat by Bradford 39 and our batting performance in the last two matches, against Pedigree and Rode.

    We are not losing many players this year, although Alex W may perhaps have left before next season, but it was noted that Paul Wilson has left Bath. He seldom played for us but was a regular at the winter nets, ran our occasional fielding practices, and helped several members of the club with technical problems, often to very good effect. The meeting expressed our thanks to him for his help over several years.

  2. Treasurer’s report.

    The Treasurer himself was unwell and unable to attend the meeting. He had left a report with the Secretary, which was read out and discussed briefly. The club’s financial position is robust, although a large uncertainty remains about when, if ever, we shall have to pay for teas. There are unpaid bills dating back to 2007 in some cases, but only one invoice was ever received and the cheque written to pay it was never presented. There are still unpaid bills for this season (these are in fact smaller than was believed at the time of the AGM), but it appears that the club has broken even over the year. The system of tiered membership fees worked well, with members apparently grading themselves appropriately and paying at or above the agreed rate.

    It was proposed, and agreed by the meeting, that membership fees should continue to be £10-£40 depending on status and that match fees should remain at £4 for evenings and £6 for afternoons, and £1 for nets. The only uncertainty arises from teas again: this year we were permitted to make our own teas, but that was an arrangement for one year only and it is uncertain what will be agreed next year, although we and others would like the present arrangement to continue. It may be necessary to impose an additional charge for teas at home matches if we are obliged to buy teas from a supplier chosen by Sulis.

  3. Secretary’s report.

    The fixture list is reasonably stable. Radstock College has folded and one or two other fixtures may not be repeated next year, although it was agreed after discussion that there are none that we wish to drop ourselves. There was some discussion also about the best time and place for certain fixtures. The secretary asked for suggestions for possible opponents should more be needed, and pointed out that this year was unusual in that we did not have any matches against touring sides. Favourite fixtures include South Wraxall and Bill Owen: the latter are celebrating their fortieth season and some thought was given to how to mark this.

  4. Election of officers.

    Simon Shaw was re-elected as Captain and Gregory Sankaran as Secretary. Rob Branston is standing down as Treasurer and Alistair Brandon-Jones was elected in his place. Alex Willcocks is likely to leave before or during the 2011 season and therefore did not wish to stand again as Vice-Captain, and Tom Robinson was elected in his place. Roger Peabody was re-elected as Webmaster and Alex Cox was also elected to the committee and given the role of publicity officer.

    The meeting thanked Rob and Alex for their service to the club as committee members. (Rob at least hopes to continue playing for the club.) Simon described the Monday morning message he used to get from Rob asking how we got on, which was referring to collecting the match fees rather than anything to do with cricket.

  5. Recruitment.

    In view of the problems raising teams there was a long discussion about this. There are two parts to the question: how to raise teams from the pool of players for each match, and how to recruit new players to the pool. For the former, a diary in the form of Doodle might help. For the latter, we should ensure that we reach people in all parts of the university, including in particular departments where we have currently no members, in suitable social groups such as Indians, and among the non-academic staff.

  6. Other business.

    Our supply of kit is broadly satisfactory. We should buy a new bat or two and some left-handed batting gloves and thigh pads. More pads would also be good. Somerset County Cricket Club send us a lot of paper, most of it useless, but they do offer umpiring courses, which we might be interested in, and some information about their matches. We should perhaps play on Saturday on the weekend they play at Bath, to leave us free to watch them on the Sunday.

  7. Awards.

    These are at the discretion of the Captain, which can introduce some distortion.

    • Best Batsman: Roger, for consistent contributions over the year. Richard perhaps batted even better but played only a few games, though making a big contribution when he did. Tom Robinson and Kevin Robinson were also mentioned, as was Chris Middup, in particular for his willingness to open

    • Best Bowler: Gregory, again for consistent contributions, but perhaps partly because of the distortion alluded to above. According to Simon, Gregory’s bowling looks particularly impressive when viewed from long-on. Indeed, it looks like Graeme Swann’s when viewed from a sufficient distance, say about a hundred and ninety miles, and, because of Hubble’s constant, like Shoaib Akhtar’s if viewed from a billion light years away. Simon also mentioned Paul, Kevin and, reluctantly, himself as competitors, as well as Tom Rosoman and Stuart.

    • Best Fieldsman: Alex Cox, keeping wicket. Why not? Simon pointed out that wicket-keepers tend to get overlooked, and Alex has done a fine job keeping, especially standing up to Simon and Gregory. Several others were mentioned, including Simon himself, Alistair, and our eight-year-old stand-ins Alban and Xander, who reliably stopped the ball. We don’t always do that.

    • Best newcomer: Santha. Bowled some good spells and generally fine fielding, especially just behind square-leg. There was some question as to whether Tom Robinson could be counted as a newcomer. Iain Argyle promises much for the future as does Chris “the gasman” Smith.

    • Best Catch: Tom Buckley, full length diving Collingwood-esque effort against Cramer, all the more impressive for its unlikeliness. Chris M had a couple of one-handed efforts and Alistair a sharp one-handed effort against Holt. Generally, we caught competently rather than spectacularly this year.

    • Most Improved Player: Chris Middup, for the second year running. You should have seen him in 2008.

    • Best Sledge: last year this was won by Alistair, so this year the award was given to the to us anonymous eleven-year old who sledged him back, saying, roughly, “don’t worry about my batting, you concentrate on your bowling as it needs it”.

    • Tea-maker of the year: Chris M for his interpretation of what constitutes enough sandwiches for him and one other. Runner-up was Alistair for his roast-beef with pesto, tomato, mozzarella, … sandwiches.

    • Champagne moment: winning the T20 in a soaking match ten days late, after being apparently doomed. Other candidates were Adam’s hat-trick against Holt, the annual one-wicket victory over Bill Owen, beating Bradford Town with a team including three players unknown to the captain, and Gregory getting stumped for the first time since “the days of Johnny Rotten, Idi Amin, Kerry Packer and Virginia Wade.”

    • Report of the Year: Gregory, not surprisingly since he writes most of the reports, for his description of Mr Hyde bowling for Bill Owen and celebrating Roger’s wicket with “a bellow like a brontosaurus stepping on a drawing pin”.

    • Best-dressed player: Mark, now permanently known as “Hat-boy”. Roger’s batting trousers would have won against most competition, but the hat carried all before it.

    • Duck of the Year: Gregory again, for the one or perhaps two he made at South Wraxall (The Revenge of Hamish). Santha’s first innings for the Venturers received an honorable mention both in this category and the next one, but was not quite lunatic enough to win either.

    • A.J. Wolstenholme Prize for Running Between the Wickets: Vijay, run out by four yards against Cardiff in the Bristol T20 after ignoring Rashid’s call for a second run, starting, stopping and finally falling over, although if both batsmen had been wearing spikes there would have been time for a third.

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