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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Bath University Venturers Cricket Club, 2011.

The 2011 Bath University Venturers Cricket Club AGM took place in All Bar One opposite the Guildhall in central Bath on Thursday September 8th. David, Alistair, Adam, Simon, Pete, Satheesh, Iain, Tom Robinson, Renju, Gregory, Alex, Chris Middup, Shashank, Chiran and Santosh turned up. Close inspection of the constitution reveals that not all of these are members; but there is no rule against non-members attending the AGM, and the necessary quorum of six was easily achieved.

The venue is large and not very crowded, but was noisy even after the staff had acceded to our request to turn the music down.

  1. Captain’s report

    We had a very successful playing season, especially in 20-over cricket. In that format we won 13 and lost only one: that was the first match, so we are currently on a run of thirteen consecutive 20-over (or less) wins.

    In 40-over or other (for us) long-form cricket we won 8 and lost 4.

    11 matches were cancelled (4 by the opposition and 7 because of rain): two more were rained off after the start.

    We think that this may be the Venturers’ most successful season in terms of win/loss ratio. However, the club is very old: we should ask Len Barry, who might know.

    At one stage we won 10 consecutive matches in all formats.

    Numbers were healthy. We never failed to put out a team, although we needed some help for the second match at Atworth, which was arranged at short notice.

    The highlight was winning the Bristol T20 tournament, for the third year running. As in the previous two years the decider was the last match, against Bristol Academicals. As last year it was settled by a partnership between Simon and Santha. The spectacular collapse of Bradford 39 when on the point of beating us also stood out.

    The captain was sometimes nervous about batting first as our approach tended to the flamboyant. The bowling was very strong.

    There were many 50s: two by Renju, starting with 70 at Kilmington; three by Santosh; one by Roger, who because of his knee was run out in almost all his innings, in the same old batting trousers; four by Shashank, who routinely demolished good bowling but was less good otherwise, especially his 1st-baller against Bathford; and one by Alistair.

    There was lots of bowling. Renju was dramatic and we enjoyed watching him from the field, except perhaps first slip. He removed, second ball, the borrowed star who spent the rest of the afternoon apologising to Bill Owen for getting out. Renju and Chiran together were stylish. Sometimes batsmen tried to see them off and were disappointed when we then unveiled Santosh… Satheesh… Ilyas… Kevin… Gregory…

    There were three 5-wicket hauls: Kevin got 5 for 6 against UWE, all bowled. The other two were sixes, both by Gregory: a rather uneven 6-46 at Priston and 6-18 against Holt. Lots of people got 4s. There were hattricks: Adam’s annual one, Kevin against Bill Owen and Santosh against Hay Hill. The leading wicket-taker was Gregory, who got 42 and would very likely have got to fifty but for the weather; but Kevin, Renju and Santosh were all in the 20s and several other people got about 15.

  2. Treasurer’s report

    The full report will be circulated later (it is now ready). We have £3227, a rise from last year of about £100. We still owe money for very old teas, possibly as much as £1500, and £250 for pitch hire in August 2010 and £200 for August 2011. We are owed about £216 in match fees and subscriptions, mainly on tabs run by reliable people. Our effective surplus is about £1491.90 as opposed to £1433.34 last year, so we made a net profit of £58.56. We have bought two new bats: their cost is included in these figures.

    The match fees and subs may stay as they are.

    Net fees raised around £190, of which £60 were spent an a bat, which broke. The new bats are being knocked in by the Treasurer’s wife, who is good at it.

    If the Sports Centre charge for nets, as has been mooted, we may have to change regime.

  3. Secretary’s report

    The fixtures list continues to evolve but there is little need for radical change. Having four fixtures cancelled by the opposition was disappointing. We note that the teams that do this tend to be clubs who also run Saturday teams: their Sunday friendlies are less important to them. We cannot be very critical as last year we several times failed to raise teams ourselves. Nevertheless, the number of such risky fixtures should perhaps be reduced.

    In general midweek fixtures are easier to come by than weekend ones, partly because there are simply fewer slots to fill. Members were urged to pass on contacts to the Secretary.

  4. Election of Officers

    Roger is standing down and was thanked for his great contribution to the club over several years. He hopes to play, if anything, rather more next year, but has taken on other administrative tasks.

    Simon was re-elected as captain, Tom Robinson as vice-captain, Gregory as secretary and Alistair as treasurer. After some discussion it was agreed that the post of webmaster could be combined with that of publicity officer, and Alex was elected to that post. It is open to the committee to co-opt more members if necessary.

  5. Other matters

    It was suggested that the duties of the captain should include appointing someone to write the match report. This year there were no match reports if Gregory was not playing.

    One bat is no good for matches but we have some new ones and there is little immediate need for more kit. We do need some more bails, including some heavy ones.

  6. Awards

    These are at the sole discretion of the captain. There is no pretence at democracy. Nevertheless, the captain is open to suggestions.

    • Best batsman: There had been several candidates, but the weight of opinion from those who saw his final innings at Rode persuaded the captain to give this award to Shashank, who had nominated himself.

    • Best bowler: Despite Gregory’s very large haul of wickets and Kevin’s low average and high strike rate, there was general agreement that the best bowler was Santosh. His duel with Hamish at South Wraxall was much closer than we usually get to real cricket.

    • Best fielder: Again there were quite a lot of candidates, and no real incompetents in the field. Santosh, David and Alistair all stood out but the award went to Santha for consistent efficiency. His runout to break the opening partnership at Priston was a case in point: there was nothing to suggest danger until it was too late.

    • Best newcomer: This was completely impossible to decide, in a when so many new players contributed. Simon didn’t even make a shortlist: the award is simply shared between everybody who is eligible.

    • Most improved player: Chris Middup has won this for the last two years and several others put in claims, but with his first fifty, followed immediately by an undefeated forty in a crisis against perhaps the best bowling we faced, Alistair established a strong claim; and several crucial catches and some effective bowling put the matter beyond doubt.

    • Best catch: There were several impressive ones. Santha against London & Country; Tom Rosoman against Bill Owen; Pete, also against Bill Owen; Simon against Hay Hill; Satheesh against Canal Taverners, turning the match but putting himself out for rest of season; Roger against South Wraxall; and Shashank against Kilmington. The winner, though, was Tom Robinson’s conclusive effort in Ilyas’s last over against Bristol Academicals, in the Bristol T20 tournament.

    • Champagne moment: There had been votes for Chris Middup, torpedoing himself against Hay Hill (“Three days it took me before I could take food again”); for Alistair rounding off the real cricket by catching Hamish off Santosh against South Wraxall; and for Santosh high-fiving the bowler as he departed to a perfectly astonishing catch as he tried to hit the winning ring agains hay Hill. In the end, though, for its context, Tom Robinson’s Bristol catch won this too.

    • Duck of the year: There was less competition for this than usual, and Santosh’s first-ball sign-off at Rode won easily.

    • Non-runout of the year: Alistair selected (b) against Bill Owen, whanging the ball madly at the stumps with the batsman stranded, but was outdone by Gregory’s utter confusion when a batsman used a runner at Bristol.

    • Fright of the year: Santha’s midnight email to Simon saying “Is Gregory all right? It’s all my fault.” (Gregory had been hit in the ribs by a medium-paced full toss and was completely unhurt.)

    • Sledge of the year: In order to keep the peace it was decided that only comments made by Gregory’s children about his bowling would be eligible. Naomi made some such remarks at Kingswood but Gregory rather limited her scope by bowling well. Alban therefore won, with his (entirely accurate) remark “that was rather a bad ball” after his father had removed Priston’s best batsman with a straight full toss.

    • Report of the year: Gregory. It has to be Gregory because nobody else writes them. This time he won it for the description of an Elgarian batsman who played for Canal Taverners, though the running gag about Renju’s cricket videos was also appreciated. By the way, the New Zealand classic “Bat Like Chris Martin” really exists (“Like Chris Martin, it’s out now!”): it may be found on Youtube.

    • Best teamaker: Chris Middup nearly won again for the same reason as last year. Paul’s blanket was much appreciated (it’s not edible but it does make serving tea easier. Alistair’s efforts against Bill Owen drew much praise, but he was beaten by his wife’s chocolate cake at the same fixture.

    • Best dressed: Roger’s trousers are a perennial favourite in this category. Santosh’s sunglasses and Alistair’s helmet also attracted attention. However, Ilyas’s trousers combined with various other accessories to form an overall look that gave unwary batsmen the strong impression that he didn’t really play this game. At least three people got run out after betting that he couldn’t throw.

    • Most dramatic fall when bowling: Chiran fell over in his delivery stride against Bradford 39, sliding down the pitch feet first, and thereafter bowled in Simon’s spikes. Renju fell over sideways against UWE, and his feet proved too small for Simon’s spikes. But the first and greatest fall was, obviously, the fall of Adam; it went far to persuading us that conditions against Bradford Schoolmasters were genuinely unplayable.

    And finally:

    • The A.J. Wolsthenholme Prize for Running Between the Wickets: For the second consecutive year this went to a mix-up between two Indians against Cardiff. But whereas last year Vijay won it outright, running himself out single-handed with Rashid a helpless bystander, this year the award went jointly to Santosh and Shashank. The run-out (of Santosh) was probably chaotic enough to win the prize on its own, but the matter was put beyond question by their highly entertaining row at the boundary. To get the best of it you needed some Hindi, but even Gregory’s, which is minimal, was sufficient. Roughly, each of them claimed that it had been his call, and then they both accused the other of having failed to say anything.
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