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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Bath University Venturers Cricket Club, 2013.

The 2013 AGM of Bath University Venturers CC took place in the Saracen’s Head, Bath, on Monday 9th September.

The meeting began at 7:15, when the two separate parties in different rooms of the pub had found one another.

Present: Agam, Chris H, Chris M, Gregory, John, Matt, Murali, Simon and Tom.

  1. Captain’s report.

    We were second in the indoor league, which would in theory earn us promotion. Roger is on the league committee and declined on our behalf, with some force. It also earned us a small trophy, which Roger, in his capacity as wicketkeeper, dropped and broke. It was pointed out that at least it did not get squashed by a bus, as happened to the Copa del Rey when Real Madrid dropped it. We could probably beat Real Madrid at cricket, too. We won four of our five matches, losing only to the division winners. Alex made 61 runs without being out and would have been top of the averages if he had been out. He also bowled a wicket maiden. We had more batting and bowling points than any other side and lost fewest wickets, but had the largest number of people out Hit Root. Roof. Roger, who usually didn’t in fact keep wicket because we had the Wiltshire under-16 keeper playing for us (John ran him out), was 4th in the bowling averages.

    In the main season, we won eight and lost only one “long” (40-over or timed) match, the sole loss being to Rode. Two were washed out, three cancelled by the opposition and one, at Kilmington in mid-season, cancelled by us. The problem then was not so much raising a team as getting it there, as few of the drivers could play.

    In 20-over cricket we won 8 and lost 11, including three losses to Bradford 39 (plus a fourth in a final 10-over slog). Three of the wins were in the Bristol T20, which was preceded by six straight losses in the format and followed by three more. Two 20-over matches were rained off, and two cancelled by the opposition: in one of those cases it rained anyway.

    The batting was led by John, Richard and Matt but several other people contributed helpfully. There were ten scores of 50 or more (and a 49): three each for Richard, who did it in his first four innings and was out first ball next time, and for John, and one each for Matt, Rasesh, Kevin and Chris S. One of these was John’s hundred, the first for the Venturers for several years and we think perhaps the first ever in a 20-over match. In fact that match was reduced to 16 overs, and we are really fairly sure nobody has made a hundred for us in a 16-over match before.

    The bowling was not so dependent on a few people, and therefore more reliable. There was only one five-wicket haul, by Anand against Bristol Venturers. There were four four-wicket hauls: by Gregory and Yameen in the same match against Bristol Academicals; by Anand again; and by Prasanth, an improbable collection against Atworth, where he didn’t bowl well but was lucky. Nobody bowled badly (except Prasanth against Atworth). Kevin, Chris H, Matt, Agam, Sanket all bowled well. So did Prasanth (except against Atworth): you can be lucky once or twice, but when you take a wicket every nine balls all season, you have to be doing something right. The fielding was mostly quite good, Aby’s four catches in one match against Bristol Academicals being a highlight. There were a few proper cricket catches, mostly by Agam and Arvind.

    There were two century stands, both between John, who made eighty of them, and Matt. The highest overall score, though, was 207-9 against Broughton Gifford. This featured, as well as serious contributions from Kevin and Sanket, an unlikely innings by Anand that included a six and one of two small DRS issues: the other, at Bradford later, involved Agam, as a bowler.

    The most notable wins were the two against Bill Owen: in the first of these we beat them by one wicket for the third time in five years, with Simon at the crease every time. The worst defeats were by Rode, and all the matches we played in Bradford-on-Avon, though Atworth and Amdocs (formerly Cramer) weren’t great either.

    Generally, everybody contributed.

  2. Treasurer’s report

    We had a net cash inflow of £490: we are owed another £180 from various sources so our overall income was £670. Our outgoings are more difficult to quantify precisely but we have made an operating loss of around £300. This is not in itself a problem, as the club has cash assets of around £3000 (some details from 2012 are still not settled). Various ways of improving our current account were mentioned, and it was felt that the cash pile might be better spent on nets than on running a deficit during the playing season. A flat £20 membership fee for staff only was one suggestion. The Treasurer proposed raising the match fees from the current £4 for evening matches and home matches, and £6 for away weekend matches, but this was rejected as unnecessary.

    A discussion about recruitment and nets arose from the Treasurer’s report: as this was a later item on the agenda we agreed to come back to the topic.

  3. Secretary’s report

    The fixture list is fairly stable and does not require much attention. Next year we should pay more attention to the VAT rules, so as not to have to play a match against a fictitious shell cricket club from Liechtenstein for tax reasons. We should play Broughton Gifford twice if possible. Buckhorn Weston may be impractical: it rained, but we would have had difficulty getting the team there if it hadn’t. We didn’t try to play on Bank Holiday weekends, which was just as well. The second Bill Owen match needs to revert to its usual early August date to avoid conflict with course deadlines.

    Other suggestions were that we could, if necessary, host the T20 tournament (Bristol had some difficulties with the venue), and that we should try to add Cardiff to our fixture list outside the tournament.

  4. Election of officers.

    Simon was elected captain, Gregory secretary, Chris M treasurer and Alex publicity officer. Chris H and Kevin were elected as vice-captains.

  5. Recruitment and kit

    Some more kit is needed, mainly bats and bails.

    We believe that what we do is socially useful, even though that is not the main purpose. The club is a mixture of staff and students, locals and visitors. Apart from holding the AGM in a pub, we do not depend on alcohol, which makes us possibly attractive to some who might find many clubs off-putting. Of course the reverse is also true. We should make the university aware of this, at some level: a start has been made by explaining what we do to the PV-C (Internationalisation).

    More immediately we should make more use of our Facebook page, linking to the University Facebook page(s) and to appropriate groups such as postgrads: a Bath Indian Facebook page is thought to exist, although it keeps moving. We need to promote ourselves actively, especially in Management and Engineering, where there are many students from cricket-playing countries. There is a University sports fair at which we should try to be present. It should help us that in order to play for us you do not need kit, you do not need to pass a trial and you do not have to pay a membership fee.

  6. Awards

    • Best batsman. Matt, commended for “twerking the ball down to fine leg”, Agam and Richard were all mentioned but John was clearly the winner.

    • Best bowler. The leading wicket taker was Gregory and the best average and strike rate (occasional bowlers excepted) belonged to Prasanth: Richard (again), Chris H, Aby and several others bowled well. The winner was Anand, very effective in English conditions if less so when the weather became hot.

    • Best fielder. Agam and Arvind caught good catches but Aby, who caught lots of them, was the winner. Many people had nominated Simon, who is unlikely ever to give himself such an award.

    • Best newcomer. As usual there were many, but Chris H stood out in this category.

    • Most improved player. This award is frequently won by Chris M, who deteriorates sharply every few years to compensate. This year Aby, Matt and Agam, who all improved markedly as the season progressed, were mentioned, but the award went to Chris M. His cricket is no better than last year, but his treasurership improved no end during the year.

    • Catch of the season. Agam’s and Arvind’s proper cricket catches were notable, and several of Aby’s were good. The two most striking, though, happened in successive overs against Stirling Dynamics, in near-darkness at Filton at the end of the season. The first was by Ian, a very low catch running to his right from extra cover, picking up a lofted drive that had cleared mid-off by some way. The second was Gregory’s left-handed effort running from mid-on to behind the bowler, which appeared to be well out of reach. The sheer improbability of this catch won Gregory the award.

    • Champagne moment. The last of Gregory’s three successive cuts to win the first Bill Owen match by one wicket was one candidate. Twice we moved fieldsmen into a position where a catch went immediately, which was very satisfying (especially as we caught them). The winner, though, was collectively winning the T20 tournament again.

    • Best Dressed Player. Matt’s holed jumper and Roger’s torn trousers were nominated but both have won before. The pyjamas that Aby played in made him a contender, but the purple shirt and the red stain incurred as specialist ball polisher won the award for Prasanth.

    • Duck of the Year. John ran himself out first ball against Bristol Venturers and would have been a strong contender, except that he was on the second run. Nikhil showed how it should be done, running himself out on his Venturer’s debut without facing a ball at all, but in any case Matt’s splendid first-baller, also against Bristol Venturers, was unbeatable. At that stage he needed 4 for an average of 100, so historical precedent required him to make a duck; but the timing, as his grandfather and girlfriend unpacked rugs and prepared to sit down and watch him bat, was perfect.

    • Most Shane Watson-like player. Chris M, for his big front pad and inspired use of the DRS.

    • Most IPL-like player. Arvind tried to play this way but didn’t connect with the ball often enough. Rasesh did, and is a clear winner.

    • Best comment in a match report. This always goes to Gregory, who writes all the match reports. Notable remarks this time were the description of a Stirling Dynamics player as “unlikely-looking”, which apparently annoyed him, although if you field in a Breton striped T-shirt you have only yourself to blame; the description of the attempted and notably unsuccessful sledging by Bristol Academicals in the T20; and Gregory’s use of the word “crepuscular” to describe his own catch against Stirling Dynamics. This last was nominated as the most obscure word used in a match report this year, just ahead of “comminated”. The award was given however, for the description of John’s mother, raising one foot to allow her son’s cover drive to pass under the bench she was sitting on. The award therefore goes to John’s mother.

    • A.J. Wolstenholme Prize for Running Between the Wickets. John might have been a strong candidate anyway: “I was involved in seven run-outs. Only three of them were me.” In the event, his effort against Bristol Venturers made it a formality. He hit the first ball of the match to cover, who dropped it. According to witnesses “It was lying at his [cover’s] feet and [John] tried to run two”. To this should be added his running himself out for 49 in the first match of the season, when he suddenly realised that there were five overs fewer to get the runs than he had thought.

The meeting closed at 21:20.

Cricket bat and ball