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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Bath University Venturers Cricket Club, 2017.

The Annual General Meeting of Bath University Venturers Cricket Club took place in the Saracen’s Head, Bath, on Tuesday 7th September 2017, vaguely around sevenish in the evening.

Present were, in no particular order, Jack, Bruce, Gregory, Chris C, Ben H, Imran, Matt, Simon, Jamie and Faisal. Rob sent apologies, as did Kapil, who was no longer in the country.

A beer called Barmy Army was available so we felt we had to buy some. It was all right. Jack and Bruce started talking football and were joined by Matt and Charlie before the meeting could be got under control. The Secretary was asked to note what the background music was at this point, but the note says “sterains og kpush”, which can’t be right.

  1. Captain’s report.

    In the indoor league we were successfully not promoted, winning three and losing three. We didn’t make the finals of the knockout either, for the first time for a while. Matt was the 9th most successful batsman by aggregate, 7th by average. Simon had worst economy rate of any bowler last year, and the best this year, as well as the best strike rate.

    In the summer, we played 21 matches overall, winning 10 and losing 11 whatever the web page may say. We had enough players, sometimes too many. We took 14 to the Bill Owen match, deliberately as they were short, and ended up with 23 players overall.

    There were notable wins against a strong Star side and against the Ram. The latter, by no means weak, made their lowest ever lowest ever score (48), and we won by 9 wickets. Our opening bowlers took 3 for 8 in their eight overs. Then again, Imran got 4 for 2 from his four overs once and we still lost. Bradford 39 had folded last year and Canal Taverners folded early in the season, leaving us with no match in Bradford-on-Avon at all. We gained new fixtures against Poplars and Bath Spa, both unusual matches in different ways. At the end of the season Bill Owen retired, taking his team with him, so this was the last of many matches against them.

    Except perhaps in the first match of the season at Kilmington we were never outclassed. We did outclass both The Ram and Bath Spa ourselves, but we don’t really expect that to happen again.

    The highest individual score of the season was Sunny’s 74 in the very last match, against Western Flyers. Sunny also made two other fifties, a 49 not out and a 45. Jack, twice, and Matt also reached 50: Charlie made a 47 not out.

    The best bowling figures were Ian’s spectacular 8-4-5-6 against Bristol Venturers. He also got a 3 for 10 and 3 for 6 (in three overs). Imran had some almost equally spectacular figures, notably 4-3-2-4, the two coming, off an edge, off the last ball he bowled; a 4-1-6-2 and a 4-0-9-3. Jamie got 4-3-3-2 against the Ram, while Jack took 4-2-5-1 in the same match. It all made Gregory’s 4 for 13 look rather expensive.

    Jack captained well in Simon’s absence, setting McCullum-like funky fields and handing the new ball to Gregory, who lost it.

  2. Treasurer’s report

    We were not as successful financially as we were at cricket. Lost £100, and now have a credit balance of £1400. (Actually that seems quite close to our on-field performance.) We bought a new bat, and a pair of left-hander’s batting gloves that Gregory found in a charity shop in Bridlington for £2.50.

    It was agreed to charge £5 for indoor league matches, so that we don’t immediately hand all the money to the league: this would yield £2 per player per match in theory, although as there are usually many newcomers it would be less in practice.

    There was a discussion about the fees charged by the university and why there is no staff discount for cricket, though there is for other sports. It was agreed that Jamie would talk to the Sports Training Village, although not much is expected to happen as a result.

  3. Fixtures

    We need a few more fixtures because Bill Owen and Canal Taverners folded this year and Bradford 39 and Rode folded last year. One suggestion was Downside. We should see what Bath Spa are able to do. Bear Flat and Bathampton play by peculiar rules of their own midweek, which are unpopular with some of our bowlers.

    Another side with peculiar rules is Poplars, but they have good reasons and the rule (six and out) applies only on their ground. A Sunday match against them was mooted, preferably at home as some of the more muscular members of the club doubted their ability to go all afternoon without clearing the ropes. That might seem unrealistic, but the ropes in question are quite close by.

    For two of our matches our opponents supplied pink balls. Enough people liked this that we should try using pink balls for midweek matches generally (this does not seem to be any more expensive that the other kind) although we haven’t played enough with them to be sure that it will be satisfactory in other ways.

  4. Recruitment

    We need more nets, both preseason and, if possible, midseason. We should exploit the match reports, which seem to be popular. The recent VR cricket that has appeared on the university web page (apparently cricket is all right if it isn’t real) is another thing we could exploit, by having a VR afternoon in which Jamie could face a virtual Jimmy Anderson and the rest of us could practice getting a virtual ball out of a virtual blackthorn bush.

    We should make the usual efforts to reach postgrads department by department, and to reach Indians. Gregory has a new research student who, though not a cricketer, is Indian: he will ask him how to to do this. Another thing is that there must be women who would like to play cricket, especially after this year’s world cup (there was some further discussion of that). One of the England team is an alumna: Ben suggested that he could contact her, although what she was supposed to do after being contacted was less clear. In any case, we should make it clear in our publicity that women are welcome and likely to find the atmosphere congenial.

    We could do with more catching practice, as we currently drop a lot of easy ones.

  5. Kit

    We absolutely need to have two club helmets. Otherwise we are pretty much fully equipped.

  6. Officers

    We simply re-elected everybody: Simon is captain, Jack vice-captain, Gregory secretary, Bruce treasurer (he has to be because it takes more than a year for a new treasurer to get control of the cheque book), Matt publicity officer and Alex web officer, and wicket-keeper sometimes if he can manage it, please.

  7. Awards

    • Sunny’s claim to be best batsman was uncontested.

    • Best bowler, in view of all those spectacular figures, was more difficult. Ian C, having the most spectactular figures and having, perhaps not much ahead of Imran and Jamie and Sunny, actually bowled best, won.

    • Best fielder attracted the usual nominations for Alistair and Ian G. Ben and Jamie were also named: Bruce, perhaps not very reliable when the ball is in the air, is surprisingly hard to get past on the ground. But Jack was consistent settled the issue with three good catches against Bill Owen.

    • Best newcomer: Faisal, Sunny, Ben and Mushtaque were all mentioned, but is probably appropriate to give this award to someone who is not also leaving, which rules out some of them. Jamie, consistent with bat and ball, won.

    • Most improved player: Ian C with the bat, and Bruce all round, were mentioned, but although the improvement had begun last year, Imran’s bowling came on by a large amount this year and he won the award.

    • Catch of the season: there were mentions for Bruce’s at Kingswood: it wasn’t especially hard, but he hadn’t actually taken a catch in a proper match before. (He has since taken more.) Jack and Imran both took good catches against Bill Owen, though Imran’s would have been a bit easier if he had been watching the game. Two of Ian G’s, one at the Poplars where he just got the fingertips of a glove to a ball looped over him and then held on as he fell backwards, and one where he over-dived and corrected in mid-flight, were also popular, but the general agreement was that it had to be one of Kapil’s at the Poplars. There was some disagreement about which, but the one-handed one at short mid-on won it.

    • Champagne moment: Ben’s samba drumming supplied something, though that was probably more of a caipirinha moment, but the general view was that the whole episode of the umpire felled by Sunny at Southstoke is unbeatable. Certainly somebody should buy the umpire a drink.

    • Best dressed: Ian G was stylish. Mustaque’s flat cap is individual and gives the usefully wrong impression to opponents that he isn’t quite used to this game. Charlie’s appearance in mufti against Western Flyers, though involuntary, was also noted; but Kapil’s shoes and pink gloves and bat won easily. It’s not just the luminous colour: it is the careful matching.

    • Duck of the year: there were actually rather few, though we made four at Bathford. Ejaz, getting absurdly stumped (off Simon) against Bill Owen, just after watching Sajjid do the same, was felt to be the most deserving recipient.

    • Most IPL-like player. Sunny had his moments, but the innovations of one-over spells and opening with a spinner led to Jack getting the award, for captaincy.

    • Best remark in a match report. There was a nomination for Mohammed Sami, who was quoted for his unimprovable description of a pink ball (“It is very bright and glows like radium.”) The general view, though, was that the description of the Fall of the Umpire at Southstoke “Just an elegant sweep like the hand of a clock from upright to supine” was the best thing.

    • Spirit of cricket award: this was hastily invented and given to Matt who, umpiring, signalled one short run when we needed three off two balls to beat the Star.

    • The A.J. Wolstenholm Prize for Running Between the Wickets: Matt was nominated for this too, for the same incident. So was Mustaque, crawling for the crease after falling over at the Glasshouse. But again the decisive move came, Froome-style, at the end: Sunny ran out first Matt; then all but ran himself out; and finally and comprehensively ran out Jack, all in the space of little more than two overs against Western Flyers.

Cricket bat and ball