| Chairman’s Report to AGM 12/12/2011|
This is the second annual report to Devon Cricket Board Ltd. Last year having reported on our governance I thought this year’s I would concentrate more on the successes of Devon Cricket than our administration.
Devon County Cricket Club won the Western Division and went on to win the Minor Counties Championship. This is a remarkable achievement when you consider where they were at the half way stage, they managed to retain a winning formula whilst making team changes, that to everyone’s delight included a large number of younger talented Devon cricketers. In addition to the County Club’s success, the girls under 15’s were national champions. The boys under 14’s were runners up in their National competition and the under 11’s won the Taunton Festival. It is encouraging to see our women’s senior side playing in Division 2 which I am sure will help attract and retain our own talented players that will help raise the standard of women’s cricket in the county. Looking at individual performances it is also really encouraging to see Heather Knight maintain her standards as a full England player. It also gives us great pleasure to see Tom Allen, Adam Dibble, Lewis Gregory and Chris Metters taking opportunities in the first class game and making some telling contributions. At the same time, Craig and Jamie Overton, Jodie Dibble and Amara Carr have all been selected and working with the England elite programmes. This is an achievement that many of the larger first class counties would be delighted with and is a great credit to the Devon Youth Association, Devon Coaches Association and the County Club in ensuring continued opportunities for young players to go on to greater things.
Other award winners this year were Perry Sprung, he was awarded Coach of the Year for cricketers with disabilities and Trevor Griffin was also Coach of the Year but this time for Chance to Shine, our congratulations to both of them and also to the Coaches Association. Julian Wyatt, John Pitts and Matthew Wood have undertaken a full review and proposal to improve winter coaching for our young players with the emphasis strongly moving to improving skills. This has been well received by coaches and managers alike and we look forward to improving the standards and results of our age group sides on top of an already successful product.
There were some other changes during the course of the year. The Year Book moved into colour and achieved many praiseworthy comments for its new format. The website continues to be a fantastic arm of communication for cricket across Devon developing Facebook, Twitter and online scores to enhance the communication across Devon for all ages.
As with all organisations there are at times occasional areas of disharmony. I have some concerns about organisations wanting to withdraw from the website and there are still improvements that could be made in the player pathway with older children. Our strength has always been our collective abilities , anything that compromises this should be challenged. If we could do as well off the pitch as we achieve on it we would surely be an even more formidable county.
We’ve also seen this year, to great credit of the Devon league and our CDM and CDO, the initial meeting of a Grounds man Association that is now fully operational with 4 pitch inspectors and local advice available to grounds men and clubs across Devon. We look forward to improvements in our playing surfaces and out fields which once again can only improve the quality of cricket played. We have also completed our five year development plan for which our CDM is to be congratulated – a sound document that will help us through an uncertain economic future
Much of what I have described is built on the vast amount of work undertaken by an army of volunteers in clubs and other organisations across Devon. Together with the commitment of our professional staff this makes a brilliant partnership of which we should be proud and I pay tribute to all of them.