Cheshire Over 50s are looking forward to the 2023 ECB County Championship, having wintered well... with unprecedented indoor nets!
Going into his second year as skipper, Andy Bennion also points to an influx of new players as ground for optimism.
“2022 saw very little in the way of squad refreshment and it was important that this Winter we raised the profile of the 50s to make sure we're reaching as many players as possible to build the pool and create competition for places.
"Nine players have come forward which will give us a welcome headache when it comes to selection.”
Bennion was at pains to mark a ‘moment in time’ as Tim Jackson, Cheshire 50s Chair, is standing down as a player.
“Tim is still an unbelievable wicketkeeper and a powerful mid order bat, but has recognised this as a time to step aside. He ends with 52 keeping victims, double his nearest rival for Cheshire 50s. Well over half of those were stumpings. His 1,051 runs put him 11th in the all time standings. A true all-rounder.
“In 2022 I set a modest target of finishing top of the the table and to at least push a first class county close. In beating Derbyshire in the final game we achieved both and that with a washout in a favourable position against Cumbria”.
“This modest target must be upped in 2023. An influx of new players will hopefully give us a chance of competing to get into the upper reaches of the North group and maybe a crack at the knockout stages. What the new players will give the team is youth! The newcomers are all just 50 or 51 and that has got to have an impact in the field – such a vital aspect of senior cricket”.
England’s Over 50s have just lifted the World Cup in South Africa, led by Lancashire’s David Snellgrove. “I would like to think that some of the Cheshire lads are thinking in terms of pushing to be part of that. It looked an amazing experience for the England lads. What a thing to be part of at our stage in life!”
The season starts with outdoor nets at Alvanley on April 26th and two friendlies on the following two Wednesdays, both at home, against Staffordshire and Shropshire.
The Championship kicks off at home to Derbyshire, with other home games against Northumberland, Notts and Durham.
Away trips this year take the team to Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Inge Bevers, the 50s’ fabulous scorer usually has games on live stream and with live scoring.
There is also a healthy presence on Twitter @ccc50s
Full Cheshire CCC Over 50s 2023 fixtures here
2022 results here
2023 Table here