"Cheshire can look forward to an exciting 2024," according to Chair, Jim Law, speaking at the Club's 2023 AGM after his first year at the helm.
"Off the field, good progress, but room for improvement," was the verdict as Law highlighted the challenges around administration and finance, citing the need for greater sponsorship and support in tough times. “Cricket’s an expensive business and we need to work hard to maximise our commercial opportunities.
"As ever, our small group of volunteers will dig deep to try to attract new blood to add dynamism and flair whilst upholding the County's principles and proactively addressing the NCCA and ECB's 21st century requirements."
Law thanked the Club's officers for their constant support highlighting that the new management committee of Pete Babbage, John Petch, Stuart Anderson, Julie Rafferty and Andy Newton had worked well.
Ingeborg Bevers had also added considerable value behind the scenes and was elected to the General Committee.
Law also focussed on the closeness of the Club with the Cheshire Cricket Board. "We were delighted with the ECB's commendation of Cheshire cricket as a whole this year," he said.
There was recognition for the work behind the scenes by the coaches with an "ongoing programme to evolve the pathway from age group cricket through the Second XI to the senior side."
Recognition too for the loyal group of members and supporters following Cheshire cricket across the country and a commitment to enhance member communications.
On the field, Law felt Cheshire were well placed for the year ahead after an 'interesting' year badly affected by poor weather. "There could have been a trophy in the cupboard but as it was we ended up staving off relegation! Bizarre but we have a strong side with great camaraderie."
A major focus for 2024 is managing the Second XI alongside the senior side. Coach Stewart Macleod is joined by Cheshire Cricket Board's Gavin Colbourn who oversees age group cricket. Both will work closely with Head of Cricket, Pete Babbage.
Seniors’ representative, Ian Brown will now have an additional side in 2024 with the introduction of an Over 50s 2nd XI (there are already two Over 60s sides and an Over 70s team).
The 1st XI will be led by Harry Dearden for the KO Trophy and Western Division Championship matches (with coaching support from David Wainwright) and Sam Perry steps up to skipper the T20 side.
Cheshire County Cricket Club 2024
Patron: T.D. Briggs CVO MBE KStJ
President: David Bailey
Chair: Jim Law
Vice Chair: Andy Newton
Hon. Secretary: John Petch
Hon. Treasurer: Stuart Anderson
Jim Law (Chair/Marketing), John Petch (Administration), Peter Babbage (Cricket), Stuart Anderson (Finance), Mrs Julie Rafferty (Governance & Safeguarding)
Jim Law (Chair), Andy Newton (Vice Chair), John Petch (Secretary), Peter Babbage (Cricket), Stuart Anderson (Finance), Mrs Julie Rafferty (Governance & Safeguarding), Stuart Macleod (2nd XI), Ian Brown (Seniors), Ingeborg Bevers (Communications support), Harry Dearden (Championship /50 Over Trophy Captain)
Honorary Life Vice Presidents: John Pickup, Tony Percival, David Sharp, Derrick Hastings, Elise Scrimgeor, Keith McGuffee
EDI representative: Di Babbage
Membership representative: Judy Bailey