You know the drill. You have an article in your head and it just won’t go away. It probably won’t melt the internet or net you a million pounds but it just sits there and refuses to budge.
Well, this is it. Left-field, a bit of fun and three ideas for cricket thrown in for good measure! If you like it, please share it!
This article was originally written in 2020 and then updated for the 2023 season.
Cricket Club Twinning Scheme
If you haven’t heard of Toilet Twinning, it helps families living in poverty with clean water, basic sanitation and education around hygiene.
It got me thinking that there could be a cricket version of this to offer support where it’s needed.
How many cricket clubs would like to twin with another?
It could be a donation to support clothing, coaching, facilities or equipment.
Of course, there are already impressive charities out there such as Cricket Without Boundaries who grow the game and encourage health messaging and social change.
Much like the Toilet Twinning concept, with my idea, a cricket club would get connected with a cricket club in another country.
Down the line, you could encourage a partnership between the two linked clubs with players and coaches going between the two, fundraising and learning from each other.
It has happened organically over the decades between some clubs, usually with a player having played overseas but this could have huge benefits.
Towns are twinned, toilets are twinned, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito were twins (back in 1988) – why not cricket clubs?
Cricket Mower Loan Scheme
If there’s one thing I’ve seen time and time again across grassroots cricket, it would have to be the knackered mower.
Held together by grease, rust and goodwill, allied with hundreds of hours from the groundskeeper, these things deserve their own museum. Thinking about it, people might actually pay to go see them.
The reason that cricket clubs are often lagging behind in the latest models of grass manicuring equipment stakes is cost.
There have been grants for everything from broadband to sightscreens, I don’t recall seeing much assistance for buying a new Mega 3000 Grass Muncher – but the current ECB County Grants Fund does
You could be looking at £5,000+ for a new mower so it’s no wonder there’s a roaring second-hand market.
One solution would be a cricket mower loan scheme where clubs don’t have to invest in the full purchase of a mower.
They’d loan it for short periods and it could be shared with local clubs. Some clubs do this already.
Yes, there’s the issue that groundskeepers all work on their beloved pasture at different times of the day and week, plus the transportation conundrum, but no problem is insurmountable, especially given the number of clubs in close proximity.
The good news too is that companies now offer used machines and even loan schemes so there’s more flexibility in the market from trusted suppliers.
Cricket Teas Delivery Service
So, we arrive at my specialist subject. The one I would absolutely smash out of the park, if I were invited onto Not-Remotely-A-Celebrity Mastermind.
We all know that cricket teas vary enormously at clubs. Some do it begrudgingly with a player pegging it to Morrisons to raid the bargain bins.
Others (and I miraculously gravitate to these) bake cakes that are majestic works of art.
They wheel out warm sausage rolls that demand you balance as many as possible like an edible game of Jenga.
So, why a cricket tea delivery service? Link up with a local bakery if you don’t already.
Well, it might free up volunteers’ time (if they don’t want to bake all week), improve the overall quality of cricket teas in your league and crucially, support local businesses.
If your cricket club has won ‘Best Cricket Tea of the Decade’ since Fred Trueman was in shorts, nothing to see here, as you were. (Though you might want to enter the Cricket Yorkshire Tea of the Year).
But, for those clubs who don’t want to do it or haven’t got the volunteering oomph then this is an alternative.
Yes, there’s a cost but it’s about convenience vs cost and can this time-intensive task be outsourced?
You’ll see lots of clubs doing a version of this already with pizza companies setting up ovens or catering vans on matchday, often a canny sponsorship deal can be done that benefits everyone.
Of course, there’s a simple run to a supermarket but food costs are they are, that’s not always as cost-effective as you might think.
One outcome from Covid has been quite a few clubs continuing the ‘bring your own’ strategy which works and cuts out time, cost and effort.
I’m still bagging the drum for cricket teas everywhere though I get how club volunteers like the idea of scoring that off their enormous list of things to do.
What do you think of my ideas? Got any of your own?
So…that’s it from me. I’ve wanted to write it for ages and it was therapeutic to unleash on the keyboard.
If you could do anything to improve and support the grassroots game, what would you do first?
What is the game missing at grassroots that could make an impact?
Leave a comment below or get in touch on Cricket Yorkshire’s Twitter or Facebook channels.
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