Nearly 26 years ago Cricket Club magazine published an article about High Wycombe Cricket Club. Over two decades later it is refreshing to discover that the club is still going from strength to strength.
The Buckinghamshire side are currently unbeaten in the Home Counties Premier Cricket League and sit top of the table. But the success of this club starts in its highly successful club house, and with its youth teams.
Club secretary Gavin Elliot told us: “In youth we mean boys and girls who are the lifeblood of the club. We have 150 boys and 30 girls which is forever expanding.
“We start off with dress code. All players, be it junior boys, girls, ladies & seniors have the same training kit and playing shirt so that they all have the same identity.
“Many teams, one sport, one club.
“More recently James Benning came through the ranks here and went onto play professional cricket at Surrey & Leicestershire and has now returned to play in our current 1st XI. There are a number of juniors who we have high hopes and with our U13s winning the National Club Championship last year there’s a good chance that there will be more to come in the future.”
The club has also made the most of its facilities, boasting an array of money making outlets within its clubhouse.
“Our turnover continues to increase even in these poor economic times and we have for the past 10 years focused on our commercial side as much as the playing side.
“Our upstairs function room, The Balcony Suite is booked out most Saturday’s throughout the year and during the working week, and our member’s bar downstairs, The Richard Morgan Bar is open 365 days a year. Turnover to March 2012 for the club was £500k.
“Last season we were voted the top club for overall facilities in the Home Counties Premier League and we expect the same again. We set very high standards on and off the field at the club and as such have seen an increase in turnover year on year. The ground and wickets continue to be
as good as anyone and maintained expertly by our groundsman Robin Baker.”
But this is not a cricket club that has lost sight of its important role in its community, and is making strides to reach out to those who are interested in the sport.
“Our Director of Cricket, former Glamorgan & Sussex pro Keith Newell is going into local schools including 3 special needs schools which is part of our programme to run Disabled Cricket.
“Our Ladies and Girls teams are in their second season and membership on this side is increasing at a
faster rate than the men’s side. Only last week we held a Kwik Cricket tournament for secondary schools and had over 80 girls here playing competitive cricket for the most part the first time.”
Asked what his hopes for the future of High Wycombe Cricket are, Elliott concluded: “To have a 3rd ground, Ladies playing in the Premier Women’s Leagues and development of the girls & disabled sections. Success throughout the teams, winning leagues at all levels but most importantly to continue our high standards and commitment to cricket overall.”