The Brigands is such a special cricket club of which we can all be very proud. We are inclusive, enjoying friendly, mixed ability, mixed age group cricket. We hold fast to the Corinthian spirit for while we pursue a competitive and close-fought game, it is one in which we seek for all players, Brigand and opposition, the opportunity to shine. A game in which the trajectory is to the wire and a final over nail-biter!
Thus, we aim to be the curators of traditional cricket, enjoyed by players and spectators alike, and in so doing, to celebrate the virtues of the finest ball game yet invented.
It is important for us to recognise that we provide a place in the cricketing sun that is different from regular local club cricket which is generally focussed on league performances. We offer something different and valuable and, I think, inspiring.
We have the privilege to play at one of cricket’s most beautiful and iconic grounds. Indeed, we share stewardship for this historic venue with the Broadhalfpenny Down Preservation Trust. This is a vitally important partnership - one we will continue to develop - which serves not just our members, but the wider cricketing community, including future generations of cricketers.
Following our successful “250” season, the Brigands are very much on the map. Both the ECB and the wider cricketing community have a better appreciation of whom we are and what we do - and can do - for the game. We have a “wicket-taking” website and this is helping drive our ability to raise our profile and raise funds.
Our club has benefited greatly from the many Brigands who give their time and energy to ensure cricket is alive and well on the Down. I’d like to thank Bryan Burns who has just handed the reins of the umpires’ union to Clive Barnett, and Graham Inglis who has now handed on Club Secretary to Richie Hay. Ray Holyer has offered to take on running the scorers’ roster, which will make the task of the Match Manager a little easier while Guy Ladenburg is the new Honorary Fixtures Secretary.
2023 promises to be another exciting season and I have every faith that we will continue to be a club that makes all who come to the ground feel welcome be they players, wives, partners, kids, parents, friends, past players, or just those passing by. A game of cricket on the Down, with a fine tea between the innings, is so much more than the sum of the 22 players. The great game we play relies for its success upon a host of officials and supporters - the umpires, scorers, match managers, sandwich makers, and cake bakers – as well as the many spectators who line the ground of an afternoon, or evening.
It is a privilege to be Chairman of such a fine club. I wish you and yours a happy festive season and all the best for the new year.
This article is an abridged version of that published in the Brigands Newsletter