The Meaning of Life
(Warwick Univerity Staff and Graduate Cricket Club Annual Report 2012)
No-one could deny that there is always a vague connection between the activities of our club and the meaning of life, but this year there was a very precise connection: FORTY TWO, the meaning of life as revealed in the works of Douglas Adams, was also the number of games we lost to the weather in 2012. This was by a huge margin the largest number of games ever cancelled (the total has often been about a tenth of that number) and I feel particularly for those who were eligible to play for us for only the one year who came in this most miserable of years. Of course the weather affected all clubs and I have a particular memory of turning up to watch what was supposed to be our away game at Byfield. The secretary and skipper had prepared the pitch and considered it just about playable when a vicious little 10-minute shower arrived and ruined everything. This was May 19th and, like most clubs, they still hadn't played a league game. But there was a theory, difficult to test, that we suffered particularly with our transient membership because many potential players more or less gave up on cricket - and who can blame them?
Let us try to ignore the diverted gulf stream theory of climate change and assume that there is as much chance of 2013 being a brilliant summer as there ever was. We still, of course, have problems, mostly of recruitment. It is not just the variable nature and number of our transient population which is the problem. It was also pointed out to me (by my son Mike) that if you took the ten or so most "senior" players in the club, however defined, they made far fewer appearances in 2012 than ever before. In some respects the weather disguised our weaknesses: midweek afternoon fixtures were a particular example because they were attracting very low levels of availability. The decline of the gentleman as opposed to the player? We now have to deal with the endemic problem of recruitment in the post-Monnington era, in the absence of a Director of Sport who has played the odd game for us and was sympathetic to our problems.
On the field the season was far from being a disaster. In the Premier Division of the SNCL relegation was avoided with the points secured by a dramatic away tie at Marston St. Lawrence with a couple of games to go. Thus this was not as good a season as 2011, but it was better than 2010. In total we won 29 and lost 23: not bad at all. It was even the case that the recruitment of long term members was potentially up this season - one can only ever say potentially. I wouldn't go so far as to say that we have reason for optimism, but hope and determination are appropriate.
Finally, I would like to record our thanks to Sandeep Sandhu for his two years of Saturday captaincy. This year was obviously a difficult year what with the weather and some occasionally difficult administrative and personnel problems. But we should remember that under his leadership the club achieved its highest ever league position and won its only Wardington Cup.