This is an informal message from the top, a short exercise in raising awareness of our cricket commitment’s early this summer and appealing for your support. I finish with a competition.

Cricket seems to be getting ever harder to make happen. It only happens with a collective will, a team approach and support for the various people trying to lead within the club. The cricket committee – the selection committee, have gone to enormous efforts these early weeks to get league and Sunday sides out, this Saturday the first after the end of the local football season we had 10 league cricketers not available! Sundays especially though are proving a problem. More here later. My huge thanks go to all those plugging the gaps.

This also shows our resilience as a club, we do have increasing competition for places fellas and I fore see some uncomfortable selection decisions ahead once availability settles. Full commitment will be essential in anyone seeking to play regular league cricket.

We have the T20 season starting on May 25th- an evening tour match for which I have asked Craig and Will to assemble and lead the team and to put on a fine evening for our guests from Holland. Some sacrifice may be needed to play or just attend this mid-week match but it’s a chance to extend a welcome to other cricketers, put on a show, place HCC in a good light and enjoy our game. Please at least, just be there !

On Sunday May 28th we represent the county by hosting a qualifier of the SCF 6 a side cup. An early start on the day and I have begun to sound out HCC team helpers for the various aspects of putting on a great day’s cricket, ground set up, catering, bar, music, commentary, bbq, liaison with the clubs and not least the SCF . It’s likely we will be putting in two sides of 6 so the good availability of our league cricketers for what is a competitive day is essential- it’s a BH weekend you can rest up on the Monday! George and Harry will be leading on the field here and they will need your playing support. It’s a chance to earn a day at the county ground in September. Make sure you are available.

On that theme, Sunday cricket has been in steep decline for many years. The malaise appears to have finally struck Henfield. The Sunday IIs bolstered by an intake of young colts and their Dads are in good shape, hooray and big thanks goes to Ben Helps here, but we are presently nowhere near getting the Sunday 1st team out. Harry needs your support and I have asked he makes a big push for the next game which at the time of writing is Ferring away.

I simply detest folding cricket fixtures. It’s not just about the handful of HCC players who miss out, it’s the oppo 11 who miss a game, the groundsman who preps the pitch, square and outfield let down, the fixture secretary who toiled through the winter cobbling a fixture list together, thinking why did I bother – cricket is the loser. We tarnish our reputation. Let’s avoid these outcomes.

Lastly to the competition. I shall be asking a number of people throughout the summer to do their bit, lead and organise our cricket in some shape or form. Many have already taken up the challenge the tour, big bash nights and club day are brilliant examples of what can be done. The same individuals cannot be expected to do it all. Everyone has this capability if they have the will and desire to put something back in. An American President once said; ‘Ask not what my country can do for me, ask what you can do for your country’. A bit OTT for HCC perhaps but the point is made. I will stand a pint to the first under 30 who finds me at the bar and names me that U.S. President.

Richie Dale , May 2017