Around Scotland - October 2015
Around Scotland - The end of the domestic season might have drawn to a close, but there is still plenty going on behind the scenes across the country.
Selkirk Cricket Club – Replacement Artificial Wicket
Following successful funding bids to Clubsport Borders, Cricket Scotland and Scottish Borders Council, Selkirk CC were able to progress with the replacement of the existing artificial wicket. The existing wicket had been in place for over 20 years and had become badly worn, bounce was irregular and the facility had basically reached the end of its useful life.
The new artificial wicket mat was installed in late April prior to the start of the 2015 season. The following benefits were a direct result of the new facility
Numbers at net practices increased both at adult and junior level. Confidence in the bounce being regular saw an improvement in the development of batsmen. Net practice could take place when the weather was damp. Games were played on the artificial wicket which would have been cancelled due to weather. The old wicket was not in a state which would have allowed games to take place. Games which went ahead which in previous years would not have taken place include
- A Saturday East League fixture
- A midweek Border 20/20 fixture. This fixture resulted in a very exciting, high scoring game with over 300 runs being scored
- An end of season Colts social event including a Dads v Lads and Lassies game.
- Net practice for juniors has continued after the normal season has ended. This keeps kids interested longer and hopefully will result in them returning next season. Numbers at the late net sessions were very healthy.
- Indoor net sessions at the High School during winter have just commenced and numbers – around 15 for first two sessions – are higher than previous years (no more than 10). This is as a direct result of having continuity between the summers/autumn outdoor sessions and winter nets
- A schools Festival took place early June and whilst most cricket took place on grass we were able to use the artificial to help in the session.
The benefit of having a good level surface with a true bounce allows batsmen to have confidence in playing shots, resulting in them improving at a faster pace. Bowlers also benefit knowing that they can bowl and get a true bounce.
The facility has resulted in an increase in numbers albeit this tailed off late in the season as other sports seem to start their season earlier each year.
The Club is indebted to the bodies whose funding made this project possible and hopefully the facility will continue to allow cricket to develop.
Machan rewarded with new Sussex deal
Scotland and Sussex cricketer Matt Machan has been awarded a three-year contract with his home-town club.
The Brighton-born left-hander made three centuries in four-day cricket, making his career-best score of 192 against Somerset at Taunton. Machan also smashed a century on the opening day of the season at Hove, against Worcestershire, with his other ton coming against Nottinghamshire at Horsham.
The Scotland International also hit 377 runs in white-ball cricket, with his unbeaten 52 against Hampshire helping the Sharks to a stunning NatWest T20 Blast victory at the Ageas Bowl, as he and Craig Cachopa put on 144 for the fourth-wicket.
Machan said of his deal at Sussex, “I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve played at the club since I was 10 and to sign for at least another three years is fantastic.
“I obviously want to play for Sussex and I feel the club is moving forward with a young squad. Three years definitely gives me that security to try and become a real senior player at this club, and to kick on next year and win games of cricket for Sussex.”
Sussex’s Professional Cricket Manager Mark Robinson said, “Matt had a very good year and learnt his lessons from a hard 2014 season. He’s got everything in place to become a very dangerous player in all competitions. As a homegrown player, he’s the type of character and player who will carry us forward in the future.”