Bats of Willow and Balls of Leather

The History of Burbage Cricket Club

The New Millennium

The astute management of the club's funds by Alf Malkin, Fred Pearson and Peter Caddy during the 1970s/80s enabled the club to provide finance towards the erection of the artificial wicket and nets at Hastings High School in 2001. T.S.B. (Trustee Savings Bank) shares had been purchased which provided interest payments twice a year and two hundred of these shares were sold for this purpose With the provision of the new net facility professional coaching was now possible in controlled surroundings. The club engaged the services of Ann Wood, at the time a member of the coaching staff of Leicestershire County Cricket Club at Grace Road. The nets, however, have given rise to difficulties for the club. Although all the relevant approval was sought and received from the school and county council, complaints have been made by residents about the noise on practice nights, not vocal noise — the sound of ball on bat! After several meetings with local environmental health officers from the borough council, agreement has been reached on the number of nights and the length of time that the nets can be used. This is very disappointing; especially in view of the efforts the club is making to give youngsters a worthwhile sporting pastime and keeping them physically active.

Around the year 2000 there was much disillusionment among the clubs concerning the management of the South Leicestershire Cricket League and the way it was run. This resulted in changes to the League structure and Burbage played in the Leicestershire Cricket League for the 2000 and 2001 seasons and then joined the Leicestershire Senior Cricket League in 2002 where it remains and takes an active part. The end of the 2002 season saw both first and second teams winning promotion to higher divisions. Unfortunately these performances were not repeated the following season and Burbage has remained in the lower divisions of the League.

To enable as many members as possible to play cricket, the club joined the Nuneaton Thursday League in 2004 as some members found that family and work commitments prevented them playing at the weekend. The club's performances in that League have not been outstanding.

The League continues to make additional demands on clubs and all Premier and First Division sides are required to have sightscreens. The Parish Council kindly provided a compound in 2005 at the rear of the pavilion so that this equipment could be stored securely.

At the AGM in 2005, Ian Crisp welcomed Keith Towers to the meeting. Keith had accepted the invitation to become the Club President marking his 46 years involvement with the club.

Junior sides have given the club some success during the past few years. In 2005 the U13 team were cup semi-finalists and the first winners of the Fred Pearson Memorial Shield given by Tony Martin for the Outstanding Performance of the season, and last year again the U13s were runners up in their

League. In 2006 the U15A team were semi finalists in the County Cup, beaten by Sileby who went on to win the County Championship, and they also won their section of the League.

The history is almost complete, but the story carries on - the club continues to look forward, supporting junior players to come through the age groups to play in the senior teams. Club finances, always a problem, continue to be a cause for concern whenever increasing costs have to be met. A spectacular Gala Day is planned for August 2007, a joint effort with Cross Keys footballers, to raise funds for both clubs.

In closing we would like it to be known that any money raised from the sale of this book will be donated to the Burbage Cricket Club and the Burbage Heritage Group.

From the minutes of the meeting held on 13th April 1970.

"Mr Malkin was asked to write a letter of thanks to the anonymous gift donors"