Keswick Cricket Club is on the cusp of another season and, with the easing of lockdown at an earlier and more advanced stage than was the case last summer, the initial signs are that 2021 – fingers crossed and coronavirus allowing – will prove to be even more successful than last season’s shortened but highly enjoyable campaign.
Weather and ground conditions permitting, an opening pre-season 40-over-a-side practice game against Wigton will be played at Fitz Park tomorrow at 1pm, writes Keith Richardson.
But the “normal” conditions and protocol that the club will be playing under for a large part of the season, certainly until late June, will apply from Saturday April 17 when the club will stage an inter-club match, again starting at 1pm, when all the facilities that were available last summer will kick in, this following the lockdown significant date of Monday April 12.
And then on Saturday April 24, there will be a full dress rehearsal for the first XI season when Keswick first XI take on their counterparts from Carlisle in a 50-over match played under new rules that now include power plays.
The club’s second XI also has a home pre-season friendly game against fellow Eden Valley Cricket League (EVCL) club Rockcliffe on Sunday, April 25 (2pm).
The second team’s opening league game in division two of the EVCL is against Penrith III at Fitz Park on Saturday May 1 (2pm).
The first XI’s season in the Premier Division of the Cumbria Cricket League (CCL) also begins on Saturday May 1 when the team travels to Haverigg.
The opening first XI home game follows on bank holiday Monday (May 3) when the first XI entertain Wigton in the Higson Cup.
The club held a very successful pre-season working party at the ground on Easter Sunday and was grateful for the additional help from members of Keswick Lions.
A strong, mutually beneficial bond is being developed between the club and the Lions.
In all respects, the club is now geared up for the season to come. New practice nets are to be installed, together with new mobile canvas covers, carrying the logo of principal sponsor O’Reilly Wealth Management on April 12, and Sri Lankan professional Geeth Kumara, who has had his first vaccination in his home city of Colombo, will arrive mid-April and go straight into quarantine for 10 days.
Filming of matches will begin on the opening 1st XI home game on May 3.
A new clock is soon to be fitted to the front of the pavilion and will bear the club crest and the name of the late “Boco” Barnes, whose family donated the original clock to the club.
As a final touch to the general appearance of the pavilion, hanging baskets are to be displayed to give the building a summery feel.
Hopefully, the club will continue to blossom on the back of all this enterprise during 2021 and for many years to come.