Cricket in Oxfordshire: Get The Game On!
You played cricket in your youth, and really quite well. But over the years, and there’s been a few of them, you’ve moved away from it. Or maybe you’re in your 50s or 60s and feeling like it’s time to stop playing?
Well take a look at the Oxfordshire Cricket Board’s new initiative…Get The Game On.
The new cricket season has sprung into life and Oxfordshire’s many clubs have commenced their senior league fixtures in one (or in some cases two) of three principal competitions – the Home Counties Premier League, Cherwell League and the Oxfordshire Cricket Association League.
However, despite the enthusiasm that greets the new season, all is not well with the recreational game nationwide. Changing lifestyles, wet summers, cancelled fixtures, even the poor form of the England team are some of the reasons believed to be behind a 7% decline in participation identified in a 2014 national playing survey conducted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The Oxfordshire Cricket Board (OCB) is stepping up to play its part in a new initiative being launched by the ECB in response to this decline.
The Get The Game On campaign encourages clubs to find new ways to recruit players and volunteers. It highly values youth cricket in relation to the future of cricket. But at the other end of the age groups, the OCB has added an over 60s county team following the success of the over 50s, giving new motivation to the many older players still in the game.
Chris Clements, OCB Chairman said: “Cricket is unique amongst team sports in the wide age range that can play together in the same team. Competent juniors can transition to men's cricket at 12-13 years old and many veterans stay in the game well into their sixties and even beyond.
“Many of the bigger clubs in Oxfordshire run three or four league teams allowing a pathway up for youth but also an opportunity for older players to stay in the game. Any ex-cricketer looking to re-join the game is likely to find a level where they can enjoy competitive cricket.
"Alongside Saturday league cricket, the Sunday and midweek game is still popular in the county for those wanting a friendly fixture without the pressure of league points at stake, whilst at the highest level Oxfordshire is proud to field an over 50s and over 60s team in county competition where the standard of cricket is still impressively high.”
Bottom Image - Oxfordshire’s senior men’s team celebrate a wicket against Herefordshire
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