Club News - 15 July 2020

I hope you are all well.

I just wanted to reflect on progress since my last update and on the return to cricket this weekend.


It was an incredible sight on Saturday to see cricket matches played again at the ground. Starting with Youth matches in the morning and inter-club senior game in the afternoon it was a hugely positive day. A definite step in the direction of a slow return to normality after covid-19.  The responses from players and observers at the ground on Saturday and again with the ladies game on Sunday has been overwhelmingly positive.

There is more cricket this weekend with more youth games and senior sides with league games on Saturday and a friendly on Sunday.


It was so good to see members enjoying using the bar again. As I set out in earlier updates the coronavirus guidelines are tough to implement and things won’t return to normal for some while. Despite this however huge thanks must go to a number of people who in particular made Saturday and Sunday possible. Firstly Bruce for comprehending and then applying the new guidelines for bars. His son, Thomas, who built the Perspex screening across the bar. To Sian and Betty for working behind the bar; their first times for Odiham. Steve Benford for painting the bar railings ready for the weekend.  Also to everyone who came along and, by and large, stuck to guidelines without question.

Next steps

This is a challenging time for the club as we try and return to some form of normality both on the cricket and social side.  I said earlier that the gradual increase in bar opening would be aligned to cricket for now because this is the logical and practical step to take - for now. Understandably members are concerned. This is not, as some feedback has unhelpfully suggested an attempt to distance or downgrade social membership. I understand people’s concerns but I’d like to stress that whatever the club is doing right now is to ensure a steady and sustainable future for the club post coronavirus. Also, it is easy to underestimate the measures and controls that need to be in place to run a bar service. Many pubs have only just opened for that very reason. It wasn’t easy and it won’t be for a while.

More bar opening

With my previous paragraph in mind I am pleased to announce an extension of the bar opening hours after last weekend’s success and with more volunteers on board. So:

The bar will be open tonight from 6.30 pm; then Saturday and Sunday from 2pm.  Each time , closing will depend on how busy the bar is and availability of volunteers.

Please remember the coronavirus guidelines with social distancing, maximum group size and to sterilise your hands before and after using the toilet.

Cricketers – equipment and bags   

A reminder that for matches and practices sessions all players need to leave their bags and equipment in their cars, if possible. Failing that, please leave them away from the club bar veranda area possibly near the scoreboard.

Long Sutton

It’s slow progress getting Long Sutton open again. The work to remove the risk of legionella infection from the pipework started today with a contractor arriving to risk assess and then flush the system to kill any bacteria. Hopefully, it’ll be finished on Friday.  Long Sutton pavilion therefore is ‘out of bounds’ . Please let me know if you need access.

Sadly, the pitch mower for Long Sutton is no more. We need to source an affordable replacement.  With Steve Spreadborough’s work commitments meaning he can’t commit as much time to the ground as he used to we need help to maintain the ground and pitches.  Please volunteer if you can..


Finally, another thank you to the overwhelming number of you that have paid your membership fees without quibble and knowing that this season isn’t as full as we’d hope. The committee are working hard to make sure you get as much value as you possibly can from your membership


Club News - 7th July 2020

I hope you’re all well.  This is an important update for the club.

Return to cricket - matches

At last ! A green light of sorts for a return to recreational cricket.  I’m really pleased to announce that senior and junior cricket matches will be played again at Odiham. For seniors this will definitely be by Saturday 18th July, possibly sooner if suitable opposition can be found. 

I reported earlier that league fixtures have been scrapped but since then a couple of proposals have been put forward for local clubs to play in a smaller more localised competition.  For Juniors matches there is a huge amount of planning already underway and their matches may start even sooner.  More news and details to follow.


We have received a lot of enquiries about our plans to re-open the bar and I’m pleased to say that we are opening on Saturday. I’d like to stress that we would have preferred to have opened sooner but the announcement of opening for pubs and restaurants by the government was accompanied by a whole raft of controls and restrictions that we simply weren’t in a position to implement, until now. 

We will open from 4pm. There will be limited access to toilets. 

As I’ve stated before things are far from returning to normal and this means that we are taking a gradual and careful return to bar service. You will notice additional requirements in place such as notifying who is in each group using the bar for Covid traceability purposes . Also, to begin with there will be a restricted range of beers and drinks available to buy.

Please support us by following these rules without question and make the club a great place for all.

Bar staff

I’m particularly sad to report that after careful review of the club’s finances, the reduced bar income caused by the Covid-19 lockdown and the resultant ongoing restrictions on social gatherings,  it is apparent that the projected bar takings would not be enough to sustain paid bar staff.  For this reason we have had to make the difficult decision to make our staff and bar manager roles redundant.  

This is sad news and I’d like to take this opportunity to express our huge thanks and gratitude to Donna, Des and Bruce for the years of hard work and dedication. The financial contribution from the bar during their tenure has been considerable and has enabled the club to pay the ongoing loan payments from the rebuild and the essential operations for running the cricket club. We wish them all the very best in the future.

Moving forward, the bar will be operated on a voluntary basis, which will better suit the limited times and circumstances that the bar can open.  To begin with bar opening will be aligned to cricket , either matches or training.  

If you are interested in volunteering to help with the bar then please let me or Bruce know.

Long Sutton

For users of Long Sutton just to warn you that there may be some additional delay before we can use the pavilion, while we arrange legionnaires disease testing on the plumbing.

Treasurer role

Since David Smith stood down at last year’s AGM we have been unable to find a volunteer to step in. I therefore advertised to outsource professional help and I’m really pleased to announce that Elle Matthews from Accountability will be taking on the role.  Sian Taylor is continuing to do most of the day to day financial activity which means that Elle can focus on preparing our accounts, VAT returns, and give the financial stewardship we require. David, is continuing to help when he can for which we are all very grateful.


Several people have offered to help with various tasks and activities to get the club running again. I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ll be in touch soon. We still need volunteers to help, not least with maintenance around the grounds and in/out of the pavilion.

Thank you for your continued support. I know many of you have paid your membership fees in the knowledge that this season will be limited. This is critical. The costs of the club have continued and only last week we incurred a £500 cost to repair a leak in the car park area. Further costs will be incurred with the deep cleaning/chlorination required as we emerge from lockdown.

Thank you once again. 

Cricket is back! Let’s really enjoy the rest of the season.


Club News - 29th June 2020

I hope you're all well.   I'd like to give you the latest update on the club's progress through to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and a mix of news, good and sad.  


New website !!!!!

I'm really pleased to announce the launch of our new club website. It's here:

Work on the website started well before the delays caused by the pandemic. Although there are still a few minor improvements to be made, we really hope you enjoy using this site. The idea is that this new website will gradually become the principal place for news for OGCC and that you can enjoy regular updates about your club.  More news on the website to follow later over the coming weeks. Thanks to Chris, Liam, Andy, Bruce and Andrew Barber for all their hard work and ideas. 


Alan Laycock - Club President

Because Alan is still struggling to overcome serious illness he has reluctantly decided to step down as Club President. This is sad news, indeed . Alan has been a very successful club president and as well as being a loyal and staunch supporter, he is also an outstanding ambassador for us. We wish Alan a speedy recovery.  The management committee will now begin to consider Alan's successor. 


Bar - Easing the lockdown 

We are all no doubt following news on the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions in particular those that might relate to our club bar and a possible opening on 4th July.  To set expectations there are some 30 + pages in a document issued by the government covering restrictions and guidance relating to opening bars and it will take time for the club to understand these, let alone implement the necessary controls, if we can.  As and when the bar will open again will be notified as soon as possible. As mentioned in our last update please do not expect things to be as they were;they won't. 



It's been fantastic to see a return of cricket to the club this week with both senior and colts training taking place.   All sessions have been well attended and thanks again to the coaching teams for getting these sessions organised so quickly and still meeting the coronavirus guidelines.   

A reminder that training is available to paid members only; not least, because this is a requirement of our insurance providers. 


Treasurer and finance 

I have had to try and outsource the main aspects of the club treasurer role, given that David will definitely step down at the end of the season. It's important that throughout this journey we have expert financial stewardship. We have identified a likely company to do this work for us. They are local; they have an interest in cricket, and we are meeting them on Wednesday to finalise details.   

Undoubtedly the virus has had an impact on our finances and we are trying to save costs where we can. There are some difficult decisions to be made.


Cricket - Hampshire cricket league

This week the Hampshire Cricket league confirmed that this season has been cancelled. Remaining league fixtures can be played as friendlies if both clubs agree, which we will be seeking to do if at all possible.


Fundraising - Spot the ball

Phil Thomas is running a very successful spot the ball competition. Our target is £1000. Details are on, or will be very shortly, on the new website. Please support this. Its great fun and helps the club.




Social Distanced net practise starts after Lockdown

Slowly but surely, signs of normality are returning to Cricket after the Covid-19 Lockdown and "Social Distanced" training has begun at Odiham & Greywell Cricket Club!