Chairman’s message for 2023

This weekend sees the first full weekend fixture card following the 2s getting us underway last weekend. The 2023 season promises to be an exciting one for many reasons.

The 1s are back in WDCU Premiership 2 (second tier) following their promotion last summer. This is where they belong and I firmly believe they have nothing to fear at this level. The teams look very even on paper and with some welcome additions to the team/club (more on that later) mixed with some older heads and exciting junior talent, they should be in for a good season.

The 2s are in WDCU Championship 3 and got off to a flier with a big win against Clydesdale 4s on the opening weekend. Qasim’s team should be securing promotion and player availability is likely to be the main obstacle.

This summer will be the first to see Accies play in coloured kit. Huge thanks to our shirt sponsors Dallas McMillan Solicitors for their generous donation towards the new kit. Please get in touch with any questions about Dallas McMillan, their work, or sponsorship of the club. We hope to welcome them down to a game or two in the summer.

We are also very grateful to Moray Artificial Grass as match ball sponsors. Both sponsors are invaluable to the club and allow more funds to be directed to coaching and facilities to the benefit of all members.

We welcome back opening bowler, Farhan Shah, to the club. His experience will be invaluable for the 1s and to our junior quicks. We are also delighted to welcome Sameer Zia to the club as player/coach.  Sameer has played for some of the top clubs in Scotland as well as being a full internationalist with UAE. He is undertaking his Level 3 coaching badge and will be a huge asset for the club both on and off the pitch. We also benefit from coaching guru Vedam Hariharan. Hari has been with the club and Academy for decades and is a wealth of knowledge having played and coached first class cricket in India and abroad. I would encourage all players to engage with the coaching team and ask for help and tips.

Another welcome back is the return of match teas. I for one am very happy! Teas are a great tradition of our game and a chance for both sides to chat and socialise away from the middle. I would remind all players that every player when playing at home needs to provide a tea for two (i.e. themselves and an opponent). This would be ideally be sandwiches/wraps/other savoury snacks and cake/biscuits. A home made cake (Fritzy sets the bar high) or home baked pakoras (Suraj & Shaan last week) are even better. Obviously, remember to think about and cater for all dietary requirements. We may not beat the teas of Galloway, but I would like to think we can at least provide a good second place!

I would also take this opportunity to remind all players the need to play within the Spirit of Cricket. The Code of Conduct can be found on the website and I would encourage players to take the time to remind themselves. Accies has a great reputation as a team who play the right way and I would hope that this continues for may seasons to come. The offseason was dominated by EDI and the publication of the Changing the Boundaries report. All players and coaches must continue to be vigilant and bring to the attention of captains, umpires or our very own EDI officer, Nelson Cummins, any cases of racial, sexist, homophobic or other forms of abuse. The club must continue to be a welcoming environment for all.

Subscription forms will be coming out soon, so look out for an email from Colin "Dobs" Dawson and do please pay promptly. It costs The Glasgow Academy in excess of £300,000 a year to maintain the grounds and clubhouse for use by the school and all affiliated adult and youth sections of multiple sports (Cricket, Rugby, Hockey, Athletics etc…) Your subs are a small fraction of those costs but combined are vital for the running of the Glasgow Academical Sports Club and our specific Cricket section. If anyone has any difficulties please speak to your captain or another committee member.

Finally, a moment to reflect following the tragic demise of Poloc CC after 145 years. Most clubs survive on the strength of its members and the hard work of a handful of dedicated volunteers. Do not take the club for granted. Ask yourself if there is more you can do for the club as we are always looking for willing volunteers to help out. It is your club and many hands make light work!

Good luck to all players representing Accies this summer.

Richard Andrew