This is a time of year where our membership is spread far and wide; some to the reporting of other sports, some following live matches from all hours in the UK, some travelling to series and tournaments in different parts of world. I hope you’re all in good shape.
Huge thanks to those who came to the Annual Lunch this year and helped to make it a memorable and high-spirited occasion. Dave Fulton again hosted it with warmth and wit (and quick-wittedness too, in getting Nasser Hussain up on the stage! Thanks Nass, what a good sport), and Mark Baldwin’s organising committee were brilliant in pulling it all together. We’ve had no end of positive feedback, and the fact that many were still there when the venue started cleaning at 8pm, and carried it on in the pub until closing, is testament to the spirit of the occasion.
As always, old friends were catching up, and hopefully a few new connections made. All our award winners were in attendance too, with special guests to present their prizes, including World Cup winner Liam Plunkett. So thank you to the Awards Committees, and in particular those members who worked hard to ensure the people who needed to be there, were there. There is a more detailed report from Mark later in the bulletin.
I’d like to draw your attention to the ECB Domestic Cricket Journalism Awards, which recently opened to entries from individuals, newspapers and websites. These awards are now in their 8th year and carry an appreciable level of prestige. As well as entering yourselves, please do make your organisations aware that excellence in coverage of both the men’s and women’s domestic game is recognised in this way. Please note that where ‘County Cricket’ is mentioned in the award descriptions, it includes both men’s and women’s domestic cricket, so encompasses Kia Super League coverage too.
Winter well and have an enjoyable and safe festive season.
SECRETARY’S REPORT - WILL MACPHERSON
New membership applications keep trickling in, and it is great to see the club expanding. Please keep them coming by sending the new membership application forms to me, or firing any questions about membership my way.
Dialogue (through Vish and the Chair) is ongoing with the ECB about making our press boxes as safe and inclusive as possible. We are also looking at developing a student membership to help give young journalists a leg up (the workshops run by Bruce Talbot for the ICC during the World Cup were a success, and we will be looking to repeat next summer), and keep a flow of young members coming into the club.
More to follow at the AGM. Until then, get in touch with any queries.
TREASURER’S REPORT - MARCUS HOOK
The CWC’s finances remain in a sound position, due to the continued and generous sponsorship of the Club by William Hill and The Lord’s Taverners.
With the Annual Lunch being the CWC’s most significant financial undertaking, I would like to thank Shilpa Patel for all her help with the taking and co-ordination of the bookings. The introduction of “early-bird” prices for members’ tickets and media tables also worked very well and helped immensely in terms of cashflow leading up to the event.
I still have some CWC ties available for purchase - £21.40 including postage. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, a couple of reminders. 1) For those Full or Associate members who have joined The Cricket Writers’ Club since the end of April, please can you ensure you pay the initial £30.00 membership fee. 2) Associate members of longer standing - Associate Membership is now £30.00, so don’t forget to amend your standing orders.
ANNUAL LUNCH - MARK BALDWIN
Many thanks to all Members who have contacted myself or other members of the sub-Committee to provide (overwhelmingly positive) feedback on the Annual Lunch at the Marriott Grosvenor Square on October 2. As ever, all comments are welcome and - overall - the sub-Committee was very pleased with the presentation of the Lunch given all the issues which understandably had to be addressed and worked through at this new venue in a very short time following the sudden revelation six months’ earlier that the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel was to be closed down for major renovations.
All CWC Members should be very appreciative, in particular, to the considerable efforts again this year of both Shilpa Patel and Marcus Hook, which ensured all ticket deliveries, menu choices and table plans were dealt with in a highly efficient manner. As ever, the majority of Members were helpful in getting their ticket orders/menu choices in as early as possible to Shilpa and Marcus; to the minority, can I please make a polite request to try to do better in this regard next year! Subject to full Committee approval in the coming months, I am hopeful of Early Bird tickets being again made available next summer following their well-received launch this year.
I am also once more hugely grateful to the contribution, as Lunch MC, of Dave Fulton, who conducted affairs superbly. All our award winners had a day to remember and, overall, the event was a terrific way for the Club to celebrate a memorable cricket year. Thanks too to our beer sponsors, Fuller’s and Haresfoot, to all my sub-Committee members and to Sarah Ansell, whose excellent pictures of the Lunch are featured on the Club website (copies can be purchased for a small fee from Sarah!).
It is likely the sub-Committee will change in its make-up next year. Simon Walter has stepped down from the sub-Committee, and I would like to thank Simon for all his very positive input over recent years. Additionally, both Shilpa and myself will in 2020 be concentrating on all the organisation needed ahead of the Club’s 75th Anniversary Dinner (which is planned to be a Members-only evening, staged in the Long Room at Lord’s in April 2021), and so Glenn Moore is stepping up to help me to chair the sub-committee (with Glenn having particular responsibility for the 2020 Annual Lunch). Some new blood may also be injected into the sub-Committee during the next six months!
Details of the 2020 Annual Lunch will be issued in the Spring Bulletin (due to be circulated in late February), so please look out for those. We are expecting to return next year to the Marriott Grosvenor Square - we have a two-year deal in place, subject to certain discussions and guarantees of overall package quality - and, again, the date is likely to be in the first week of October. But please look out for confirmation of all exact details in the next Bulletin.
Finally, we are still hoping to be able to return to the Jumeirah Carlton Tower for the 2021 Annual Lunch onwards, although this obviously depends on the successful completion in the next twelve months of the hotel’s renovation and refurbishment. In the meantime, the sub-Committee continues to stay in touch with the Jumeirah’s current skeleton staff, and we are being kept up to date with developments.
CWC BOOK AWARD - RICHARD HOBSON
Steve Smith’s Men by Geoff Lemon proved a popular winner of the 2019 award. With Geoff in Australia, Adam Collins collected the certificate on his behalf at the annual lunch. Geoff has subsequently opened an English bank account and Marcus has duly transferred the £400 prize. The panel will be unchanged for 2019/20. After my note in the last bulletin, we have several members prepared to come on board. There is a case for making a change or two annually, but I quite like the balance within the quintet at the moment: young/old, male/female, academic/writers/hacks.
Aoife Murphy at ECB is keen to improve standards of facilities at all grounds where necessary and possible. We received excellent, detailed reports on facilities from our regional chairs Graham Hardcastle (North), Jon Culley (Midlands) and Mark Church (South) for the recent committee meeting and will be feeding these back to Aoife and the ECB in the hope of ironing out issues before the season begins.
A message from ECB Accreditation:
Media accreditation applications for the 2020 season will open on Monday 3rd February 2020 and close on Sunday 23rd February 2020. Applications received within the deadline will be reviewed and distributed before the start of the domestic season. Applications after this date will be reviewed at specific intervals throughout the season.
What you will need:
Assignment Letter - specific to the 2020 ECB season, must include contact details of the person writing the assignment letter, on headed paper.
Please note, screenshots of emails will not be accepted and assignment letters are not to be written by yourself. If you are freelance, we will need proof of recent published work.
Current Headshot - must be a clear, good quality headshot from the last 3 years and a true likeness. Please ensure you are facing the camera front on and have a white background. Unsuitable headshots will not be accepted in 2020 and may delay your application.
Assistance with the application process:
We’re currently only able to accept media applications via our media portal, however, if you’d like some assistance with completing the application online we’d be happy to arrange this. Assistance will be via popping into the ECB Office at Lord’s with all the required documentation and filling out the application together or phone support.
We will have limited spaces but will endeavour to help wherever possible. Please get in touch with Alexandra Melville on email@example.com at the end of January 2020 to make arrangements. Please be in touch if you have any queries in the meantime.
Thank you for reading, and a very merry Christmas to all members and their families.