It is a great pleasure to write to you in my first year as President, and I hope you are looking forward to the season as much as I am!
I first played Dumplings cricket just over twenty years ago, having been introduced to it by record wicket-taker Jeff Stanyer, and have been lucky to play alongside many of you in that time. The combination of competitive cricket, sportsmanship, good humour, lovely grounds and great teas is something special and I am hoping that in the club’s 120th year we will continue these traditions. Teas may even make a welcome return this year! We will see how things go.
In a year where the push towards shorter formats has unfortunately appeared to have caught up with the England Test team, we continue to promote declaration cricket. The opportunity to experience having to bowl teams out, judge a declaration or hold on for the draw if a win is out of reach is something I believe to be highly valuable and enjoyable. Perhaps there are future Test cricketers in the county!
A huge thank you must go to Peter Jolliffe and Wendy Hardy along with the rest of the Committee for ensuring so much Dumplings cricket has continued safely within the guidelines over the past two seasons. I cannot overstate how much Wendy does for the Club and we are very lucky to have her. As things stand, there is hope for a more conventional season ahead and a full card has been organised by Peter including several new fixtures and the Oxford tour once again. Whether you are still actively involved or are more of a supporter I hope to see many of you through the season and it would be great to hear from you as well.
Communications have moved on in the past few years and the Club’s Facebook page is active in raising sides, introducing many young and overseas players to the Club, which has been great to see. However, if you are not a regular Facebook user it is particularly important to contact managers to let them know you are available as we want all members to be able to play whatever their technological choices! Players from across Devon who want to play our style of cricket are always welcome and if you know someone who might enjoy playing please put them in touch.
If you would like to follow the teams this season as well as on Facebook, Wendy has done great work with our play-cricket.com site, as has Paul Berman with the Dumplings website, whilst our newest committee member, Harry Kandampully, is kindly setting up an Instagram page. The occasional email update will also go out if we have your email address. Please send it to Wendy if you would like to receive these.
Finally, we have been very sorry hear that some members have passed away or have been suffering ill-health. One member who contributed a huge amount to the Club was Peter Spencer, a former President, keeper of the records and author of Three Shades of Green, a history of the club. He has very kindly left us a bequest, which will partly be used to present Dumplings caps to new young players. It would be great to see as many players as possible wearing the Club’s colours this year.
I wish everyone a very successful and enjoyable season, and good health in the year ahead. As always, many thanks to everyone involved in making things run smoothly and to all the match managers, umpires, scorers, groundsmen and other volunteers without whom games would not happen. And finally thank you to all of you for playing in the spirit that makes this such a special club.