Four seasons have been completed since we had our first Saturday Hillview cricket team, and two seasons since the large influx of playing numbers. With the World Cup being held in Australasia, this has brought much attention to our wonderful game and the outstanding performance and the exciting brand of cricket shown by the New Zealand team has won many new supporters. I will not be surprised if there is not a sizeable increase in the number of children wishing to play cricket next season. Back in the 1980’s when we had the Australian underarm incident bring huge attention to the game, there was a more than 30% increase in cricket players the following season in the North Canterbury area where I was an administrator. It wouldn’t surprise me if we have have enough numbers for two teams at each level from Years 3-5 next season. This would be ideal as one team could be a highly competitive team and the other team a more social team. If we do have more teams we will need more volunteer helpers. So that is something to think about during the winter.
I have already started preparing for and thinking about the next season. I am very keen to form a cricket committee to oversee the running of Hillview cricket. It is important that our programme could continue if I wasn’t involved. We would only need to meet two to three times per year. Please think about your possible involvement in this area. I am also thinking about the possibility of our three hardball teams practising on the same afternoon. I have been most appreciative of the help I have received with our hard ball teams this season and I am hoping this can continue. I know for most parents your vision is of one team, but for me it is five teams and next year hopefully it will be at least six teams. I watched NZ warming up for the World Cup semifinal with a net about 30 metres long and on one side about three groups were doing a fielding drill and on the other side batters were having thowdowns. I could envisage a practice involving three teams with 20 players involved at the net and the other ten at the cricket practice facility. The players would rotate around. This way if I have two or three helpers we could manage with three teams really well. Some of the more experienced players could also help coaching younger players when giving throwdowns.
Next season our top team will be playing afternoon cricket (12.30 – 4.30 approx.) in the Year 7 Premier grade. We will be able to interchange players between the Year 6 and Year 7 teams as almost all the players are eligible to play in both grades. At this stage it appears that at least two players will have the opportunity each week of having two games.
The Cricket Coordinator’s Summary of the Season
Year 2 Team
This keen bunch of children who were playing their first season of cricket never won a game but it didn’t seem to impact their enthusiasm or their desire to participate. They were always keen to practise and they showed considerable improvement during the season. A highlight was having three girls in the team, and hopefully in the future we will have more girls wishing to play cricket. The team will be all the better in the future for the experience they have have gained this year, and hopefully next year we will have more children in their year group wishing to play.
Year 3 Team
This team is full of energetic, enthusiastic, intelligent and talented boys. The difficulty is getting them to work together as a team and not to compete against each other. They have considerable potential, and when they realise they are not quite as good as they think they are, they will practice harder and achieve at the very high level they are capable of attaining. I expect this team to develop into an outstanding team in the future if they work hard at their game, listen to their coaches, support each other and develop a very good attitude to the game and their opposition.
Year 4 Team
This team has continued to make excellent progress. The improvement in skill level has been most noticeable during the season. The team is now ready for hardball and I can’t wait to see how well these players adjust to playing the game of cricket that is closer to my heart. While I enjoy seeing the fun and excitement that the soft ball teams have during their games, I do tend to get drawn more to the hard ball games. This team is ready for the challenges they will face playing with a hard ball next year. I have been delighted with their attitude towards the game and their desire to practice hard at improving their skills. This team also has the potential to perform at a high level.
Year 5 Team
This team wins the Cricket Coordinator’s most improved team of the year award. I pondered long and hard prior to the start of the season to whether I should enter the team in Section 1 or 2. I decided in the end to go with Section 1 for the two grading rounds and if they didn’t lose by too much to give them the challenge of playing against the best in their age group. We had seven players who could have been playing in this age group playing the the next grade up, so hence my reluctance to throw them in at the deep end. As they ended up winning one out of their two grading matches they not only remained in Section 1 but finished in the top four teams in the grade (out of 10 teams). The skill level of the players has improved immensely. I am looking forward to next season to see how well they adjust to having much longer to bat, and the need to preserve their wicket at the same time as keeping the scoreboard ticking along.
Year 6 Team
The team had a rather indifferent start to the season prior to Christmas when they lost as many games as they won, but had a much improved season post Christmas and won six out of the seven games. Their managed to score more runs in their 30 overs and it was good to see a number of the batters getting in excess of 40 runs in an innings. Their fielding and catching was generally of a very good standard but disappointingly they tended to bowl too short so this is something we will be looking to remedy next season. The most pleasing feature of the season for the Cricket Coordinator was the development of depth throughout the team. Up until this season four players have tended to dominate, but during this season the rest of the team caught up and now the team is a very strong one throughout. This team has the potential to be in the top three of the Year 7 Premier grade next season, which will be a stronger competition as a number of clubs will merge their best players from two or more teams.
In the final two weeks of the season we have several noteworthy performances that haven’t been reported as yet. In the Year 5 team’s final game of the season Ben Mason scored 70 runs and Will Mason took 4 wickets for 11 runs. In the penultimate game for the Year 6 team Todd Ehau scored 62 runs. In the final game Andrei Tomkinson scored 48 runs and Mario Raxworthy 41 runs, and Charlie Hickey took 3/25.
Season Overall Performances (for hard ball teams)
Many thanks to Chris Stacey and Steve Skinner who kept the statistics for our two teams in the hard ball grades. I have been able to uplift the data below from their spreadsheets.
- Most wickets taken: Will Mason (Year 5) 23 and Jacob Walters (Year 6) 15
- Most economical: Tane Haremata (Year 5) 4.00 runs per over and Todd Ehau (Year 6) 3.93 runs per over
- Most effective: Will Mason (Year 5) one wicket for every 2.22 overs and Jacob Walters one wicket for every 2.7 overs (however Tane Haremata took two wicket in the four overs he bowled in the one match he played for the Year 6 team)
- Highest score: Ben Mason (Year 5) 70 and Tom Harrison (Year 6) 83
- Highest total of runs: Ben Mason (Year 5) 592 and Andrei Tomkinson (Year 6) 295
- Highest Average: Ben Mason (Year 5) 37 and Rory Skinner (Year 6) 42.14