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Another Season but a Fresh Outlook - 2018

The new season may yet be two months away, but already there is a spring in the step of those who run the game at both the local level and the ruling body in Edinburgh where Cricket Scotland is proving to be a willing ally of all that goes on in the sport in the Aberdeen area.

From where I sit in the cheap seats, there is a new and encouraging attitude, best reflected in the leadership provided by Tony Brian, chairman of Cricket Scotland and ACA Grades president Martin Auld, both of whom are making much of the concept of partnerships.

Brian has encouragingly been seen to get out and about, lending his support to the local game where ever he goes.

The forward thinking chairman said: ''I welcome the ACA initiative of creating of a Scottish Charitable Organisation(SCIO) which has lots of benefits, including being community driven. Cricket Scotland has accomplished a great deal over the past year, and has been prepared to tear up the previous approach, and as a consequence we have been able to deliver a fun, athletic and modern sport which is the most inclusive one in Scotland. Not least we are totally committed to the growth of the women's cricket. We also applaud the ACA Grades initiative of showcasing junior cricket.''

Auld has also proved to be a hands-on president, building on his love of a game which has provided him with countless friendships over the years. “I want to put something back into the game, including creating a coherent network of clubs that fits in closely with the operation of Cricket Scotland. My proposal is that we bring into existence a modern charitable business to run the game locally. The creation of a SCIO has the backing of Cricket Scotland. I like to think the Grades clubs will embrace the idea, and help deliver it,'' said Auld who also wants to see better attitudes in the game. A point he forcibly underlined at last Sunday's Spring General Meeting at Aberdeen University. ''When we play the game of cricket we need to remember we represent not just ourselves, but the very society we live in,'' said Auld.

Supporting President Auld on the board is long time servant of the Grades Hon Treasurer Ian Stephen who said: ''It makes sense to have a fully operational SCIO in one of the most cricket conscious areas of Scotland. I shall be happy to embrace and support Martin's idea. The loss of thousands of jobs in the area has not helped the game. We have a responsibility to work together, in the best interests of the game, including bringing our local gem Mannofield into greater focus for Grades clubs.''

In the meantime, the newly formed ACA Grades Committee is charged with getting the season up and running on April 28 when the three league structure will be launched, and teams will knuckle down to winning the silverware, but most of all enjoying all that is good in the leather on willow game that has graced the area since the mid 1850's.

I shall again have the privilege of writing on the game that I hold dear, looking forward to reflecting your achievements, and just occasionally expressing an opinion.

This season I intend to run a series of interviews, and will launch my season with previews of all three leagues in the middle of April by which time I shall hopefully have put my rugby season to bed.

By Jack Nixon

wytbu8  Feb 27 2018 - 3:45pm   

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