Views from the Windmill: Great to get underway
PUBLISHED: 09:30 10 May 2016
Upminster's Matt Tigg is writing a blog during the 2015-16 season
Finally, after a bizarre bout of snow in late April and a long dark winter, we can finally say the cricket season is underway, with blistering temperatures recorded at Upminster Park this weekend.
It was encouraging to see over the winter the amount of effort that was put into the clubs’ indoor net sessions after a forgettable 2015 for many of the sides. However, a new fitness coach and assistant, recruited by previous blogger Nicky Ison, was more likely the reason for an increased attendance!
A number of changes have been made both on and off the pitch for the 2016 season, most notably Alan Ison taking over the reins of the first team and Oliver Peck becoming the new chairman (Mark D’Cruz is still thirds skipper for those who enjoy some light comedy). New faces have also joined with the Whetstone brothers choosing to switch allegiances from Hutton together with strengthening from the lower XIs.
There has been an increased social buzz around the club at the beginning of this year after chairman Peck revealed plans to introduce an intra-club T20 tournament, named ‘The Windmill Whack’ whereby 90 players across six franchises will compete for bragging rights. Obviously, the league season is important, but this blog will probably involve more stories from these games than any other.
Respective captains from each franchise had the opportunity to bid for their players in the inaugural Upminster Player Draft at the club on Saturday night and the club saw a huge audience watch while the bids came through on screen, with sarcastic groans and cheers for some players. Dan ‘Bert’ Tyler has the unenviable task of living up to his £20m price tag, while Rob ‘Browns’ White will need to repay some faith after his franchise had a bidding war with themselves to capture his signature.
Big name ‘Overseas’ signings have also been made for the tournament, with Billy Gordon returning to Upminster, Paul Hurworth donated by Ardleigh Green and Naveed Ali providing some great stories from Loughton.
Games will be played at Upminster Park on Wednesdays and Sundays so please do come and watch the guys in colourful kit, hopefully providing some entertainment.
Saturday results saw the firsts fall just short of a winning total, however wins for all other XIs helped give the club a strong start. Sunday also saw the firsts come up short in a tough game with Hornchurch. A highlight being Julian Whetstone’s maiden Upminster hundred and hopefully first of many.
MVPs of the week:
First XI – Connor Whetstone: A brilliant to watch league debut for our leg spinner which involved two dropped catches, two run outs, a catch, two wickets and a blistering 56 #spinnerwars
Second XI – Nicky Ison: Eight wickets for our less famous Ison #spinnerwars
Third XI – Tom Billinghurst: Return for the club and a quickfire 58
Fourth XI – Karin Govani: Great start to the season for our evergreen Merc driver 5 wickets
Fifth XI – Joe Wyatt: Upside-down head smashed 126 runs
Sixth XI – Ian Twine: 55 runs takes the dad award for this week.