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From the President's Desk

Crazy times!  A year of drought over much of the country, then the bushfires across much of eastern Australia, then some relieving rains – not enough to drench all of the countryside, but plenty enough to seriously impact on our Sydney social cricket program and the Final of the Richie Benaud Cup T20.

 

Crazy times!  A year of drought over much of the country, then the bushfires across much of eastern Australia, then some relieving rains – not enough to drench all of the countryside, but plenty enough to seriously impact on our Sydney social cricket program and the Final of the Richie Benaud Cup T20.

And now, we are in lock-down from the Covid-19 pandemic!  The ‘We’ here is every person on the planet, including the millions who love sport and our beloved game of cricket in particular.

At the time of writing, I am at home with Jen and our two budgies, Albert and Marj.  With little live sport to comment on, my time is now taken up with reading the hundreds of books about the game I love, reflecting on the great games and series over the decades.

The Australian Men’s team has had an inconsistent run of form over the summer just past.  Following comprehensive wins at home against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and New Zealand, we headed to India and lost an ODI Series 2-1, then to South Africa and lost 5-2 in a mix of ODIs and T20s.  The encouraging signs are the consistent performances of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne with the bat, and Primary Club Ambassador Pat Cummins with the ball.

For the Primary Club, we have some good news emanating from a recent Board Meeting with 4 charity projects approved for grants totaling $54k.  Two of these are in regional areas where communities have been impacted somewhat by bushfires, both Riding for Disabled branches, one in the Illawarra and the other in Goulburn.

How pleasing have our various Member Events been over the recent summer!  Apart from the fact that our cricket teams in Sydney and Adelaide are playing more games and thereby growing our membership, we enjoyed what was a very successful golf day, hosted in July by The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney, a favourite course of mine and home to the 2018 Australian Open – thanks to Ken Glover for opening up this opportunity for us. 

Our Sydney cricketers held their second Friday afternoon golf day at Moore Park in November and increased their player numbers and doubled their fund-raising yield.  Other articles in this ‘First Ball’ highlight our other successful events, all of which have helped to fill the gap in our earnings following the unfortunate cancellation of our Marathon Cricket festival at the SCG due to the re-development in the Moore Park precinct.

Looking ahead, we will be challenged by the need to postpone Member Events such as the Hunter Valley Anzac Weekend and the Killara Golf Day due to the COVID-19 restrictions.  This will increase the need for our Members to renew their memberships come June and to contribute to our charity trust via their ‘Golden Duck’ donations.  On this note, we have 13 ‘Primaries’ in the current financial year; ironically, our new Ambassador Pat Cummins has contributed to the tally on several occasions.

Finally, a quick word to welcome new Members of the Management Committee – both Brad Oldridge (Hon Secretary) and Andrew Wildblood were elected at the last AGM, are members of our current cricket-playing community and have considerable business credentials which will enhance our operations in the months and years ahead.

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The fundamental aim is to give people with disabilities the opportunity to experience the joy and exhilaration that comes from any form of physical activity.

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