President's message for the 2014 season

Itís only late March but the sun is out, the air is warm, so letís start the cricket season slightly early.

Our program for this season is opening with two weekends in March and then the Lombardy League begins the first weekend of April. Letís hope for good weather this season, great  cricket and good fellowship, both between ourselves and with our various oppositions. Away trips are planned to Velden (Austria), Zuoz (Switzerland), and Dublin in August for three or four games on grass wickets! So I hope we will have a good team as we did last year and play good attacking cricket. Last year almost 50 matches were played on our ground, a lot but the excellent mat which we purchased a couple of years ago allows so many games to be played on it.

Last season was a very successful one in many ways; our Captain Nand Kumar, using all the experience he had gained during the previous years, brought home the goods, for the second year in a row we won the tournament in Zuoz, as well as, for the first time ever winning all three matches in Malta. Well done Nand and all the players who participated in these events. Congratulations also to Kingsgrove C.C. who won back the Lombardy Trophy. They have a very strong club and did very well also in the Italian Serie A competition.

We held our 41st. annual dinner in Milan during November last and we were delighted to welcome our former player/secretary John Thorpe and his wife Liliana who again came over from England for the event.

At our AGM there were a few changes made to our committee. Chris Morgan has resigned as secretary but he will remain on the committee as a vice president. His position  as secretary has been taken over by Sunil. Thanks Chris for all you have done over the past years for the club and for the players, and welcome to Sunil who, I am sure, will do a fine job with his well known enthusiasm for the Club. Our captain will again be Nand Kumar and vice captain will be Brian Higgins.

During the winter we have had a lot of problems with the ground. Unfortunately Ginoís contract was not renewed at the end of September and the tennis/bar were left unmanned all winter. As a result  thieves were in action and did a lot of damage, fortunately mainly not to our area. In addition bad weather brought down a lot of trees and damaged the fence surrounding our field and this will have to be repaired. As if that was not enough an underground pipe burst and flooded the edge of our ground, but this has now been repaired. I would like to express my and our thanks to Andrew Harding who has done a lot of work at the ground during the winter and early spring. Thank you Andrew.

Again this season we will be sharing use of the ground with our friends at Kingsgrove. Fabio Marabini has been and continues to look for a ground for their club but as we all know finding a ground suitable for cricket in Lombardy is very, very difficult. The lack of cricket grounds in the area is the biggest problem holding up the development of cricket in Italy. I hope that in the future the Federation of cricket in Italy will be able to get the financial support necessary to encourage the game and the many players who would like to play more often.

For more information on the club please go to our web site www. milancricketclub.com., and we are also on Facebook. Thanks to Mark Wilman for his contribution in this area.

I wish you all a very sunny and happy summer in 2014, and above all good health to all and to your families.

David Sweetman.

President, Milan Cricket Club

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