Salford University Cricket Club is set to make their debut this May, with the team being in the making for over a year and a half.
The club was founded in September 2019 and members have been training ever since.
But the pandemic put the club’s dream of varsity ashes to a halt.
Chairman of the club Sam Butler spoke about stepping into the role of chairman during the pandemic.
“Taking over the newly found club amid a pandemic was challenging as we couldn’t welcome any new members in person or continue the hard work of the club’s debut year. But I’ve found solutions, we did manage to come up with ways to train, improve the club and hopefully hit the ground running this year.”
Sam Butler also spoke about his goals that he is looking to achieve for the opening season for the cricket club with the efforts to expand the club in the first year of the team playing.
“Here at the club we currently have 2 men’s teams with a view to expanding into a third “development” team next year. But for me, although we strive for competitive excellence in Uni sport, it’s refreshing to feel as though it’s just a group of mates having a laugh who happen to play cricket together. I genuinely believe this to be one of the tightest sports societies in terms of having each other’s backs.”
Preparations for the season have been underway, but despite no BUCS fixtures this year due to the pandemic, the club has resorted to organising friendly fixtures and grounds to play on. “Selection has also not been ideal as we haven’t been able to see most of our new members play so we have had to base it off a combination of previous cricketing pedigree, ability in nets from last year and attitude (engagement) in training sessions,” Butler added.
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Edmund Gaffney, captain of the First XI and former Warwickshire County player is amongst the team looking forward to the season.
“Having not had a game since we started last September, I think everyone is just looking forward to getting a game. Some of the guys who have been in the society from the beginning have trained where possible for the last 18 months but are yet to play a game.”
“Regarding my team’s expectations, I don’t have many expectations since the team is so new. I know we have a lot of good players so we definitely have the potential to do well. All I’d ask of the team is to arrive at the games and give 100%. I know everyone in the society is eager to get on to the pitch and play some cricket and get some wickets. Fingers crossed that will be possible soon.”
Due to the summer element of the sport, it meant that the pandemic hit over two consecutive seasons meaning that no competitive games have been able to commence for the club.
The club’s debut game is set to take place on the 5th of May at the home ground of Stretford Cricket Club.