Statement from Chairman & CEO
9 July 2020
At the time of writing we should be coming to the end of the second week of the Cheltenham Cricket Festival. A time at which we should have been celebrating our position at the top of the County Championship and T20 Blast in our 150th anniversary year and a time at which we should have been catching up with so many of you around the ground.
Whilst we might not have the Cheltenham Cricket Festival this year it is very exciting to see International cricket being played once more and to feel the palpable excitement that is building about a return to County Cricket from August 1st. The folks at the ECB should receive every plaudit for what they have achieved during this crisis. For cricket to be the first major team sport to return to playing both full International matches as well as the first major team sport to return to it’s rightful place on the of village greens and parks of this country is a testament to the dedication of all at the ECB.
An area of considerable work for the ECB has been seeking alignment across the 18 First Class Counties on what domestic cricket should be played this summer. Each county is uniquely different and has different motivations for the view it has put forward in the discussions all of which are completely valid for their respective counties. For us at Gloucestershire we have been fortunate in that our reasonably robust finances have allowed us to just focus on the issue of welfare and safety.
As a Club we are delighted and excited to have the return of domestic cricket confirmed for August. It will be fantastic to see Gloucestershire take to the field once more and it would have felt especially wrong if this hadn’t taken place in our anniversary year. As we have stated throughout this process we do retain some concerns about the logistics of multi-day cricket, notably the clear medical advice around overnight accommodation but we will continue to work closely with the ECB and partner counties to ensure that any cricket played is done so in a safe environment. As an employer we have a very clear duty of care to all of our staff and this remains key to our decision making.
Many of you will have no doubt charted the rise of James Bracey and in particular, his performance for “Team Buttler” at the England training camp. Many congratulations to James and we hope he is not only enjoying his time but is also very proud of what he has achieved so far in his career. We look forward to seeing him in action for both England and Gloucestershire later in the year.
The County Ground is in great shape and it is fantastic to see so many of our players and coaches back in the nets. We are also in the process of reconfiguring both the pavilion and BS7 gym to welcome customers back to them later in the year. The pavilion is run by our catering partners, Fosters and it is fair to say that the hospitality sector has suffered more than most during this crisis. It is therefore with much sadness that they have had to look at their staffing across all their sites and a number of their staff at the County Ground including Damian, our Chef, Joanne, our Events coordinator and Iain, our General Manager have all left Fosters. We wish them all the very best for the future.
Finally, a huge thank you to all of you once again for the support you continue to show all of us at the Club. Nearly 500 of you have chosen to “donate your membership” this year and many of our life and honorary members have also sent in donations. We also have loved the emails, letters and comments many of you have sent us; it never ceases to lift our spirits and is hugely appreciated.
With best wishes,
John and Will