Oakfield Parkonians Cricket Club - Chairman's Message '11

Welcome to the Old Parkonians Cricket Club - 2011

It is traditional for the Chairman to write a “Message” in the Fixture booklet.  I’ve decided to break with tradition this year, partly to focus the booklet on the fixtures but, more importantly, to give you this to you personally.  I also urge you to also study our website; not least the brief history of the Club. 

Who are the Old Parkonians? Well, we are not an ‘Old Boys’ cricket club.  Established in 1906, I think the ‘Old’ must now refer to the age of the Club rather than its members – especially as we have members under 11 years of age and the majority of members are under 25.  Nor are we all ‘boys’ since we encourage women to join and are getting more ‘girls’ involved throughout the Club.  However, there is an ethos in the ‘Parkonian’ part of the name which becomes clear as you read on. 

I would like to welcome you to the Club if you are new to us, and re-welcome you if you have been with us for a time.  The Club feels ‘on the up’ with several new features this year.  Physically, we are now fully ‘ring-fenced’ which provides more security for members and valuables.  This year we are adopting the NatWest CricketForce approach and will have new scoreboards, a freshly painted second pavilion, new seating around the ground and additional trees. 

We have strengthened our Constitution and Codes of Behaviour, befitting a Club that is achieving Clubmark accreditation.  On the playing side, we have a Cricket Committee in which all the captains, vice captains and team / age group Managers are represented.  They deal with the day to day running of selection and the playing side of the Club.

Together with an extended group of qualified coaches for our Colts section, the leadership of the Club is, I believe, stronger than ever and is capable of taking the Club onto its next phase of development. Your Executive Committee is taking our Development Plan forward vigorously.


Development Plan

The development plan is intended to drive the Club to become the best we can be – as a club and as individuals.  In essence there are two parts to the plan: our understanding of our general mission and vision as a cricket club, and our specific aims and objectives.

There are too many action steps under way to list here.  The summary below will give you an idea of where we are heading.

Mission & Vision

Our Mission is to involve all members and enable them to excel by:

·         inspiring and nurturing their passion for cricket;

·         building on our expertise, heritage, culture and facilities.

Our Vision is a welcoming, inclusive, ambitious, well organised cricket club that:

·         combines success with enjoyment;

·         promotes excellence in cricket with:

o    a care for all members

in a culture of

o    camaraderie and competence.

Aims & Objectives

I have highlighted some key words in our plan.

We will focus on:

i)         Strengthening our reputation as a leading club in the Essex league through the quality of our cricket, coaching, facilities and performance.

ii)        Promoting excellent team working, personal skills and sporting distinction.

iii)       Attracting and retaining members who will participate fully in the Club.

iv)       Expanding the colts section, supporting their talent and personal development.

v)        Competing tenaciously for promotion; playing honourably and competitively; upholding the spirit the game and maintaining the highest sporting values.

vi)       Developing senior playing teams, providing positive role models to all club members, leading achievement and success.

In short, we must expect every senior player to be a role model.  Nothing less is consistent with our mission, vision and plans.


Role Models

Being a good role model simply means following the accepted codes of behaviour in cricket.  The ECB’s Code of Conduct is more or less ‘common sense’, at least for those who know and care about the game.  For example, the codes say that:

Players must not:

·         attempt to intimidate an umpire, another player or a spectator;

·         use crude or abusive language nor make offensive gestures or hand signals nor deliberately distract an opponent;

·         make racially abusive comments / actions against fellow players, officials, members and supporters.

The ECB insist that Clubs take adequate steps to ensure the good behaviour of their members and supporters.  We do this mostly by quiet persuasion but also, when necessary, through disciplinary action including suspension and withdrawal of membership.

Our captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the spirit of the game as well as within the Laws.  We ask you to support your captain not just fully but gracefully.

The spirit of the game involves RESPECT for opponents, umpires and the game’s traditional values.  For example, it is wrong to dispute an umpire’s decision by word, action or gesture, to direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire.  Nor may you distract an opponent either verbally or by harassment with persistent clapping or unnecessary noise even under the guise of enthusiasm and motivation of one’s own side.

Please read our codes of conduct carefully. 

I make no apology for stressing again that our codes include requirements such as:

  • Displaying high standards of behaviour, including no bad language.
  • Promoting fair play. We will not accept intimidation, aggressive behaviour and deliberate distraction of our opponents.

This applies at all levels, including junior members.


Play Your Part

The OPCC Constitution says, “The club colours shall be maroon and silver.”  We expect all players to wear our colours!  In fact it is a minimum requirement. 

Go further – do participate fully in all the activities of the club.  We are NOT, repeat NOT, merely a cricket ground where people pay to play for a bit of recreation.  That is not enough; that is not a club!

We ask everyone to engage fully in all the activities of the Club.  Belonging here is not about buying a ticket for a ride.  It is about making and sharing the journey.

The potential we have as a Club is as high as it can get, both in terms of the talent and the fundamentals of location, facilities and support.  The challenge is to realize our potential.

We cannot be complacent.  Everyone is needed to help, especially the senior players to whom we all look for inspiration and example.

No doubt you want the Club to go forward, to improve year by year and be the best we can be.  I ask you therefore to be serious about your personal responsibilities as a team player.  Play to the captain’s game plan.  Behave ‘professionally’ at all times on and off the field, in your body language, the way you in dress, the language you use and the way you talk to team mates.

There is no doubt that the Clubs that are most successful are those with the best disciplinary records.  Without doubt, the League stats confirm this.  Consequently, it is your personal behaviour that makes or breaks the results as well as the reputation of the Club. 

Up the Parks!




I wish you a very enjoyable and successful season ahead, both personally and for your team.  Taking a full part in the Club will bring you a sense of purpose and friends for life.





Chris Nutt

Chairman, OPCC

April 2011