The management committee of the Thomas Carroll Pembroke County Cricket Club recently held its end-of-season meeting with clubs, umpires and others interested in the development of cricket in the county at Haverfordwest Cricket Club.

The meeting saw 13 clubs in attendance, 35-plus individuals, including a number of match officials and press as the meeting was chaired by chairman Paul Webb with secretary Steve Blowes and assistant secretary John Harries also involved.

There were several matters discussed about the 2018 season and other topics looking ahead to 2019, with one of the main points of interest revolving around the bonus points system.

Whilst the general consensus seemed to be that it had been improved last season there were still anomalies, not least the fact a team could gain more points for having the better of a drawn match than others who had won by a comfortable margin.

After a lengthy debate about how to put forward changes, a suggestion from Ross Grieve (Carew) received a great deal of support.

He said that it might help if clubs pooled their resources on a Whats App group to come up with proposals that drew on as many clubs’ experience as possible - and after the meeting a significant number of clubs signed up to the idea.

Also discussed at length, after umpire Rob Elliott had raised the issue of player indiscipline, was the way forward in making sure that cricket retained its integrity in terms of sportsmanlike behaviour.

Suggestions from players included the need for greater consistency from umpires with regard to decisions and dealing with unacceptable behaviour by others on the pitch, and one club captain actually held his hand up to being reported.

County Club vice-president and sports journalist Bill Carne, speaking in support of Rob, said that in 2018 he had seen more indiscipline than ever and was adamant that whilst it was important for every umpire to report problems, it was even more vital that clubs and captains played the part by intervening and disciplining players internally, as well as possible county club sanctions that might follow.

The development of ‘Play Cricket’, the means whereby clubs posted scorecards on a national site, was also discussed and Kerry Chahal, (Cricket Wales) congratulated the clubs who had started out in participation, with Jayne Cole (Haverfordwest) and Wendy Bradshaw (St Ishmaels) as two shining examples of how this was done weekly. He felt that the system was a really strong way forward and once clubs could iron out minor difficulties it was a great way forward for promoting Pembrokeshire Cricket.

he fact that fewer youngsters seem eager to remain in cricket received an interesting response and the idea of reducing the number of overs, as in division five, so that young players could have more time to pursue other interests in the evenings, found some support.

But Iestyn Scourfield (Whitland captain), produced another viewpoint which was also credible as he said that earlier starts might be the answer. He accepted that some players might have to readjust their work schedules but pointed out that the opposite could apply to others who worked shifts. He put his point of view succinctly and others seemed to share his view that earlier starts.

The date of the Harrison-Allen was discussed, with some feeling that the traditional date, with four weeks of the season left and no other competitive games on that Saturday, should not be broken - but the opposite viewpoint also found support that as the Blue Riband event it should be the season’s finale.

It was also agreed that if date changes were effected they could only done with the agreement of the Cresselly Club and Mr Hugh Harrison-Allen, whose family present the magnificent silver bowl.

Another subject for discussion was the venue for the county club’s annual dinner and whether it might be better to hold the event at an appropriate cricket club, rather a hotel in Tenby where the prices of food and drink are inevitably higher, perhaps on a rota basis with clubs that feel able to host such an event.

This was an opinion agreed with by Llanrhian’s secretary and local journalist Fraser Watson, who also added that it was ironic that the current arrangement took place at a town which plays no cricket.
Also debated was a suggestion by Stackpole’s Phil Tallett that if two clubs were unable to field a second team they might join forces, alongside the permit system operated in division five, although no proposals for implementation came forth!

Paul Webb thanked those who had attended and Kerry Chahal said that he was delighted to be invited to such a positive meeting.