READING the Standard sports pages I notice one club whose charms appear to have seduced the worldly Mr Light and that is Lechlade Cricket Club. Chairman, Paul Rowley's known persuasive abilities have clearly worked on your columnist. All credit to Lechlade who have one of the most successful First XI teams in the Cotswolds, but this success has not been based on a model that will ensure the prosperity of recreational cricket in our area, only the prosperity of Lechlade Cricket Club's First XI.
A decade ago when I enrolled my young son at our local cricket club it didn't take long for me to realise that if cricket was to survive and thrive in the county, clubs large and small needed to establish junior cricket sections so that a supply of new cricketers could be maintained. To this end I took on the role of organising junior cricket for all Cotswold clubs and encouraged as many as possible to do this. Some clubs have embraced this philosophy with enthusiasm and success, notable amongst these in the Cotswolds are Poulton and Cirencester who now coach large numbers of youngsters and this year alone from these two clubs there are 35 young players playing representative cricket within the county.
After previous abortive attempts at running junior cricket with no qualified coaches, at last Lechlade CC have started their own junior section and have their first much-trumpeted member in a representative squad.
An altruistic approach as well as commitment by clubs is essential if we who value this game are going to ensure that it survives and thrives in the future.
NICK PRICE Cirencester