A Voice from the Chair (November 2015)

drmurtazaDear Members,

Two seasons on following our takeover and with the grace of God and your dedication and commitment to the club we stand here today miles ahead from where we started. It has been a bumpy ride however as you all know that Rome was not built in a day. We, together are a very proud club. To narrate, that we are following our vision on track and the progress we have made so far is self-evident.

I would like to list a few of our major achievements to date:

1.Clubhouse Redevelopment: Due to time constraints and delays in contributions we’ve had to divide the development plan into 3 phases. It was necessary to have 2 changing rooms before the beginning of the 2015 season hence phase 1 was completed in March 2015 thanks to our architects (NBF Partnership) and support from MCB, ECB and the contributions from the committee members and donors.

It is worth mentioning that during the course of the year we have had countless meetings with Ealing Council, NBF Partnership, Middlesex Cricket Board, Roe Green Builders and our core committee which were held throughout the year. 

We also had many meetings with The Learning Tree Childcare (Isleworth) and hope to secure their presence for a long term contract at the clubhouse which is essential for the sustainability and the best use of the clubhouse both during and after the season. 

Phase 1 was exclusively built with £50k contributions from Osterley Cricket Club. I am proud to announce that Phase 2 of the project that involves all 4 changing rooms, umpires room and 2 offices, is going to start in the 3rd week of November 2015 and shall be completed by the end of January 2016. The remaining renovations of the clubhouse in Phase 3 which includes a new bar, kitchen, disabled toilet and male/female facilities, will commence at the end of the 2016 Season subject to availability of the funding.

2.Grounds: With the help of Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields Grant and Middlesex Cricket Trust’s contribution we are proud to announce that our main square is now ready and will be available for cricket next season (2016). The final figure for the new square relay project has equated to £54k which includes majority funding from Sport England and Contributions from ECB, Middlesex Cricket Trust and the OCC Committee Members.

The second ground has also been resurfaced and relayed to bring it to county standards for our 3rd and 4th XIs. My special thanks are due to all the members who contributed towards the building of the new scoreboard at our annual Natwest Cricket Force event this season.  This would not have been possible without the help of Dave and Manoj and their dedication to the cause.

3.ClubMark & ACME Club: We have renewed our ClubMark Status in 2015 and have proved we are fully compliant with the ECB codes of conduct and best practises. We have also progressed further with our ACME Club Initiative with the Middlesex Cricket Board and I can proudly state that everything is in order and we are fully focussed on our 5 year development plan and vision.

4.Community Amateur Sports Club: I can gladly say that we have finally managed to secure our bar licence along with our CASC status (charitable). Now donations, contributions and gift aid is awaited and I encourage all members to please make every effort to attract donations as much as possible.

5.Public Relations: Since the new management committee has taken over, it was anonymously approved that public relations was an area that needed the highest amount of attention. In order to promote the image of the club the committee set out the following programs:

-We have built very good relationships with the local community and community leaders including Lord Tony Young, MP Virendar Sharma, Councillor Sarfaraz A Khan and the Norwood Green Village Association.

-We had meetings with our neighbouring clubs and extended our invitations to visit and extract guidance from their experiences.

-We are an ACME club which is a status granted by the Middlesex Cricket Board to clubs that seek assistance and look to operate efficiently. Our special thanks goes out to Ian J Moore for his invaluable support throughout the years.

-We’ve had excellent support and very positive outcomes from our meetings with Ealing Council Officials. Our thanks goes out to Jonathan Kirby, Chris Welsh, Chris Bunting, Julia Robertson and last but not least Mr Julian Bell.

-We are very proud to announce that a few very renowned local entrepreneurs have extended their support to the club both financially and through participation.

-This year we hosted friendly matches with different teams including teams from Pakistan High Commission and we also visited Oxford Cricket Club to build bridges.

-We are grateful to his Excellency Mr Ibn-E-Abbas for his support and tour to our club.

-One of our main achievements was an honorary lifetime membership award which was presented to Mr. Aamer Sohail, former Pakistan national team captain, who also visited as a chief guest at our annual awards ceremony.

-2016 will see us promote our very first official sponsor Crossier Properties Ltd (Mr. Sohail S Sarbuland) who are going to be working in partnership with the cricket club to improve the facilities.

6.Cricket: As we all know that this season has been the best season in the history of our club. This season has seen our 1st XI win the Middlesex Championship for the 10th time and promoted to the 3rd Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League. Our 2nd XI is also going to start the season in the 3rd Division of the MCCL along with our 3rd XI who also won the 1987 League Division 1 and will start 2016 in Division 3 of the MCCL.

7.Colts: Osterley Cricket Club has become a leader in West London to recruit and train colts and as a result all our age groups, namely Under 11s, Under 13s, Under 15s and Under 17s had successful campaigns and won their leagues respectively. On top of these achievements our highlight of the season has been our Under 19s who won the inaugural ECB Natwest T20 competition from Middlesex. Our Under 21s got to the quarter final stage of the Middlesex Development League and 5 of our colts are now representing their respective age groups for the Middlesex County Cricket Club.

A journey of a thousand miles starts from a single step. We have now taken the steps and are beginning to walk and I honestly believe that with the help of my committee and the members of the club we shall become a model club in Middlesex. Our aims are high and our morale and spirits are even higher. Together we are stronger and I urge you all, playing and social members to put your efforts in collectively to make this club one of the best clubs in the country.

With best regards,
Dr. Ghulam Murtaza
Chairman – Osterley CC