The club, based in the countryside a mile or two outside of Basingstoke, built on a magnificent NatWest CricketForce showcase day by entering the T20 for the first time.
Their policy of only recruiting new members who want to help out with club life has bred a culture of mucking in together, so the whole club threw itself into the new tournament, capturing a spectacular match-day experience on video : www.facebook.com/oakleycricketclub/videos/2331550923538074
Their season culminated in an evening of fireworks, the unveiling of a new electronic scoreboard (funded by an ECB Small Grant), and a secondary scoreboard for ease of spectator viewing.
Spectators enjoyed the local brewery’s beer tent, BBQ, music, raffle, spectator catch of the match, spectator seating. The club laid on man of the team prizes, a players’ match time area and local press and social media coverage.
The new team didn’t win any games but won many friends in the Vitality Under 19 Club T20 ‘Edwards’ development group, and inspired the club’s first team to a 100% record and promotion to its highest ever level.
The club is to start a third team in Regional 3 North East in 2019 after senior players (led by the club chair) regularly stood down to give young talent the chance to flourish.
*Oakley’s youngsters are pictured at the ECB’s Vitality Awards presentation at Lord’s receiving their prize.