I seem to recall about this time last year a mention on the news about a virus causing problems in a city in China that I had never heard of. Now we have all heard of Wuhan and the dreaded COVID-19.
Who could possibly have imagined the effect it would have had on all our lives in 2020? I wish to express my sincere condolences to anyone who has lost a friend or relative to this terrible disease.
I would like to thank all those who wished me well when I was ill with COVID back in April, those good wishes helped me through what was a tough time, a bad cold this disease is not.
I would also like to thank everyone on the league’s management board who have worked so hard during the pandemic to keep the league functioning as well as ever. Thanks to League President Keith Moss for his ongoing wise counsel.
The league did its best to get as much cricket in as possible under unprecedented circumstances. Huge thanks are due to Phil Radcliffe and Alan Birkinshaw for the innovative schedules that they came up with that led to some great competitive cricket.
The league’s chief executive, Mark Heald, has worked tirelessly with me to keep the league running smoothly and I thank him.
Bob Shackleton who has served the league magnificently for 38 years decided it was time to hand up his boots for a well-earned retirement. I was delighted that he agreed to be the league’s first Vice President. Once again, I thank him for his wonderful service.
I would also like to thank all the officials, player and supporters of every club in the league who without exception went the extra mile to keep the sport we love going in 2020.
The league has not stood still and is looking forward to the future with huge optimism. League secretary Chris Leathley and board member Bill Holmes visited every club during the year, and we will shortly be publishing our raising standards document that aims to raise the standards of the league even further. They have put in many hours into this project and I thank them.
As I write this we are still in the grip of the pandemic and no one can be sure of what lies ahead. The roll out of the vaccine gives us great hope and we have published our fixtures for a full season, however we also have contingencies planned should that not be possible.
We have said goodbye to Oulton CC in 2020 who have joined the Pontefract League and we wish them well. For 2021 we welcome Crossflatts CC to the league. I wish them every success in their inaugural season and hope they have a long and successful future in the Bradford Premier League.
Finally, I wish everyone associated with the league and the wider cricket family a happy new year.