Stratford Cricket Club celebrate top performers of 2020 season
WITH Covid-19 restrictions preventing Stratford CC from hosting their annual end-of-season awards, they decided to do things virtually to celebrate the achievements of the past year.
The first award up was 1st XI player of the year, which went to Gareth Langman. During the course of the Warwickshire Premier East campaign, Langman impressed with the bat after scoring 397 runs at an average of 44.11. He also hit three 50-plus scores as well as recording a highest score of 107, which he smashed against Barby at Swans Nest Lane.
Reflecting on being given the award, Langman told the Herald: “In all honesty, it was a mixed bag of feelings.
“Due to the year we have had with the pandemic, all I wanted to do was get back to a form of normality and thankfully, despite the season being shortened, we as a club felt fortunate that there was any cricket at all.
“However, to have my name on a trophy with some of the greats of the club, some of which I’m fortunate enough to be playing alongside, is a great feeling.
“As a club, last year the performances on the pitch were a great confidence-booster that we have the ability and rotation in our side to make great things happen in hopefully the near future.
“Off the field, we recruited very well and continued the great team morale that we are forming at the club.”
The next award up for grabs was 2nd XI player of the year and that went to Josh Hickman, who admitted the award came as a bit of a surprise, having taken a year and a half off from playing cricket beforehand.
During the course of the season, Hickman scored 214 runs at an average of 42.80, while his best bowling return was five for 28.
“Winning the award was one of surprise and something I didn’t expect. I had taken a year and a half away from playing, so it was just great to be back involved and playing with the boys again,” Hickman told the Herald.
“To receive an award for my contribution to the side was a nice bonus and much appreciated. It was nice to be able to score some runs and positively influence a number of games with the bat.
“I also enjoyed being able to add some energy and physicality in the field and impact the game from that perspective.
“I would have liked to contribute more with the ball but I’m excited to push on this year with all areas of my game and try and help the club achieve their goals.”
Junior player of the year went to Archie Raisbeck, who impressed with 130 senior runs at an average of 43.33 while making important contributions to the U15s squad.
He also scored his first ever 50-plus senior score while hitting 14 runs in Stratford’s victory over Olton & West Warwickshire in the Sunday Smash final last September.
Meanwhile, Steve Cootes was named as winner of the prestigious David Holyhead clubman of the year award, which is given to someone who has gone above and beyond for the club.