After chatting to me over the last few weeks, Dan Sumner has decided that he wishes to take up an offer to play SPL (Southern Premier League) cricket. Dan goes with our blessing as it would be disingenuous to deny a player the opportunity to see how he fairs at a higher level. If Dan doesn’t give it a go now, he will always wonder at what level he could have played at and I respect that.
Dan has asked if he can remain a paid-up club member and has expressed his desire to return to the club in the future; I have no problem with that. On a personal note, it is a little sad to see him go, as along with George, he was the last remaining member who represented my Colts Under 13 team back when I was coaching. On a positive note, Dan playing in the SPL only highlights what a great, and indeed, underestimated coach, I was.
I hope everyone at the club wishes Dan well in his new adventure, it will be great to see how he fairs. Alex Brundle has volunteered to step up from Vice Captain to Captain but if anyone else wishes to put their name forward, please drop me a mail. Speaking to Alex today, he is chuffed for Dan but also sees it as a great opportunity for many of our good players to up their game and show what they can do. I think that is a positive way to look at Dan’s departure.
Good luck Dan!
Also departing the club is Elliot Hennessey, who has moved back to Worcester to take over his family business. Elliot arrived at the club in 2019 and immediately made friends and smashed all our batting records in a whirlwind stay at the club. Elliott was playing well below his level, but he was always humble, trying to help and improve others. In our fractured season of 2020, despite moving away from the area, Elliot drove from Worcester to play for us, which showed his genuine affection for the club.
Elliot was a legendary party animal too and many a raucous Oakley evening had him at the centre of it. His only flaw was his inexplicable desire for a Chicken Korma, a curry choice I might not ever be able to forgive him for. Good luck with your new club and new job NSC, you will always be welcome at Oakley Park.
Coming back to the club are Kalum Sapumanage and his family, who could not resist the bright lights of Basingstoke any longer and have returned. It’s great to have Kalum back on board and we are told his son (now 15) is a handy player himself these days, so a double bonus.
When I told some of the lads today, there was a genuine buzz about them because Kalum is a good all-round cricketer at our level. He is also an infectious, fun character to have around the place. I am really looking forward to meeting up with him again soon for his second coming.
We also have a couple of potential new members we are talking to about coming to the club, but as ever, they must be the right fit for who we are and what we want to achieve.