Category: Overview

4th XI Group Photo Celebrating successful 2022 Season

2022 End of Season Review

Now that the Winter Solstice has passed and thoughts again turn to longer and warmer days ahead, our Senior Men’s team captains offer their reflection on the past season…

Moseley Ashfield 1st XI by Iltaf Rehman

The first team started the season in high spirits. The introduction of younger players sparked the experienced players into jostling for a place in slips. However, it quickly became apparent that some of the youngsters were less agile than the more experienced. I have to say I never expected to witness this but then it would not be Moseley Ashfield.

Three games in and we were rocked by the news a serious shoulder injury meant leading run scorer John Pemberton was out for the season. John’s knowledge, contribution with the bat which includes excellent running between the wickets and dynamic fielding would be dearly missed. If that wasn’t enough soon after we experienced another setback, our top order batsman Salah Khan suffering an ACL injury which would rule him out for the season. A hard-hitting talented batsman for whom we had high hopes would be one of our leading run scorers.

In terms of the season out of twenty games (excluding abandoned and reduced overs) we scored 250 or more on only four occasions. Confusingly three of these performances were against the top sides, losing by the tightest of margins to Cov North Warwicks and Sutton Coldfield but beating Attock at home. Playing the top sides somehow got the best out of us but the difference between winning or losing was often an overseas professional or paid player.

Decent batting contributions in the season came from our stalwart Ollie Thomas top scoring with over 500 runs, Masharraf Shazad and Hayden Evans our promising top order batsmen both scoring around 400 runs. Masharraf enjoyed a strong first season often looking impenetrable. As for Hayden he showed his talent by scoring a majestic century in the final game of the season, hopefully the first of many. In addition, there were four other players who scored over 300 runs, Sultan Afsal with a strong average, Alex Perry, Shah Waqas, and Charlie Greening.

One of the highlights has been watching Rayyen at the tender of age of 16 steaming in and clean bowling some of the best batsmen in the league, including leading run scorers Shivam Bhambri and Wes Ryan Landsdale. A highly promising start to his Moseley Ashfield tenure.

Other notable performances include amongst taking crucial wickets, we witnessed Felix Shears score an unbeaten 41 against a strong Aston Manor bowling unit, revealing a hitherto unknown talent for the sweep shotl. Jack Wadelin scored an unbeaten 46 against Sutton Coldfield holding his own against a barrage of bouncers from ex-Warwickshire player Aaron Thomason: the silence from his fiercest critics, , aka best friends, spoke volumes. Sultan Afsal’s pyrotechnics against Attock pretty much winning us the game. Mohammed Akeel’s wizardry bamboozling the best batsmen with his wrong un.

It was wonderful to see Ian Carey taking his 600th wicket. Over the years I have been fortunate to witness many of those wickets and know how much hard work goes into achieving such a feat. After several years of giving his all Ian has decided to hang up his boots. I look forward to seeing who will step up and build on the huge contribution Ian has made over the years.

All in all, a season where we could not avoid relegation however the experience gained will hopefully go towards strengthening each player and building a stronger team ready to make Moseley Ashfield proud again.

Moseley Ashfield 2nd XI by Micky Bromhall

The second eleven looked set for consecutive promotions at the half-way stage of the 2022 season but ultimately fell short due to injuries and availability. Akeel Mohammed was once again superb with bat and ball and Noel Hall with 46 wickets, outstanding. Luke Baker showed why he’s the outstanding fielder in our club with many remarkable “grabs”. Mo Azam continues to defy age with several impressive performances with bat and ball. I believe there are huge futures in the game for Rayyen and Stephen, who look destined for long first team careers, remembering of course Stephen’s maiden century for the club at the tender age of 15. All things considered we should be proud to maintain our division 5 status as it is in my view a very high standard of cricket. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my two years leading a great bunch of lads and believe our spirit remained high even during lows. We now need a strong leader and some smart recruitment to make sure the twos push on.

Moseley Ashfield 3rd XI by Hassan Idrees

The 3rd XI season started one week earlier than intended with a rearranged fixture against Moseley 4th XI at the Centenary Ground due to the Commonwealth Games fixtures later in the year. It meant that we were able to start the season with real momentum, winning this game and the next two (coincidentally including the reverse fixture against Moseley) and only losing four wickets in total whilst chasing down the opposition totals.
The middle period of the season saw mixed results, with an ever-changing line-up, though this was in part due to the promotion of several players into the 2nd XI. In total, more than ten players that had played 3rd XI cricket played at least one 2nd XI fixture, with half becoming regular players for the 2s. The highlight of which was Stephen hitting a century and ending the season as the 5th highest run scorer in the club.

For the 3rd XI, success was shared out between players, with five bowlers contributing more than ten wickets in the season and three players with a batting average of 40 plus. Whilst a league position of 8th meant that our goal of achieving promotion was not achieved, the season did allow for a number of players to progress through the playing XIs at Ashfield.

Moseley Ashfield 4th XI by Richard Bowpitt
A really positive season for the 4th XI built to a brilliant conclusion with a 5th place finish in the League after a late surge that saw us pick up four sets of 24 points in our final five games.

This year, we won more games (seven), made more runs (making over 200 four times this year, including the 4s highest ever score of 253/6) and bowled more teams out (five times) than any previous year, which goes a long way to showing what a step forward it has been not just for individuals, but for the entire side.

One particular highlight was the continued development of MACC Youth Cricketers into the Senior Sides. Over the course of the year, we had 22 different under 18s turn out for the 4s and maintained an average of at least five youngsters in each game – giving more kids than ever the opportunity to experience open-age league cricket and continue to develop their skills in match settings.

On an individual level, Stephen and Hashim, who began the year with the 4s, ended it playing for the 2s; Stephen leading the way with his maiden century and Hashim contributing key runs for the 3s. Asad, Panu and Evran were also among those to earn a spot in the 3s on the back of solid outings for the 4s, and show that they are more than ready for the step up. It’s fantastic for the group of youngsters coming through to have such tangible examples of the potential for progress up the sides when natural talent is allied with hard work. A word too for twelve-year-old Aleem, who wrapped up the 4s season with a hattrick on his way to figures of 4/2 in the final game. One to watch out for in the (not too distant) future!

Perhaps the most positive aspect of the whole year though has been the tremendous sense of team spirit and the growth of an encouraging and positive culture displayed by all the guys throughout the season, whether we’ve been winning or losing. Leading the way, individuals such as Nasser Hussain (24 wickets, second highest in the league), Mohammed Billal (179 runs and 15 wickets), Rob Green (212 runs) and Kevin Cuthbert (6 wickets and a maiden 50) have shown their value to the side not just in their performances, but more importantly through the way they have set the standard for the lads coming through. It’s always been the goal for the 4s to provide a really supportive environment for those taking their first steps into adult cricket, and that wouldn’t be possible without the example of those senior players each week, plus the one and only Ash Patel and his immeasurable support in both matches and training.

It’s been a privilege to lead the 4s this year (even though I haven’t had the opportunity to play that many games for the 4s myself!), and I’m really proud of the progress that we’ve again seen this season. There’s more to come from this side, and I’m excited to see the development continue in 2023 and beyond!

Clare Lindley's Watercolour Painting of the Moseley Ashfield Cricket Club's new Britannic Park Ground

Aiming Higher in 2022!

The 2021 Season saw one of the most successful seasons in recent times across all sections of the club and aspirations are high for the upcoming season, as the respective team captains now reflect:

First Team

We started the season with a great victory away at local rivals Attock, thanks to runs from Kaiser and Suraj, giving Ashfield a less than competitive total. Looking dead and buried we turned to Sully, who completely changed the game on its head with 5 for 29 and brought home what looked like an impossible 24 points, a sign of things to come for the rest of the season. We remained undefeated for 6 games, leaving us joint top of the league after 6 games.

Unfortunately, at this point the league thought it would be a good idea to introduce a white ball, horrendously fitted Pyjama’s and win/lose cricket, which took a few weeks for us to get used to, along with availability struggles, meaning we lost 6 out of the next 7 games.

Fortunately the Ashfield fighting spirit kicked in and with some slight personnel changes and a different approach with the bat, we managed to turn our form around away at Streetly, brilliantly guided by Hayden and Salah with 34 and 40 respectively at the top of the order and then the master blaster himself hitting a brilliant hundred. From this point we didn’t look back, and finished the season with 6 wins and 3 draws.

This season was a real team effort, seeing the individual brilliance of several players with both bat and ball. In the 2020 season Oliver Thomas scored 800 runs and contributed over 50% of team runs, but in 2021 several people put their hands up in the tough moments. Similarly with the ball, we had four bowlers with over 20 wickets, which is an incredible feat and shows the class we have within this team.

Statistically, we:
Played: 22
Won: 10
Lost: 6
Drew: 3
No Result: 3
Leading to a: 4th Place finish and plenty to build on for next year.

2nd Team

Following a successful campaign, the Second XI were Division 6 champions in 2021 and aim to be challenging for promotion again this season. Significant contributions were made by many, culminating in Tariq receiving the batting award, Akeel the bowling award, with Noel being captain’s player of the season. We are also pleased to confirm the signing of Rayyen Khan who we believe can help push us even further this year. Hoping for a successful, injury free season for all.

3rd Team

2021 was a very good season for the 3rd XI, finishing 3rd in the division and just missing out on promotion. It was pleasing to see a number of players promoted from the 4th XI and further reflecting growth and development a similar number promoted to become regular members of the 2nd XI.

During this successful season we saw 5 different centurions including two maiden tons in the same match. Two junior members were leading wicket takers for the side with 16 each. The aim for 2022 is to push for promotion whilst providing further opportunities for junior development and promotion to higher teams.

4th Team

In a similar vein, 2021 very good season for the 4th XI with lots of junior development. A mid-table finish was fitting reward, with many noteworthy performances and an unprecedented number of juniors who donned the MACC whites. Several of these progressed the 3rd XI,. With an increased senior and junior membership we are looking forward to great season in 2022.

Aiming High in 2021!

With the great news received on the 22nd February, concerning the resumption of outdoor competitive sport, we’re delighted that The Ashfield will have a full season of competitive cricket.

Four senior men’s teams will enter the Warwickshire Cricket League, opening on 17th April for the 1st and 2nd XIs, then on 1st May for the 3rd and 4th XIs. Full fixture lists can be found on the individual team pages

The 1st XI have made a number of great signings to add to an already strong squad. After the success of the 2020 season, it’s going to be a lot tougher in 2021. Teams now know about us, and will themselves have strengthened over the winter.

Having said that, the objectives remain the same. Finish as high as we can, whilst playing an exciting brand of cricket. The objectives for the other senior teams are just the same, with an especial focus on the development of our younger players, who are the future of the club and potentially the county.

The appointment of Ian Carey as Director of Cricket has provided further impetus and focus towards establishing The Ashfield as one of the leading clubs in the county; whether that be senior cricket, youth cricket, women’s and girls’ cricket, or a brilliant social and community organisation.

What ever happens, it will just be great to get out and play some competitive sport.

And in the words of Club Captain Alex Perry “Good luck to the whole club over the next 7 months. Let’s keep the momentum going!”

Warwickshire League U13s Champions 2020

Youth Section Review Of The Year

2020 Another Memorable Season

There was so much to look forward to:
• Pre-season training at Bishop Challoner was going well
• Some of our U13s & U15’s had been given the opportunity to take part in further training with WCB coaches at Handsworth Grammar.
• Funding and coaching had been secured in order set up a dedicated Girls and Women’s Hub

Then Covid-19 struck…

And so we waited, but soon the loss of cricket was put into stark perspective as we learnt that one of our Senior players, Haroon Haider, had succumbed to the virus.

Glorious sunny day followed glorious sunny day throughout the lockdown period with still no sign of any cricket. Then at the end of May we were given permission to begin limited net practice sessions. Eager youngsters queued up to take park, accompanied by parents eager to get them out of lockdown! However, there was still no sign of any cricket matches on the horizon. All the while clubs, the ECB and WCB were wrestling with plans to construct a pathway towards the resumption of recreational cricket.

Frustration followed frustration as Her Majesty’s Prime Minister first told us that the ball was a “significant vector of virus transmission”; then that there was an “issue with cricket teas and changing facilities”. Then suddenly at the beginning of July we were told that matches could resume.

Fixtures were hastily arranged, risk assessments, signage, hygiene precautions and tracking procedures were put in place and so at the end of July, the season finally began.

Word must have also spread throughout the local community that we were back in business, as enquiries followed and we were able to welcome many new children and their parents into the Ashfield family. We look forward to a long and happy association with them and hopefully a more normal season in 2021.

The first team in action were the U10’s softball team with a friendly fixture on a sunny evening at Solihull Blossomfield on 20th July. A shortage of match practice was evident with a defeat, but it was still great to be back on the field of play. This was one of the few defeats that any of our teams across all of the age groups experienced throughout the truncated season, during which it became apparent just what a talented group of players we had.

In all we played just over 30 matches across the Youth Section in 7 weeks: a monumental feat of organisation and great testament to the efforts of our Team Managers: Riaz, Graham, Jules, Duncan, Jo, Tony and Simon.

There were many special moments in those 7 short weeks, but the particular highlights had to be the achievements of the Under 11s and Under 13s; both of whom topped their leagues and progressed to the County play-offs. A thrilling last ball win over Four Oaks Saints saw the Under 11s through to play against Kenilworth Wardens in the final, whereas a more straightforward win for the Under 13s over Earlswood saw them travel to play Coventry and North Warwickshire.

In the end a much bigger, older and stronger Kenilworth Wardens side (only 1 of their team was younger than 11, compared to ours having only one 11 year old) edged out the Under 11s by 7 runs. 15 miles up the road however, it was a different story as the Under 13s were victorious by 7 runs and end the season as Warwickshire League Champions.

more to follow…

England Cricket Worldcup Comes to Moseley Ashfield Cricket Club

Happy New Year

Now that the Winter Solstice is over and the days begin to lengthen, it is time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the future and hopefully sunny days ahead.

2019 A Year of Memories

2019 was for the Youth and Ladies Sections quite momentous; a year of growth, opportunity and experience. The number of children registered as members grew by over a third compared to 2018 and we have had representative teams in 6 different age groups, giving over 70 children the opportunity to represent the club. This is definitely the most that MACC has had in over a decade and quite remarkable given that as recently as 2016 we had barely scraped together an Under 11s and an Under 15s team; though the seeds had been sown with a strong Under 9s.

In 2019, for the first time we ran the All Stars programme, which saw 16 youngsters take their first steps in cricket; three of whom – Zayn, Ammar and Sam – have begun their transition into the main youth section. 

Tribute must therefore be paid to all of our coaches, managers and helpers with whom none of this would have been possible. 

Under 15s – Jo and Tony 

Under 13s – Margaret  

Under 11s – Duncan and Jules 

Under 10s – Graham, Julian, Damian, Sam, Dan, James, Chris and Mark who have all helped throughout 

We must always remember three other people with whose selfless help throughout the year have made many of our Friday evenings and other youth events run so well; Steve Hall, Kate and Angela.

And finally, for the first time in at least a decade we had a ladies’ section. More about that later.

We cannot reflect on the past year without remembering someone who was one of the Youth Section’s biggest supporters.

Many of you will remember him as a slightly grumpy old goat who was always telling the children off for running on the square, but underneath that gruff exterior was someone who took great pleasure in seeing the children’s enjoyment and progress in cricket week-in, week-out.

We are of course referring to Thommo – Alan Thomas; rugby star, groundsman and maître chef de BBQ. We can all be certain that he’ll be looking down on us at the end of this year with great pride and satisfaction.

Progress in Leagues

On the field of play, it has again been a year of great progress. Our Youth Teams have played almost 50 league and festival matches. At all times they have demonstrated the values that we as a club enshrine; friendliness and hospitality, respect and sportsmanship. 

It was a steep learning curve again for many of our teams against, in some cases, very hard-nosed oppositions. However, the playing standard and match awareness have improved so much that on two occasions the opposition managers were so fearful of losing to us that they engineered situations where their teams were almost guaranteed to win. In one case, that team still finished below MACC in the table!

County Triallists

Reflecting further on that improvement, it is particularly pleasing to report that this year we nominated a record number of children for county trials (at least in recent memory). It is not a decision that we took lightly, as there are many challenges to face and it must be right for the individual. Our county triallists and representatives this year were: 

Toby, Aleem, Zayn, Charlie, Sophie, Jacob, Stephen, Yusuf, Arden, Kofi and Basit. 

All performed with great credit, received much positive feedback and valuable tips to help them progress, as well as being outstanding representatives of the club and their families (as told to me by the Warwickshire Cricket Board). Out of that group we are pleased to report that Toby, Aleem, Charlie and Stephen have been selected for the County Squads and Development Squads for their respective age groups. 

Also, in further demonstration of the progress made by the Ashfield Youth, 10 of our section represented the senior teams (4ths, 3rds and 2nds) with great distinction this year.  

Tom P, Tom K, Kofi, Krishan, Asad, Basit, Nandi, Arden, Rapha, Rizwan and Yusuf. 

The future is bright here at MACC. Strong foundations have been laid and we are of course always seeking to improve the standard and cricket experience for everyone within what we hope is a friendly and inclusive culture.

Breaking Boundaries

Undoubtably, the highlight of the year was the visit of the Fishrite Hanover Park Club from Cape Town, South Africa, getting to meet Moeen Ali and appearing on the TV. It was an unforgettable experience in so many ways for everyone who was there. The first match was scheduled for Tuesday 6th August and though the weather intervened with two downpours of biblical proportions to prevent the match being played, a memorable day was had by all, as has been reported many times already on the social media pages

Fortunately, owing to a cancellation by another club, the fixture was able to be rearranged for Thursday 8th August. A closely fought match resulted in a win for Ashfield by 21 runs, but the match was noted for outstanding sportsmanship from both teams.

The Hanover Park club gave their tour the hashtag #BreakingBoundaries and the two days certainly demonstrated that the spirit of cricket knows no boundaries. We were presented with a limited edition print of the celebrated Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town by the Hanover Park Club. It’s now framed and will take its rightful place in our pavilion for all to see and enjoy and remember the good times we had. 

Still the memorable times kept coming, on 1st September, we held our fourth and we could almost say, annual, Under 9s Festival. Though only 4 teams arrived on the day, a most enjoyable time was had by all and we received many compliments and words of thanks from our guests from Harborne, Kings Heath and Solihull Blossomfield. 

Then on Friday 10th September came our awards evening, a wonderful evening of celebration and festivity. Congratulations have to go to the award winners of course, but the sentiments expressed on the certificates that were presented to all the children (some of which still need to be collected) tell the bigger picture and hopefully indicate what we as a club aspire to be.

Ladies’ Section

In amongst all of this we had our ladies’ teams taking part in their first festivals and performing with great credit. On Sunday 4th August, they took part in their first competitive softball festival and finished as runners-up to Kings Heath, a much longer established and experienced outfit. Whilst the Under 9s Festival was running, they took part in their second one, winning one of their two matches. In the coming year, we’re looking to secure coaching and new equipment for our ladies to make their experience all the more rewarding as well as seeking to host our own ladies’ festival. Well done to Pippa Beard for getting all of this off the ground. 

And so, just as we thought that was that, rumours abounded that the Cricket World Cup Trophy and Moeen were going to pay a visit to the club, but many things have been promised over the years…

World Cup Trophy Comes to Ashfield

England Cricket Worldcup Comes to Moseley Ashfield Cricket Club
England Cricket Worldcup Comes to Moseley Ashfield Cricket Club

However, it gradually became apparent that our expectations were going to be realised. The ECB had planned to take the trophy on tour to the first clubs of five of the squad; Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Eoin Morgan, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali. So on Friday 15th October, along came the ECB World Cup Trophy team with a brief for us to do some training drills, a Q&A session with Moeen and give everyone who wanted the chance to have their picture taken with the trophy.

Not only that, the ECB produced and published a video describing the tour, which can be found on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Looking Forward to 2020

And there is so much to look forward to…

We aim to continue building on past successes, learning from our experiences (and mistakes!) in order to give as many boys, girls and ladies as possible an enjoyable and fulfilling experience as well as developing our elite level players.

The Youth Section will have the following structure this year:

Youth Section Manager – Rob Green

Child Welfare Officer – Angela Brown

Rob and Angela will be working closely with our coaches, age group managers and leaders; Jo Ind, Tony Thapar, Margaret Carmody, Duncan Wilson, Jules Newman, Kasir Shah, Adrian Stephens and Alex Perry.

And to this end we will be entering teams into the following competitions:

  • Under 9s/10s: softball league and festivals
  • Under 11s: Warwickshire Premier League – hard ball, Monday evenings, 20-over matches (We will have five county representatives in the squad)
  • Under 12s: pairs – hard ball, away matches on weekdays, home matches Monday evenings
  • Under 13s: Warwickshire Championship – hard ball, Sunday mornings,  25-over matches
  • Under 15s: Warwickshire Championship – hard ball, Sunday mornings, 25-over matches
  • Under 17s: 20/20 – post-exams late June/July

Pre-Season Practice

This year we have opted to use the sports hall at Bishop Challoner Catholic School. This gives us more flexibility as with a bigger space we can use practice nets whilst also working on other skills, such as fielding, catching and wicketkeeping. These sessions will take place on Friday evenings from 5.00 until 6.15 pm, with an initial cost of £4 per session (this may be amended depending on attendance). The sessions will be as follows, based on current school year ages:

  • Fridays 10, 17, 24, 31 January: Year 8 and upwards
  • Friday 7 February: Year 7 and below, including those transitioning to hard ball
  • Friday 14 February: Year 8 and upwards
  • Friday 21 February: Year 7 and below
  • Friday 28 February: Year 8 and upwards
  • Friday 6 March: Year 7 and below
  • Friday 13 March: Year 8 and upwards
  • Friday 20 March: Year 7 and below
  • Friday 27 March: Year 8 and upwards

In order for your child to take part in these sessions, you will need to register them beforehand and sign a consent form at the first session that they take part in.

Registration and Membership Fees

This year, and in all subsequent years, registration for membership will run from January 1st until December 31st. This can be done by completing the following online form:

Moseley Ashfield Cricket Club Junior Membership Application Form, 2020

Membership subscriptions will be due from 1st April 2020 and will need to be paid by the end of that month. We expect that these will remain at the same level as in 2019 (subject to confirmation at the club’s Annual General Meeting in January)

  • £85.00 for first child, £60 for second and subsequent children
  • £30 ladies and associate (social) members

Volunteering At Ashfield

Everyone we’ve mentioned earlier in the newsletter is an unpaid volunteer and happy to be so. However, with the continual growth of the youth and ladies’ sections it would be great if there were a few more of us. We know that there are many of you out there with many skills and talents that could help us to take things to the next level.

Please do have a think as to what you might be able to help us out with; as little or as much as you feel able. It doesn’t have to be every week; once or twice during the season would help. Things that you could consider are umpiring, scoring, helping managers with admin, providing refreshments, running the bar, club and ground maintenance and anything else that we probably haven’t even thought of. For any of you that would like to get involved with coaching, we can provide guidance and assisted places on ECB approved courses leading to formal qualifications. Any of the managers mentioned will be able to point you in the right direction.

And Finally…

Although we won’t have the Cricket World Cup, here’s hoping for a memorable and enjoyable 2020 for everybody at Moseley Ashfield.