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STATEMENT TO MEMBERS: Special General Meeting and Members Forum


Sussex Cricket Faces Future with Confidence

Dear Member,

This note is to advise you that we will be holding a Members Forum on Cricket in the Focus Group Boundary Rooms at The County Ground at 7.30pm on Thursday 29th October. This will follow the Special General Meeting at 7pm on that day.

I thought it might be helpful to give some post season thoughts. Firstly Sussex Cricket has taken the disappointment of relegation from Division One of the LV=County Championship as an opportunity to take stock, regroup and move forward.

We were particularly disappointed to have been demoted as we had invested in the playing squad and coaching support with high hopes for 2015. We were leading the LV=CC in early season but the unprecedented amount of unrelated injuries to our seam bowling attack was a major factor in the season's outcome. The preparation of our players and their medical care is being reviewed. We were very encouraged by our performances in the NatWest T20 Blast in reaching a home quarter-final and there were several individual performances of note, including the emergence of Ollie Robinson who was shortlisted for PCA Young Cricketer of the Year.

The coaching staff and playing squad met after the season and the mood was such that plenty of hurt and disappointment was expressed. The group has resolved to bounce back and be more successful next season.

In terms of the playing squad, Ashar Zaidi and Chris Liddle have been released. Mike Yardy and Steffan Piolet have retired. They all go with our thanks and best wishes. The squad will be smaller next year and we are delighted to have recruited Danny Briggs, a 24 year-old spin bowler from Hampshire, who has played for England in limited over matches.

Ed Joyce has decided to pass on the baton of captaincy to concentrate on batting. We are appreciative that under his leadership we achieved third position in the LV=CC twice in the post Mushy era. Luke Wright has been appointed as his successor as club captain and we wish Luke every success in the role.

On behalf of the SCCC Board, Zac Toumazi, Chief Executive, has been undertaking a fundamental strategic review of the Club’s professional cricket structure, including the organisation of the Academy, which is nearing conclusion. The Board will consider Zac’s recommendations shortly with all the care that is necessary to ensure it makes the right decisions in the long terms interests of Sussex. It is important for you to know that this process has been underway for some time and was taking place regardless of our championship status.

Sussex County Cricket Club and Sussex Cricket Board are on track for integration into a new body, Sussex Cricket Limited, with effect from 1 November 2015. This is designed to bring many benefits including an enhanced player pathway. We also plan more player engagement to inspire our youngsters who play for local clubs.

The SCCC Board is far from complacent about the current circumstances relating to the 1st XI squad, but I can assure all members that much energy will be give to regaining the Club’s status in the top division at the end of the 2016 season.

Whilst writing, I wish to advise you of the very considerable progress being made on many fronts. These steps will prove building blocks for the longer-term development of cricket in the county and include:

• Our work in primary schools and clubs and we are now seeing more appetite for cricket in state secondary schools;

• Our formal partnerships with Oxford CB and Guernsey CB which has resulted in a wider net of players who will be candidates for our Academy;

• The enormous growth of cricket being played by women and girls (and our magnificent staging of a sold-out Women's Ashes match at Hove);

• The continued growth of the Sussex Cricket in the Community programme and the related launch of the Sussex Cricket Foundation later this year.

The Board fully realises that our Members, and everyone associated with the Club, is keen to see Sussex perform at the top table. Many people who attended the end of season Tribute Evening for Matt Prior and Mike Yardy told me that they were very heartened by the spirit and resolve on display from our cricket leadership group that evening.

At Sussex, we take pride in our values and we believe that we have a core of very good people on and off the pitch. Everyone is determined that the County continues to be at the forefront of English cricket and we are planning for 2016 with expectations that we will achieve this.

The Board is very appreciative of the support the Club receives from our Members and I look forward to seeing many of you on 29th October

Kind regards

Jim May,
(on behalf of Sussex CCC Board)

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