West of Scotland Cricket Club’s Development XI helps young and adult beginners play cricket

28 April 2019

The West of Scotland Cricket Club, Glasgow. Photograph: Dheepu George

Development programme designed to ease novices into the game

The West of Scotland Cricket Club has commenced their cricket development training programme for young and adult beginners for the current season this April.

The programme will focus on introducing the sport to first-timers and nurturing them to progress through to the highest club-level cricket. Participants of the training programme will form the club’s Development XI team.

“We call it the development team because it mostly consists of adults who have never played the game before,” said David Hinchliffe, the head coach of West of Scotland Cricket Club.

The Development XI will play friendlies and also in the Western District Cricket Union (WDCU) Development League.

Players in the Development XI can progress to Hamilton Crescent XI, the club’s Division 4 league team, then to Partick XI which is the club’s second eleven and finally to its first eleven, McCrea West of Scotland that participates in the WDCU Premier Division.

The programme has been running for the past five years “but it was only this year we made a concerted effort to train and include real beginners in the team,” said Hinchliffe.

In the introduction to the programme on the club’s website they state it’s “for the development of young cricketers by giving them a structured and enjoyable introduction to senior cricket aided and mentored by more experienced senior players.”

The West of Scotland Cricket Club was founded in 1862 by Sir David Carrick Buchanan along with other local businessmen and players from the region, who envisaged it becoming the MCC of Scotland. The club continues to be the hotbed for cricket in Glasgow.

“Cricket is a lot more social than any other sport. You spend a lot of time with people because the game is long. Even ‘post-match gathering’ by players is a big tradition of this sport. When the weather is good, it’s the best game in the world,” said Hinchliffe welcoming beginners to the team.

Andrew Morris, 30, from Manchester has been playing squash since young but he took an interest in cricket when his girlfriend joined the club this year. Whilst he’d been a spectator before, he’d never got more involved, “I used to go to Lancashire Cricket Club in Manchester to watch them play but had never played before. Cricket is a unique game like squash, and I enjoy socialising with people. I hope to transfer my skills from squash to cricket while batting,” Morris said.

Andrew Morris at Development XI training session. Photograph: Dheepu George

Paul Stewart, 34, from Glasgow had never even watched cricket until this year. He had tried his hand at martial arts and rugby in his 20s but never picked them up due to the strenuous physiological demands of those sports.

In his pursuit to play a unique sport and be ‘contrarian,’ he was attracted by the sophistication of cricket, which includes setting up the field, positioning players, planning for scoring runs, strategising the game, its psychological aspects etc. “Cricket is normally what you would not do in Scotland, but it is an old traditional sport here. My uncle and granddad used to play cricket years ago,” said Stewart.

Paul Stewart at the West of Scotland Cricket Club. Photograph: Dheepu George

“When I don’t play cricket, I read a lot about the game. There is so much written about cricket including statistics and match analysis that I’m very interested in”, added Stewart.

Stewart admits cricket is a fierce game when played with a leather ball, but he loves interacting and socialising with like-minded people. “There is so much to learn about the game, so I have to study more,” said Stewart.

The Development XI team trains every Thursday at 6pm at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in the west end of Glasgow. Interested members may contact the club directly to join the team.

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