2nd Annual LGBTQ+ T10 Tournament

Yesterday we had the privilege and pleasure of representing Gloucestershire Cricket (@Gloscricket) in the second annual LGBTQ+ Tournament organised by our partner Out4Cricket (@out4cricket).

Despite our original squad of fourteen dwindling to a team of 8 prior to the tournament we recorded victories in our two group games against Leeds Kites (Yorkshire) and Graces (MIddlesex), before falling to a very strong Kent Team, one of two newcomers to the tournament this year (the other being Leeds Kites).

Chris, Harry, Sam, Simon, Tom, Frank, Ali and Abdullah

As Captain it was certainly easier only having 8 players because with only three (3) games being played it was going to be a long day, and for some quite long journey, to only play a maximum of two and potentially only one match. We had decided as a squad that our first two games would have a core of all rounders and rotate the rest of the squad over the two games and if we got to the final play our strongest team, otherwise the play off game would have ensured everyone got at least two games.

The downside of having only 8 is that when we picked up an injury and aggravated another we had no choice other than to field the players, and with the rule this year of the batting order being drawn by the umpires, it certainly didn’t help to have them drawn in the top 3 in both the second game and final.

But that is sport: finding a balance and dealing with what you have in front of you – which is why sport is so often used as a metaphor for life – do you give everyone a full days cricket, or protect against injury, lack of form?

The addition of the Umpires draw added a good dimension to the game, and to squad selection. Ideally you would have a wicket keeper/batter and 7 all rounders, so that everyone was guaranteed to contribute, but for anyone that was playing only as a batter there was a risk of not getting to bat. We were fortunate, the player in our side who got picked to bat 7,8 and 8 and never even got their bat out of their bag bowled in every game, but if it had been the player who only batted they would have not have had a particularly challenging or rewarding day. Maybe a Captains Pick in the last game of the day to ensure someone faced with not batting at all on the day could be moved up, or in the final/playoff game allow the Captains to pick the batting order.

Fine tuning of an excellent initiative as the tournament goes from strength to strength is no bad thing.

Matching Shoes!

As we weren’t asked to bring a scorer we didn’t, and with only 8 of us we had to rely on the generosity of the other teams, so a huge thank you! It also means that I have no formal record of the scores, but …

We batted last in all the games, once because we were asked, twice because we won the toss. In the first game we chased down c60, in the second game c80, and in the final failed to chase down c100.

Drawing the batting order, a new change to the rules this year which brought a good dimension to the day, and made life easier for the captains, but maybe a slight tweak next year would prevent someone been drawn 7, 8 and 8 and not batting.

No huge surprise given the summer that we are (not) having that the day was basically cold, cloudy and wet, and the team Gazebo was certainly much appreciated.

The weather kept many at home, but I am told the food (which was reported as being excellent) sold out, and the bar seemed to have a regular stream of visitors, with many Sutton Coldfield players coming down to help out. Again, Sutton Coldfield CC did an excellent job and it was great to hear their offer to host again next year: although maybe in August when we may get some sun, and how about the Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend so nobody has to rush back home for work the next day.

The toss against Leeds Kites, after which the camera was put away until the end of the day!

From a personal perspective is was great to see so many familiar faces and quite revealing as just how many passionate and talented people I have got to meet since I returned to the game in 2021.

Was good to see and talk to so many Unicorns that I had not seen since we parted ways and it may get me into trouble but I loved seeing our NBCC LGTBQ+ Captain Darrell Butler captain Worcestershire to victory over Warwickshire and it was good to have a chance to talk through the previous weeks ‘vegan gate’ with Leeds Kite, who I reckon walked away with the Social Team of the Day award, with Kent taking the well deserved Best Team award …. even if there was a bit of a photo bomb of their picture with the cup!

Thanks then to Out4Cricket and Sutton Coldfield, Umpires, Scorers and volunteers. Big thank you to Gloucestershire for the opportunity to represent them, and HUGE thank you to my teammates for a truly exceptional effort on what was a great day.

If we get the opportunity to try and go a step further next year that would be great, if not this will not have been a bad way to sign off.