Archives: News

Update from the Chairman

Easter is here so season’s greetings to all those celebrating and enjoy the long weekend!

Although Easter is relatively early this year, it heralds the start of the season proper. Spring is springing, indoor training is now finished, we head outside for training from Wednesday, 10 April and the first pre-season fixtures are fast approaching.

I’m delighted that another date is imminent… Tuesday, 2 April will see the start of the work to demolish the remains of the pavilion. At last we will start to see tangible results from all the hard work that the Pavilion Rebuild Board have undertaken since 7 September last year.

Particular big shout out and thanks to Simon Coles, Emma Beavan and Ben Houghton for this achievement. This is the result of their hard work with the Royal Parks management team, Richmond Council and the appointed contractors to reach this milestone.

Our target is to complete the demolition and remove the rubble before the Adult league season starts. More info will follow during the demolition works because vehicle access and parking will be compromised during the demolition.

Work also continues in the background to establish the temporary facilities ahead of the season. This will be a challenge whilst the demolition is in progress. Our target is to have a combination of portacabin type structures and a semi-permanent marquee in place as soon as possible. Watch this space for regular progress updates.

I am also delighted to let you know about a couple of other arrivals…

Firstly, James Chapple, a wicket-keeper / batsman from the state of Victoria, Australia will be at the Wick for the 2024 season. James had a successful season playing in the Bradford league in Yorkshire in 2023 and he will be back in the UK with us from mid-April. We are looking for paid accommodation for James for the season. If you can help out please let us know.

Last, but definitely not least, many congrats to Andrae and Ushea McDonald on the arrival of their beautiful baby daughter Ariella who was born on 16 March.


Another busy week at the Wick, the highlight of which was my visit with Dom Spray to No.10 Downing Street to meet Myles Stacey OBE, Communities Special Adviser to the Prime Minister.

We were invited to No10 along with our colleagues from Heathfield Primary School and others from the MCC, Chance to Shine, and the CEO of Fairbreak to discuss the model we have put in place to encourage state school children, especially girls, to play cricket and to give them access to competitive sport. We spent more than an hour with Myles Stacey and let’s hope this is the first of many steps to improve access to competitive sport in state primary schools.

And following International Women’s Day, I am appealing to all women who are involved in the club, whether as parents and guardians, supporters, or age group helpers. We want to appoint a women to join our Committee as Head of Women’s & Girls Cricket. I am very conscious that although our Committee has some diversity amongst the members from an ethnicity and age perspective, we are currently all male. I want to change this.

One of the club’s overriding priorities is to increase the number of women and girls involved in cricket at the club. We want to build on the success of our girls’ teams achievements last season with the help of the Heathfield crew.  We really need female presence as an absolute priority on the Committee to talk through ideas about how to increase female participation.

No cricket experience is necessary and the time commitment can be tailored to whatever individuals can offer.  We also don’t expect one person to have to solve all the issues or find all the answers; there are lots of ideas and resources available and the full (and considerable) weight of the whole club is behind this to help.

If you think you may like to get involved, in however small a way, please contact Dom Spray ( Head of Junior Cricket or Sam Kemp, Club Chairman ( to chat further.  We have also lined up a Wick Women’s team friendly for later in the season, so will be asking for anyone who fancies getting involved to come along and have a try!  More details to follow.

EXCLUSIVE: England legend Jack Russell’s top keeping tips

England and Gloucestershire legend – and friend of The Wick – Jack Russell took some time out from painting and being an all-round decent bloke to give his top tips on how to improve as a wicketkeeper.

How do you stay confident when standing up to the stumps?

Standing up to the stumps is mainly about concentration. If something surprises you and you’re not ready for it then you’re not concentrating properly. Also, an intense (mentally) focus on the ball at all times is key, even when you lose it for a second through the gate or down the leg side. A lot of keepers don’t watch the ball hard enough during the last two or three feet. They may think they are but it’s easy not to. Important not to let the batsman put you off. Practise batsman putting you off and get used to it. It’s all mental discipline and control.

What do you do if you miss a ball?

How you react to this is crucial. You have to put it out of your mind, as you should do if you do something brilliant. Don’t take any baggage mentally into the next delivery. Each delivery is a fresh challenge. Leave it to the end of the day, then work out what might have happened. With good things you’ve done as well. Work out what you did well and remember it.

What about preparations?

The better prepared you are the better you will play consistently. That includes fitness. We all make mistakes when we’re tired so you have to be the fittest physically and mentally to give yourself the best chance. With drills make sure you practise the difficult things. There’s two types of practice. One is practicing to be perfect. Two is your practising to extend your abilities and skill. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes because you’re looking to push boundaries. Eg: diving catches one handed, try and take catches you can’t reach. Or Yorker length delivers stood up to the stumps. Always practise taking balls off the bowlers you are going to keep wicket to, especially spinners. You can never do enough if it AND DON’T get bored doing it. If you get bored, stop! Because you’ll be practising bad mental processes. Make your bowlers do it because they’re also going to benefit with extra wickets!!! Hope that helps.

Any good books out there?

Luke Sutton has a great book out called “The Wonderful World Of Wicketkeepers” which I can recommend. Also – James Knott and Andy O’Connor’s book on keeping is great.

What was your best take?

That has to be one handed, stood up to seam bowler Mike Cawdren at Lord’s Glos v Somerset Nat West Final 1999 (saved 4 wides!).

Following last year’s devastating fire, Jack helped us raise more than £6,000 by generously donating a print of one of his paintings for our fundraising auction. Thanks again Jack for your help and support from all of us at The Wick?

HWRCC to join Holi Festival with batting net challenge

Hampton Wick Royal Cricket Club is delighted to be involved in the Holi Festival 2024 – hosted by Thecrazegroup.

Members of the club will be on hand with our “batting challenge” net – as well as getting involved in the celebrations.

Thecrazegroup has kindly offered to donate a percentage of the event profits to the pavilion rebuild project – and we will also be taking donations on the day.

What is Holi? The Festival of Colors, Love and Spring explained

Organiser Surbhi Agrawal said: “We’re fully behind our local club, ready to lend our support in every way possible to see it thrive and bring the joy of cricket to everyone involved.”

Sam Kemp, Chairman of HWRCC said: “We’re delighted to have been invited to be involved in the Holi celebrations.

“Community is a vital part of our club so it will be great to learn more about the celebration itself.

“And of course, we can’t wait to share the story of our club and give people the chance to have a go themselves at a bit of cricket.”

The event is being held on March 16 at YMCA Hawker.

There will be kids’ activities, a raffle, amazing food and bazaar stalls, colour stalls, and a tombola.

Adult tickets cost £16, kids aged 4-12 £8 and toddlers get in free of charge.

You can get your tickets here:

What is Holi? The Festival of Colors, Love and Spring explained

Holi, known as the Festival of Colors, Love, and Spring, is a Hindu celebration that venerates the eternal love of Radha and Krishna and symbolises the victory of good over evil with Vishnu’s triumph as Narasimha over Hiranyakashipu. Originating in the Indian subcontinent, Holi has spread to Asia and parts of the Western world.

It marks the onset of spring, the end of winter, and the flourishing of love, while also heralding the beginning of a fruitful harvest season. Lasting a night and a day, it commences on the evening of the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Phalaguna, typically in mid-March.


Holi is a sacred Hindu tradition celebrated as a holiday in many states of India and Nepal, with regional observances in other countries. It serves as a cultural celebration, inviting people of all backgrounds to partake in the joy by exchanging colored water and powder, as well as a time for Hindus to reflect on renewing relationships, resolving conflicts, and letting go of past emotional burdens.

Furthermore, Holi carries religious significance, exemplified by the legend of Holika, underscoring its multifaceted importance in Hindu culture and beyond.

Opening Up Cricket: Charity boss on why rain breaks aren’t all bad

Anyone who has played cricket for even a short amount of time will know about those frustrating rain delays… and long breaks in play.

The lower-order batsman hanging around waiting to put the pads on – an issue less relevant at The Wick.

However, Mark Boyns – who set up Opening Up Cricket – believes it’s these breaks that sets cricket apart as one of the best sports for promoting and maintaining good mental health.

Mark founded the charity in 2014 after his friend and Sefton Park CC team-mate Alex Miller took his own life.

Since then, Mark and his team of volunteers have delivered hundreds of sessions to cricket clubs across the UK and abroad.

Their message is about promoting mental wellbeing and raising awareness of good mental health.

Mark kindly took some time out to talk to us about why cricket is such a valuable sport for keeping the mind happy and healthy.

And while they may seem annoying at the time – Mark believes those pesky rain delays are one of the main benefits to playing our beautiful game.

“The length of cricket games – even the shorter formats – gives you the opportunity to spend more time with people.

“There are naturally long periods where you’ll be sat there talking – tea, during rain breaks or while you’re waiting to bat.

“This gives us the space and time to have conversations. These could be about nothing in particular but they give us the potential to build friendships and close bonds within a team.”

Mark also highlights other aspects of cricket that have benefits to mental health awareness and resilience.

“Cricket is very much a game where you’re responding to changing situations.

“Whether it’s keeping on top a run rate, building an innings, or setting the right fields – cricket helps build the mental skills to deal with these situations.

“And a huge part of this is team work – cricket is very much a sharing experience.”

Cricket also offers a huge range of opportunities for people to start in the game – or to keep involved as the years start to catch up.

Mark points out: “There are so many different aspects to cricket and opportunities for people within club settings – playing, coaching, scoring, umpiring, working the bar, making teas, organising events and tours.”

You can find out more about then great work Opening Up Cricket does here:

ECB Chief updated on Wick-Heathfield partnership

Sam Kemp, HWRCC Chairman, joined James Watson, Head of HWRCC Girls Cricket and head of PE at Heathfield Junior School, met Richard Thompson the Chief Executive of the ECB on Monday.


Richard was joined by Hannah Bruce, Head of Public Policy for the ECB.


The meeting was held to promote the fantastic partnership he Wick has built with Heathfield Junior School.

Richard was interested to understand how the partnership had been established. He and Hannah also heard about the great opportunities the Wick provides to boys and girls from Heathfield to play the competitive cricket that they want to play but often struggle to access through the state school system.

Hampton wick royal cricket club

Update from the Chairman

Another busy “off-season” week for the Wick…


Great to see indoor winter training up and running, particularly hooking up with an old friend and ex-Wick coach, Monte Lynch. He was kindly giving his time to helping lead the girls training on Sunday. We were also very grateful to Ariana Dowse, wicket-keeper/batter for the Sunrisers (Sunrisers women’s cricket) who also gave her time for free and ran some great coaching sessions for the aspiring keepers amongst the girls (and giving a few tips to your Chairman!)


The Pavilion Rebuild team met on Monday. We were delighted to hear that the initial feedback from the Royal Parks for our pavilion rebuild plans is really positive. They also gave strong signals of their support for our plans for the temporary accommodation that will be in place for both the 2024 and 2025 seasons. Watch this space for more details. Please also put the date of 26 February evening in you diary when we will be presenting all the latest plans to those that can attend an on-line presentation from members of the Rebuild team. Invite to follow soon….


On Wednesday Dom Spray, our Head of Juniors Cricket, and I attended a Surrey CCC Club Development Roadshow at Wimbledon CC. There was a wide and varied agenda but particular focus on support for volunteer coaches and club administrators. We are so grateful to all our voluntary coaches but we need more! On that topic, a big shout out to Keerat Khaira who is not only completing his Level 2 Core Coaching qualification as I write, but also received a bursary from Middlesex CCC to do this.


Congrats to K, and if you would like to get involved as a coach, or in any capacity to support our junior cricketers, please let me or Dom know.
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A message from the chairman – Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all. It feels great to say that the season starts later this year!
I was delighted earlier this week to take part in a discussion / consultation session with Junior players and parents. The call which was set up to present and review the plans and options for the pavilion rebuild. More than 40 people joined the call so we had excellent participation and lots of valuable feedback for the project team to take on board. It was very pleasing that the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone was excited and impressed by the speed at which the plans have developed. Thanks to all of the Project Board who, under Matty Davies’ leadership, are working so hard for all of us.
Whilst the plans look great, it now seems certain that the costs of the rebuild will exceed the insurance pay out, let alone the costs of temporary accommodation until the new pavilion is open for business. This is because we are not only improving what we had before but also we are taking the opportunity to solve for some infrastructure issues that have developed in the last decade or so. These include, for example, the drainage system. It’s not very exciting stuff (!) but now that we operate 12 months of the year, and with a larger number of users, the septic tank we have used for so long is no longer fit for purpose. As a result we will be taking the opportunity to connect our drainage to the main sewer system on Park Road. The cost for this alone could run to £100,000. This means our fundraising is still a critical part of the program. To that end please look out for more exciting and fun events planned before the season starts.
Speaking of the season start, good luck to all those who will be taking part in the first indoor winter training sessions this Sunday. Have fun and no injuries please!
Finally, the 2024 Surrey Championship league fixtures are now published and will be on the website and across our social media channels soon. Bring on 11 May when the Adult season starts!
Hampton wick royal cricket club

Your club needs you… Please! A message from the Chairman

My message to everyone this week is more of a request for help than an update of off-field events.
We have two key roles that are critical for the efficient running of the club that are currently vacant:
  • Membership Secretary; and
  • Junior Cricket Welfare Officer
Phil Miles and Dean Hewitt respectively, have both done a great job fulfilling these roles for the club over the last few years, but both will be stepping down for 2024.
Both roles are typically very quiet in the off-season. The Membership Secretary would be part of Russell Hoadley’s Treasurer team and typically involves 2-3 hours work per week during the season. The Junior Cricket Welfare Officer is a member of Dom Spray’s Junior Committee and also works in partnership with Zubair Ahmed, the Club Welfare Officer. Workload depends on how well behaved we all are (!) and also oversees the ongoing governance structure and documentation of our Junior section. Ideally this role would be filled by the parent or guardian of a Junior player.
No qualifications or experience are required for either role. Phil and Dean will work with you to ensure a smooth handover, so if you would like to get involved in the running of the club by succeeding either of them I would love to hear from you.
In other news, this Thursday a group of us from the Pavilion Rebuild Project Team will be meeting our insurance claim advisor, and representatives from both the Royal Parks and the insurance company. This will be a good opportunity for us to connect key stakeholders and to get a better picture of the next steps. I’ll share any actions arising from that meeting with you all next week.
Finally a reminder that the Captains’ Selection Meeting will be be held at St John’s Church, Hampton Wick on Tuesday 28th November 2023. It will start at 7.30pm. The AGM will follow immediately afterwards at the same venue.