Haverhill Cricket Club still intend to bring in overseas player Christopher Garrard
Haverhill Cricket Club are still set to benefit from the services of overseas all-rounder Christopher Garrard this summer, despite the ongoing uncertainty about their 2020 season.
Before the coronavirus crisis broke out, the first team were scheduled to open up their Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One campaign at home to Witham on April 18, under new captain Liam Botten.
With the ECB having suspended the professional game until May 28 and the recreational game indefinitely, the Two Counties Championship’s management sub-committee have revealed they are now planning for either a half season from July or a cup competition from August.
With teams playing each other just once in the first option, promotion and relegation could be halved to one up and one down, none at all, or remain the same.
Having read the proposals, Haverhill chairman Rob Dovaston revealed South African opening bowler and middle-order batsman Garrard is still set to be part of their squad.
“As and when there is any cricket Chris will jump on a plane and come join us,” he said.
“Everything is still in place and we are communicating regularly.”
But he added: “If the cricket season is less than half a season it might be a different situation.”
Garrard, who has just turned 25, is a British passport holder but hails from Bellville Cricket Club in Cape Town – a side that compete in the WPCA Premier Division, a standard somewhere between East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) cricket and Minor Counties Cricket.
Although the South African is set to coach across all levels and age ranges at the club, Dovaston said there was no financial commitment from Haverhill’s behalf to bringing him over.
“There is no financial exchange. He will be here on a cricketing holiday. He is paying for his own flights and will be playing on a Saturday and if he decides to get a job in the week that can fund his beer money,” he said.
Dovaston re-iterated Botten’s previous comments that although they are now losing projected income and facing challenges, the club are not in a dire financial situation.
He said: “A lot of our sponsors are small businesses so we are leaving them alone as they have got bigger fish to fry. So we are raising funds by other means.”
A sweepstake took place during the recent Virtual Grand National while a series of quizzes over video conferencing has begun and a 100 club monthly draw is set to launch.
He also thanked the volunteer grounds team who were continuing to maintain the pitch and facilities in keeping with social distancing rules, in preparation for cricket returning.
“Manor Road is looking resplendent at the moment, so a big thanks to the grounds team as they are only voluntary,” he said.
Meanwhile, the club’s younger members are being kept engaged with home-based activities sent on from Suffolk Cricket via youth chair Simon Hird.