Mat Collis
11th June 2019

Warwickshire Sunday Smash starts with a bang

10 teams played matches around the county using rules similar to the 100 which is due to start next year.

The Warwickshire Sunday Smash started the new summer tradition of 100-ball cricket around the county last weekend.

Launched by the Warwickshire Cricket Board and Warwickshire County Cricket Club, four matches took place with grounds such as Stratford-Upon-Avon and Water Orton hosting the exciting new format which aims to revitalise Sunday cricket.

"This format enables players to bring their families and friends along whilst playing an exciting format."

Ben Seifas

Played in coloured clothing with a pink ball, all games started at 2pm to give clubs an opportunity to remain open throughout the day, following the morning or preceding the evening’s programme of youth cricket.

Family fun is also on the agenda, with club’s encouraged to use the tournament as a centrepiece for all ages to enjoy a day out with cricket at the heart.

Solihull Blossomfield, who hosted local rivals Knowle and Dorridge, did exactly that with entertainment starting at 11am once youth cricket was complete.

Dance and martial art displays from local groups were shown on the outground, which was also used for recreational cricket before the fixture.

Stalls, a bouncy castle, soft play, bat simulator and net coaching were also available throughout the afternoon for families near the clubhouse.

The day concluded with Solihull Blossomfield’s Under 13s girls taking on Four Oaks Saints, meaning over 65 players used the facilities throughout the day.

Warwickshire bowlers Olly Stone and Henry Brookes were also in attendance, opening the new scoreboard before watching the action and signing autographs.

“We’ve put on the family fun day to create a better atmosphere to encourage families to the cricket,” said Ben Seifas, Solihull Blossomfield Club Captain.

“The opportunity for existing players, who struggle for time at weekends, to be able to play at the shorter time of 2pm to 4pm.

“We have four regular teams on a Saturday but on a Sunday in a 40-over format which starts at 12 and ends at eight, we’ve struggled consistently to get teams out, even when we mix youth with experience.

“This format enables players to bring their families and friends along whilst playing an exciting format.”

The league has thirteen teams which are split into three divisions. Every side plays each team in their group home and away throughout June and July.

The winners of each league and the best second place will progress to a semi-finals day at Bedworth CC on Aug 11.

The top two teams will then battle it out at the Summer Smash Finals Day at Edgbaston on Sunday September 1.

“This format cemented our thoughts for the need of shorter form cricket,” added Andy Wyles, Growth & Participation Manager at WCB.

“Sport’s finding that as people are getting more time pressured they have to have different offers to affect different people.

“Not too long ago we had a player from the Warwickshire Cricket Board who played in a midnight taxi league just to get the opportunity to play at a time that was appropriate.

“And if you go to your local astro turf on a Monday at 9pm it’ll be full of guys who can only commit an hour at a set time once a week.

“So those are the challenges we face and today has worked perfectly with three games in one day as well as the fun aspect on the side keeping everyone entertained.”

Results

Solihull Blossomfield 116 for 8 defeated Knowle and Dorridge 89 for 8

Sutton Coldfield 47 all out lost to Bedworth 48 for 2

Alcester & Ragley 110-9 lost to Stratford upon Avon 111-2

Water Orton 150-4 defeated Four Oaks Saints 95-7

Moseley Ashfield P – P Aston Manor