Suffolk are facing big challenges in future

Hassan Adnan, who retired at the end of last season, pictured batting for Suffolk against Norfolk

Hassan Adnan, who retired at the end of last season, pictured batting for Suffolk against Norfolk

MINOR Counties cricket should continue to remain competitive in the foreseeable future.

Suffolk County Cricket Association secretary Toby Pound said that the level of funding from the England and Wales Cricket Board is expected to remain at least the same.

Pound told Monday’s Suffolk CCA annual general meeting that the county were entering another four-year period of ECB funding and the signs were that this would be similar or even slightly better.

He said: “There have been doubts over whether that would be the case, but Minor Counties will receive around the same funding so that means we can maintain a high standard and competitive environment for Minor Counties cricket.”

Pound told the meeting, held at the Quality Hotel in Bury St Edmunds on Monday, that the loss of three stalwarts – Hassan Adnan, the county’s professional for the last five years, plus Ben France and Chris Warn – had been well documented, as the county looks to reach the average age of 26 to qualify for its full share of age-related payments.

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He said: “There will be more money coming into the age-related payment pot than previously, so we are going to have to focus more on younger players, which is going to be a big challenge for us.

“We will look back on 2012 as a season of change and look forward to 2013 as a season of progression and hopefully success.” Treasurer Neil Hammond explained that comparisons in the figures in the annual accounts for both Suffolk County Cricket Association and Suffolk Cricket Board were less meaningful because the 2011 accounts represented a 15-month period, whereas the 2012 accounts were for 12 months.

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Suffolk CCA grants were down from £35,878 to £30,705, because the 2011 figures included two age-related payments the county had received from the ECB.

Administrative expenses were greatly reduced from £1,646 down to £343 and cricket balls and clothing was down from £4,278 to £1,942 because of stock held.

He said this gave “healthy” reserves of £66,294, compared with £60,055 in 2011.

The Suffolk CB development team income had seen a drop from £226,893 to £156,092 and overall there was a slight deficit on the year’s activity of £1,610, resulting in net assets of £72,801.

Roger Troughton, chairman of Suffolk CB, said the ECB will be asking Boards to be more self-sufficient in the future.

He said: “There is no doubt in my mind, after speaking to the ECB, there will be a projected shortfall in funding from Sport England.

“We may have to look at a commercial arm to attract funding in the future.”

Suffolk clubs were encouraged to contact the Suffolk Records Office with a view to depositing their historical records there.

This came after Tony Catley, of Exning Cricket Club, said that much of the club’s history had been lost following a house clearance and some records had turned up in an antique shop in Sussex!

The meeting was told 2014 will be the 150th anniversary of county cricket in Suffolk and thought will be given as to how to celebrate this next year.

All officers were elected en bloc for the coming year.

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