Pouzolles’ Mayor cuts ribbon to open Midi’s new ground

       Pouzolles Mayor cuts the ribbon

Players and committee, social members, supporters and interested locals were on hand at Midi Cricket Club’s new ground on Sunday to join in the celebrations and applaud the formal cutting of the ribbon by Pouzolles Mayor Guy Roucayrol to mark the club’s move from St Pons de Mauchiens

          I declare this ground open…

In a brief ceremony, Midi CC’s new President James Luckes thanked the Pouzolles Mairie for its generosity in providing the new venue and ensuring the survival of the Languedoc’s only cricket club. He also hoped that the Pouzollais would come along and support the club at its first home matches on the weekend of 6 and 7 May.

The ground opening on 23 April in perfect, sunny weather attracted nearly 100 people who feasted on fish and chips, had a drink, watched a semi-serious six-a-side match, had a drink and then had a go – and another drink – in a social game where the laws of cricket were variously applied. As one of the club’s faithful supporters observed: “It’s been a grand day.”

A hard-core group led by the new President and former President Colin Trickett had toiled for more than a month to lay a foundation for the new Playrite track as well as mowing and rolling the huge outfield.  A Pouzolles Mairie workforce turned up with tractors and strimmers three days before the launch day to help finish the job.

Midi President James Luckes thanks the Mayor

Midi had played at St Pons for nearly 10 years but had to move out last November when the local tambourin club was given the go-ahead by the St Pons Mairie to use the club’s ground for a sport which needs a large rolled earth strip. The club received an interest-free loan from France Cricket to help fund the new track at Pouzolles.

The season ahead has been given a significant boost with the decision taken at last November’s AGM of the region’s cricket governing body ACCSO (

   A good crowd turned up for the opening

Association des Clubs de Cricket de Sud-Ouest) to merge the northern and southern pools into one division bringing together eight clubs. Matches will be played in May, June and July.

Club Captain Ankush Lal is also excited about the forthcoming season with the new ground and reinvigorated league season. The club is hoping for a good crowd at its first home match – a friendly against Andorra on Saturday 6 May – and the first league match against Mansle on the following day.

“We hope the Pouzallais come along to the match against Andorra, we’ll have a BBQ, and the matches against the principality are always great fun and played in the right spirit,” said club Secretary Reg Gratton.

Definitely out – a scene from the social match

 

Midi gets ready for new ground launch on 23 April

Midi Cricket Club is preparing for the biggest day since its birth in the Languedoc 12 years ago – the official opening of its new ground and pitch in Pouzolles on Sunday, 23 April.

A group of stalwart committee  members and players, led by new President James Luckes and former President Colin Trickett, has been hard at work over the past month, mowing and rolling the former football pitch and laying a new track ahead of its first home league match against Mansle on Sunday, 7 May.

“It’s been a huge task,” said Mr Luckes. ”We have had to lay more than eight tonnes of gravel, sand, cement and lime for the 30 metre track base.”

With an interest-free loan from France Cricket, the club has been able to buy a new UK-made Playrite synthetic cricket surface which will be played on for the first time with a social friendly on 23 April –  an open day featuring fish and chips from 12 noon and a bar with beers, wines and soft drinks.

“It’s open to all and we particularly welcome the local people from Pouzolles who have made all this possible,” said Secretary Reg Gratton.

It was the Mairie of Pouzolles that stepped in to save Midi, the only active cricket club in the Languedoc, and provide the new ground after it lost its home at St Pons de Mauchiens.

Midi had played at St Pons for over 10 years but moved out last November when the local tambourin club was given the go-ahead by the St Pons Mairie to use the club’s ground for a sport which needs a rolled earth strip of at least 80mx15m.

“It was impossible to share so we decided we had to go and we faced the real threat of extinction until Pouzolles stepped in and offered us a ground in Route de Roujan,” said Mr Luckes.

The club built up a good relationship with the local community in St Pons and established a junior programme some years ago with the result that it now has two young French players as permanent fixtures in the senior team.

“We are keen to become part of the Pouzolles community, something we achieved in St Pons, and we are sure that there are not only a number of expatriates in the area keen on giving their support to the club, but also local French residents who will be interested in finding out about this strange English game,” Reg Gratton said.

Starting work on the new pitch

 

The season ahead has been given a significant boost with the decision taken at last November’s AGM of the region’s cricket governing body ACCSO ( Association des Clubs de Cricket de Sud-Ouest) to merge the northern and southern pools into one division bringing together a potential eight clubs. Matches will be played in May, June and July.

Club Captain Ankush Lal is also excited about the forthcoming season with a new ground and reinvigorated league season. But he said the club needed a strong squad of players and the recruitment of new blood was vital if the club was to succeed at its new venue. He was optimistic that the new location in Pouzolles would attract potential players to the team and urged anyone interested to come along to the practise sessions before the first home match on 7 May.

“These will be advertised on the website – midicricket.com – and anyone keen on playing for Midi is welcome.”

The new ground address is: Route de Roujan, 34480 Pouzolles,Third exit on first roundabout from Roujan, First right at Stade sign (about 100m).

Putting the finishing touches to the foundation

 

Clearing the track for the new base

Please let us know your fish and chip orders:reggratton@gmail.com