New look at Hitchin but club hoping for even more success after trophy-littered season

PUBLISHED: 11:20 07 May 2019

The new Hitchin cricket and Bluehart hockey clubhouse being built in the background of the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

The new Hitchin cricket and Bluehart hockey clubhouse being built in the background of the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Hitchin are hoping to build on a quite extraordinary 2018 by going even better in the new season.

The new club house of Blueharts Hockey and Hitchin Cricket clubs. Picture: DANNY LOOThe new club house of Blueharts Hockey and Hitchin Cricket clubs. Picture: DANNY LOO

Set against the backdrop of a building site, as their new clubhouse was slowly raised from the ground, both the first and second teams at the Lucas Lane-based club lifted their respective titles and the hugely talented U15 team won the County Championship.

That was enough for the club to receive the 2018 Club of the Year trophy from the Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League.

And with the clubhouse now well and truly finished, Hitchin believe they are in a perfect position to not only build on the onfield success but become a real community asset for the entire town.

Welfare 0fficer Chris Maylin said: “Our foundations are built on an ever thriving junior section, now approaching 200 junior members, with teams at all age groups from U9 to U17.

The new club house of Blueharts Hockey and Hitchin Cricket clubs. Picture: DANNY LOOThe new club house of Blueharts Hockey and Hitchin Cricket clubs. Picture: DANNY LOO

“There will also be a real push to develop our girls' and women's cricket section with U11 and U13 teams entered in the junior leagues and Sophie Gates taking over as captain of the ladies' side.”

The title-winning first team are also hopeful of a good run in Division One with Shaftab Khalid once again leading an almost identical team from last season.

They already boasted a strong top order with Khalid, Sanjay Chandarana and Kashif Nizami all at the top of the league's batting averages while Rishi Chandarana and Haseeb Bajwa were also towards the top of bowling charts.

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New recruit Wasim Khalid boosts the all-rounders too while the club are also hoping to to promote some of its talented youngsters, with eyes certainly on Herts U15 2018 bowler and batsman of the season Leighton Gibbs and Elliott Beard.

Maylin added: “The new development not only saw the construction of a new clubhouse but the addition of a first-class three-lane outdoor net facility which is going to have an enormously positive impact on the ability of all players to improve their skills.”

The sense of optimism continues down to the second and third teams.

With their talented youngsters now a year older, and a fresh influx of new and exciting players having moved to the town, second-team skipper Pete Bell and his third-team counterpart Eric Lanyon are both confident that their teams will be enjoying the top half of their respective tables at the very least.

The new club house and grounds of Blueharts Hockey and Hitchin Cricket clubs. Picture: DANNY LOOThe new club house and grounds of Blueharts Hockey and Hitchin Cricket clubs. Picture: DANNY LOO

One step down the fourth team will continue to be the club's bleeding ground, where the U13 and U14 youngsters get their first experience of adult cricket.

And new captain Joe Elliott has promised there will be plenty of fun and laughter in among some good cricket.

Junior training has now moved to Friday evenings while the ladies and girls practice on Tuesdays ahead of their league season, which this year includes a new Super 8s competition.

And the club are still open to any new players wanting to join.

Men's adult nets start at 5.45pm on Thursdays and anyone requiring further information should contact the club on info@hitchincc or call Chris Maylin on 07985 264 939.

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