Cricket: Friends revive Scot Hay cricket team
SCOT Hay cricket team is being revived after seven years in the wilderness.
The village was forced to draw stumps on its weekend side, who previously competed in the North Staffs and District and Stone leagues, in 2006 because of a lack of numbers.
The Scot Hay name has remained, however, with a team playing in the midweek Coors Phoenix 15 competition, but this has largely been made up of Leycett players.
Their ground has also been used, with Porthill Park A making it their home in recent seasons for Saturday fixtures.
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But friends Jamie Cox and Simon Evans are now taking the first steps to resurrecting Scot Hay on the weekend cricket scene.
"I'd organised a couple of Twenty20 games with friends at the ground and one of the lads asked why wasn't there a cricket team in Scot Hay," explained Cox, who has lived in the village for seven years.
"He suggested we set one up and that really set the wheels in motion. Hopefully it is something which will generate interest in the village.
"Simon and I have been doing most of the organising, but we've had people offering to help with the ground.
"The pavilion doesn't need much work because it was used last season and the local pigeon fanciers club are based there at weekends.
"But we're going to organise a couple of working parties to get the ground in order for the first match."
That first fixture falls on Saturday, April 13 when Hales have the honour of being the first visitors to Scot Hay.
It is one 17 friendly matches planned for the summer which also include games against Blythe, Woore and Audley.
Twelve are being staged at their Leycett Road venue, with most being held on Sundays.
Cox, who played junior cricket at Endon, is now looking to assemble a squad for the new era.
"We already have five members and another 10 people who have said they will play on a regular basis," added the 32-year-old.
"The only downside is if we have too many players and you can't keep them happy with the amount of cricket they are getting.
"I stopped playing seriously at the age of 19, but I've retained that passion for the game, it's just I don't want the hassle of league cricket.
"I've been really pleased by the reaction of other clubs who have heard about us reforming and have offered assistance."
While friendly matches are on the agenda this season, Cox hasn't ruled out a return to league cricket in future.
But he says the success of Scot Hay's return would have to be measured before thinking too far ahead.
"My interest is only in playing cricket, so we'll see how it goes this season," he said.
"But entering a league could be something for the future.
"I'm not concerned about how talented the players are.
"I'd much prefer to have 11 people who regularly turn up and enjoy playing the game."
Scot Hay's plan has drawn praise from Staffordshire Cricket's development manager Jason Britton.
He said: "It's great news to see a club reforming in what are testing times for cricket.
"Last year's weather and its economic impact certainly dealt a blow to the game, but it's fantastic that a club like Scot Hay are looking to get back into playing friendly cricket.
"The county board is focusing the majority of its resources over the next four years into working with clubs to help improve their sustainability, and we've already been in discussions with Jamie Cox about Scot Hay."
For more information, call Jamie Cox on 07892 833547.