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    From the President (from 2016 yearbook)

    Since my rather downbeat comments last year, I feel that cricket in general and English cricket in particular has had a much better year. Initially, the appointment of Andrew Strauss has resulted in his making some crucial decisions that have allowed our game to breathe more easily while the visit of the New Zealand team under Brendon McCullum brought excitement and enjoyment back to international cricket.

    Test series wins over Australia and South Africa have extended this feel-good factor for English cricket while in the shorter format, we perhaps need to add a little bit of brain to our “no fear” attitude.  However I, for one, am an example of an old die-hard who has recently developed a more positive approach to the 20/20 game.

    We will continue of course to have the problem of persuading the younger generation that “test cricket” is the pinnacle of cricket but the fact that high calibre English cricketers are being actively encouraged to play in the IPL should help to narrow the gap between 20/20 and Test cricket. Indeed the entertaining way in which several players from many different countries (not just Root and Stokes) have been playing in recent Test Matches, makes me feel that cricket really is evolving and that the game has got an exciting future.

    I also think that there is some merit in the recent suggestion that men’s international cricket might follow the female Ashes format with points being awarded for the Test, one-day and 20/20 matches played during one tour.  This integration of the three formats will mean that they all count towards an overall win or loss of the series.

    Has this got very much to do with a wandering club touring in the South West of England?  Perhaps not a lot, for the result of Sou’Wester games in my time has never been a major priority unless it has been the Test Match with Sidmouth or the Dorset Rangers.  The priorities have been to make sure that the Club fields a balanced and genial side, that we play on attractive and hospitable grounds and that we introduce the young offspring of members to the tour so that this Club survives in perpetuity.

    I would like to congratulate Stewart on arranging the tremendous pre-season Corfu tour and persuading along so many good young players, Sou-Wester families and the usual camp followers, making up a tour party of around forty people.  I will hope to see many of those tourists again in the South-West later in the season and I trust especially that the players will enjoy both batting and bowling on our newly-laid wicket at Cerne Abbas.

    Finally, my thanks once again to the Management Committee for keeping the Club in such good shape.