This page attempts to provide a little more background on the Badgers Cricket Club and this site. Just for the amusement value I’ve broken things down into
and the rest of this page goes into more detail on each of those subjects. You might also like to check out the questions and answers page for information that is a little more technical in nature.
Who are Badgers Cricket Club?
Badgers Cricket Club is a wandering friendly cricket side. Wandering means that we have no ground or clubhouse of our own and not even a home pitch, and therefore we play all of our matches away. Friendly means that we do not play league cricket, although we do play games against sides that play in leagues, and that we play the game wholly in the spirit in which it should be played – we try our best to win out in the middle, but never at the expense of good manners, and once the game is over we are both good losers and gracious winners.
The club was originally based in Belmont, Surrey and for many years played home games on the recreation ground at Rose Hill in Sutton. These days most of our matches are played in the villages of Surrey, on some of the most picturesque grounds in England, and we also enjoy an annual three day tour which recently switched to Cheshire having previously visited the Cotswolds for many years and then rural Dorset for a short while.
A little more detail on the background and history of the club can be found in the booklet that I pulled together for the club’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations and you can download or view a PDF version of that document via the fiftieth anniversary page.Back to top of page
Why a website?
In the second decade of the twenty-first century this is a question that is unlikely to be asked as the web has become an integral part of the lives of the majority over the past several years. However, back in 1998 when I first mooted the idea of making the wealth of statistical detail that I had collected available to everyone the most common response was ‘why do we need a website?’ (probably expressed in slightly less family-friendly and more negative terms) and most of the playing membership didn’t even have an email address let alone on-tap Internet access. Therefore I've left the two paragraphs on the subject that I wrote back in 2003 here for posterity.
The simple answer to that question would have to be ‘well, why not?’. One of the disadvantages of being a wandering side, with a playing membership that is fairly scattered geographically, is that we are rarely able to get together other than to play cricket. Therefore, this site is partially an effort to compensate for the fact that we have no home base where folk can meet up and chew the fat, and also a fairly logical attempt to make use of an increasingly prevalent technology to distribute information, especially results, scorecards and match reports, in a far more timely fashion than has traditionally been possible.
There is also the small matter of attracting new players, and it was hoped when this site was first set up that it might act as a shop window which would bring new recruits looking for a club like ours. In truth this has not turned out to be the case, although we have had two or three genuine enquiries and at least one new member, unless you count sundry requests from India, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa to take up the position of club professional! In fact, one possibility that we didn’t consider was that other clubs would find us and be interested in fixtures, but this has turned out to be far more prevalent than enquiries about playing for the club.Back to top of page
What can I find here?
It might also be worth mentioning that most of the search engines support the ability to restrict a search to an individual site by adding something like site:badgerscc.org.uk to the list of search terms. Whilst this will only search the site content as it was the last time the pages were crawled by that particular search engine’s spider, most of the major engines come around at least once per week during the season (when updates are more frequent) so things shouldn’t be too far astray.Back to top of page
Where did the name Badgers come from?
This is one of those questions that we get asked regularly after matches, especially when playing against new opponents, so I thought I’d document the tale once and for all. What I’d really like is a more detailed history of the Badgers Cricket Club, enhancing and expanding the page or so that Dave Tickner published in the 21st anniversary booklet, but that is more work than I’m prepared to take on and sadly some of the key protagonists are no longer alive.
Anyway, the story goes that when the club was first formed, primarily by members of two Methodist Church youth clubs in the Sutton area, the decision was taken to call the club ‘Willows CC’, a perfectly understandable name for a cricket team, and that the club colours should be black and white. However, it was discovered that there was already a Willows CC registered with the CCC (Club Cricket Conference) and therefore a different name needed to be chosen. Given the aforementioned choice of black and white as the team colours it was decided to call the club ‘Badgers CC’ instead.
The definitive provenance of that name is lost in the mists of time, but I have hearsay evidence that a gentleman called Dennis Adams, who later fell out with the committee of the time and therefore had no contact with the club for forty years, first suggested it but I’ve no idea which other names were also considered, either before or after the original choice of Willows.
For a little more detail on the founding of the club and its history over the past fifty-nine years may I suggest reading the booklet that was put together for the fiftieth anniversary celebrations, links to which can be found in the final paragraph of the Review section on the page dedicated to the celebrations for that event.Back to top of page
When do you expect to have the site finished?
Short answer – never, but then it is intended to be a continually evolving record of the club, allowing us to publish results, match reports and scorecards in a way that we’ve never been able to achieve before, even in those days when we regularly submitted reports to the Sutton Herald. I have also continued to update the historical elements regularly over the eighteen and a half years that the site has been in existence, gradually getting things to the state where virtually all of the data that I’ve been collecting since 1988 can be found somewhere on the site.
As an illustration of the continuing growth of the site, at the start of the 2000 season the site consisted of 17 HTML pages of about 700K (over 600K of which was a version of the fortieth anniversary document); by 2001 that was 29 pages of 450K (with the fortieth anniversary page having been shrunk to less than 100K); just before the 2002 season it was 76 pages of 1.75MB (none of which includes the photos, which didn’t appear until that final 2002 pre-season update); prior to the 2003 season it was 210 pages of nearly 5.4MB; and at the start of the 2004 season, 243 pages of just shy of 7.5MB plus another 2MB or so of photos. Things have stabilised in recent times, but at the end of the 2007 season we were up to 287 pages and nearly 12MB, and at the start of 2010 there is roughly 21MB spread over more than 320 pages.
Having said that, we’re now eighteen and a half years from the original conception date and I still haven’t managed to do much worthwhile with the clubhouse page and the hall of fame is still incomplete. However, I have made considerable progress on the latter and most of what is left to do requires some sort of data entry from the older scorebooks, a chore that is as difficult as it is tedious – but one which, as of October 2011, I’ve been mad enough to start working on by entering all of the scorecard details for 1987. I also still have several ideas for the clubhouse page, which are mainly derailed by my complete lack of talent on the artistic side of things.
So the long answer seems to be that, rather like painting the Forth road bridge, there is always more to be done, and by the time I get to the end there will be other areas that need attention.Back to top of page
How do you produce the web site?
Believe it or not, this is a question that I’ve been asked several times via email by folk looking to create a site for their club. Nowadays the simple answer, especially if you don’t already have HTML skills and an existing database, is to use one of the template-driven setups that enable you to get up and running very quickly. The only one that I have any personal experience with is Play-Cricket, which used to be sponsored by the ECB but is now wholly owned by them, and is still free to affiliated clubs (and many of the add-on packages, like statistics, are free these days too). There are others, however, which ought to become apparent if you check out a bunch of the existing club sites and keep a careful eye out.
I could list the palaver that I go through to produce the pages here, and indeed intend to do just that given the time to write the copy, but for the time being I’ll save you the gory details ☺Back to top of page