Emery leaves as cricket chairman

By Connor Steel

ONE OF Hampshire’s top sporting organisers and officials has announced that he is stepping down from his role with the Hampshire Cricket League at the start of 2022; with tributes paid across the divisions including sides such as Gosport Borough Cricket Club and Fareham & Crofton Cricket Club.

Seventy-three year old David Emery will resign as chairman of the local cricket league at its annual meeting scheduled for February 2022, ending a six year tenure in the role that started in 2016. Vice chairman Phillip Wilson will also retire alongside the chairman after serving the key role for 14 years.

The Hampshire Cricket League has gone from strength-to-strength over recent years, now becoming the largest recreational competition; Emery being part of its continued success after playing for club sides across Romsey as a seam bowler including Ampfield in the very early stages of his sporting life.

Despite his ambitions to step down, Emery is hoping to continue umpiring in the county 2nd XI league circuit and push forward with his appointment secretary role with the Southern Premier Division, the league being one step above the Hampshire Cricket League in an amateur level of this popular sport.

Emery will also further continue his role within the Wessex Football League circuits and will look to a continuation of his registration secretary position; a role he has enjoyed for 20 years with Step Five clubs such as Fareham Town, AFC Portchester and previously Gosport Borough all on his list of sides.

His role has been key during the Covid-19 pandemic as both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons were curtailed due to lockdown restrictions, overseeing a league structure earlier this summer and special tournaments featuring many Wessex League clubs being organised to replace missed league games.

The Hampshire Cricket League have announced that they are seeking nominations for the two huge positions, with no succession plan currently in place and existing Management Committee members facing over commitments. Emery himself is also keen to have discussions with all parties, quoting as:

“I have decided to stand down having completed what I set out to do six years ago. That included the introduction of shorter length games, providing more flexibility with ground accreditation standards so teams can be promoted out of the regional divisions, and cutting down travel times to matches”.

‘There is now majority voting in place at annual meetings. Philip, who deserves a rest after a 14-year stint as vice-chairman, and I can do no more than hand over to others who have plans for the future of the Hampshire Cricket League.

He further added in a Portsmouth News interview: “The pandemic has made it difficult for all of us over the past two years, but we have managed to get cricket played again, with a full programme in 2021. I’m only too happy to have a chat with anyone interested in succeeding Philip and myself. We are fortunate to have an excellent committee, thoroughly experienced in cricket management”.

Anybody who is interested can nominate themselves for the positions of Hampshire Cricket League’s chairman and vice-chairman. They can do this by emailing league secretary Anne Carter through her address anne.carter@hantscl.com by New Year’s Eve, with all applications needing certification from the chairman and secretaries of two teams from throughout the divisions’ structure across all levels.

PICTURED BY VIMPS AT THE CREASE: David Emery (middle) launches the Hampshire Cricket League appeal for Royal British Legion but is stepping down in February