IT has been a hectic close season at the Parks to ensure Bridgwater Cricket Club are ready for the 2019 season with a number of developments on and off the field.

On visiting the ground for the first time in 2019 supporters will see the magnificent new scorers hub and media centre, which has been project managed and built by Ed Habberfield Carpentry, and is courtesy of a legacy left by a fantastic supporter of Bridgwater Cricket Club, Mr Peter Moran.

The new build provides a state of the art facility for scorers which has also seen a new umpires room with a view of the playing area put in place.

This is a fantastic facility for the club and ensures that many volunteers who are officiating the game are looked after and appreciated.

The cricket club are delighted that PAW Engineering Ltd is continuing as main sponsor and TMB Patterns Ltd as match ball sponsor in 2019.

Charles Dickens Estate Agents and Falcon Vehicle Solutions Ltd have also kindly agreed to continue as travel sponsors, Dean Motors continue as professional player sponsor and Richard McClaren and Sue Hall are continuing to sponsor the Bridgwater Pointers.

With help of donations from Persimmon Homes Ltd, Roberts Waste and Burnham Portable Toilet Hire, the cricket also has a full set of replacement covers on show which will support as much cricket as possible being played should poor weather fall on a game day.

The Ladies section of the club are embarking on a new challenge in 2019 with entry into the South West Womens League, the highest standard of cricket for ladies in the south west, which will see them play against the likes of Bath and Newport in a strong league that begins after the County season in July.

In the winter, the ladies were successful in winning the Somerset Cricket Board indoor competition, adding to their national and Somerset success in 2018.

The club are extremely grateful to have secured sponsorship for the Ladies section from GWorks Construction and Surfacing of Bridgwater and also The Plough Inn at Holford, who are supporting the new ladies kit and sponsoring the three home fixtures in the South West League.

GWorks Construction and Surfacing are also supporting the Youth section.

On Friday nights from May, the club will once again be running its Allstars Programme for children aged five and eight.

On the field the Bridgwater squad has a familiar look to it, with very few changes from 2018.

Andrew Hallaran, Michael Skidmore and Matt Duckering skipper the 1sts, 3rds and Pointers again, with the only captaincy change seeing Ally Witts taking over from Ian Higgins in the 2nds.

Somerset’s Max Waller and George Bartlett, alongside Kent’s Calum Haggett all remain at the club, as do Somerset Academy players Will and Henry Smeed and Ned Leonard.

Both Smeeds have suffered serious injuries during the Winter and, while Henry may have to sit out 2019, Will is expected back in action towards the end of June/Early July.

During the Winter Will represented the England Under 19s on the tour of Bangladesh despite being only Under-17, and the club wishes him and Henry a speedy recovery from their injuries.

Leonard has recently been selected for the England Development Week taking place during April, which will consist of a training camp and some matches as a stepping stone into the England Young Lions set up.

The club have also signed classy young South African Jason Oakes as its overseas cricketer for 2019.

Oakes is a quality emerging keeper/batsmen from Durban and replaces Ian Dev Singh Chauhan.

Oakes is the first choice keeper/batsmen for Kwa-Zulu Natal, and is also part of the Dolphins franchise squad, where he played some four-day cricket in 2018, so he will hopefully provide runs at the top of the order as well as a safe pair of hands behind the stumps.

Former skipper Steve Davis’ intention to play again is welcome and his ability as a three dimensional cricketer will give the selection committee options, with Andy Roberts retirement due to family commitments the only absentee from last year’s squad.

In terms of fixtures, action at the Parks begins on Sunday, April 14 at 1pm when a 2nd/3rd XI host Taunton St Andrews 2nds in a friendly.

A 1st /2nd XI are away to Shapwick and Polden on Saturday, April 12 and also at Taunton on Saturday 20.

After further friendlies over the coming weeks, the much anticipated league season begins on Saturday, May 4 with the 2nds hosting Chard at the Parks, whilst the 1st XI start at Bristol CC.

The 3rd XI host Trull whilst the Pointers begin their season at Temple Cloud 2nd XI.

In the National Cups there is a bumper day of T20 action on Sunday, May 5 when Bridgwater host North Petherton and Wellington in the National T20 Cup, whilst in the National Knockout 2nd round on Sunday, May 12 there is a visit to Devon Champions Sidmouth, with a coach running from the Parks.

The Bridgwater Redsox Under 19 side will look to defend their Somerset Champions tag in the ECB U19 T20 cup, a competition they have won for the past two seasons.

Wth largely the same squad at his disposal as last year, head coach Stu Butt is hopeful of another good showing in this competition.

The club are very grateful for the fantastic support from the community with existing match and player sponsorship, and the advertising board sponsorships, however we are always keen to develop new relationships with any local businesses or individuals.

The club's newly formed fundraising and social committee are hosting their first function on Friday, May 3, a quiz night.

For further details please contact Marc Crisp will once again take on the role of bar manager, as well as pavilion manager.

The club is available for hire via