Saving cheetahs with a spot of cricket

CCF UK receives support from some amazing sports clubs all over the UK, but this was the very first cricket club we’d been told about so we were incredibly excited when Josh Fagan contacted us to tell us about his team, the Irregular Occasionals CC. Josh told us all about the formation of the club and their past and future plans to raise awards and funds for cheetahs.

Founded and launched by Josh Fagan in November of 2019 in response to ever diminishing squad numbers belonging to both the Baker Street Irregulars CC and the Sunday Times Occasionals CC, the new club’s main purpose was to change the way our social Sunday cricket was played, the ethos around it and to heighten the participation of those outside the playing group within our match days.

Recognising that many of us are now late 30’sand  early 40’s with growing families, the IOCC aims to become a club that offers a full day’s out experience, not just for players but for families and friends alike, in some of the most picturesque grounds in and around London, with plenty nearby for people to get involved in, in and around the six-hour match time.

I also wanted our club to be associated with and promote a cause outside of our club and outside of the sport. CCF UK was proposed and agreed to by Jane Galton after I had attended a fundraiser for them in Mayfair in October of last year, and the CCF logo has been stitched onto our new kit.

For our inaugural season eight fixtures were to follow our initial training session at Lords, for which we were to invite CCFUK and attract publicity, Lords, using the MCC and possibly the ECB as a platform. Sadly, this was not possible in May.

In the end, our inaugural fixture was last Saturday, July 11, against the Cricketers CC based at Richmond Green in London. An historic ground, one of the oldest in the cricket-playing world, hosting it’s first match in 1666. The day produced a nail-biting finish for the 300-strong crowd, with the IOCC holding on to defend 155 from 35 overs, restricting their hosts to 148-9. The involvement of the crowd, particularly at the finish, was felt to reflect not just upon the match, but a return to a quintessential picture of an English summertime after so much hardship and grief due to Covid-19, and a celebration of such. Indeed, that the match was played at all, just days after government restrictions were lifted on social sport, took great efforts to first secure the ground, pass the council risk assessment and obey the new health guidelines imposed on our sport.

Going forward both in regards to cricket and promoting CCF UK? Sadly further fixtures are proving hard to confirm due to the lack of safe grounds available. I am planning to host a club day in late September in the Sussex countryside however, further details to follow. Promotion for CCF UK may now have to wait until next season where I will replicate our plans for our training day at Lords, a perfect platform to raise awareness. Further to that, our club roster holds a strong journalistic contingent, including four newspaper editors of department. Once we get going next year with a proper season to promote, I shall approach them personally to ask for ideas on how they can help to raise awareness for CCF UK.

Of course, much of this will be open to just how our social sporting calendar in this country responds throughout the rest of the summer, and whether restrictions will be on-going/increased into next season where a possible second wave of the virus is concerned. I know this matter concerns sports administrators greatly.

Kind regards, Josh Fagan, IOCC Chairman

Want to help raise awareness and funds for cheetahs? Check out our get involved pages and see how you can support the cheetahs.

Thank you to Josh and all of the IOCC team!

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