Tributes paid to long-serving duo

December 13, 2019

TRIBUTES have been paid to two long-serving Suffolk officials. Norman Atkins has served Suffolk cricket as chairman for the past 25 years and Neil Hammond has been treasurer for 21 years.

After undergoing heart surgery in September, Norman has stepped down to be replaced by Andrew Squire as chairman of Suffolk County Cricket Club. Norman, who succeeded Martin Corke, was elected chairman of Suffolk County Cricket Association in 1994, which at that time was responsible for all cricket activity in the county.

When Suffolk Cricket Board was formed in 1997, Norman became chairman of the Board and the County Club, a role he continued to hold until he stepped down as Board chairman in April 2009.

Secretary Toby Pound told the AGM, held at Copdock & Old Ipswichian Cricket Club: “It would take a long time to describe all the jobs Norman has carried out as chairman but he has been closely involved in arranging fixtures, venues, catering, sponsorship, handbook production, fixture cards as well as chairing every county cricket meeting for the whole of that period and being the face of Suffolk cricket, well known throughout the county.

“Fitting this all in on top of being secretary of St Margarets (since the early 1960s) and chairman of the Two Counties for nearly 30 years, is a monumental achievement.

“As everyone is aware, Norman has undergone heart surgery this autumn from which he appears to be making a very good recovery and we look forward to seeing him fit and well for next season.”

Norman will now take on the role of president, which has not been filled since Cyril Perkins passed away in 2013.

Neil Hammond was elected County Treasurer at the 1998 AGM, in succession to David Clements, a role he has fulfilled for both the County Cricket Club and the Suffolk Cricket Board ever since.

He has been assisted by his wife Frances and Toby Pound said: “I would like to acknowledge the wonderful job Neil and Frances have done for us and thank them for all their efforts.” Neil Hammond will continue in post until a successor is found.

Both Toby Pound and Suffolk Cricket Board Operations Manager Rob Jones commented that the summer of 2019, and the heroics of Ben Stokes in particular, would live long in the memory of cricket followers and hopefully inspire the next generation of cricketers.

Rob said the new County Partnership Agreement will help shape and grow cricket in the future.

“One of the key ingredients to the success of the CPA will be recreational players. We know lifestyles have challenged the traditional formats of the game, however we need to try and work with that challenge, rather than against,” said Rob.

“Whilst there will always be longer formats of cricket, why can’t we have T20 (or 100 ball!) cricket options at weekends, or develop softball cricket, which has proved so popular with groups of ladies across the county?

“Last season 30-over cricket was piloted in the east of the county on Sundays and was well received. This has helped see juniors transitioning into senior cricket, parents playing in the same team as their son or daughter and could easily become an integrated option for clubs.”

The date of the next AGM will be held on Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at Copdock & OI CC, start 7pm.

Officers were elected as follows:

President – Norman Atkins

County Cricket Club Chairman – Andrew Squire

Suffolk Cricket Board Chairman – Nick Shrubshall

Hon Secretary – Toby Pound

Hon Treasurer – Neil Hammond

County Welfare Officer – Graham Moss

Words – Nick Garnham

Image – Norman Atkins

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