CEO Update: December 2021

Wednesday 15th December 2021

CEO Update: December 2021

As we head towards 2022, I hope you are all ‘wintering well’, and on behalf of the Club, I’d like to wish you and your families a very happy festive period.

2021 will be remembered by Kent Cricket Members and supporters for many years to come: the reward of silverware was the result of the hard work and dedication both on and off the field from all members of staff at the Club, whether that be our players, coaches, support staff, administrative staff and the Club’s Community Team. We would like to thank you for your support.

Against the background of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Club has continued to move forward on and off the field. We saw after our Vitality Blast victory how much lifting the trophy meant to everyone associated with the Club, and I hope that this positive energy and feeling of togetherness will remain amongst us all as we head into 2022.

There is plenty of work going on at the Club over the Winter, as we look forward to 2022. We will continue to keep you up-to-date with regular website updates and Members’ mailouts before the 2022 season. We also have announced an important Members’ Online Forum on Monday 20 December to detail a new proposed governance model for the Club.

In the meantime, Members and supporters may be interested in the following updates, a number of which were also shared at the Members Forum in September at the end of the season:

  • Men’s 2022 Domestic season:

The Club voted in favour of the structure of the County Championship returning to two Divisions, as opposed to Conferences, going into next season.

We are yet to receive details of fixtures and ECB have advised us they will be released as early as possible in 2022.

We understand that a number of details are still to be confirmed – such as tour schedules, venues for international and major matches – all of which have an impact on the domestic schedule.

We understand that you are looking to plan ahead for next Summer, and we thank you for your patience.

  • Refurbishment of the Frank Woolley Stand:

Following a series of surveys, the Frank Woolley Stand is set to be renovated with the intention that it will be fit for purpose for at least a minimum of another 20 years.

The cost for this renovation and refurbishment is at least £300,000, which will be funded from the ECB Facilities & Maintenance fund and Members’ donations.

We intend to have the refurbished Frank Woolley Stand, which our Members enjoy, back and functioning in the 2022 season.

  • Improvement of Outfield Drainage:

Our Head of Grounds Adrian Llong and his team continue to prepare very good pitches; we were delighted that their work was recognised at the recent ECB Grounds Manager of the Year Awards.

In preparation for the new season, the Club has invested over £36,000 in new machinery and over the winter, will undertake an extensive programme of maintenance to improve drainage on the outfield at Canterbury, particularly at the Old Dover Road side of the ground.

  • Recommissioning of Day Facilities:

Throughout the Pandemic, the Club worked hard to allow as many Members as possible safely back into its venues. However, a number of our usual facilities were unavailable last season.

So long as COVID-19 permits, we are planning to re-open the Les Ames Stand, whilst the Chiesman Pavilion will re-open for Members as an exclusive Member area.

The ever-popular Cornwallis Carvery is set to make a return for County Championship matches and the The Oriole @ Lime Tree Café will continue to be managed by Catherine and the team.

It is envisaged that we can return to pre-Pandemic levels for parking, where our Car Parking Pass scheme will continue to operate. 2021 Ground Car Parking Pass Holders are able to renew their Ground Car Parking Pass until Monday 31 January 2022. Any passes not renewed after this date will be offered to Members on the waiting list, subject to availability.

So long as capacity is not restricted due to COVID-19, we expect to return to our usual policy for dogs; dogs are welcome on the ground for LV= Insurance County Championship and Royal London Cup group matches provided they are on a short lead.

Only assistance dogs will be allowed into the Chiesman Pavilion and Cowdrey Lounges. Dogs are not permitted for Vitality Blast or International matches (with the exception of assistance dogs).

  • Enhanced Ticketing, Increased Capacity & Seat Allocation:

To enable us to comply with NHS Track and Trace rules, we invested £30,000 in our new Membership and Ticketing system in 2021. As a result, we were able to progressively reopen more and more seats at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence and The County Ground, Beckenham.

We hope capacity at The Spitfire Ground too will return to pre-Pandemic levels in 2022 – this is currently set at 6,000. With the increased space, we expect Members to be able to bring chairs and sit anywhere in non-designated seats for County Championship and Royal London Cup matches in 2022, but Members will need to book their seats for Vitality Blast matches.

Members will get priority access to book tickets ahead of general on-sale. Members will be able to book their seats from Tuesday 8 February 2022, and will be contacted nearer the time with further information via e-mail.

Our Membership Services Team will be available to assist via or 01227 456 886.  For those unable to attend, matches will continued be streamed on our website unless televised on Sky Sports.

  • Financial Update:

Financial results for the year ending 31 October 2021 will be released in February 2022.

Over 55% of our revenues are generated by our various commercial activities; Membership and Ticket sales, Conference and Events business and our St Lawrence Clinic. Across the Club, everyone has worked extremely hard again in 2021 to manage the financial risks and secure the future of the Club.

The remaining 45% relies on television rights for international cricket, which meant that if India had not toured this year, it would have put the wider game, including Kent Cricket, under increased financial pressure.

In addition to our usual revenue streams, during the Pandemic, we have received over £42,000 of donations from Life Members and Members on top of the £220,000 of Annual subscriptions retained in 2020.

The Club would like to reiterate its thanks for the exceptional generosity of Members, and the hard work from administration staff and the Committee, to ensure that the Club has been able to survive the financial challenges caused by the Pandemic.

If Members would like to donate please contact or call 01227 456 886.

  • Protecting Kent Cricket staff:

Unfortunately, as we progressively reopened our grounds to Members, some of our administration staff and stewards were subjected to abuse from a minority of Members, who were upset that their usual access for parking, seating and dogs was not possible.

Kent Cricket staff should be able to come to work without fear of being shouted out, threatened, or subjected to derogatory remarks.

We’d like to remind all Members and supporters that the Club will not tolerate such behaviour which has a marked effect on our staff.

Where such behaviour is observed, we reserve the right to withdraw Membership of the Club.

After a successful 2021 season, it’s an exciting time to be a part of Kent Cricket and we are looking forward to the new season already.

Whilst the current headlines around the new Omicron variant suggest that the Pandemic is likely to continue into 2022, last Summer, we demonstrated that it was possible for our outdoor Summer sport of cricket to thrive. The safe completion of a full season of recreational and community cricket showed that cricket can play a key role in ensuring that life goes on even in a Pandemic-impacted world.

I look forward to speaking with our Members, albeit via Zoom, in our Online Members’ Forum on Monday 20 December.

For those of you unable to join, I wish you a safe and happy festive period, and a happy New Year.

Join Kent Cricket and watch the 2021 Vitality Blast Champions in action across all formats in 2022 – Kent Memberships & Six Pack Ticket Bundles are available now.

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Give the gift of cricket to friends or family this year with a Kent Cricket Membership.

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For any enquiries, please contact the Membership Services team on or call on 01227 456 886 (Monday – Friday 10:00 – 16:00).