Just a few years ago, there was a key debate as to whether the Optimists CC should re-introduce a 2nd team into the BCF due to growing membership. Upon reflection, the Committee decided to go ahead and what a positive decision that proved to be. Thanks to the leadership of Girish Venkatesh and then Mohit Dixit with the key support of Pankaj Malav and Raju Akulwar, the 2nd team has proved again and again to be a huge success. In 2018, the 2nd XI topped BCF Division 5B to win promotion in their first year back in the BCF. In 2019, they won Division 4 comfortably to secure another promotion. In 2020, the season was affected by COVID and changed to T20s without promotion possibilities. Nevertheless, the boys won Division 3 with 7 wins which included a lot of travel.
And now in 2021, despite losing many players graduating through to the 1st XI, our 2nds have triumphed again securing promotion to BCF Division 2 with a key win vs Kortrijk Warriors at the weekend. Across 4 years this is a record of 25 wins from 33 games. This is seriously impressive but it’s not just about the winning. The 2nd team has shown great spirit, determination, commitment and a huge amount of fun and humour along the way which is truly what cricket is all about. So on behalf of all the club and its many growing followers, we wish to say congratulations to all the 2nd team captains, players and support staff involved. You are all a superb credit to the club and yourselves!
This afternoon the 1st XI will be playing their last home game of the 2021 season and match will be attended by representatives of the firms that have sponsored our scoreboard, Maples and HSBC. The weather should be decent, the BBQ will be lit around 4PM and the drinks machine is full, so hopefully see many of you at the ground later today.