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Foxton Granta are the new kids on the cricketing block

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Newly-formed Foxton Granta Cricket Club logo. Picture: Adam Webster (53084596)
Newly-formed Foxton Granta Cricket Club logo. Picture: Adam Webster (53084596)

Two of the region’s most well-known cricket clubs have announced a merger.

Foxton and Cambridge, formerly Granta, have joined together to become one for the 2022 season.

The new entity will be called Foxton Granta Cricket Club, and is aimed at forging a club with strength in depth at all levels, and creating a strong junior section.

The idea formed through the last off-season, when the two clubs did nets together, but it was only a casual suggestion, initially.

“As the season went on, it became more apparent that everyone we spoke to, people were struggling for players,” said Matt Gray, the Foxton team manager.

“I think lockdown had an impact on the people playing cricket becoming less and less. You have your hardcore cricketers who want to play, but the guys who help out in half your games were disappearing and we were struggling with our second team last year.”

The players were friends socially so continued to talk about the idea of merging and that is when Gray, a former Granta player in the 1980s, discussed the

possibility with Alan Hobbs, the Granta first-team manager.

“We started to bounce ideas back off each other, and after lots of discussions we decided to go for it,” said Gray.

Lewys Hill, Cambridge’s captain last season, said: “A lot of the players at what was Foxton and what was Cambridge Cricket Club had either played together, against each other or at previous clubs throughout our junior cricketing years and some of the seniors as well.

"We knew each other from a playing perspective and were training together over the course of the pre-season because we were looking to get a good atmosphere and good numbers at training where you can get a bit more out of it.

"We started training together and everyone really enjoyed it, and it was really good fun.

"That progressed into conversations of what did people think, could it work and all the little comments that come up.

"It started off as throwing ideas at each other, and progressed to something more.

"A few people on the boards of the clubs got together, had a conversation and we decided as clubs to merge.”

Cambridge were demoted from the East Anglian Premier League at the end of last season because they did not meet ECB criteria to be a Premier League club as they did not have three age group sides up to the age of under-15. It meant they would have been in the same division as Foxton in 2022.

The new Foxton Granta club will enter teams into the Cambs and Hunts Premier, Divisions One and Team, and the CCA Senior League, Division Three, and will primarily play at Foxton, but also use Cambridge’s venue at Caldecote.

The merger will coincide with a return of junior cricket to Foxton for 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The new club aims to build its foundation on a strong junior section which will offer cricket in a safe and fun environment for a range of ages.

And Gray believes that the positives will be plentiful.

“I think they’ve got a lot of good players which strengthens us all the way through,” he said. “It gives us a bigger player database so instead of struggling to run two sides as we did last year, I think this means we will run three sides this year.

“We got a little bit top heavy as a club with Division One and Division Two and then nothing else, you need to have somewhere for your colts to come through, your social cricketers to be able to play.

“I think it makes us a more flexible club, and I think Granta are in the same sort of position. It was a very positive mood.

“Some mergers haven’t worked because of geography and other reasons, but we feel this one is a good, positive step to having a proper club.

“Hopefully we can build from the bottom up, and then push Foxton Granta back into the Premier League.”

Gray added: “Our big push will be three teams and a strong colts section in time, and build a strong club for the future.”

On the future, Hill said: “It means that we can look to put out more teams from a senior perspective, have a bigger club in that respect and look to build for a future from the junior side of things as well. We’re looking forward to seeing how it progresses over the next few years.

“We're looking forward to seeing how it progresses over the next few years.

“Both teams had two teams so bringing that together is obviously going to give you more players, and that was one of the big benefits initially. It gives a good foundation now to build on.”

He added: “We’ve all got the mindset that it is building the club for the future, rather than just a personal gain in the short term. The people involved want something that is going to be there for the long term rather than just something that is a quick fix.”

Foxton Granta are on the look-out for new players, sponsors and volunteers to help move the new club even further forward in what should be a very exciting future.

For more information please contact either Adam Webster at adam.webster1@live.co.uk or Linda Hobbs at hobbsies@btinternet.com.

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