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over 3 years ago | Behind the Scenes


We’re pretty used to naming decades. We’ve had the Roaring 20s, the Swinging 60s, the naughty 90s and so on. We’re not quite so used to naming individual years. Years of seismic importance: 1066, 1914, 1966 etc. need no elaboration; they’ve just become pseudonyms for the momentous events that occurred – good or (more usually) bad. And so it is with 2020 – surely a future moniker for an absolute shocker of a year. Forget annus horribilis, this has been a James Bond villain of a year. The year that we effectively closed down. The year nothing happened.

Whilst watching a Grand Prix a few weeks ago (well let’s face it, what else was there to do?), I saw the most horrific crash I’ve ever seen. A poor but lucky chap named Grosjean speared into the barrier and his car caught flames. Whilst the wreckage was cleared away, a safety car drove round the circuit at half speed with a train of race cars behind him. This pointless procession carried on for many laps just circulating endlessly with racing cars and racing drivers not allowed to race. Everyone must have been asking themselves what the whole point of this was. They could have been asking themselves about the whole year. A year in which mere existence overtook purpose and achievement.

The best bit about Christmas this year ? It’s a milestone that says we’re about to see the back of 2020 and good riddance. You may notice, I’ve not even namechecked the bloody reason why I’m working from home today, why I can’t have a beer with my mates tonight, why I can’t see my Mum and Dad this Christmas. It’s because it’s not worth it. Christmas is the watershed for this gloom. The rear-view mirrors are being taken off.

Middlesex Cricket is now looking forward. And doing so with more optimism and energy than ever before. It’s time to grasp the mettle.

Despite the challenges there are so many reasons to be cheerful.

  1. We’ve seen the emergence of a new Middlesex Cricket team, a young, hungry group, perfectly positioned for the future with our brilliant Head Coach exerting his authority and energy across the cricket department;
  2. We’ve seen all our wonderful Sponsors stick by us in these trying times, despite our inability to deliver and their own pressing business issues;
  3. We’ve seen our staff stand up to be counted like never before. Every hurdle has been cleared with dedication and professionalism. Maintaining the morale and efforts of an operation in these conditions shouldn’t be easy – furloughing, pay cuts, home working and above all enormous pressure – but it has been: these are terrific people and with their attitude the Club can only go forward;
  4. We’ve seen our new board, in its first full year of operation, prove its value and justify the changes made to its constitution. The incredible energy and wisdom of this group of people stands the Club in terrific stead;
  5. We’ve opened our first Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy in Navi Mumbai. It’s a stunning sports club that will generate us huge value in the future.
  6. And we’ve seen the launch of a new, Middlesex-run Women’s team - Sunrisers, led by our very own Danni Warren. Sunrisers’ arrival also saw three of Middlesex Women’s cricketers earn professional status in the game.

If I take one lesson from the year it is to appreciate even more fully just how much desire and passion surrounds this unique Club. Appreciating the manner in which our members have backed the Club this year is the only Christmas present we need and if ever our cricket team were to need an exemplar of teamwork, loyalty, passion and decency they only have to look at those who support us. You have every right to expect the highest of standards from all of us because that is what we have become accustomed to from you. On behalf of the Club, I thank every one of you.

So let’s consign 2020 to memory and instead raise a glass over Christmas to the brilliant year we’re all going to have in 2021. I really hope you share my excitement at the prospect.

From all of us at Middlesex Cricket I wish you, your family and friends a very Merry and above all safe Christmas and here’s to the New Year.


Richard Goatley – CEO, Middlesex Cricket

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