Big Interview: Walton-le-Dale CC’s Neil Harvey discusses the cricket podcast which everybody is talking about
LEP's Craig Salmon talks to Walton-le-Dale CC player Neil Harvey who is one half of a cricket podcast presenting team which is making waves across the internet
Catch any you may have missed on the WLD Youtube Channel
What began as a light-hearted fun venture to while away the long, dark days of the first national lockdown has snowballed into quite the phenomenon.
It was back in March earlier this year when prime minister Boris Johnson ordered the population of the United Kingdom indoors to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
With people only allowed out of their homes for the bare necessities and for one hour of exercise per day, sport – at all levels from elite down to the grassroots – was placed into cold storage indefinitely.
For the members of close-knit cricket club Walton-le-Dale, the lockdown was a bitter pill to swallow.
They had been busy preparing for the forthcoming season which was just a month away from starting before the country was plunged into lockdown.
Unable to play, train or even meet up in the pavilion, the playing staff, officials and supporters maintained their close links via an online podcast.
“Up The Dale” was the brainchild of Walton-le-Dale’s second-team captain Neil Harvey – a former seam bowler – and leg spinner David Maguire.
Broadcast on YouTube and Facebook, the podcast initially saw the duo discuss a variety of topics concerning the club and the game in general.
It soon began to attract an avid audience and it was then that they decided to branch out at little.
Rather than just hearing the sound of their own voices all the time with guest appearances from other club members, the duo set upon the idea of inviting prominent figures from the wider cricketing world on to their show.
With a touch of forwardness and a little cheekiness, the pair soon hit the jackpot when Lancashire stalwart Steven Croft agreed to be their first special guest.
With Harvey as the anchorman and Maguire providing the Paxman-esque style interview technique, the podcast with the Red Rose all-rounder – who has played 180 first class matches for the county – proved to be a huge hit.
Since then the show has gone from strength to strength.
Local star and former Lancashire ace Luis Reece, who now plays for Derbyshire, was next to make an appearance talking candidly about his career so far.
Then it was the turn of renowned cricket broadcaster and Test Match Special summariser Dan Norcross to go under the gaze of Harvey and Maguire’s spotlight.
Most recently, the pair have been able to enjoy the company of former England and Kent bowler Martin Saggers, who is now a respected umpire on the county and international circuit.
Harvey admits the rise and prominence of the show has taken both himself and Maguire by surprise, but as far as they are concerned this is just the beginning and they have targeted even bigger and more high-profile stars to appear on their show.
“Myself and my co-host Dave Maguire had originally spoken about doing a podcast pre-pandemic,” said Harvey.
“It was just going to be about Walton-le-Dale and the idea had sort of been inspired by a club down south called Sanderstead.
“When the pandemic hit, we sort of put our heads together and said why don’t we start it now?
“There was still plenty of cricket content which we could talk about and the lockdown gave it the added emphasis that as cricketers – and certainly as friends and clubmates – we just weren’t seeing each other.
“So it was more done initially as a way of keeping the club together and bringing some entertainment to the lads at a time when we ordinarily we would be getting ready to ramp up our preparations for the forthcoming season.
“The first four or five episodes was just general club news, league news and information and other cricket news such as whether the summer would see any kind of county or international cricket.
“It soon became clear that we could start introducing guests.”
With neither of them having a contacts book overflowing with the numbers of famous names, the duo had to think outside of the box to secure guests.
Croft’s appearance was as a result of him being the club’s guest of honour at a presentation evening, while Reece was somebody who both Harvey and Maguire had got to know when they were both players at Vernon Carus CC many years ago.
“We had the local link with both Steven and Luis,” said Harvey.
“Steven had been a guest of the club and we asked him if he fancied coming on the podcast.
“Luis is someone myself and Dave had played with during his very early years at Vernons – his dad was actually my captain there.
“So I had known the Reeces in general for a good number of years.
“But going on from there, the best way I can put it in terms of getting the guests that we have done is that we have just been a little bit cheeky I suppose.
“After getting two players on in both Steven and Luis, we agreed that we would like to showcase different facets of the game and get other characters – not just players, although we would obviously welcome other pro players.
“So we looked at identifying different roles in cricket such as coach, commentator, umpire. Getting Dan Norcross on was an interesting one – because of his name he had a link to Norcross Cricket Club in Blackpool.
“I knew he used to interact with the club and I know a couple of lads from there and they had told me that he had once come to their presentation evening.
“ So I felt quite comfortable approaching him on social media and he was absolutely great.
“He agreed to come on and was a great guest.
“The Martin Saggers one is another weird one in the sense that I was a friend of his on Facebook.
“I can’t remember how or why I ever befriended him on Facebook but once again I just cheekily dropped him a line on messenger.
“Just like Dan Norcross, he was absolutely brilliant. He said he would be delighted to come on.”
Having already secured some famous people to come on their show in such a relative short space of time, Harvey admits that he is setting no limits for the future.
His dream guest would be ex-Lancashire and England cricketer David “Bumble” Lloyd, who is now a highly regarded and respected commentator.
And he has not ruled out asking someone like Ian Botham – arguably this country’s greatest ever player.
“Realistically, I think Bumble is someone we could ask,” he said. “That would be a good one and I know he’s been on a few podcasts really.
“I think we talk about being cheeky, but sometimes we are not cheeky enough.
“There are probably times when we have held back from asking someone because you think you won’t get a response.Read more...
Please find attached the draw for the Royal London Club Championship 2021.
Blackpool will welcome Fleetwood, while Leyland host St Annes.
The winners of those ties will then play each other before taking on Liverpool/Bolton League opposition.
The dates for each of the rounds for 2021 are listed below
Round 1 – Sunday 16th May
Round 2 – Sunday 6th June
Round 3 – Sunday 27th June
Round 4 – Sunday 18th July
Quarter Finals – Sunday 8th August
Semi Finals – Sunday 29th August
Final – TBCRead more...
In the summer Lancashire Cricket Foundation announced that Inter League Cricket would replace District Cricket as the only official first step on the Lancashire Cricket Player Pathway for young people, we are now in a position to provide an update as we plan towards the start of the 2021 season
Over the last few months representatives from across our leagues have come together regularly to discuss with us the Inter League programme and their contribution has been invaluable given their wealth of experience across junior cricket in the county. These talks have been alongside staff from the Lancashire Cricket Foundation and the Performance Team at Lancashire Cricket.
Launching in January, the Lancashire Cricket Regional Development Centres will play a key role in the build up to the Inter League programme, as they prepare boys and girls for cricket in a learning environment.
Inter League fixtures will take place in July and August, for both boys and girls, putting player development at the heart of the programme.
On the back of the Lancashire Cricket Regional Development Centres, leagues will prepare their squads in the early part of the season as junior cricket gets underway. The age range will be broad, creating opportunities for players from U11 to U18 (and those in between), and will also provide competitive opportunities at the right time based on the age, and stage, of the players.
Our leagues will have autonomy for teams representing them and key volunteer coaches will be supported by our professional staff in terms of coach development, ensuring capacity for the programme is met and that links are made with County Age Group cricket.
Early in the New Year we will be in a position to formalise the Inter League competition and at that time our leagues will able to confirm the next steps with clubs and their players.
Moore and Smalley Palace Shield AGM – Monday 14th December 2020
The meeting was held via Zoom due to the COVID restrictions in place and opened with Rob Hales explaining how the meeting would work and how delegates could get their points across.
1. Chairman’s Address Peter started by mentioning that a number of people associated with the competition has passed away since we last met. Included in these were Chris Clegg, a former chairman of the umpires panel and a Life-Vice President, and Terry Wilson who had done much for Leyland CC over many years. The meeting held a few moments in silence in memory of all those lost during 2020.
Peter thanked everyone for their efforts in getting some cricket played in the 2020 season. We had only started on 18th July and had only been given short notice prior to that so it took a great deal of effort from the Exec along with the Northern League to set up the fixtures and from the clubs to be able to stage games. It was thanks to all that we had managed to run the 4 Saturday competitions, 3 Sunday competitions and the junior section with minimal disruption in the circumstances. Hopefully, 2021 would being some improvements to the situation and we would be able to start in April with something close to normality.
2. Apologies and Roll Call Apologies from Trevor Wilde, John Conway, Steve Beswick and Dave Rolinson (Thornton Cleveleys). No roll call was taken but there were 46 attendees from ost clubs and the Exec.
3. Minutes of the AGM on 9th December 2019 had been distributed and were taken as correct.
4. There were no matters arising.
5. Treasurer’s Report The balance sheet had been distributed and Paul explained the figures. Due to the shortened season, income from sponsors was greatly reduced. We had also reduced the league fees to try to help the clubs in a difficult time. There was also reduced expenditure meaning that we were still able to make a small profit of £715. It was thanks to the continues support of Moore and Smalley and Readers that the finances were in such a healthy state. The accounts were passed as a true record.
6. Budget for 2021 It was expected that the figures would return to close to the 2019 amounts although it was less certain than in the past. The Exec had considered the position over the handbook and decided that, in the current circumstances, it would be safer not to publish a handbook for 2021. Any details could be out of date almost as printed – and had the 2020 lockdown come a week later, we would have been £2500 down. We would review at the end of the season to decide on whether a handbook would be required in future and, if so, what format we should look at. The budget for the coming year was approved.
7. Elections The President took over for this part of the meeting and started by thanking John Ball, who was retiring as fixtures secretary after 22 years in the post. The job had changed in many ways during John’s time and he was thanked for resolving all the issues that arose and leaving a healthy working system for anyone to continue with the job. Joe proposed that John be offered a position as a Life-Vice President and the meeting unanimously approved this.
There were no offers to stand as Fixtures Secretary so the position would be left open and the remainder of the Exec committee were re-elected en bloc.
8. Sub-Committees Steve Beswick for Disciplinary Chairman, Phil Houghton for Rules Chairman and John Conway for Grounds Chairman were all elected. David Jenkins was to stand down as Appeals Chairman. There was no offer to stand as yet but someone was to be approached. With no other offers, the position was left vacant for the time being.
9. Rule Changes There were 3 rule change proposals. These would be voted on using the Zoom polling as 1 vote per club and, if there was a clear decision either way, we would accept this as the result. The votes were as follows:
9.1 Allowing Sunday teams into the Crabtree Cup – carried with 79% in favour
9.2 Allowing clubs to withdraw teams from the cups in any order – carried with 64% in favour.
9.3 Using Pink Balls in the 20/20 competitions – carried with 81% in favour.
10. Saturday Divisions Fixtures had been sent out in draft form. As no issues had been raised, these would now become the full list. Some games were TBC (to be confirmed) and these would need to be moved to a new date / venue. Instructions and deadlines for doing this would be sent out with the fixtures.
11. Sunday League Entries had been asked for the Sunday competition and clubs were given until Christmas to confirm.
12. 20/20 Competitions As with Sundays, clubs had until Christmas to confirm.
13. Dates of meetings etc The cup dates and final details had been circulated. Meetings were more difficult to sort out as we did not know when they would be allowed. It was felt that the Zoom format has worked quite well for this meeting and many club committees were meeting like this so it may need considering when to ask people to come to a central point for a meeting rather than meet on-line. For now, there would be no set dates and any meetings would be arranged as required.
14. Welfare Office Report The Welfare Officer was not present
A concern was raised about the LCF proposals for a Pathway to Cricket which seemed to suggest that parents would required to pay in order for their offspring to be considered for the Pathway. This did not seem right although the LCF and the pathway were still in early stages so we would need to see how it developed.
Croston and Preston were the entries for the 2021 Lancashire Knock Out. In the draw, Croston had drawn Bootle and Preston were to play Carnforth.
Croston would be our entry for the 2021 National T20 Plate
Cricket ball ordered would be done on-line via a link to be sent out – we had waited until the AGM to see what the decision was on the Pink Balls for T20.
The registration tidy-up would go ahead at the end of December so any club who had not repled should do so as soon as possible.
The President wished everyone all the best for Christmas and especially for the 2021 season and some hope of normality. The meeting closed at 8.35.Read more...