CHIPPING Sodbury are gearing up for a crucial summer of cricket at all levels after a particularly hectic off season, writes Steve Hill. 

The club has continued to make significant investments in its facilities at The Ridings.

And players and officials now hope that improvements to Sodbury’s two main playing areas will be reflected with big steps forward on the pitch.

Club chair Andy Shield said: “These are very exciting times. As a club, we have been extremely busy since last September, and our players, members and supporters will see some big changes when the first matches of the new campaign take place.

“Everything is geared towards giving all our teams, at senior and junior level, the chance to make progress this summer.”

Since the end of last season, the club have installed new doors and windows at their main pavilion, which itself underwent a complete refurbishment the year before, while a new patio area has also been laid.

Chipping Sodbury players, members and supporters preparing for the start of the new cricket season

Chipping Sodbury players, members and supporters preparing for the start of the new cricket season

New state of the art wicket covers for the two grounds, sponsored by Chartwell Funding and Wotton Tarpaving, have also been purchased, while there are plans for Sodbury’s nets to be updated at the end of the season.

James Rendell, in charge of the first XI for a 12th season, said: “We’re eager to get started after a challenging couple of years because of Covid.

“We have an overseas player this summer for the first time in quite a while, and Jiwanjot Singh will certainly strengthen us on and off the field.

“He’s played for India A and is an experienced first-class player who is also keen to make his mark as a coach, working with players of all ages and abilities as well as our existing club coaches.”

Sodbury’s first XI are keen to push hard for promotion from the Gloucestershire County League back to the West of England Premier League while the second XI, under new captain Jim Davis, have been boosted by exciting new arrival Damien Bouwer, an opening batsman from South Africa.

Rob Higgs has been elected captain of the third XI while Sodbury fourths will be led once again by Jim Kendall with Hannah Thompson at the helm of Sodbury Ladies.

Andy Shield added: “We welcome players of all ages and abilities.

“If you are interested in playing cricket then there is a team here for you, from our All Stars (ages 5-8) and Dynamos (ages 8-11) right through to youth sides, cricket for girls and women as well as our four Saturday sides, a Sunday XI and midweek team.

“And we also welcome the local community to the Ridings to support and enjoy our facilities too.”

Senior practice is at the Ridings on Thursdays (6.15pm) while sessions for juniors and girls are on Fridays (6pm).

For more details, visit, or visit the club’s Twitter or Facebook pages.