Back in the big league

Adam van Willingh , pictured here, and his Bergvliet CC team mates will look to revive the clubs 80s former glory years as they seek to bat their way up the WPCA club leagues starting with their participation in the 2A league in the 2020/21 season.

Bergvliet Cricket Club enjoyed great success in the 80s, peaking in their climb up the former Western Province Cricket Union’s rankings and competing in the 1B League, one of the top flight club cricket leagues on the peninsula.

During this time they boasted eight teams competing in the various leagues. In the 90s, Bergvliet and Peninsula Cricket Clubs amalgamated and competed for a number of years.

Cricket, like many team sports, was competing for the attention of players who had a myriad individual sports and activities available to draw their attention. The club eventually closed their changeroom doors in the late 90s.

The mothballed club remained inactive until 2012, when young cricket enthusiasts, Adam van Willingh and Jonathan Thomas approached Bergvliet Sports Association chairman, Mike Lamb, with a view to field a team in the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) Club Cricket leagues. Mike and his son, Kenneth were stalwarts of the club during the 80s, the latter a swashbuckling all-rounder.

Mike was excited at the prospect of reviving the club and endorsed their plans. The club’s restart saw them fielding two teams more on a social level competing in the Third Division.

Eight successful and, more importantly, consistent seasons later, the club has been ready for greater challenges.

“Since 2012 we had up to three teams at times”’ says Van Willingh, “but we felt that in order to be taken seriously and to encourage more local cricketers to join us and make a future for themselves at BCC, we need to take a leap and promote our 1st XI into an official league”.

Bergvliet Cricket Club chairman Tim Scholtz has been driving to have the club entered into a higher league, to which the WPCA has agreed and this season sees Bergvliet Cricket Club debut in the 2A League.

The format is 45 overs, one-day cricket played on Saturdays, the abbreviated version appealing to players, compact and exciting. In line with the greater challenge accepted by the club, their Second XI now competes in the 3A League, their Thirds in the 3C. Both leagues are formatted as 35 over one-day events.

The tenacity and determination of those involved at the club bodes well, rising from the ashes of a popular and much-loved institution.

Bergvliet Cricket Club will certainly be a competitive force in the 2020-21 season. Coached by Jonathan Thomas and captained by William Solomon, a strong leadership and management group is in place to take full advantage of the opportunity presented.

Captain of the “Berg” during the heady days of competing in the 1A, Fred Bridgens, returns as coach of the Second XI, his expertise a boon for players not only aiming higher but to improve their game as well.

Facilities are at the popular Postage Stamp at Bergvliet Sports Association in Children’s Way and the main field is situated at the Glenn Alpine Oval, formally the Frank Firth Oval, on Ladies Mile Road, both quality pitches to suit the players’ needs.

BCC invites interested players to join the drive to succeed, to make new history for this special club, competing in quality leagues with a determined group of clubmates. Practices take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5.30pm.

For more information, email adamrvan@gmail.com or call BCC Director of Cricket, Adam van Willingh on 082 731 7310.