Cricket – a game played by gentlemen, adored by the ladies, and the epitomy of sportsmanship. The definition of cricket is classed as:
(1) A game, popular especially in England, for two teams of 11 members each that is played on a field having two wickets 22 yards (20 metres) apart, the object being to score runs by batting the ball far enough so that one is enabled to exchange wickets with the batsman defending the opposite wicket before the ball is recovered.
(2) Fair play, honorable conduct, i.e. “It wouldn’t be cricket to look at his cards”.
So cricket is defined as being a balance between skill and fair play – something that BFCC have in spades. The long term success of BFCC has in the main part been down to one element – the club’s ethos, defined as “the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its attitudes and aspirations”.
BFCC players have a great attitude both on and off the pitch – there exists a “never say die” attitude on the pitch, very often resulting in the use of that infamous expression – “it was a Bear Flat finish” (It’s what we do!) which is defined as a game which most teams would consider they have lost, but The Bears having an ability to (in the words of the Saturday Captain Mark Gunning) “step up” to the challenge and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Whilst having a very small squad from which to select, the commitment of the squad and the talent they display on the pitch, is only exceeded by the camaraderie and team spirit displayed both on and off it; their ability to succeed despite not having previously had a permanent home ground, unlike so many of its opponents, has been impressive. They have the ability to make any new member, playing or non-playing, feel at ease and part of the Bear Flat Cricket Club community almost immediately. The Bears are family oriented, and have a great following of supporters to both home and away games. It has been rumoured the club provides the best tea in the Wiltshire League!
The Bears are among the most respected clubs in Bath, along with Lansdown and Hampset, who have both been in existence for some time – Lansdown since 1825, and Hampset since 1940; The Bears were founded in 1983, so with only 34 years history they are very much the newcomer. However, the drive and commitment of the management committee, the Captains, both past and present, and the supporters, have ensured the club endures and thrives.