Batsman Tim Jarvis is gearing up for his second season at West Chiltington and loving life in the Invitation League having made the switch from the dizzy heights of the Sussex Premier League.
The 28-year-old joined the club last year after moving to the village at the end of 2013 with his wife Zoe and three children in search of a bigger home.
That brought about a big decision of leaving Brighton & Hove Cricket Club, where he had spent 21 years, and batted at number three each week in the 1st XI alongside Sussex stars such as Luke Wells and Matt Machan.
Opting to step down some four divisions was not something the former Sussex County Cricket Club employee took lightly, but proved the sensible decision.
He said: “It was a big decision for me to leave Brighton & Hove, but Zoe seemed to like the fact that I wouldn’t have to arrive two hours early for a warm-up and the games started at 1.30pm. I made contact with the club and agreed to attend winter nets, where I met the team and Tim Monday.
“Tim’s the first XI captain and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. I got very excited by the journey that West Chilt were on and I wanted to be a part of that. So I handed in my transfer request and here I am – a fully fledged West Chiltington-ian.
“I absolutely love the facilities and I don’t miss the howling gales at Bright & Hove. The Rec is a beautiful little village ground, with a batting track that competes with Horsham’s. The new pavilion is wonderful and there’s a fantastic social scene.
“The junior set-up rivals many Sussex Premier League sides too. My son was four last summer, but most evenings we’d come down to the club and have a little game of cricket.”
On the difference in standard, Jarvis added: “So there’s obviously a difference, but it’s not as drastic as I thought it may be. The biggest thing you notice is that perhaps matches are dictated by a few stand-out players. If you see-off the opening bowlers, you’re probably well set for the rest of the innings. You also get a few more chances than in the Prem. I certainly had a few more lives last year than I would have expected.”
West Chilt are hoping to get more potential players involved this year with shorter formats of the game being played to suit a wider range of people.
They are looking to get involved in the ECB’s last man standing matches, launch a new ladies’ team and entering their girls’ teams into the league this season.
Jarvis added: “The cricket club’s certainly not stuffy. Quite the opposite really and there’s such a range of demographics. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
“It’s a very welcoming place and a nice place to spend your Saturday afternoon whichever side of the rope you are. I would just like to say that if you are thinking about dusting off the old spikes, you’ve moved to the area, or you want your Saturday mornings back, then come down and say hello. We’d love to have you.”