Glamorgan CCC v Cardiff UCCE: Head-to-Head

27 Mar 2024 | Cricket

Glamorgan meet the students of Cardiff UCCE in a three-day friendly at Sophia Gardens starting on Sunday, 31 March at 1100 am (writes Andrew HIgnell)

The wet weather has stifled Glamorgan’s pre-season preparations with the cancellation earlier this week of a two-day friendly against the South Asian Cricket Academy. As a result, the three-day friendly against the student team, drawn from the Universities of Cardiff, South Wales and Cardiff Met, is Glamorgan's only warm-up match ahead of the County Championship season which commences at Lord’s on 5 April when the Welsh county meet Middlesex.

In recent years, the students from the various University Cricketing Centres of Excellence have played under the umbrella of the MCC, with several of the undergraduates, such as Glamorgan’s Dan Douthwaite, using the scheme as a stepping stone into county cricket. Following the end of this sponsorship deal with the MCC, the students’ team has reverted back to its original name, as used in the inaugural contest against Glamorgan back in 2001 which the county team won by the handsome margin of 140 runs with opening batsman Alun Evans scoring 137.

The Glamorgan batters also had a field day in the drawn contest in 2004 with Michael Powell posting an imperious 201, whilst David Hemp made 138 as the Welsh county amassed 586-9. The following year, Glamorgan made 603, but the contest ended in a draw, with their most emphatic victory coming during 2011 when they won by 281 runs as the students were dismissed for 46 with seam bowler Huw Waters claiming 5/6.

Last year, the students, who fielded a team with several Glamorgan 2nd XI and Academy players, won by three wickets. After a series of rain interruptions, Glamorgan could have opted for further batting practice but, on the final afternoon, they set the students a target of 274 from 51 overs. They duly won with five balls in hand thanks to a cultured century from Xavier Clarke, the younger brother of Joe, and a batter who had been on Worcestershire’s books and who has also appeared for Glamorgan 2nd XI.

Paul Baldwin, who umpired last year’s game between Glamorgan and Cardiff UCCE, will be one of the umpires again with his colleague for 2024 being Anna Harris, who has stood in two Women’s Tests, as well as eleven One-Day Internationals and the same number of International T20’s.

The friendlies against the students between 2001 and 2011 were not classed as being first-class matches. This changed in 2012 with their games against Glamorgan until 2017 being conferred with first-class status. This changed in 2018 so the Welsh county’s players will therefore have to wait until their game with Middlesex at Lord’s before their performances enter the first-class record books.