After the success of 2018, all involved were hugely looking forward to the return of SHB’s Big Bash, this year aptly named the Bigger Bash with the expansion of the entertainment, charity involvement, spectators and of course more PINK!
Over 400 people attended the event this year, with ticket and raffle sales and playing fees contributing towards our two chosen charities for the 2019 edition, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Save The Rhino.
It was speeches from those two charities that opened the event, with passionate stories demonstrating the value of giving children life changing experiences from Make-A-Wish, and a reminder of just how critical the situation is from Save The Rhino, illustrated by the fact there were more people in the Long room at that moment than Sumatran Rhinos alive today.
After tucking into breakfast, getting into their beautifully designed kits (with different colours for each team), each captain was presented with a bright pink tailored blazer and not to mention the baggy caps, the players prepared for a long day of cricket.
The format had two groups of four, with the top two going through and competing in the main draw and the bottom two going through to compete for the other places. SHB opened proceedings on Pitch One against Thinking Space while Loop took on Cass Business School on Pitch Two.
The opening few games didn’t see quite as many 6s as expected, but once the sun began to shine onto the majestic Oval field and the players settled down, they began teeing off.
In all, 162 6s were scored with a donation to the charities of the day for each one hit, 42 more than last year, with six team innings of over 100 smashed in the five over format.
Reigning champions City Agents were in sensational form, hitting 100 in all of their matches in the group stages and 26 sixes across the three games, but Oktra and Cass in Group B were showing great form too.
Away from the field, a large number of supporters were filtering into the home of Surrey. Stood on the sun-bathed terrace, many from the property market and beyond were enjoying the views, the cricket and the news of England’s excellent start against Australia.
With the group stages close to being wrapped up, players and supporters alike tucked into the food that had been laid on, a delicious range American styled street food created by the talented catering team at the Kia Oval.
Unbeaten City Agents and Oktra topped the group, with Thinking Space and Cass going through as runners up to those two teams respectively. SHB, West End, CoStar and Loop went on to compete for places 5–8.
Generosity was flowing with several raffle tickets being purchased in aid of the charities of the day. The volunteers of those charities, and others, had been hard at work to sell them, as well as ‘caddying’ for their teams, scoring and doing various other things to ensure things kept running smoothly.
As the knockout stages got underway, the supporters were in great spirits, with the live music from our resident DJ (Royston Music) and amazing weather accompanying continued updates on England’s win.
In the main draw, Oktra battled past Thinking Space to reach a second final in as many years before Cass won the most dramatic game of the competition, beating City Agents with a six off the last ball of the match.
It meant that Cass would play Oktra for our new and very large trophy. With England finished and the bar closing, supporters filtered down from the happening terrace to the stand to watch events pan out.
Ultimately it was Guy Vere Nicoll of Oktra who topped both the runs scored and sixes hit charts, and he was the standout player in the final as he guided his side to chasing down the target of 72 with 5 balls to spare to win the competition for Oktra.
Cass’ Tom Membrey had the consolation of at least topping the bowling charts with the most wickets, but it was victory for Oktra in the end, who had shown their class throughout the tournament and were awarded the large 11kg trophy.
After the presentations and raffle prizes were awarded, the event at the Oval was complete, but many who had been at the event headed to the White Bear pub nearby to digest the day’s events.
Funds raised for our charities on the day are still being calculated and we want to say a huge thank you to those that have been so generous with this — we are still receiving donations so if you would like to support, please get in contact. Also, a huge thanks to Mr Simon Blair (on behalf of SHB) for donating £25 for every 6 that was hit!
From a networking perspective, the terrace area had allowed for wide-ranging discussions amongst those who had attended from the property industry and beyond.
Overall it was a hugely enjoyable day to have been a part of, the weather certainly played its part, but the quality of the cricket on show and the large numbers of people in attendance made the event even better, and perhaps most fittingly, even bigger, than last year’s edition.
A huge thank you has to go for all those that made the event possible: the volunteers from the charities were vital in ensuring things ran smoothly, Adam Shaffer & Michaela Butorova (SRI) and Amber Woodward & Daniella Munday (MAW) who were at the centre of organising them. Ed Fletcher who headed up the logistics and beautiful presentations, Simon Blair, CEO of SHB who had the inspiration to put the event together, and Holly Sherwood, without whom the event simply wouldn’t have been possible to run thanks to her tireless work in organising the event over the last 12 months.
We would also like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors, IWG and CoStar, all the teams that took part and lastly the spectators that filled the arena with laughter and cheer — you made it!
We have uploaded the full album of photos from the day here, please tag, like & share!