Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Update Feb 28th

The June 22nd match hasn’t been confirmed by Sports Science as yet, so if they can’t make that one we’ll try and get another team, maybe the London team who it sounds will thrash us, but I wont mind that so much? Maybe this could be offered to the SEEVIC team by Richard?
* Richard the email addresses for the Aussies and Kiwis would be useful and the same with Thomas if you can get me the London Teams contact name and email address I can deal with these people direct.

May 20th Friday - Kiwis & Aussies (CONFIRMED)
5.00 pm start 20/20 match at Welsread Gardens.
Sunset is approx 20.50hrs (Match time 3.5 hours).
The opponents "Kiwis and Aussies" have confirmed the date as OK.
Welstead Gardens have confirmed.

June 1st Friday - Sports Science (CONFIRMED)
5.00 pm Start 20/20 match at Welstead Gardens
Sunset is approx 21.05hrs (Match time 4 hours).
The opponents "Sports Science" have confirmed.
Welstead have confirmed.

June 22nd Friday - Sports Science (PENDING)
5.00 pm Start 30/30 match at Welstead Gardens
Sunset is approx 21.20hrs (Match time 4.5 hours).
The opponents "Sports Science" have not confirmed. I've got to check this out
Welstead have confirmed.
Also looking Iffy from an MPA point of view as this is Nikon day despite being a Friday when we all like to get off a bit sharpish and there are no students around anyway?

July 1st Sunday - Sports Science (CONFIRMED)
1 pm Start 40/40 match at Welstead Gardens
Sunset is approx 21.20hrs (Match time 8 hours).
The opponents "Sports Science" have confirmed.
Welstead have confirmed.

Other news is that ‘Ash’ who was mentioned way back in November has come through as a potential player. Ash’s background is something along the lines of being a youth academy player for Surrey County Cricket club and he gave it up to study Music Tech. But up to that point he’d been playing at a very high level for his age with the prospects of possibly playing for SCCC? Apparently he’s well up for it and could potentially be at the next practice this Saturday? Alex is filling him in with all the info and hopefully he’ll be joining us at the weekend. So Thomas and Mark – watch out your positions as opening batsmen look under threat on two sides – Tom Dick and ‘Ash’ from the SCCC!
Expected this Saturday
Simon’s mate
Rod/Thomas’s mate
Tom Dick

My News

Threw a few balls on Monday and still can’t get the leggie sorted it always comes out as a Wrong Un. But I’ve had a look at some Shane Warne videos tonight and it may be that I’ve got my arm too vertical and that the back of my hand is facing the batsman as I release the ball and this is the action required for the wrong un? Other than that after not bowling any of the variations now for over three weeks I had a go at the other three that I do – The Wrong Un, Over Spinner and the Flipper. All of them were spot on especially the flipper, the flipper I like as it does what the leggie is supposed to do – pitches legside and turns in to the middle stump. I was managing to pitch it 4 or 5 metres in front of leg but about 0.5 metres wide at the point of impact and it was then turning into middle stump! I was well pleased!

Again I can’t wait for the rain to stop so I can try some of this out on some grass. I read in the paper tonight that we’ve had 80% more rain than average hence all the places I normally practice on are under and inch of water or totally saturated.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Things are happening........

Insider news

Our insider tells me that they're not taking it very seriously, they're possibly taking the point of view that it's a foregone conclusion that they are going to win because they are 'Sporty'. He's seen some of them in action and he reckons and there's at least one ofthem that has played at County level and that he's quite handy with his bowling. But we've got to remember we've also got 2 county level players. The insider says at the moment they are not practicing as a team either, so whereas we're making team selection decisions on the basis of strategy and practice they're going to be forced to make decisions on lengths of straw or similar? The insider who initially had his money firmly on them has his money on us winning.

He also tells me that they are getting worried and that they are asking questions about our abilities and the frequency of our practicing.

Bowling Machines

I spoke to Dean Wells today and Gavin Etheridge. Dean has passed the organisation over to Gavin so he's our first point of call. Speaking to him today I've learned that they have a full team, but it probably will include a couple of students and he hinted at the fact that they may be cricket players rather than just random people that fancied a game. They're definitely up for the first fixture, so we'll concentrate on getting that sorted and then play it by ear with regards to the rematch where no doubt they'll be looking to draw even.

In the short term I've learnt that that their head of school is on side with them and expects them to win and theirs talk about the fact that they may invest in a bowling machine. I've looked bowling machines up and the cost isn't that high and no doubt they get eductaional discounts. I'm sure they could argue that the machine could be an asset and could see with the return to some inter team cricket playing and an interest in the sport a return to thier former cricket glories of 2002? So I wouldn't be surprised if this happened. If so, the question then will be - where will it be kept/used? Garrons I expect and it's probable that we would also be able to access it? So it's not such a bad thing?

This seems to be a distinct possibility -

The 2007 BOLA Professional Bowling Machine
Fully Enclosed Cricket Bowling Machine. Concave profile moulded urethane ball delivery wheels. Microprocessor based digital speed control with membrane switch panel. Adjustable speed in increments between 15 and 95 mph. Spin, swing and pace bowling with 19 spin and swing settings. Electronic random variation facility with solid state electronic wheel braking. Ball joint complimented by vernier screw adjustment for precision line and length. Operation from 12 volt battery or with optional BOLA Power Pack from 230v mains (or 110v if specified).
£1938.00 inc VAT, £1649.36 ex VAT With Power Pack £2159.00 inc VAT, £1837.45 ex VAT

Now read this http://www.bola.co.uk/spin.html the machine doesn't seem to be able to do flippers? It also means their bowlers wont get as much practice as we do and I'm sure that the human aspect to bowling will count for so much more.

Welstead Gardens

Welstead gardens is the only missing part of the whole thing now. As soon as we get dates I'm going public with this, massive advertising/promotional campaign hyping up the event and we'll be looking to get student teams involved and other teams within the schools involved. I've told Welstead this in the most recent email as a way of getting them to get their skates on. So hopefully I'll have an update on Tuesday night.

Attendees for Saturday 3rd March

Anyone aware of any non attendees amongst the usual 9? Are there going to be ant extras? I'm hoping we'll have Simon's mate, Rod the Aussie's mate and either Steve Bone or Tom Dick as well so that we can get a game going?

Another potential fixture Leyton Cricket Club

There's a bunch of geezers from Leyton that are up for playing us who are well established as a team and play in a league, but are well up for a friendly match. This link comes via Thomas Slater, so as I get more news I'll let everyone know. It'd be nice to think that maybe this could be our first away match? Other than that if Sports Science can't make that Mid June date maybe we'll offer this to the Leyton team?

Anyone from the Leyton Team that wants to get this moving (and the Aussies and Kiwis) email me at stupidaddress@hotmail.co.uk and we'll try and get something sorted.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bowling stuff from Harrowdrive.com

Check out Daves website and subscribe to it (Sign up) and he'll send you an email a day with all sorts of useful stuff. Recent good stuff included exercises and cricket info for old gits like us!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

News 21st Feb

Several bits of news.


The dates have almost universally been agreed as being okay. An email has gone out to Welstead Gardens for confirmation that we can have the dates that we've proposed. I've sent the dates to Dean Wells and Gavin Etheridge so hopefully I'll get the nod from them soon. If we get a response from them soon we'll then go public, start a publicity campaign and make everyone in the college aware of the fact that this is happening and invite other teams to form their own teams.


Tony Sweeney has offered to umpire some of the games if not all of them. I was concerned that Sports Science may object but he reckons Dean Wells will be okay with the arrangement.


Richard Stainsbury's wife has spoken to the Seevic team today who have shown an interest in playing us before and I'm hoping that we may be able to sort out an away match or two with them?


I've also got mole within the sports science team who will soon start feeding us some inside info . So we may be able to get a better perspective on how they see us as opposition and what they're doing in the way of preparation. Watch this space.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Update on New Recruits

Alex has drawn a blank with his mate with regards to him making up the numbers on Sundays, but he has said he'd be up for playing the matches and coming along to the after Net sessions once the weather allows us to get out in the field. He has commitments on Staurday right up to 12.00, but then can meet us about 2pm over on Great Berry Playing Field where we'll be practicing after the nets later in the season.

Now we're down to Simon's mate and and Rod's mate to make up the numbers. I'll try and get my mate Mark to come along to as many sessions as possible too. I'll also see if Carl is interested (We use his bats) or the other option will be to put out a general request for players, umpires and even teams within the college?

Try this for size...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Recruitment Drive

In view of the sense that we need to step up the practice and try and use the indoor game as the primary practice tool for a couple of sessions in order to try out a couple of the theories that have come up recently we need to increase our numbers. We need to be looking at trying to get 12 regulars in order that we can play the indoor game. So if possible anyone that knows someone who's vaguely interested - direct them to the blog and this recruitment post.

Yes we need you! We want at least two more players who are committed and will turn up at the pratice sessions every fortnight. In an ideal world there'd be three new blokes? So if you're interested email one of us or contact us through the blog. We're all either new to this, or old, we're not in a league or anything just a desire to play is all that is required and your £10 every fortnight if you turn up. We've got pads, bats, gloves and boxes we can lend you, so come along get involved.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Net Practice 17th Feb

Post practice consensus is that we're improving with each practice and some of us are doing fairly well. Turn out was poor with some dodgey F*****s coming up with some pitiful excuses! In attendance was –

Nick Naughty

Most of the excuses for people not being there were reasonable, but obviously the more people can turn up the better we’re going to be as a team unit and the more money we can get behind us. On that subject we’re now in credit by £75.00 which is pretty healthy considering we’ve only been going for a few weeks and that’s despite attendance not being that brilliant? There seems to be a core of 9 players including Richard and Rod who couldn’t be with us this week, so we’re looking for at least another 2 regulars. Simon and Alex have mates that have said they’d be up for it and Rod the Aussie has a mate who’s also up for it. Them along with Tom Dick, Steve Bone, Mark Benson and Carl Hodgson who have all either been once or have said that they will come once they’ve got time would make a big difference. In the short term if we could get a regular 10 blokes every week or even 12 that would make a big difference to the format of the practicing. Today we changed the game at the end of the practice session slightly with running between the stumps, this sets up a whole new aspect to the game in that fielding becomes more dynamic and so does the batting and having to communicate when going for runs between the stumps. Everybody agreed that it would be far more advantageous if we were able to play in teams and so much more could be gained from the practice sessions. So if we can get these 3 other blokes (Rod, Simon and Alex’s mates) as regulars the benefits would be substantial?

I've been thinking about this some more and realised how valuable these games would be. We've got 6 bowlers - Me, Thomas, Rod, Simon, Alex and Badger. If in the game these were split 50-50 and bowled exclusively we'd have a situation where we could start recording peoples bowling averages in a measurable way and it would focus the bowlers attention as you'd only have 24 balls per game in which you could accrue points. We could even start to do the things where not only would you be scoring the game but looking at how many runs would be made off of each bowlers over and working out the averages to see who was working out to be the most affective bowler? So it's almost essential that we start to get a minimum of 10 people at the practice sessions or even better 12.

I also reckon that the teams could be down to one bloke picking the team a la school playground style - but being aware that you need to ensure that Richard and Alex can't be on the same team as they're the wicket keepers?

We desperately need those other three blokes every week. We should also limit the initial practice in the nets to half an hour to give us an hour and half to play the match to see if we can play the full 24 overs (12 each) in the 90 minutes which is 3 mins 45 secs per over. More realistic would be to play the full 2 hour session as a game, that way it would be 5 minutes an over, which I still reckon would take some doing at less than a minute for each ball! I think playing a game increases the potential to learn so much more, several people have said that we need to practice fielding, I think people that don't watch a lot of cricket and are not aware of the some of the tactics, would gain a greater understanding of some of the more subtle intricasies of the game. Batsmen would be forced to keep the ball low and choose their shots more carefully bowlers would have to up their game a bit to improve thier stats over time, people would be made aware of how crap they are at catching and stuff, everyone would have to learn 'Between wicket communication', everyone would get the extra buzz and excitement of it being competitive, especially with the fact that runs can be made running bewteen stumps and I'm sure team cohesion would be improved. To me it sounds like a win win win situation!

People are buying bats! Alex has his bat, Simon’s on the verge of buying his own, Thomas is looking for one too – things are looking up as we get nearer the spring. Alex today took one of my balls so that he could throw it around in his local park and get some practice in during the time between net practices. If anyone else wants to do this, if you look on Ebay you’ll find that you can buy 12 balls quite often for as little as £20.

The weather was nice today and Simon was commenting on the lack of bounce you get from the sports hall floor and saying that once the weather gets better we should get out there as soon as possible and throw some balls on the good stuff. If someone wants to look into it maybe they could approach Welstead gardens and ask if we can use the outfield for practicing? Other than that just a mile or so from where we’re practicing there’s a large playing field that I often practice on that is dead flat and mown frequently. As far as I know it’s rarely used for football even in the football season. So possibly in April once the weather turns nice instead of going straight down the pub we could head over there for an hour or so and try it out for real. This would give people like Thomas the chance to whack the ball and see if he really is getting the distance we’re going to need to decimate Sports Science? I know I would prefer to bowl on grass as I know I bowl so much better on grass, whether this is a psychological thing or the fact that I’ve got cricket shoes and that they grip or something I don’t know, but I can’t wait to go up against someone on the real stuff! So I’d be out there in March if it were warm and sunny! I'll try and get a few pictures of the field in the next few weeks. Again like my own private field it's relatively secluded with trees on all four sides and a working mans club in the corner!

Today despite being indoors I did better, although I’m still fairly inconsistent with the width. But I did feel better and I got a few wickets (2 in the game at the end).

One final thing – we need more opponents. I don’t want to play just Sports Science. I quite fancy the idea of playing Seevic, so much so I’d even invite some of the sports science blokes to play with us if we were short of blokes (Although after the 'Welstead Gardens Tri -series)? So Richard if you're reading this get your arse in gear and start sorting some matches out - Seevic and your Aussie mates?


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Feb 17th Net Practice is confirmed

Just been to see Kevin the Caretaker at James Hornsby and he's said it's okay to pay him. If we can get the £140 tomorrow it'll put us a week in hand and they don't mind doing it like that. As long as they've always got a week in hand at least, they're happy for us to pay on the day. I've got £40 already, as long as 10 of us turn up we should be able to get the money together and we'll do it like that in future?


More Shane Warne stuff


Saturday, February 10, 2007

My private wicket

I live almost throwing distance from a football field (100 meters). Over the last few months I've acquired a roller and a lawnmower and I've been trying to nurture a section of the football field into a usable wicket! This is one of two fields I use for my bowling practice, this particular field is very lumpy, but it's right outside my house so close enough to drag a roller to and attempt to flatten out a wicket! In the diagram below I've drawn out the area of the wicket and at the moment I'm attempting to get the area right in front of the post flat (6 yards in front of the stumps) so that it's flat enough to bowl into.

The area is marked discreetly so I can go back to it and check it out after football matches and do little repairs. I did have an area just to the left of it, but it has recently been damaged badly by footballers, so this is my new area which does look flatter. Because of the recent snow the ground is saturated so in the next few days I hope to get over there with the roller and give it a going over, but as tomorrow is Sunday it'll probably be used for football, so I'll wait to see what kind of damage it sustains.

My old wicket area possibly because I’ve rolled it twice since November is flooded, so it does look like I may have compacted the earth so much the rain-water is now unable to drain away? Thinking about it, that may be a good thing though, because that’ll mean the grass will have trouble growing because of the compacted earth, so if I’m looking to encourage a nice dry grass free Aussie style wicket rolling may be the way to go?

Update 13th Feb

Since last writing it's rained almost every day, so the pitch is going to be saturated and because of the rain I've not been able to get over there to see if I can roll it. I've also been thinking that once the football season has finished I'll probably go so far as to encouraging the area in which the ball pitches to remain drier than the surrounding area by covering it with plastic if rain is imminent or threatens to be heavy over night prior to the weekends when we get to use it.

15th Feb

It hasn't rained for 24hrs so tonight I went out and had a bit of a roll. Very wet underfoot and no doubt walking back and forth with the roller I've probably inflicted some damage to the grass and compressed the earth to the point where it might be detrimental to the roots and ultimately the grass? On a positive note it is quite flat the area in front of the stumps as indicated by the white lines in the photo above. I've flattened the area about 6 yards in front. Down the legside it's very flat, in the middle it's lumpy especially about 2 yards in front of stumps and then fairly good down the offside. Decided I'm not going to do it again now till the next rains after mid to late April. I'm pretty certain that it's going to get trashed again by footballers. what with it being Thursday it's only 2 days and it's likely that the pitch will get used although it is exceptionally wet and muddy, so hopefully whatever matches are scheduled they'll be cancelled.

I think if anything my next strategy should be to drain it to now encourage the water to drain away, so that the wicket dries out. There's a technique where you can bore small holes and fill them up with sand, but to be honest I don't think I can be bothered. I think I'll just keep my fingers crossed that we have some dry weather and all the football takes place away from my wicket.

One last thing, the markers down the leg side all looked as though they'd been pulled out partially, so I pulled them out and got rid of them to reduce the risk of drawing attention to the fact that this bit of grass was getting it's own private treatment.

17th Feb

Had a look today at the wicket in daylight. On a positive note it does look very flat and if it doesn't get mangled by the footballers it looks promising for the summer. On a more negative front it looks mangled from a football groundsmans perspective. It's been flattened, it looks like someone has pitched a tent on it for a week, so it stands out from the rest of the pitch as being different. Also where I rolled it from the sides inwards so as to not walk all over it all around the edges it looks worn as well. If they use it on Sunday someone might notice it, but then whether the groundsman will be told I don't know? Even if he is told - what's he going to do camp out at the pitch over the next few months waiting to see how his pitch is getting damaged? (That's if I am damaging it)?

I suppose I'm slightly worried in that if they are noticing it and the groundsman is aware of it he might remember it later in the year. If as I suspect what I am doing is stressing the roots, it might mean that come the summer this patch that is 6 yards x 8' in front of the stumps may all but die or at least be really poor quality grass - especially once we start playing on it and mowing it twice a week, maybe even covering it when we know it's going to rain overnight, it's going to be pretty obvious that I/we are the culprits and if while we're playing the groundsman turns up he may have something to say about it?

18th Feb

Gutted! Despite the fact that there was no football played on the pitch today there was a group of about 4 young blokes over there this afternoon for a couple of hours. Once they'd gone I went and had a look to see if the wicket had sustained any damage. Strewth was there some damage, it looked as though because the wicket area had been rolled flat they'd chosen to have one of them play from that position. So what with the damage the rolling does and then combined with the fact that some berk in a pair of football boots has chosen to stand there and shoot from that position (That's what it looks like) it is well and truly knackered and uneven again. Now I don't know what to do - do I go over there again asap e.g. tonight and roll it - which then means that it'll have 7 full days to recover and if this is combined with dry weather for the rest of the week that means the surface may dry off and hold up better to any damage next week? Or do I leave it till the next bout of rain? Chances are we could be heading for another incredible drought and the last bit of rain we've just had may be the last bit of substantial rain till next autumn?

I've just had a look at the Atlantic weather chart (See image) and there's still plenty of weather about, this low is on it's way for Wednesday with an occluded front which almost certainly means rain. It's preceded by a smaller low on Monday so it looks like there's plenty of potential for rain and more opportunities to roll the wicket? Although I am still tempted to get out there tonight - I'll see how I feel as the night wears on?

28th Feb.

The month ends with more record breaking weather - the last 12 month period being the warmest 12 months in something like 350 years. As far as the pitch is concerned what with it raining for the last week or so it's still saturated as too will be Great Berry Space. Fortunately no football is being played on it cos it's so wet where we've had 80% more rain than average for February. I'm not going to bother looking at it again till Sunday, lets hope that the rain stops and it dries out a bit.

13th March

We've now had almost a week of back to back subshine and dry weather with very little rain over the same period. At the weekend the pitch was played on but doesn't seem to have sustained any major damage, so tonight knowing that we're scheduled at least another few days of warm weather (Today has been 16 celcius) I went and did half hours worth of rolling. This time I've concentrated on a 5' wide strip in front of the stumps extending out in front of them by about 5 yards. So tomorrow either on the way to work or coming back tomorrow evening I'll have another look and see how much affect the rolling has made. The impression i got (It's dark when I do this) was that it's pretty flat, so it seems promising. I'm now hoping that between now and this Sunday it doesn't rain and the grass recovers a bit and so is less conspicuous and dries out even more and sustains little damage.

17th March

At last we get to throw some balls on the wicket! Badger, Alex and myself spent a couple of hours after net practice bowling, wicket keeping and batting and man was it good! So much better playing on grass and so different. The wicket was pretty consistent with regards the ball turning/jinking left or right in that it hardly did so, but the difference and inconsistency in the upwards bounce was really challenging and fun. Alex and Badger bowled amazingly straight and consistent and I was able to have them both pinned down with my variations in length, flight and ball variations. I even managed to throw leg breaks having realised what I've been doing wrong so now I'm back to five different variations!

After we played I went back over to the wicket with Joe having set my lawnmower to a high setting and gave it a going over and with the grass being so short was able to see how flat it actually is and it is pretty flat considering a month or two back it was 4 x 4 country.

Tonight I had a look after the pitch had been played on all day by footballers and because the sun has been out and the wicket is pretty dry it's stood up to the wear. Over the next few days we're due some rain and sleet, so I'll be watching to see how it copes. But as soon as the weather clears I'll be out there with a mower keeping it nice and short. The way it's looking is that by August it's going to be a patch of dirt!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Can't get enough Cricket?

Can't get enough cricket? Determined to thrash Sports Science? The answers to all your cricket problems can be found here - check out our mate "Dave The ECB Bloke's" website and subscribe to it for daily cricket advice. Go on - you know you wanna!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bowling comments from ECB Dave

On Tuesday I sent the bowling video of Thomas to 'ECB Dave' and he emailed me back having looked at the video clip today. Here's his comments re Thomas's action...

Hey,It's not as bad as you think. He is getting into position well from a limited run up and bringing his arm through straight with his head up.If he is accurate and swinging it already I wouldn't want to do much to change his action. However, with a bit of work he could certainly generate more pace. The first thing I would say is that I can see him reigning himself in to go for accuracy over speed. This is an excellent approach as it will get wickets. I would ask him to experiment with trying to bowl a bit faster.The way I would ask him to do this is to try the following (one aspect at a time, not all at once) to see if it "feels" better or not. If the feel is not there then go back to what he was doing before:Generate more pace in the run up and jump. This doesn't mean tear in, but it means an increased 'tempo' keeping a good rhythmOn landing and going into the delivery stride drive the hip through more quickly. Imagine the batsman has a rope tied to your hip and shoulder and he pulls the ropes hard as you deliver the ball.Try and stay as upright as possible as you deliver the ball as your head falls away to the side to allow you to generate more power with your shoulder. Your hip drive will compensate for less power so keep your hip, leg and shoulder as high as possible at the moment of deliveryOver exaggerate your follow-through so you are still running after you have bowled the ball. This will teach you to drive through and follow through more.All of these tips MAY decrease your accuracy as you get used to doing them in "fast forward". Give them a good try but if they are not working go back to the old way. Accuracy is more important at club level anyway.Look here for some more tips: http://www.harrowdrive.com/now-you-can-bowl-fast-too/What I also recommend is that you buy "The Fast Bowlers Bible" as this will give a practical book to try things out in the nets. Ian Pont is a fine coach (for Essex) and you can get the book here: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/harrowdrive-21/detail/1861268513/026-8079742-9406860Let em know how it goes!

Having read that myself I can see I can apply some of the stuff Dave’s advocating to my own bowling. I looked at my own video clip and noticed some mistakes I was making myself. I had a nightmare in the nets at the last session which was then further exacerbated by an appalling session the next day on grass, whereas usually I do well the next day and it quells my doubts, but not this weekend! Saturday it got so bad I spent the last half hour batting!
My own video clip highlighted that I’m not following through after releasing the ball. This is something I have worked on before but obviously need to work harder on, I’ve tried it without balls and it just doesn’t feel right, so I’m going to have to wait till I get another chance outside at some point. But the worst aspect of all is that I seem to have lost the ability to make the ball turn left (Leg spin) either round the batsman’s legs or away from off stump. Having talked to the captain and to ECB Dave on here it seems I may be trying to jump before I can walk. All the other deliveries seem to have come really easy – Over-spinner, flipper and the Wrong-un, but seemingly at the expense of the Leg spin.

On Sunday I tried a few things out – aiming at very small targets using the leg spin delivery only, the length was okay, as too was the accuracy regarding width (70%). But the ball was consistently turning right (Wrong un) even though I was trying the leg spin. I realised that the looser I was and more relaxed the more accurate and less likely to throw wide balls I became. I then started throwing the ball from a position much closer to the stumps with a lot less effort and was able to make the ball turn. Progressively I got further and further away from the stumps and I was able to throw ‘Leggies’ effectively up to a distance of approx 56’. If I then extended the length to the full 66’ it seemed the amount of effort I was having to put into the throw was meaning it was leaving my hand in such a way that it was going wrong. So I came away from the session thinking I’ll stick to throwing leggies and do so in the short term from a shorter length and then gradually work backwards as I re-learn how to throw the leggie and make it turn. So what I’m basically doing is what ECB Dave has said regarding Thomas, take on one change at a time and see how it works out. I’m too impatient to just do one, so I’ll do the shorter length and the follow through together and see how it works out!
I’m hoping that part of the problem is that preceding the last net practice I’d had a knackered back and hadn’t been doing any exercises, so half the problem may be I wasn’t as strong? So if I now get back to exercising I may get the leggie back anyway?

I think the videoing of the practice sessions is probably a good tool, as it allows you to be critcal of what you are doing and see how you're bowling or batting, so may end up a good training aid? Badger has said that next week he'll have the capacity to film a lot more so if he points the camera at you - take advantage do your stuff and evaluate the results.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Comments & Contributions

I've changed the settings so that anyone can comment on the blog, so if you want to respond to anything that's posted please do so.


Net Practice Feb 3rd

Today’s net practice had a turn out of 8 of us

Thomas aka ‘Derek’
Rod the Aussie

Having removed the pole from the nets we were able to pull them all the way out, which was an improvement from a safety point of view. The new stumps initially looked as though they’d handle being bowled at, but then Alex started throwing balls and they began to disintegrate on being hit at 100mph! Because of the low turn out we didn’t bother with a game in the second hour and we concentrated on bowling and batting and Richard did some wicket keeping. Things are now beginning to shape up a bit and the different roles within the team are becoming more obvious. At the after practice analysis with the team captain we discussed the roles and made some more changes albeit only slightl. First the batting order……

Opening Batsmen

Thomas and Mark – rationale because they go for it big time and hit big, Thomas in particular will go after any ball and smashes it irrespective of whether it’s being spun or is a fast one, his approach is a ‘Take no prisoners’ let ‘em have it approach. All of the bowlers agree to not having any strategy to get him out. Mark is similar and in the past games has always come out as having the highest scores.

No.3 Richard Sainsbury – Good solid approach, varied techniques and intelligent batsman, if Thomas and Mark get some runs on the board Richard will be good to follow up with a steadying approach slowly building on what Mark and Thomas have set but with the potential to hit 4’s and 6’s. We reckon Richard could stay in and score big over the longer period.

No.4 Rod the Aussie
– Similar to Richard good steady approach, potentially a clever batsman that could hang in for a long period building the runs up.

No.5 Badger a safe bet with the ability to hit bigguns.

No.6 Alex not so adept at the 4’s and 6’s but could get the 1’ and 2’s and is fast between the stumps.

No. 7 Naughty, middle order yet to show his true form as a batting specialist but growing in confidence “I reckon we’ll do alright now, it’s all coming together…. I reckon we could have sports science”.

No. 8 Vacant – Tom? Left handed, rumoured to be handy with the bat – need to see him in action in order to move up the batting order?

No.9 Vacant – Steve Bone?
No.10 Simon – Bowler
No.11 Dave – Bowler

The other change is that Alex has stepped aside so Richard is now the only Wicket Keeper.

So the team looks like this now

Tom, Naughty, Mark and Steve – Specialist Batsmen
Richard (AR) – Specialist Wicket Keeper
Dave – Specialist Leg Spin Bowler
Thomas (AR) and Rod (AR) Specialist Fast swing bowlers
Simon (AR), Alex and Badger (AR) Specialist Fast Seam bowlers

Badger brought along a camera with a 15 minute video function and recorded some of the bowling, so hopefully there’ll be some footage that we can post on the blog and have Dave the ECB bloke comment on Thomas’s bowling action. Hopefully next practice session we’ll have a proper camera and record a lot more of the bowling done by all of us and we’ll all have a chance to see how we look.


After today’s attendance with 8 people paying we accrued an extra £10.00. The total now in the coffers is £40.00. Having said that I’ll get the invoice for the next two sessions fairly soon I reckon and we’ll need £140.00. To be honest I can’t afford to take £100 out of my savings and have it tied up until you all pay me back, so I’d appreciate it if anyone knows that they’ll be attending the next two sessions they pay up front. If you then don’t turn up I’ll refund you the money. If the core members of the team do this we should be able to cover the costs easily and the extra money contributed by the more sporadic participants over the weeks should mean that eventually we’ll have enough excess money to pay up front.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dave The Leg Spinner says....

I like the suggestion here made by the other Dave (www.harrowdrive.com) that we should video some of us bowling and doing the stuff. I think it'd be interesting for Thomas to see how he bowls and I know Simon wants to do the same with his and I wouldn't mind seeing what mine looks like too! Maybe if none of us own a video camera we could borrow one from the college (Badger you could sort this out it's your dept) I've got a tripod and we'll film the action. The 'MPA Barmy army' can convert it to DVD and either send it to the other Dave for him to look at and comment on, or convert it to an MPEG and post it on here?

I like the sounds of this! Today I spoke to 'Conan' and he didn't have a clue and has no interest in cricket at all. I also spoke to Dean Wells as well and as yet they've not had any net practice at all. So we're way in front. I reckon if we keep on as we are it's going to be a whitewash and another tactic we can emply just before the first match, is to direct them to this blog so that they can then see how much preparation has gone into getting ready for the series. I'm gutted that they're steering it towards being a 20/20 series. I'm pressing for it to be best of 3 with the final match being an all dayer, so if it's a draw after 2 matches we may have the an advantage in the longer match (50 overs)?

Dave The ECB bloke says......

Dave,Loads for me to go on there. I have already done a keeper/spinner post for you to look at so enjoy.I don't know too much about county coaching schemes so I'm not a lot of help there, but plan be might be to contact the ECB Cricket Development Officer for your county as they will be able to put you in touch with local coaches who may even just volunteer their time. It's worth a stab. The details are here: http://www.ecb.co.uk/ecb/development/cricket-development-officers-first-class,68,BP.htmlI'm no eg spin expert but Terry Jenner is always saying you should be able to bowl a stock leg break every time before even attempting variations. I suppose the theory is to master the basic skill then develop it rather than try and learn several difficult skills all at once.Finally, is there any chance you could get me a video of the bowler in question? I can take a look then.Thanks for the email!DavidDAVID THOMPSON wrote:
Hello Dave

It's Dave at MPAfirsteleven.blogspot.com. I saw your request for direct requests. Obviously my thing is leg spin bowling and things related to that. So if you've got anything around that as a subject that'll be good. Saying that though even though I'm not actually the captain, stuff on captaincy is useful as is wicket keepers, reason being from my perspective they're the players I work most closely with.

Another thing that I'm just about to put in my blog and one that you touched on recently I seem to recall - coaching. Today at work some of the blokes had been looking at the BBC skills links on their cricket page and mentioned that having seen the stuff on there were phased at the complexity and intricacy of bowling (This was two of our fast bowlers) they then went on to say that coaching would be the ultimate answer and I kind of joked that maybe we'd get someone in for a bowling coaching session and they then said "Yeah - that'll be good and then they can really let us know how crap we are". But joking aside I seem to remember at some point trawling around websites and coming across coaching sessions offered by county cricket clubs. What do you know - is there anything you can tell us that might help with this (Cheap being a key feature as we're only a newbies at this)?

Back to other requests.... anything about bowling Flippers, Googlies, over-spinners and leg spin and how you might train and not get all these mixed up. I've heard Terry Jenner talk about practicing Googlies to the point where you start to lose your leg spin and this is something that's happening to me (I think I need a coach as well)!

Another one of our lot who's a potential fast bowler and can make the ball swing in the air massively has a problem with his action, we all agree that it looks really wrong and we're sort of flummoxed as to what we can do to help him - any suggestions?