"If it rains over night the match may be cancelled - ring me at 10.30".
It hasn't rained it's a beautiful sunny morining with blue skies - I reckon it's on.
We need an 11th Man
If there's anyone out there today that reads this blog that plays a bit of cricket come along to welstead gardens in Westcliff and join in please? First come first served basis or ring me (See previous blog for mobile No.
08.37 - first phone call of the day - memebers of the MPA1stXI Barmy Army ringing up for postcodes to put in their SATNAV's. This was Carl Hodgson's wife so that means Carl will be at the game possibly so if he's there he may be persuaded to play - but no-where near guaranteed as an option? Still need the 11th man......
The pitch is available and it's on - still no 11th man though. I'm sure you're all thinking that's not a problem - but I reckon it is - imagine if Nakul was our 11th man - the blokes just been out and spent in excess of £200 on gear so that he can be involved just to then be told that he can't play cos the other team couldn't get their act together to field 11 players. It's just not cricket. I reckon it's a poor show on our behalf and I'm still trying to get that 11th man.
It's all over and finished. I've just finished washing up all the plates and stuff, done an equipment check counted all the money and now it's time to assess the outcome.
I don't know where to start - suppose it makes sense to start at the point I left of before I left the house. After flying around buying cutlery and making more phone calls trying to get the 11th man sorted I eventually arrived at the caterers house and picked up the food. It looked okay and only just fitted in the car what with all the other gear. Picked Thomas up and more or less arrived at Welstead on time Nakul was already there waiting, Mark Soye was already in the bar! Got all the gear out of the car and then tried to get other people to move the tables around to the playing area and to take the scoreboard down from the wall and put it in front of a marquee that someone had not taken away that was obscuring the view from the clubhouse. Eventually people started to turn up (albeit late), some had somehow not thought to look at maps of how to get there and I had to answer phone calls giving direction. Then out of no-where I got a call from my mate Boffa (He's a 'Tilb' - me and him used to be Surfing Mods back in the day - scooter rallies, The Jam, Surfing in Cornwall and the likes) asking if we needed an eleventh man. He'd seen the blog (Been watching it for months now) and the call to arms and then rang Michelle and got my number offering to do the job if Michelle didn't mind trying to look after his 2 little kids. This was at about 12.45 he said he'd just have to feed his kids and he'd be on his way and he'd get there ASAP. Fortunately the Aussies and Kiwis had already spoken to us and said it'd be better if we played a 30 over match and they didn't mind if we made the choice as to what we preferred to do e.g. field or bat first. They were laid back about the whole thing and themsleves were looking for their 11th man. We decided to field.
1.30 was drawing close and then Boffa turned up to save the day. Their 11th man had also arrived, so we were ready. As usual there was the farce of collecting money from people and what with trying to sort the food out and the scoring and people asking me and telling me this that and the other I lost track of who paid what. So it's going to have to come down to honesty as to who's paid and not paid.
I'm fairly certain everyone has paid for their shirts. If you've not can you do so - They're £5.00.
Match fees for today were £5.00 so if you haven't paid - again can you do so sometime this week please.
The other team all paid £3.00 towards the food and other costs, this it seems is the going rate, but if we'd had to pay for the venue as well, we'd have been left short. The primary reason for this is that we paid a caterer to do the food and the food alone cost us £66. So this needs to be looked at and I'll bring this up again later in the blog.
Having done the accounts the situation is that we should have £103.39. But there's a shortfall and if no-one comes forward with the money they owe - I as the treasurer as such (who should have whilst doing everything else should have kept a tally of who was giving me what) will have to make up the shortfall out of my own pocket.
The sun was out there was no rain and at last it all came together - 7 months of training about to be put to the test. First though let's explain who we're playing. A bunch of Aussies and Kiwi's who you'd imagine just by being from that part of the world might be half decent anyway? Add to that the team has been together for 4 years and that some of their players who they use to make up their team are ex-league players with years of experience and youngsters who play for local clubs in the area and no doubt their schools. So it was a bit of an ask compared to our teams credentials!
So in they went and they were good. I haven't got the stats as they'll be sent to me soon if Richard can liaise with their captain. But one of their blokes (a 15 year old) scored 100 and another scored 50. The bloke that scored the 100 was dropped in the first or second over by our wicket keeper Richard, I dropped him later at backward point and it went along like that. Several of us dropped the ball and allowed them to dominate completely. Words from the spectators is that initially they were really impressed with our fielding and backing up and were saying things like 'Whoa! This isn't what we were expecting it looks like we might have a game on here'. As we were pretty committed and running and diving around trying to stop them from getting fours and it was working to some extent. But once we'd dropped 5-7 balls mostly off of their key batsmen they could see it was going to be an easy ride. Anyway without the score sheet they lost 5 wickets and scored 240 something I think we stopped them from getting the 250 and we were quite happy with that and that's what we expected.
Some people made some valiant attempts to stop the ball which was really impressive. Nakul tried to catch a ball that was hit hard and it was still going reasonably straight from the bat as he attempted to catch it almost on the boundary - man that must have hurt. He stopped another having just bowled that was hit straight at him. Mark Soye dived for few and hurt himself. I dropped 3 that apparently were easy ( 2 were and I should have had them) But one of them bounced funny off a lump and I dug my fingers into the grass at high speed attempting to scoop under it and have brusied one of them.
Boffa caught a nice one off of Thomas's bowling, but the other were all bowled by Badger and Nakul (2 each) both slower bowlers.
We opened with Simon and Richard, Richard went early and Thomas too (Both with 1 run apeice). Nakul came in and scored our highest run total with 19. Simon stayed in for ages a la Geoffrey Boycott and score a handful of runs. Boffa had a good and again scored a few and then me I scored 9 I think way short of what I wanted 25, but this was in the 25th over and we needed to make runs so I wasn't being particularly cautious. I then had to be the umpire which isn't something I was hoping to do and Badger came out and on one of his first balls, the wicket keeper had his bails away while his bat was in the air, it was close (Sorry badger - but he did get you). Mark did okay he scored a few runs and Trevor as well. We still had 2 men standing as the 30th over was completed and we scored 72 runs.
It was our first game ever and most of us have never played cricket in our lives before Nov 2006. The rest of us haven't played cricket since school and that means 15 years ago or more in some peoples cases. One of our better players who bowls and bats well (Rod Jeanes) wasn' there either. Overall we reckon we did quite well and if we'd have caught those 5-7 balls it would have been a different game because by the 4th man out they were looking not so clever. In all of our practice sessions we've never practiced catching balls and I personally would like someone to show me or explain to me how you do it without it killing your hands! We also noted that they fielded and kept wicket in a far more aggressive manner. The fielders right from the start were close in asking the question can you get it past us? In future we'll adopt the same strategy and then if we find it does go past us we'll move out. I also noticed in the first over they had 5 or six men in slips positions as well and then changed that once they knew we could bat slightly. They were also better on their toes and a lot more lively than us - we looked sluggish (Speak for yourselves). They also were chatty and well up for sledging making quacking noises and calling people bunnies. So that's something we've got to do as well.
I asked one of the bloke just before the end whether we were the worst team they'd played and he said no. "You're just being polite" I countered.
"Yeah I am". He replied.
The next match...
We all came away with a positive sense of we've been beat but it was a very steep learning curve and that there was a lot we can take away and look at and make changes with. The other team said that their first game was similar but you soon learn. So I think we're now looking to do an awful lot better against Sports Science. We can see what we did wrong and look to put those things right over the next 10 days. Sports Science are not a team that have been together for 4 years and their team is made up of people who play football with a few that do play cricket. So it's not going to be easy, but it wont be as difficult as the match we've just played. We've also got to keep in mind that it's going to be 20/20 so that means a far more aggressive batting approach. I can't wait!
We only screwed up on one thing - we didn't clap the new batsmen onto the pitch. And we didn't make cucumber sandwhiches.
At the start of the game I set up a single stump and was bowling at it - it was from my better set (the Slazenger set) does anyone recall what happened to it as it hasn't come back with me and I'm gutted.
Now for the moaning
Hey it wouldn't be me if I didn't moan! The organising and getting all the crap together I kind of feel it was all down to me. Loads of people moan about different aspects of the way this come together and how different people performed etc, why were people late, where was our score sheet? Why wasn't anyone doing the scores on the board? Why don't the rest of the team know what a leg bye is or understand that you swap ends at the end of the over etc - blah blah blah. Admittedly most of the points are things that I moaned about. But nothing is ever going to get done unless someone has a sense of collective responsibility. I was mortified at the prospect that we weren't going to field 11 men because of the reasons mentioned above and the fact that it's just rude. I was sitting here this morning thinking I can't believe that none of you - what with being so much younger than me can't get one of your mates to come along and join in? because when I was your age I'd have had 20 blokes to have called on that would have probably said yes. Just so happens one of those blokes even though I've not seen him in 2 years and he's got kids and he's in his 40's still did the kind of thing we used to do as mates back in the day he stepped forward and made himself available and saved if not our embarassment certainly mine. Well done Boffa - Good on ya!
So (I know this is a waste of time but here goes) I reckon we should allot different roles to people.
Stats & Scoring Blokes x 2
Someone who can use MS Excel and sort out an official scoring book for future use, They're about £12 & you can get them from the cricket and Hockey website. Your job would be to collate scores and understand the rules regarding byes, leg byes, wides and No balls. On match days you'd be involved with the other teams scorers and bewteen the 2 of you keep the scores and keep the scoreboard up to date.
Someone who organises the food. This means sourcing the food/catering putting it out to tender trying to get a better deal than £66 for the job if sourced out to another caterer. Or buying the food yourself and cooking preparing it yourself or with someone that could help you. Liaising with the venue, arranging the teas (I've just realised I've got to pay Welstead for the tea as I've forgotten to do so - so our balance is £22 less than listed above) and refridgeration/storage/timing/staff etc so that
- Arrange Teas
- Arrange food/catering
- Transportation of food to venue
- Tendering food out
- Cutlery and plates
- Clearing up
- Getting dishes and plates back to the caterer (Clean)
- Arranging and negotiating the other teams contribution for food
- Collecting the money off of the other team
- Handing money back to the treasurer
- Keeping track of and producing receipts
Main job will be to ensure everyone knows what they have to pay for and how much it is and that they pay it on the day.
- Set rates for practice and game fees
- Collect and keep the money
- Update Excel spreadsheet with Expenditure and Income
- Distribute spreadsheet and accounts
- Liaise with team on spending
- Monitors attendance
- Be creative with ideas to raise cash*
- * I liked the idea of fines for bad fielding (50p).
Venue & Opposition coordinator bloke
This involves looking at venue options - communicating with the team and sorting their availability and matching up with the match dates
- Arranging matches - dates and times
- Sorting maps out for team
- Visting the venue
- Arranging fees and payment (With treasurer)
- Phone No.s and staff contacts at Venues
- Dealing with Groundsman re cancellations (Weather)
- Checking the weather and communicating with team
- Checking scorboards availability
- Drinking up times
- Gates opening and closing arrangements
- Changing rooms availability
- Liaise with opposition captain re times/dates/balls
I don't know how many people we need to do this but it seems like at least 3
- Learn the rules
- Learn the signs or get some walkie talkies
- Arrange for 3rd party umpires Alex's Dad or Tony Sweeney
Equipment coordinator bloke (I'll do this as it's 90% my own gear)
Someone who makes sure we've got all the gear going to the venue and coming back from the venue. Keeps it in good order etc.
- Makes sure gears available and in good conditions
- Monitors need to purchase new equipment
- Makes sure it's all collected and returned after use
Hopefully you'll have reached the end of this and you'll understand now that I need some help as I did this almost all on my own this time! Offers would be appreciated. Other than all that it was still a brilliant day and I can't wait till the next one on June 1st. The next big one e.g. a Sunday match will be the final with Sports Science on July 1st. So some help with that will be appreciated. The interim games with Sports Science will not include food and most of the arrangement are in place. Finally.......
Alex's Dad for umpiring, anyone who lent anyone else equipment, thanks to all those who came and supported, thanks to the WAG's who looked after and co-ordinated the kids and put up with us disappearing for practice sessions for hours on end and I think out of everybody the person we should thank the most is my mate Boffa (Steve Millbank) for the reasons previously listed.