Lots of things to plan and get ready for, but the most pressing thing at the moment that may scupper all our plans is the weather...
Check out http://magicseaweed.com/UK-Ireland-Surf-Tools/1/
For up todate weather maps - real ones like back in the day when the BBC assumed you were intelligent.
The map left is for next Saturday - our last and final practice as a team and it's not looking good and neither is the weather as you can see. The only good thing is if the weather that is coming in off the Atlantic does include a lot of rain it might mean that I may be able to get out on the wicket at Great Berry with the roller? Having said that I've just been over there today at 5pm and had a look and the ground is pretty solid and is going to need a lot more rain if the roller is going to have any real effect. But who knows - we'll have to wait and see what happens over the next 7 -10 days?
Whilst over there I did do some repair work - softened up the earth where the stumps go in and tried to get rid of that dip that's at the North End of the wicket where the ball jumps up if it hits it.
Later returned and had a knock about with Nakul, Ian and his son (Who's pretty good at bowling and batting). Nakul was a bit worse for wear and is suffering a bit with aches and pains and I've got to be honest my shoulder's a bit sore so I may give it a rest for a couple of days - hopefully the rain will force me to do so.
Thomas was out and about at the weekend and spoke to some cricketers and has passed on the details to me. I rang the bloke this morning and he's given me the details of the "Club Cricket Conference" http://www.club-cricket.co.uk/pages/fixtures.htm whereby if we pay a joining fee we'd be able to link up with other clubs that have fixture gaps in their season. To be honest with the amount of commitments everyone else seems to have the chances of us playing more games than we've already got lined up seems very unlikely - we struggle to get people to practice let alone play games as well. I think we'd have to have a lot more people in the team practicing regularly showing more commitment before we were able to take advantage of the CCC.
Talking to the bloke on the phone though he had loads of useful things to say and in some respects opened a can of worms with regards cricket etiquette. I some ways in our enthusiasm to get these games off the ground we've stitched ourselves up as it means we're the hosts to most of the games and therefore we have obligations to our visitors.
As the hosts we have to lay on the food and the basic guidelines for this are that we make a decent effort at it as the visitors pay for the food (Approx £30)? But reading between the lines it seems that you lay on over and above that and the more effort you put into putting out a good spread the more it's appreciated by the visiting team and they then will invite you to their ground for a return match and put your name about as being a team to do business with?
As the hosts we also supply the balls for the match and as some of these blokes are going to be turning up with £200 + bats they're not going to be wanting to use them on £2.50 Davidson balls. Therefore as a guide price we should be looking at the best quality club balls we can get for £15.00 each up to about £25 and we'd have to supply new ones with each match and always have 4 to use in the event that we lose some and we'd normally play with 2 balls minimum each game.
So with that in mind can I have the subs from the week when I didn't collect them (Last time we were out on Great Berry together) and be ready to pay a tenner this coming Saturday as we'll be in the nets this week. What I'll try and do is get the time changed to a 10.00 oclock start in the nets and then we'll go over to Great Berry.
So - who's gonna do the food then? Any volunteers? My wifes made it explicitly clear she's not so what do we do? Answers on a post card or in an email to me please.
Club Cricket Conference
Talking to the bloke on the phone he also mentioned the catergorising of teams. He asked who we played and I mentioned our first match had yet to be played and I said it was against a bunch of Aussie and Kiwi teachers and he chuckled and said "You like to have you faces rubbed in it good and proper then"? Hmmm - he seems pretty convinced that all Aussies and Kiwis are brought up on a diet of cricket and more cricket and all have attained a level equivalent to pro county level by the time they're 16. He asked about how good we were and said that Thomas had alluded to the fact that we weren't that good. He said to have a look at the CCC website and look at the grading descriptions on there and said that we'd be best off starting at the bottom and seeing how we get on. I was inclined to agree with him. See below.........
Bureau staff can only arrange fixtures which reflect the information supplied by clubs. If a Fixtures Secretary says his XI is ‘Strong Medium’ we have to accept his word and register accordingly. If, during the season, it becomes obvious that club officials are regularly misrepresenting a team’s strength, Bureau staff will try and exercise some judgement, having first drawn the club’s attention to the problem.
To help us arrange the best possible matches, please define strengths as follows:
‘Strong’ - First XIs in higher league cricket fielding their top sides. This strength could also apply to clubs with only one XI who also play league cricket at a high level and are a genuine match for bigger clubs first XIs. Similarly a Sunday side containing a large number of Saturday first team players should be classified as ‘Strong’. The definition would not apply to a big club’s 4th XI.
‘Strong Medium’ - This definition applies to a first XI which may be fielding a slightly weaker side from normal, or to a club’s 2nd X1 whose playing strength is only marginally below their first team’s. Again clubs operating only one side can be described as ‘Strong Medium’ provided they are a genuine match for bigger clubs’ first or second X1’s as described earlier. Equally, a Sunday side with some first X1 representation can be ‘Strong Medium’.
‘Medium’ - The catch-all category. In this section clubs would have to field sides containing specialist players in all categories - bowlers, batsmen and a wicket-keeper. It is unlikely that a medium side would contain more than one colt or one vet. Clubs 2nd and bigger clubs 3rd X1’s would usually be covered by this category.
‘Weak Medium’ - This would apply to clubs either fielding severely depleted 2nd teams or clubs putting out 3rds and 4ths containing vets and colts. It would also apply to clubs fielding only one side whose players are either not regulars or whose fixtures are occasional rather than regular.
‘Weak’ - Probably a one-off side with very occasional players or sides with four or more
vets/colts or a club’s 3rd or 4th X1 with a ‘give everyone a game policy’. All the data is entered into the computer following which the Bureau Assistant will impart details of other clubs with similar or matching profiles. Once the call is completed, the data stored will be imparted to subsequent callers until such time as the Bureau receives confirmation of a fixture made.
I reckon if we sign up to this we should start out weak. Looking at the description we might get away with weak medium but going on the fact that in 20 odd overs we scored 25 runs and the fact that our batsmen rarely practice we might be better off pitching in at the bottom? You never know we might win.
How old do reckon you have to be to be designated as veteran? Oooh me bones are aching - I can feel a designation coming on! Gutted!