Tuesday, June 19, 2007

July 1st Sunday

July 1st will be the last match under the banner of MPAfirsteleven.

Check out www.greatberrycc.blogspot.com

Monday, June 18, 2007

Gavin and the nets

Hopefully some of you will have taken up Gavin's offer of a net practice tonight at Chalkwell Park. I'm hoping to go over there on Wednesday with him and Riley. I've been talking to Gavin and he's been giving me some good advice about practice - the main thing that he's said is that we need fielding practice catching balls and the like - he mentioned that (Boffa noticed this as well) when we were knocking the ball about catching it we were knocking it into the air, whereas we should be knocking it straight at each other off of the bat and yes it does hurt - but that's the nature of cricket balls - you have to learn to catch the ball properly. He also pointed out that it's a really dangerous to stick a bony part of your body out to stop a ball e.g. a foot/leg because if the balls does hit a divot in the grass and it's trajectory changes at the last moment you can find yourself with a broken ankle/shin etc. Use your body or best your thigh to stop the ball in those situations. We're doing so many things wrong and these blokes are offering to help in little ways - e.g. the nets, so if it's offered take it and listen to what they're saying and take it on board.

Team Ethos

There's a lot of opinions flying around at the moment with regards the team ethos - are we in it to win or are we doing it for a laugh. The situation is this the team is made up of several types from me - totally obsessed and committed but crap through to - totally crap with hardly any commitment - to probably very good but unaware that they're considered to be in the team. Different factions within the team have opinions about the way forward, outsiders have their opinion on what we should do and each and every one of their opinions has a degree of merit depending on how you as an individual perceive the teams ethos.

At the moment with the follow up match looming on the horizon and it's to be a 40 overs affair we need to be clear as to what we're about because we've got 15 people chasing after 11 places. The game is on a Sunday and it looks like everyone is going to be available (If you're not let me know as it'll make this so much easier).

I think Alex knows the situation with regards who thinks what. I'll state my case.....

In view of the reason the team was formed and the committment shown through the winter by all those that turned up for the practice sessions we should stick to the original ethos - it's a bit of a laugh, not too serious and therefore the places within the team should go to those that have been there the longest. If any of those people can't make it their places should be taken by the next longest serving member.

Unless of course Alex (The Captain) feels otherwise and chooses to pick the team on ability and skills which I'm happy to go along with as well.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I've had several interesting conversations with different people and trawled around the local cricket team websites all with a longer term approach to what I'm going to be doing at the end of this season. No matter what happens I'll still be playing cricket and I'll continue to try and bowl leg spin in practice situations as I'm determined to get it right.

Boffa had pointed out that he thought I was far better at batting and than bowling (3rd highest score against the Aussies and Kiwis and not out on Friday despite being No.6) so at this mornings practice over at 'The Rec' I approached it slightly differently sort of having gained confidence after surviving the onslaught from the bowlers on Friday. I was quite pleased with how I batted but no-one was bowling this morning particularly well, so that may have helped? So I'm settling in as my role of as a batsman and looking forward to maintaining my position at around No.6 despite the arrival of Chris, Alex & Jack.

With regards to the team I've been looking at the make-up of lower XI teams in the area and noticed that as in the case of Grays & Chadwell cricket team they have 38 players in that team. So every Sunday that they play and they field 11 men plus a No.12 they have the choice of 38 players to call upon. So that begs the question how do you get a regular match if you're really up for playing?

I now realise in order to do what I'm trying to do effectively our team needs to be made up of as many players as possible in a similar way as the Grays & Chadwell. Perhaps have 22 - 25 players who are interested at all sorts of levels. But then the issue of how does the side create income in order to finance payment of net sessions, pooled equipment, teas and general running of the team. Most teams charge a yearly fee of around £100 but they also get other benefits of being in the team - the main one being the social aspects. That then takes a lot of organisation and I'm not willing to go that far. I like the idea of a big team and in a perfect world 75% of the team would turn up for nets all winter and pay all the necessary fees asked of them and it would be great. But in the real world it's not going to happen because as the team gets bigger the team members are sourced from a much wider field and the control that I'm able to exercise over them is far less and the need for a captain and a manager and other roles becomes a necessity. So therein lies the problem.

  • Have a small team that will always be severely weakened by the players not able to commit themselves for games, but it's kept informal and personal.
  • Have a large team guaranteeing that you're always able to field a good side, but have to create positions within the club to run it.

In the short term we try and avoid teams that include serious cricket players and look to play people of a similar standard to us in order that it's a game and that we have a slight chance of winning. We try and get Suhail on board and aim to play on Sundays so that more people are able to be involved. To this end I'll be looking to play the Aussies and Kiwis again soon but with some of our new players involved as well. Boffa has said he might be able to knock together a team as well and they'll be up for a 40 over sunday match as well - they're all either blokes in their early 40's and one or two 16 years olds and they're similar to us in ability - but they will want to wind desperately.

The only downside is - if these matches are to be played at Welstead it's going to cost £120 for the venue + teas. I'm up for it who else is.

Then once this season is over we'll have some kind of AGM and see where do we go from here?

Friday, June 15, 2007


Where to start? We got beat again severely I'm not even sure at this stage that I want to even mention the score but rest assured it was bad.

They (Sports Science) fielded some really good players - blokes that are obviously not college staff, (We do the same) but I think they've got contacts with local cricket clubs and they're able to draw on them as players. There was an Aussie bloke who was pretty lethal as a bowler, a noisy South African bloke who took Deans place as the wicket keeper - he was good. Then there was the bloke they call 'Ethnic' and he was fast (Bowling). But the surprise for me was Ronnie. Last time I saw him bowl was against SEEVIC and he was okay tonight he was lethal. I umpired through all of his overs and he was unbelievably accurate and fast. With regards the batting we only took a few wickets and again they used the young bloke who batted well and they had to retire him after he'd scored 50. It seemed to me that there was a handful of people that play regular cricket and are decent cricket players along with some really good cricket players. We didn't stand a chance.

Now the excuses........

Nakul, Rod, badger, Sunhail and Alex#2 weren't there. Both Chris and Jack bowled really well but where both dismissed cheaply, I think Chris got some runs and Jack went for a duck and then came a succession of ducks including Richard. Thankfully Jack's Dad Ian had given Jack and Chris a lift and he mentioned in passing that he'd played cricket years ago and if we didn't have an 11th man he didn't mind stepping in. Ian played well and scored probably 75% of our runs if not more. I managed to stay in through 2-3 other peoples dismissals but only scored 1 run as far as I recall and I run Terry out as he wasn't shouting run/stay etc and I shouted run when it was his shout and he was dismissed.

Worthy performances on our side......

Richard - he did really well wicket keeping
Jack - Very good bowling commended by loads of the opposition and Boffa. Also noted for good contributions in the field - stopping balls and catching.
Chris - Very good bowling commended by loads of the opposition and Boffa and like Jack commended for his fielding.
Simon - Commended for a good bowling performance very consistent.
Ian - for scoring all the runs.

Boffa who's now seen us play a couple of times recommends that I no longer bowl saying that I'm the worst bowler he's ever seen. I've got to admit in a situation such as a match he's right it does seem that I'm completely phased by the situation and bowl badly. So now I've got to sit down and re-evaluate the situation. The only reason I do this is so that I can bowl. The only reason I spend hour after hour practicing is so that when it comes to the day I get that chance and by his reckoning I shouldn't bother as it's to the detriment of the team. I did bowl awfully and it's true that I did in the previous game, but I felt more confident this time round and to be honest I think I was put off by Boffa's comments on the field albeit meant to help at the time. Personally I think with more games my confidence may grow and I will be less phased with each ensuing match? He disputes that and says I shouldn't bowl at all stick to the batting as I'm so much a better batsman than I am a bowler.

I think what I'll do for the good of the team is not bowl in the 40 overs match (Which is something I've been looking forward to doing since all this started) but in the meantime continue to practice and look to join a local club and see how I fair there at bowling and maybe pick up some coaching? Again I reckon it's a case of bowling more against a variety of people in different situations. Maybe doing that I'll overcome being phased by the event?

If as Boffa says batting is my strength I'll look to improve on that and make sure my contribution in that area is worthy of a place on the team?

This could be a pivotal point in the teams short history as I found the whole thing really demoralising and talking to Boffa after - he told me a few home truths and has forced me to look at the whole situation slightly differently.

The decision I need to make is why am I doing this? Do I need all of the aggro involved especially the issues around why do we exist as a team and is the ethos of the team one of winning? If it is - what as a team do we need to do to improve our chances of winning and what sacrifices are involved in the pursuit of winning. I've acknowledged that I maybe have to step down as a bowler because in game situations I'm wholly inaffective. In order to stay in the team I've now got to up my game as a batsman. The crux of Boffas argument was - does the rest of the team really have a sense of the whole picture and share my passion to win and if they do, why are they not like me and spending hours trying to maintain a place in the team through practice or willing to hold there hand up and say - Jack, Chris, Badger, Nakul etc are far better and more affective bowlers than me - let them have my place in the bowling line up. I may have my day if someone doesn't turn up and a bowler is required but until then I'm going to step down and work on my batting to ensure I play at least as a fielder and batsman on July 1st.

I'm with Boffa on this - it's a case of on July 1st we should field our best team. The game is on a Sunday and theoretically everyone is available to play. So the question is - Who will play? I posted my dream team a couple of days ago and it's unchanged other than the bowling line up. From what I know of the bowlers if we had 5 bowlers (8 overs each) I'd go for.


6 Bowlers

I'd add Rod.

Everyone I know that looks at this from the outside says that I'm mad and they say - If you want to play cricket why don't you join a real cricket team and join up - you wont have all this aggro and you may find that you're playing with people that are as equally obsessed as you are? It's a vaild point. In the short term I'm going to stick at it and see out the rest of the summer. The Aussies and Kiwis today contacted me today and said they'd be up for another 3 games between now and September so we still have a possible 4 games to go? In the meantime I'm going to go along to Westcliffs net practice next week and see how I go and maybe look at joining a club more local to me here in Basildon.

Don't forget Sunday practice is at 'The Rec' 9.30 - 12.30 if you want a place in the team come along to the practice and prove your willing and worthiness!

One final point. This was a dismal performance but we had to face a team which did appear to be made up in part of very strong players that did look like they'd been playing for years. Our team is made up of people that have hardly ever played or used to play years and years ago. If we had been able to play Suhail, Alex#2, Rod, Nakul and Badger the outcome would have been better - I'm not saying we'd have one because some of their players were very good including Ronnie who I was amazed at in how much better he was and he claims to be new to cricket. What I want to say is Chris and Jack is don't give up on us yet - hang in there at least till the next game.


Match Day Update 16.10hrs

So far the game is on. The report from the groundsman is that it's all sytems go unless it rains bewteen now and 5pm. Everyone is looking at websites trying to figure if it's going to rain I reckon looking at proper charts the weather men are hedging their bets and saying it will rain at 15.00hrs. I reckon it's 50/50. Update at 15.00hrs.....

16.10hrs - Weather -

Here in southend Windy,Dry, warm and sunny all systems go! Cloudy but not so ominous now.

Captains plans are as follows....

Here we go then chaps

bowlers look like

Si, Me, Chris, Jack, Dave – we’ll all have to be on form since I don’t have any options for rotation. We’ll open up with quicks and see if we can use Dave to mix it up – especially to tease them at the end of the innings

Batting order is as follows (don’t make it up as you go along like last time)


We must look to put pressure on the fielding side and run wherever possible runs not wickets are the issue with this game – standing around waiting to hit 6’s in 20/20 is not an option. Do however play yourself in, trying to twat it in the first couple of deliveries will be likely to get you out.

Fielding will be up close to start with one or two sweepers as the batsmen get their eye in – we must field closer than we do at practice to put the pressure on, there’ll be more people to plug the gaps. Start with the Wicket keeper, Wide first slip, gulley, (deep) leg slip, short mid on, short mid off, cover, cover point, square leg, long off (sweeping).

All ok? Remember to get there as soon as you can after college in order to warm up and get a feel for bowling on the pitch (not as straightforward as you may think)
[Dave – who is going to umpire the match? – can you forward this to anyone else you can]

Watch this space..............

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bloody Rain!

It's looking like we may be rained off again, I'll keep you posted as to what's happening.

We've had another 3 "Unavailables" - Rod, Nakul and Alex Jnr.

So we've got -

1. Richard
2. Alex
3. Dave
4. Chris
5. Jack
6. Simon
7. Nick
8. Terry
9. Mark?
10, Loolie (One of my Tilbury Mates)
11, Boffa (Another Tilbury Mate)

So it looks like we may be okay for players? I've got some other people that may play who are on standby. Just need the rain to hold off.

Went over to Chalkwell Park tonight despite the rain knowing full well there wouldn't be anyone there, I just wanted to check out the set up over there. I was surprised as the nets seem to be a council facility open to anyone. There's an artificial surface and you'd need to take your own stumps, but other than that it appears to be a first come first served arrangement. I'm tempted to go down there one evening with the Southend contingent instead of going over to Great Berry? Richard, Simon, Mark or Nick do you fancy checking it out one evening and see what the arrangements are on a nice evening when it'd get used?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tuesday Night Practice

There's a practice scheduled for Tuesday night over at Great Berry

As many of us as possible should turn up as for most of us this will be the last chance to have a practice before the match on Friday night.

Hopefully there'll be a good turn out? We should have -

Suhail, Ankul, Nakul, Dave, Chris, Alex Jnr, Jack and Alex Wood - that's 9 already and Suhail may be able to bring a couple more players so there could be enough for a good practice? Taking Suhail's advice we should all take turns at the crease two at at a time maybe have a 10 minute limit each and just be bowled at continuously by all of the bowlers one after another - 3 bowlers have six balls each the rest of the team fielding trying to take catches and retrieving the balls - rotating the bowlers. Then if your bowled your out. Have 3rd batsman already padded up and he keeps a tally of each individuals run score? The bloke that's given out joins the fielding/bowling.

MPA 1st XI Dream Team

Having missed the first match because of bad weather the much anticipated opening game is scheduled this Friday for a 5.30pm start. But the boys of Sports Science are already requesting an earlier start of 5.00pm but I don't think that's going to be possible. I myself have got to get to the pitch from Southend and may have to go by train via Chalkwell which includes a walk of about a mile up hill with my bag so I may not be able to get there for 5pm.

Other than that the team is still looking incomplete. The only people so far that have committed to playing are.....

1.Simon Grainge
2.Nick Naughty
3.Alex Wood
4.Richard Sainsbury
5.Dave Thompson
6.Mark Soye
7.Alex Jnr
10. Terry the bloke

There's question marks relating to Mark Soye - I've not heard from him whether he's playing or not and there may be transport issues for Alex Jnr, Jack and Chris.

Given that we've got some newcomers to the team my dream team if I was the captain and all the players could turn up would be as follows in this order......

1. Chris Eggleton
Batting - On form hitting fours & sixes does well facing fast bowlers.
Bowling - devastatingly fast and accurate
Fielding - Agile, fast and committed and takes catches option as Wicket Keeper.

2. Jack
Batting - When on form hits fours & sixes does well facing fast bowlers.
Bowling - Medium Pace and some leg spin
Fielding - Agile, fast and committed and takes catches option as Wicket Keeper.

3. Alex Jnr
Batting - On form hitting fours does well facing fast bowlers.
Bowling - devastatingly fast and accurate.
Fielding - Agile, fast and committed and takes catches option as Wicket Keeper.

4. Nakul Handa
Batting - Our current highest scorer adaptable and solid batsman.
Bowling - Tactical Medium pace swing with some spin - takes wickets.
Fielding - Committed with no fear when it comes to catching.

5. Simon Grainge
Batting - 2nd highest scorer think Geoffrey Boycott.
Bowling - Medium/Fast and accurate.
Fielding - Committed and does run.

6. Suhail
Batting - New to team but looks exceptional highest score in practice.
Bowling - Fast swinging action and very accurate.
Fielding - Not seen in action yet but likely to be good.

7. Rod Jeanes
Batting - In practice one of our top batsmen
Bowling - Medium Pace swing bowler - accurate and tricky
Fielding - Okay?

8. Badger
Batting - Okay been unlucky so far in match situations.
Bowling - Slow/Medium varied speed catches people out
Fielding - Committed.

9. Alex Wood (Captain).
Batting - Yet to find his form (Bit of a Vaughn in Windies case).
Bowling - Exceptional Stats, fast and accurate.
Fielding - agile and very fast and committed.

10. Dave Thompson
Batting - In match situations 3rd highest runs score.
Bowling - Leg Spin going to be good in situations where opposition are chasing the game.
Fielding - Fully Committed.

11. Richard Sainsbury
Batting - He's got a big yellow beak and feathers.
Bowling - NA.
Fielding - Specialist Wicket Keeper.

Some of you that are not that involved because of other committments need to be aware that the team is growing and the people that we can call upon to play has recently grown and a lot of the newcomers that are on the edge of the team as such are potentially good players. You'll notice that I myself have almost been pushed out of the team if we were to field our best 11 and I feel that I need to justify my place in the team by being affective hence the reason I practice non stop trying to perfect my bowling and batting. I'm also lucky in that I'm the acting manager of the team and I get the sense that if I was to stop cajoling people and organising the team it would disappear? Being in that position allows me to maintain a position in the first XI irrespective of how inaffective I am as a team member, but I do recognise my place in the order and readily accept that I must do better hence I'll be practicing on Tuesday night at Great Berry hopefully with Suhail (Who has played cricket at a very high level), Nakul, Chris, Jack, Alex Jnr and Alex Wood. I'll also be down at Chalkwell Park with Westcliff Cricket Club in the nets Thursday night with them checking out the option of playing for one of their teams and picking up tips and advice. Whatever I need to do to get better - I'm doing it. Whatever I need to do to get a game I'm doing that too.

As yet it's not got to the point where you get a game on merit. At the moment (This Friday) it's down to whoever gets to the ground first gets a game because there's no communication. I'm not interested in reasons for not being able to get there till 5.37 or 6.11 with the inference that we and the other team should therefore wait till you get there. I just need 11 people to say "I'll be there for 5.30". It's those people who will play.

In the longer term with Alex and Badger going away for a year and the prospects of Nets all winter a new system based around ability and committment to the team and improving will dictate who plays next summer. The Captain will pick the side based on ability - committment - and availability. Who fancies the job?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

This weeks schedule

I'm knackered and so are a few others, so I'm going to keep away from bowling for a couple of days. The next scheduled practice is for Tuesday night over at Great Berry. Depending on who's going to turn up and what time I don't normally get over there till 7.30 at the earliest. By all means come and collect the gear and get set up earlier if you are going to be there earlier. If there's a few people who are going to get over there earlier than 7.30 I make a concerted effort to get along early myself. So far interested people who are/may turn up on Tuesday -

Alex Jnr

Thursday night I'm in the nets with Westcliff Cricket Club down at Chalkwell Park I'll let you know how that goes, be nice if I can bowl a few people out or pick up some batting tips?

Friday night as you all know is the first match with 'Sports Science' at Welstead Gardens with an expected starting time of 5.30. Talking to Alex the Captain it is going to be a case of first come first served with regards to getting to play. We can't mess about with people being indecisive. These games have been flagged up for months and months so if you can get there do so as early as possible. I'm looking forward to it - if the Alex, Chris and Jack turn up it looks like we may have a chance against there big guns. We're looking good with the bowling but our batting is what scuppers us.

Based on most likely to turn up by 5.30pm the team looks like this -

2.Alex Jnr
8.Nick Naughty
9.Terry the bloke

So there's still some gaps. Mark Soyes in the frame as well, but there's rumours that he's unfit? Badger I think is doing something? I'm not sure what the situation is with Nakul I'll have to talk to him this week. Boffa AKA Steve - might be able to help out along with a couple of other of my mates from Tilbury if we're really stuffed. If you can get there for 5.30 let me know.

Next Practice will be at 'The Rec' 17th June 9.30 - 12.30

That's a proper cricket pitch.

Sunday Game 1st July 40 overs match 1pm till finish Welstead Gardens

If you want to play in this game you need to let us know because the queue starts here........

Great Berry Session June 10th

Lovely sunny day at Great Berry with some good bowling performances and new faces. More on that later but in the first instance I want to get the stats sorted.....

Nakul 4 overs; 1 wicket - Alex Wood bowled and caught by Nakul. Terry dropped one off of Nakul and Nakul dropped one of his own off of Suhail straight after Alex conceded 19 runs.
Average 19
Economy 4.75
Strike Rate 24

Rod 3 overs; 1 wicket - Terry the bloke outside edge caught by Richard.
Average 3.3
Economy 1.6
Strike Rate 12

Alex Wood 4 overs; 1 wicket - Nakul bowled middle stump.
Average 2.75
Economy 1.37
Strike Rate 12

Dave Thompson 6 overs; - 2 Wickets - Suhail middle stump Wrong Un. Alex #2 leg stump Wrong Un.
Alex #2 dropped Suhail and Terry the bloke dropped a dead easy ball off of Nakul I think?
Average 26.8
Economy 8
Strike Rate 20

Jack 3 overs; - 2 wickets - Chris caught by Alex. Bowled Richard middle stump. Suhail was dropped my Alex #2.
Average 7.5
Economy 5
Strike Rate 9

Chris Eggleston 4 overs - No wickets.
Average NA
Economy NA
Strike Rate NA

Alex #2 3 overs; 2 wickets - Dave Bowled middle stump for a duck. Jack bowled legside stump. 1 Maiden over which included the 2 wickets.
Average 2.5
Economy 1.5
Strike Rate 9

Suhail 2 Overs; 1 wicket - Bowled and Caught Rod.
Average 2
Economy 1
Strike Rate 6

Run Totals.......................97 off of 26 overs. That's 3.6 runs per over.
Extras totalled 25 Grand total 122.

Suhail - 32
Chris - 20
Alex #2 - 17
Rod - 13
Nakul - 5
Terry - 4
Alex Wood - 4
Richard - 1
Jack - 1
Dave - 0

Sixes -
Chris 1

Fours -
Chris 3
Alex Jnr - 3
Terry - 1
Rod - 1
Suhail - 5

Despite the poor turnout we still managed to have a bit of fun. The run total is probably low due to the grass being long and not allowing for the ball to run away readily, but that was partly offset by the fact that we didn't have a full compliment of fielders. It would be nice to have 13 blokes turn up or more on days like this as it would mean a lot less time would be taken up waiting for people to walk out of fielding positions and get padded up as there could always be 2 blokes waiting to come on and someone scoring or umpiring or both. That's providing we practice in this manner.

New bloke Suhail suggested that practicing in this way isn't that affective as if you're like me and you go out for a duck you never get that much practice and you never get the chance to face a range of bowlers and he suggested that the system we used last week was far more affective - which is true.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Match This coming Friday

Understandably there seems to be loads of issues relating to people getting to Welstead Gardens for 5.30 pm for the start of the game.

1. Dave
2. Simon
3. Nick
4. Alex
5. Mark
6. Richard

It seems will be there on time. Needless to say we can't play cricket with 6 people and I'm not really that interested in reasons for people not turning up. The way it's looking is whoever turns up is going to get a game in the order that they appear at the pitch. So I need a commitment from people who are going to turn up. At this stage I would suggest to Alex, Chris and Jack get on the train with your bikes and cycle from Chalkwell station.

The directions are - come out of the station turn right and go up the road "The Ridgeway" go about 400mtrs and you'll come to a cross roads, turn right into "Chalkwell Avenue". Follow that for about 1/4 mile and you'll arrive at the A13 turn left onto the A13 and take the 2nd right which is "Southbourne Grove" go along there for about another 1/4 mile and turn left into Clatterfield Gardens - the first right is Welstead Gardens and the cricket pitch is on the left. If you set out early enough you should get there in plenty of time and it looks like all three of you will get a game.

Alternatively is there anyone who can give them a lift from Basildon to Welstead Gardens?

Boffa if you're watching this unravel - you know the score if you want a game give us a call or email me.

If people can turn up for 5.30 let me know please as soon as possible as I need to be able to put 11 people on the pitch for 5.30.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

This Sunday at Great Berry

I've started to sound people out about the chance of a game on Sunday. So far we've got....

1.Dave Thompson
2. Simon Grainge
3. Richard Sainsbury
4. Badger
5. Alex
6. John Pledge (New bloke via Alex)
7. Nick Naughty
8. Terry 'The Bloke'.
9. Chris
10. Alex?
11. Jack?
12. Nakul

Hopefully Thomas and Rod will be there? That'll take us up to 14. I'm going to give Suhail a call tomorrow and check to see if they're still up for this and whether they've managed to round up a few mates if they have we could have a 20/20 match on our hands?

If Suhail and Ancar are reading this - if you've not got pads and stuff don't worry we've got the gear and you can borrow ours. Buy your own boxes though! You can email me at Davidthompson001@btinternet.com if you've got any questions.

If we can field 22 players between us we could even have umpires?

I'm still waiting for responses from Nakul, Thomas, Mark, Rod, Paul from Customs and Excise, Chris, Alex and Jack as it is we only need another 3 players so anyone else who gets their name down will have join Suhail, Ancar and Hasan and anyone that they bring along!

I need people to email me to confirm that they're up for game - I've got to point out that I don't really do phones and would much prefer it if people email me or comment on the blog, I don't mind people ringing me or texting me, but as a rule I wont be chasing you up by phoning you. So come get in touch to confirm whether this is going to be possible because it may be the case that Suhail and Ancar are pulling out the stops to get a team together?

6th June

No cricket tonight but I did go over at 7pm and mowed one of the wickets ready for Sunday. I may go back later in the week and do the other one and also paint the creases on one of the wickets, I'll see how I feel. While we're on the subject of marking the wickets.... The way I've done this in the past is to use spray paint used normally for cars, but I have sourced somewhere that supplies the real stuff and it can be diluted. So it wouldn't be difficult to mix up in small quantities and manually paint on with a brush? What do you reckon - shall I buy it?


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

20/20 Match - This Sunday - read on.........

I've spoken to Gillian at Welstead Gardens regarding another match between now and June 15th and it's not possible. I've suggested to 'Sports Science' (our opposition) that we may be able to play a match at 'The Rec' instead. As yet they've not responded, but if they do it's not guaranteed that we'll be able to use 'The Rec' I'll have to speak to Nigel the Groundsman and see if that will be possible?

Tonight it looked as though I'd be practicing on my own over at Great Berry but when I arrived there were 3 blokes already on the field playing cricket in the corner near the kids playgorund area. I set up watching the blokes bowling and batting and they looked okay. Once I'd got the stumps in the ground one of the blokes acknowledged me and I beckoned him over and we all had a bit of a knock about and some bowling.

It turns out that they all live around the field - Ancar, Suhail and his son Hasan and they were all pretty good and really up for a game. Ancar works in computers in some capacity (An expert). Suhail (Some of this maybe wrong and I'll have to apologise if it is) is a surgeon and his son Hasan is a prospective A-Level student that may be attending our college in September! But here comes the really good bit. Suhail when he was a youth played cricket at International level representing India's under 19's and toured England and was based at Warwickshire back in the day! It gets even better...... Both Suhail and Ancar reckon they could get more blokes involved and were talking in terms of this Sunday possibly turning up with enough people from where they work to get a 20/20 match going between 10.00 - and 1.00pm! How good would that be!

So MPA first XI's get your butts down to Great Berry this Sunday and get involved. I've given Ancar and Shail the blog address so hopefully they'll have a look and start working to get this together. In the meantime here's who we might be able to get together.....

Richard Sainsbury
Alex Wood
Alex #2
Simon Grainge
Nick Naughty
Mark Soye
Rod Jeanes
Thomas Slater
Terry the Bloke
Paul from the IR
Nakul Handa
Dave Thompson (me)

So that's 15 players. 3 more with Ancar, Suhail & Hasan (18) so they'd only have to get another 4 more players and we'd have a proper match! (apart from umpires). We might even be able to borrow the scoreboard from 'The Rec'?

So who's up for that?

Note Ancar, Suhail, Hasan, Jack, Chris and Alex #2 indeed anyone that hasn't got my email address - I'm going to post it here for a couple of days. I much prefer to communicate by email rather than phone davidthompson001@btinternet.com

Just a quick run down of who we are - The majority of us up until October 2006 had never played cricket before in our lives (Including me). The team has been formed since then - picking up new people as we've gone along. The 'Core' members of the team are -

Dave Thompson
Simon Grainge
Alex Wood
Thomas Slater
Richard Sainsbury
Nakul Handa
Mark Soye
Nick 'Naughty' Oconnor
Chris 'Badger' Keeble
Terry 'The Bloke'
Rod 'The Aussie' Jeanes

Recent additions - These lads are still in the throes of doing their GCSE's and as yet have to prove their committment to the team, but we're looking forward to having them in the team as they're good players and we're hoping we'll see them throughout the summer and on through the winter in the nets?......

Alex #2

So currently we're up to 14 possible players along with Paul form the IR 15 players.

The majority of the players are lecturers from South East Essex College and we all work in the Media dept (Media & Performing Arts) hence MPA. We've got 3 matches lined up over the summer 2 with the 'Sports Science' Dept at the college and another with a bunch of Australian and Kiwi lecturers that live and work in the Southend area as teachers. But we're looking to play more matches.

We've got 2 pitches - Welstead Gardens in Westcliff on Sea and 'The Rec' Langdon Hills that we have free access to subject to availability. We practice regularly at 'Great Berry Open Space' on Sunday mornings 10-1pm and a few of us practice 3-4 evenings a week at Great Berry between 7.45 and dusk.

Over the winter we practice in the Nets every fortnight.

With regards to the matches this summer the consensus is that places in the team are allocated to the 'Core' members as a priority by virtue of the fact that they've paid subs all year. Alex Wood is the captain and he has the task of picking the team and whether he veers off of this arrangement erring towards picking a team with a view to winning has yet to be seen with the influx of new members. It's expected that at the end of the season we'll be taking a different approach where team members will get a game based on ability and merit. We may also join the CCC cricket club conference where you can arrange fixtures on-line with clubs of a similar ability. This will mean that next summer we may have a lot more fixtures and we'll be aiming to have a match every fortnight throughout the summer?

So in conclusion we are looking for new players and we'd be pleased to have new players join!

Alternatively - say for instance if Ancar, Suhail and Hasan feel that they don't want to commit to joining the team if they can get together another 8 players we could play informal matches at the weekends and join us in the evenings and Sundays for a practice if teams can't be fielded?

Dave Thompson

One final bit.... I was bowling pretty well tonight and just to prove my point about if I bowl against people that are not familiar I will take wickets. I bowled everyone out tonight some of them twice and these blokes were pretty good! I batted as well and was quite pleased with my batting, I think I was LBW'd off of Suhail who's a deceptive bowler but held my ground, but admittedly I wouldn't have made a lot of runs.

Come on let's get this 20/20 match going this Sunday!

Monday, June 04, 2007

4th June update

Not a lot happening at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow at work I'll be able to talk to Gillian at Welstead and Gavin from sports science and arrange another match for the early part of next week to make up for the match that was cancelled.

Other than that when I get time I'll update the team profile again with the new blokes

I had a good bowling session tonight with Nakul - he even commented on the fact that I was bowling better. The difference is I'm able to bowl at him for more than one over and I think it's in that sort of situation where if I was allowed to bowl 2 or 3 overs back to back I might make a difference. Especially if it was somewhere down the oppositions order maybe bowling at No.5 or 6 towards the latter stages of the game where they feel like they've got to go after the ball and score runs? Come on Alex give me a spell of 3 overs next time we play especially if they're looking to make runs. Get everyone in close and sledging and catch them or draw them out of their crease - I'm sure I can do it?

Tonight I was bowling my Wrong Un's a lot faster and getting loads of turn on them, so that was very commendable, the sliders are working nicely as well.

Other news is that Richards bought himself a new bat from a very small manufacturer in Westcliff, so hopefully now he'll be hitting some 4's and 6's.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday June 3rd Practice & New Team Members?

So 10.00 am we found ourselves at 'The Rec" - a proper cricket pitch owned and maintained by the council only about 400 mtrs from Great Berry. In attendance we had...

Alex #1
Paul from the IR
Alex #2

For the first hour we did some Catching practice followed by some throwing at the stumps and collecting/gathering up the ball. Then we all had a go at batting - 2 overs each and the usual bowlers joined by Alex #2, Chris and Jack three potential new members of the team. I know Chris is definitely up for it, but Alex and Jack I'm not so sure, but they've given me their phone No.s so it looks like they are.
Chris - He bowls - quite fast and fields bats quite well too. Plays for his school as far as I know and has played informally at Great Berry for the last couple of summers. He's just finishing off his GCSE's and hopefully he'll be with us as a regular once they're out of the way.

Jack - He bowls - quite fast and fields quite well too. But his strength seems to be batting some of the others said he bats like classic David Gower. Again plays for his school as far as I know and has played informally at Great Berry for the last couple of summers. He's just finishing off his GCSE's and hopefully he'll be with us as a regular once they're out of the way.

Alex #2 - Again very similar story to the other two but Alex also Keeps Wicket and bowls a bit of spin as well. Again like the others superbly fit, agile and skilled in comparison to the rest of us.

These three lads are going to make a big difference to us as a team if they are selected to play? In the short term I think the existing team members will have priority over playing positions, but if there's any spaces available Capatin Alex is going to select these blokes to play because they are going to make a difference and I know already Captain Alex has got ideas afoot.

Hopefully all three of them are going to be available for the 20/20 match against Sports Science on June 15th 6pm at Welstead Gardens if only to play for a short while in place of anyone who can't be on the pitch for the stat of the match?

Guerilla Cricket

Background to the recent events.

Since the very start of this little adventure in cricket I've done exactly what I've done all my life and that's basically thought sod normal approaches and let's adopt a guerilla approach and get this done, otherwise I'm going to be hanging waiting for people to get their **** together and I haven't got time for that. So as you may well know if you've been following our story this has meant me buying lawnmowers and borrowing rollers and trying to flatten out really rough football pitches over the winter in order that we might have somewhere flat to practice. I've had to do this under the cover of darkness because I suspected that if I was to be seen to rolling someones football pitch they might get the hump and I'm certainly not in this for confrontations.

Then I started to practice over at Great Berry Open Space which is a council field and realised that the field was generally really flat and we discovered that years ago it had an artificial wicket that had been vandalised. As the spring came I saw the potential for this to be used as our practice field and decided that even though I might be perceived as the local nutter I was going to maintain a wicket in broad daylight and bluff it - be so bold as to give the impression that in fact I was an official green keeper! So that's what I did - Measured it marked it all out painted the lines at the creases and mowed it twice a week and kept in order. I then took it a step further and cut a second wicket so that we had 2 side by side.

Then this Friday I was over there mowing away and a van came up over the bank in the corner of the field and came driving over towards me to catch me red handed in the act of mowing a council filed without consent! As it pulled up the blokes window wound down and they stared at me.
"You don't mind me mowing your field a bit do you"? I said jokingly.
"Well if you can do the rest of it that'd save us from having to do it". He replied.

From what I gathered from the conversation that we then had, someone had reported me to them for mowing the field and they'd said 'When he does it next give us a call and we'll come and have word with him'. Then this morning they'd got the call and drove over here to see me. But they were there to offer me encouragement saying that they thought what I was doing was brilliant! They then asked 'What can we do to help you out'? I straight away said..
"A roller - if you've got a roller that'd be brilliant because even though it's fairly flat it's not that flat and it's potentially dangerous".
"We've just got a brand new 2 ton roller that then when it's filled with water can weigh 3 ton and it's just across the road at 'The Rec'". They ummed and arrghed about it and thought it through and said that there was no way they could get it over to Great Berry. "What else can we do"? They pondered. Then one of them said, "I know - you can use 'The Rec'". the Rec being the home ground of Basildon Cricket Clubs 2nd and 3rd XI.
"Yeah - but we're only practicing over here".
"That dont matter we'll talk to Nigel and see what we can do for you".
"What - we can use the wicket to practice on"? I said in disbelief.
"Yeah - I reckon that'll be alright".
"But no-one practices on wickets - that's unheard of isn't it".
"Yeah - but we like what you're doing here - this is so grass roots and all these facilities and fields are under-used and this is such a brillinat example of grass roots involvement - crickets a dying sport round here - I mean I don't like the game myself and don't quiet get the appeal but we'll do anything to help you out". The other bloke got through to Nigel at The Rec and handed the phone over the bloke I was talking to. "Nigel - it's Martin - we've got the bloke.... the bloke who's cut the wicket over at Great Berry and we're now trying to sort him out with some help...... Who's using your wicket this Sunday"? There was a few seconds as Nigel probably looked at a calender or something. "Right - brilliant......" He turned to me again "What time do you practice"?
"Between 10 and 1pm". He relayed this to Nigel and the finished the call.
"Right - 10.00 go over to The Rec, Nigel will be there, he'll prepare the wicket for you and you can use the pavillion - if you've got tea and millk. there's an Urn there and you can use that - it's all sorted". Agian still in a state of disbelief I had to ask again.
"We can use the wicket to practice on"?
"Yep just see Nigel".

So it turns out my Guerilla tactics have worked. Instead of being seen as the local nutter as far as the Langdon Hills branch of the Parks and Recreation Dept are concerned I'm a pillar of the community!

So today we all piled over there, met Nigel, sorted out some dates and practiced on the wicket! Nigel expanded on what the other bloke had said and went on to say that there area of the Parks and Recreation dept like to be seen to go that extra bit to help people out and again reiterated the comments that they were all really impressed with my committment to cricket and were only too pleased to help us out!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Practice Sunday - Read this

I was out on GT Berry today mowing the wicket and a couple of council workers drove across the field in their van and pulled up alongside me I wasn't sure what they were going to say what with me mowing their field!

Anyway it turns out that they were the parks and recreation officers and they'd been tipped off that someone was mowing the field and they'd asked the 'Grass' to ring them the next time I could be caught at it. Well here I was red handed as such. But they were there to say well done mate - grass roots sports and using the facilities we'd like to encourage you and help you out if we can. They then asked about who we were etc and when I explained we practice there Sundays despite it being a bit rough, he then rang the green keeper at 'The Rec' which is about 400 Yds from our pitch and arranged so that we can play on the real wicket there and use the clubhouse and everything free of charge!

So this Sunday we can play on a real wicket with a boundary (And its small - loads of 4's and 6's for everyone).

So 10.00 at GT Berry and then we'll make our wat to the Rec it's only round the corner.

More later.