Today the forecast was for rain and what with it being dead soggy already over at Five Tree Field I thought that I'd go and have a look at Great Berry Open Space and see how that was fairing. Partly because I'm now wondering whether these blokes are going to be around this summer? Last year I used to see them a lot on the train, but I've not seen any of them recently so maybe they've all moved on in some way? Someone said that most of them worked at a company based in Basildon - some lived locally but several used to live up London way and these were the blokes I used to see in the morning, but as I said I can't say that I've noticed them for a few months, so have they all ended their contract or something and moved on? If so this whole Idea will go down the pan, unless there's still a group of them that still live local and want to play?
Great Berry was worse than the Five Tree Field - really soggy - so soggy you wouldn't want to play football on it. The middle section of the field didn't look that amazingly flat either compared to last year and if we end up playing there again I'll cut the wicket further over to one side I reckon.
The weather held out dry and sunny all day today, so the field would have had some chance to dry out. I went round to Thomas's gaff and measured up the handle for the roller and then cut up some of our old Apple tree wood and made a handle. The weather continued into the evening and Thomas rang in the evening and asked if we were going over the field, I assumed primarily to get the roller over there. So at 6.20 we went round to his gaff and tried the handle and it is still too big, so it needs reducing in size by a couple of millimeters. So instead we went and had a bit of a knock about.
The field is still soggy but the wicket had dried up quite a bit - enough to have a bit of a bowl and bat. what I did notice is that in the crease we are already wearing the grass very thin. I had a look along the wicket and stamped out some lumps but I reckon it would definitely benefit from some rolling - but it's not too bad. As we packed up I had a look at the adjacent bushes which are planted in clumps all around the sides of the pitch and the first one I looked at had the perfect place to stash the roller if we were to be able to get it onto the field and the longer the summer went on the more hidden the roller would be. I still advocate rolling the wicket under the cover of darkness because the roller would come out of it's hiding place not seen and go back not seen and it's unlikely anyone would see us doing the rolling which is going to take a good couple of hours I reckon each session and it may take 2 or 3 sessions. Thomas is still saying to do it in daylight, but even tonight there was a member of staff on duty in the Netball courts office which looks out onto the field and there was a landrover driving around past the field as well - who I think is the balif for the lakes, but who is still a council employee. I reckon any confrontation whether it's friendly or otherwise is not a good idea because at the minute we've got the council on our side.
If I can get the handle sorted tomorrow - Thomas is talking about doing it at the weekend, I reckon as soon as possible e.g. if the handle is fixed tomorrow - we roll tomorrow night for the first time while the ground is still soft and saturated with water.
Got in tonight after our session and Michelle said that Suhail had called. Now if you've not read the blog all the way through Suhail is a bloke who originally comes from Pakistan and when he was younger played cricket at quite a high level. He played with us a couple of times and looked like a really handy bowler, I can't remember how good he was with batting other than I bowled him at least twice getting him with my Wrong Uns - but I seem to remember he wasn't too bad - you could see he knew what he was doing. Anyway he'd rung and left a message with Michelle saying that his commitments this year with his work (He's a surgeon I think) mean that he can fully commit to playing in a cricket team, so either he can join in with us and our plans or he might be up for joining me at Grays and Chadwell? He's going to call me back another time. No matter what happens - if Suhails on the scene that is nothing but good because on all the ocassions he played with us he was always giving us tips and suggesting what we should do - he was really confident in his abilities and what was right and wrong - he's a good bloke.
Came back a bit stiff tonight and I'm thinking what shall I do in order to get some exercise - so I might do something over on the field across the way as much as I can 20 minutes of throwing and running. Across the width of a football field or the length do something like throw a ball as far as I can run up to it pick it up throw it back sprint after it, throw and run, throw and run, throw and sprint for 20 minutes or however long I can do it for. I reckon that sounds cricket specific.
Update - Suhail
Suhail phoned back - now there's a man with a plan! Blimey he is well up for it, he's talking nets once a week and out on the field once a week and reckons we can get 22 blokes together to do it within a matter of weeks. He's suggesting we roll Great Berry Open Space as soon as possible and start maintaining the wicket as soon as possible at GBOS - so maybe GBOS is back on track as the main venue. He was saying that he is still in contact with Ankul who is the bloke who knows all the blokes over at Gloucester Park and reckons that getting 12 people together is no problem at all. But the main thing was his enthusiasm and positivity - he reckons this is a goer and was even asking "Shall I get in touch with the council"? So tomorrow one of my first jobs is to try and see the caretaker at James Hornsby and try and establish the availability of the nets in the evening. So watch this space cos it seems it's going to get very busy!
Oh yeah and the cricket.....
Yeah I didn't do so bad turning the ball lots with both the flippers and the Wrong uns. In between getting knocked all over the shop I had Thomas dancing about - one ball I'm turning it into his body with the Flippers (Leg to Off) and then he steps back to whack it on the next ball and I bowl a wrong un which goes away from him. When this all goes to plan it's good. I think I've just got to not freak out about being hit big. In a real game the balls that get hit in the air are going to be the ones that get caught (Assuming the fielders are up to it) and besides all spinners get hit big all the time - so it's just a consequence of being a spin bowler.