The first bit of good news is that the clocks go forward tonight so whereas it's currently Dusk at 7pm tomorrow night dusk will be at 8pm meaning anyone finishing work at 5pm has potentially got 3 hours of cricket time! Which means - my blokes over at Gloucester Park! So could this be the factor that brings them out onto the field (Sunshine and warmer weather will help as well no doubt)? That remains to be seen over the next couple of weeks while I'm off work.
The other good news is that while I was outside trying to bowl Leg Breaks (See I've not completely given up) Michelle came out and said that Thomas had phoned and was waffling on about he'd scored a roller from somewhere, so I rang him and sure enough he had and I said I'd go round and have a look at it.
Before I got round there I was thinking how big is this roller and where would have he got it from and how would he have got it from A to B and concluded that it wasn't going to be that big?
Sure enough it wasn't that big and initially it looked like the same kind of roller I used to roll the Wicket across the road from where I live. I gave it a look over and rolled it back and forth on the grass outside Thomas's flat and tried to lift it. I couldn't - it was bloody heavy! Rolling it back and forth on the patch of grass outside Thomas's house it became obvious that despite it's "Only just bigger size" than the other roller it seemed a lot heavier and more affective in flattening the grass. Admittedly at the moment the grass and earth is sodden, but so too is the wicket at "Five Tree Field" and going by how much I was able to improve the football pitch across from my house last winter with the little roller, this roller looks like it may have potential. So what now?
My approach would be to do the same as I did with the football field - e.g. roll it under the cover of darkness, but Thomas reckons that we should do it in broad daylight on a Sunday (Tomorrow even). As far as I know the Park is staffed on a Sunday and we'd draw attention to ourselves by dragging this bleeding great roller from the car to the wicket which is 200 yards much of which is across roads and paths and therefore noisy with a dirty great roller. So I'm not so sure whether we should be so bold. But the benefits are pretty obvious, with the state of the sodden earth at the moment this roller would make some impact I reckon and it's worthwhile giving it a go? Even if we did a bit 6' wide in front of both wickets stretching 6 yards down the wicket at either end that would be a result.
But if someone does turn up while we're doing it I'm not sure what they'd say or how crappy they might get about us doing it? The other thing is when you do this initially it does appear to have a very damaging affect on the grass, so they could well get on their high horse about that - "What the **** are doing - look what you're doing to our ****** grass"! etc. I subscribed to a website for green keepers last year and put a post on their website forum asking what they'd think about a random bloke mowing a wicket on their playing fields and 98% of them were up in arms at the suggestion! So the general consensus would be that if we were busted whilst doing this they wouldn't be that happy!
The other thing is - it is heavy and I'm wondering how difficult it would be getting it in and out of my car and across the aforementioned paths, car parks and tracks. In an ideal world the best option would be to leave it there chained to a tree in the wooded areas and drag it out when needed, but that requires buying a lock and chain. I'll have to see what Thomas says tomorrow and whether he's come up with any ideas. I may in the short term go and have a look and see how bumpy the grass is on the wicket and see if all this effort is worth it. Other than that keep hold of it and use it on the old Great Berry Open Space wicket.