Thursday, April 24, 2008

Update 24th April

So little time so much cricket! It seems looking back at last year I was out playing cricket (practicing) almost continuously and yet this year it feels like there's no time to do so? I think though if I'm honest it was much later in the year that the intense cricket period was happening - mid June early July, so I've got that to look forward to?

I've had some communication with Alex one of the Leg Spin bowlers at G&CCC today via the blog and it looks like I may meet up with him over at Blackshots tomorrow morning weather permitting for a bit of practice which'll be useful running up to the possibilty of a game on Sunday. So I've got to buy myself some time tomorrow, so I'll probably get up relatively early and paint the 2 front doors prior to making my way over there to justify some cricket time? To be honest we may be scuppered by the weather as the April showers are doing their thing. Today generally it's been dry but midday it rained quite hard and on the way home I noticed loads of standing water puddles and patches of earth looking very wet despite the strong and warm sunshine that followed the rain. This evening it hasn't rained so hopefully it'll hold off till tomorrow afternoon as predicted by the met office?

All week older son Ben has been asking to play cricket and there's been some nice evenings for it and tonight for the first time I was free and there was no cubs or other distractions and it was on. But then there was no car and we were stuck as to where to go and ended up on the football field across the road. The only thing is the field hasn't had a mowing for weeks and the grass is lush and green - good grazing for a herd of cows for a week I reckon and how uneven it is underfoot would suggest that's happened in the past! We threw some balls and I was trying to get them both to play front foot drives, they both seemed enthused by the fact that I'd ordered some boys size wicket keeper gloves, especially Ben as he's dying to catch his little brother out behind. We also did some catching practice and it seemed of the 2 of them it's Ben now who seems to lead with the enthusisam. Joe though when batting shows an aptitude to do it well with really good ball to eye coordination.

The downside of not having the car is that we weren't able to establish a presence over at FTF in order to nurture the possibility of getting the local blokes over there playing with us. The chances are that they are going to start playing there soon and may even designate a different area for the wicket. I've got to be there with all the gear on my wicket at some point when they turn up in order that they're forced to join me.

What with the weather being rainy and sunny this is also prime growing conditions for grass and both the Great Berry and the Gloucester Park practice wicket (FTF) need to be mowed and Friday morning is the ideal time for GBOS and evenings for FTF. So if I'm with Alex tomorrow bowling GBOS is going to be neglected. It'll just have to be and deal with it later. I've not heard anything more from Suhail recently although I've text'd him at least once on the way to a practice, so I don't know whether his work pattern has changed again?

Sports Science

The old arch enemy of MPA 1st XI "Sports Science" are now in the midst of teaching their students cricket and I noticed on a door in the college a poster promoting and asking for players for Westcliff CC. I've spoken to a couple of them lately and they seem to be in the throes of getting together a match with rival college SEEVIC and it looks like Richard and me and maybe Simon will be selected to play and that'll be happening over at Welstead Gardens on a Wednesday night. They're also talking about getting in the nets beforehand for a practice at Chalkwell Park, so that all sounds very promising and I'm looking forward to that. One thing I'm looking forward to is facing the Kiwi girl that works at the college who's a very handy Leg Spin bowler as she turned up in the nets last year?

Thomas and Rayleigh

Thomas (practice partner) has mentioned in the past that right near where he works is Rayleigh cricket clubs ground and he's checked their website out and they're asking for new players. He says that he's going to go along and see if he can join in next time he sees them practicing which is an interesting development. I've got to admit that after the collapse of MPA 1st XI I was disappointed that no-one else was interested in carrying on playing, I thought that at least Simon and Richard Sainsbury what with their cricketing pasts may have been tempted to join G&CCC? I know Richard at least did make the phone calls or emails but never followed it up, maybe I'll speak to Simon again and see if he's interested as he bowls well and bats quite well too and was our best player?

The Gipper

Oh yeah threw a few of these and they turned okay, very inconsistent but with a massive turn when they worked. It'll be interesting to see how tomorrow the practice takes place. Alex mentioned not having many balls, so I'll take all of mine (36 +) and see how he suggests that we practice, I'm imaging that we'll bowl at each other - one bowling the other batting? But from an intense Peter Philpott approach it would be more beneficial to both bowl from either end. If we do that I can bowl a combination as I did the last time I had some useful practice where I was bowling alternate Wrong Uns and Gippers. If I can get the gipper up to speed and at the right length with 2/3rds of the turn I was getting initially that will be very commendable. Let's see what happens tomorrow?