Friday, June 06, 2008

More rain and no match

More rain and no match it seems this Sunday, sounds like half a reason to top myself? Made worse by the fact that it's raining tonight and will rain Saturday but then on Sunday it's going to be Sunny. I need to play cricket! Over the last couple of weeks I've been looking out for the blokes over at Great Berry and haven't seen them once and there's no evidence that they've been practicing anywhere either, so I couldn't even blag a game with them somehow.

I've confirmed that once and for all that practicing on grass whether it's rough and lumpy or smooth - just as long as there is grass and it's green I can bowl like Shane Warne. Take away the grass and put me on a wicket and I then bowl spin like Simon Groves. "Who"? I hear you saying - yeah exactly it's someone who cannot bowl spin! So the answer seems to be I've got to try harder and keep practicing on the artificial wicket that offers no bounce or spin whatsoever. The theory being if I keep at it and start to get it to deviate there that will transfer to a real wicket effectively? Trouble is it's a couple of miles away and aggro to get to, but I reckon I've got to do it.

This evening I was flicking and spinning the ball from hand to hand and back and forth and just marvelling at how much spin I put on the ball. But I'm still not able to convert that into a consistent and useful Leg Break which is frustrating and now I'm thinking I need to look closer at the bigger picture - the bowling action and run up.

Watched the highlights tonight on Channel 5 of the NZ v England test and Jimmy Anderson took 6 wickets, man was the ball moving off the line - swinging outwards away from the batsman. There's some blokes recently talking about this on the wrist spin thread of www.simplycricket.net and the fact that this is an aspect of their bowling. As far as my bowling is concerned I'm miles away from that being a part of what I do.

What with the rain due again I mowed the practice wicket over at local field, the groundsman had also cut the grass on the field so it's pretty short all over. It'll be nice to have a series of days where we have some sunshine and the ground dries up. I noticed the appalling conditions of the 2nd wicket over at Gloucester Park, not so much the wicket but the outfield, the outfield is awful, there's an undulating pattern to the grass, but additionally most of it is a swamp and someone has driven lorries across it. It looks as though the council has had someone dredge the lake and take away the sludge in lorries hence the ruts caused by the wheels. There's a load of the mud also on the field and it's been spread out a bit, maybe they're going to use it to fill the ruts or something but for the short term the second wicket looks unusable - maybe for the whole season?

Now that I practice over at Gloucester on the artificial wicket I've got to say that the square in the last three weeks - possibly more hasn't been played on once and certainly hasn't been rolled. So the demand for the pitch is really low or non existent, which needless to say will threaten it's existence and I now understand the councils willingness to accommodate me and meet with me fairly readily as I'm a potential link to it being used. But it's a shame that cricket seems to be losing it's popularity to the point where the council will face the prospect of no longer maintaining the squares.