Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nets tomorrow

At 40 quid to hire and that being down to me I'm slightly concerned at this point as to whether I'm going to recoup my money let alone have some extras to pay for wear and tear. I'm also gutted as I've left my camera at work as well, so I'm not going to be able to film anything unless I use my little cheapo camera (Which I may do as it's not an issue if it gets busted) which then means I could put it somewhere at a radical angle/position to get some good footage? But in the short term it's the turnout tomorrow that worries me.

It looks as though it'll be -

Nick Naughty
And hopefully Neil from G&C

But having said that Nick has said that this'll be the one and only time he'll be doing it and I've not heard anything from Alex for over a week. It seems that Trevor has been asked and he's not interested. Maybe one option I could look at is to have a nets for the kids and see if Carl wants to bring Harry? So Joe, Ben and Harry could have a muck about in one net and the we'd be in the other? But I know that would probably contravene H&S issues and get us in trouble? Might be worth looking at though as an idea?

I've just had a text from Alex and he's coming. So it sounds as though we're going to get our minimum 4 blokes.

DIY nets update

Today I had reason to go to the builders merchants and therefore an opportunity to check out the price of the timber needed for the portable nets idea. I've also had other ideas with regards to the construction of the nets.

The timber 2" x 2" x 3 metres unsawn is about 2 quid each
The nets
are 42 quid and the only other potentially expensive components are the rope and 4 big steel stakes.

The rachets are
about 8 quid

The rope/cord we need could be this -

Which is about 12 quid. So all in all we could get some nets sorted for around 100 quid, which isn't too bad if we all chipped in. But it's dependent on who wants to keep practicing or having a knock about during the summer? The other idea I thought about was that it would be really easy to take it a step further and have a 2nd bay. The net is 150 foot long so three lengths at 50 would do that. So that's something to consider.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Grays Nets #1

At last! It's only taken almost 2 years, but for the first time ever since joining Grays & Chadwell CC it looks as though I'm going to be able to get along to all the pre-season nets/training sessions. Which (Fingers crossed) will mean I'm going to be able to get a bit of coaching and develop as a cricket player?

As soon as I got there I was confronted by a scene that I wasn't expecting - an older bloke standing in the middle of the hall with a bat in his hand going over basic batting techniques while all the rest of the blokes were all lined up against the wall listening! So I sat down and listened to what the bloke (Terry) was saying and tried to pick up some pointers. He was going over the basics of the Front foot drive which is where I'm trying to get to and he was making some good points. I liked the observation he made regarding the Indian batsmen, this is something I've noticed on the tele during the India v England games recently. They stand side on with the body pointing down the wicket and they have their heads tucked into their shoulder almost in a very deliberate manner and this is all to do with keeping the head and eyes level. Another point he was making was the trigger movement where you get up onto your back foot toes just before you commit to moving onto the back or front foot. That seemed to make a lot of sense and was something I tried to do later on.

After the explanations he had us all doing the swinging the bat one handed at the ball and then throwing drills a la Paul Collingwood. Then it was into the nets.

I've never met this bloke Terry before but he made some useful comments re my bowling. He watched my first ball which was a wrong un and commented on that saying that he was impressed. It turned out to be the best one of the night as the wrong uns went down hill after that! So in my quest not to bowl them anyway as I'm in pursuit of the Leg Break I decided that I'd go for mixing it up remembering how affective the little boys were last summer against the Tilbury mob (And my own son Joe). So I was bowling Flippers, Top Spinners, the occasional attempt at the Leg Break and The Gipper. I was changing the speed the flight and the length and as a result was doing quite well. Not so well at the really confident bats like Lee Downes but some of the others I was managing to get past drawing them down the wicket and getting the ball past them. Swiss Danny I managed to get the ball past him a few times and Neil as well, for some reason I always forget that Neil bats at the bottom order with me and I always have this feeling that because he bowls spin he going to be able to cope with me better than everyone else and I get great satisfaction in getting the ball past him which I did a few times as well!

He seemed quite impressed and was on Facebook shortly after I'd got home saying - Neil Samwell is wondering if ill ever live tonight down! anyone want to buy my cricket gear from me im going to take up umpiring!
He then discussed my bowling saying that he'd spoken to Terry the coach and they were saying that some of my deliveries were pretty unique. I can only imagine that they were talking about my Gipper ball which I was using tonight with very good affect. In the past I've had real trouble with the accuracy and getting it up the other end. Whether because of the increase in exercise or improved delivery and follow through - I'm currently able to bowl it better than I've ever been able to and it spins like a leg break but has variable bounce characteristics which I'd noted back in the October pratice sessions. Other balls that Neil seemed to be having problems with were the Flippers, I can get them to spin backwards nicely and they come in nice and low but then sit up I think and this was Neils observation and he said they were causing him problems. But I think the best one was the Leg Break attempt. It was nice and straight at middle and off but it was the way it bounced, it produced a ludicrous bounce that caught Neil by surprise and glanced off his gloves straight to the keeper if he'd been there. Another one was edged out towards the cover region that would have been caught.

In bewteen balls I spoke to the coach as he was commending me on my Wrong Un and I mentioned that it was my main ball and that I was looking to get the Leg Break going. He said he too bowled Wrong uns and had the same problem and then went on to say....... "What you need to do is"..... and he explained exactly what I've been doing and said that if I was to keep that up I'd eventually get it back. So that was really good to hear and is incentive to persevere with it and stick to it till I get it. But I'm also bouyed by the comments regarding the Gipper and the fact that I was getting it to turn nicely. Again this is incentive to keep at it and develop it as a surprise ball. So my bowling apart from the wrong un went fairly well and then it was time to bat......

I was facing Swiss Danny, Iffty, Neil, Wayne and the oaccasional one from Super Dave. I think I did okay, probably a fair improvement since the 2 sessions last year in the nets? I was trying to remember the things the coach had been telling us - the trigger movement bit that I seemed to be doing and keeping the shoulder pointed down the wicket and the head still. The thing I didn't seem to do was step towards the ball with confidence and bring the bat through in a nice straight arc keeping it straight and making full use of the bats width. But in comparison with last year I think there has got to have been some improvement? One thing is for sure I'm not as fearful as I was last year and generally I think I managed to keep Wayne and Neil at bay (Spinners).

As we walked out the coach was saying that he'd work with me on a routine to help me correct the lifting of the arm correctly so that the bat would come through in a nice arc for the front foot drive, so that's a positive. But more than anything is the fact that I've got 10 weeks or so of this before the season - it can only mean I'll improve and maybe I'll beat my all time high score of 11!

That's without the Sunday sessions as well. Hopefully this Sunday Neil will be able to get along to our nets as well and boost the numbers as I'm slightly worried as I've not heard from Alex yet. It sounds like it's going to be -




Mark Soye

Nick Naughty



Rod the Aussie?

Rod and Thomas I'm doubtful about.

So all in all a brilliant night!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Net Fees


It's all done. The Nets sessions are confirmed and the time is 12.00 - 14.00 hrs starting this Sunday. Thereafter it'll be every other Sunday. I'll pay by cheque and you all need to bring along the cash to pay me back please.

Charging scales - Nets at the school.

The fee we get charged as you may be aware is £40.00 for the two hours. That buys us -
The nets
The Hall
The mats

What it doesn't buy us is -

Where do these come from you might be asking? Me! I had to pay for them and now they're getting worn out and scuffed and damaged and I have to replace them. Not only that - the makeshit stumps I make have to be cut up and made and needless to say painted and repaired. Have you had a look at the cost of a tin of paint these days?

So as I'm not a charity there's going to be a little bit added on top of the basic £40 to cover a small part of the costs that I incur. To this affect there's a standard scale based on how many people turn up.

4 of us turn up £10.00 each
5 of us turn up £9.00 each
6 of us turn up £7.50 each
7 of us turn up £6.50 each
8 of us turn up £6.00 each
9 of us turn up £5.50 each
10 of or more £5.00 each.

It more or less works out that I earn about £5.00 excess from each session which will go towards replacement balls, which I reckon is fair? As I recall there's the capacity for two nets with mats and one without, so we could easily accomodate more people.

It's getting closer.......

The weekend is getting closer and the prospects of full on cricket draw nearer! But as yet we've not had confirmation that the Sunday nets is happening. What I may do is tomorrow morning is my morning off and I go in late, so if I don't get the letter and confirmation I might ring the school and see what's happening as everyone as far as I know is gagging for it this weekend. I didn't get any exercise tonight as I got in late from work, so I'm slightly behind with that, but I'll do some shoulder exercises now just before I go to bed. Maybe I'll do some leg work tomorrow?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wet and rainy

Horrid weather, it's rained all night and for most of the day due to a southerly placed cyclonic weather pattern that's caused havoc aross the west coast of France and Spain with reports on the news of the waves being 40 mtrs which is in excess of 100'. If you look at the proper data from surfing websites that source their info from a variety of sources you'll find a slightly different story -

Although the link above with the current data will expire over the next few hours. Over the next few days as the weather pattern will dissipate there'll be some massive surf to be had and the images reflecting the true story should appear here -

Anyway as a consequence it's meant that I've been able to get out and look at some of the materials that we may need to construct the nets if we go for that option in the spring. But having looked at the wood it does look rather expensive although we are talking B&Q prices and a proper wood merchants maybe the better option. I've looked at the size of the wood required and I reckon we can get away with 2.7 meters by 2" x 2". Most of the stuff will come off the internet and looks a lot cheaper than buying via the local shops. I noticed that Garden wood for fences and the like at 2.7 was in the region of 6 quid a go and we'd need to buy up to 8 of those depending on the size of the nets. I'm now thinking do we need to have the nets as long as I first envisaged? So what I'll do is slow down on getting this going and wait till next Sunday when hopefully we have our first net session and see if it really is that neccessary to have the nets so long?

Our local field where we cut the wicket is looking totally drenched at the moment and a mess. I think this morning they did intend to play football on it, all the cars were there but a game wasn't played so that's good as otherwise they'd have virtually ploughed it up! I'm still contemplating when I should roll it and when the time will be right and what to do with the roller once I get it over there. The plan of action is that I'll stash it up in the adjacent woods and chain it to a tree.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

General Update


I've been watching the light in the evenings seeing how light it is and when we'll be able to get over the field and start training after work and stuff. Last night there a glimmer of blue in the sky and this evening at 5pm there was a warm glow on the horizon indicating the sun had not long gone down. See the image of my street.

Things have been moving along on the nets front and I'm optimistic that next weekend (Sunday) we'll be in there for a practice. Talking to the blokes at work it also sounds like we'll have a good turn out as well as there's six of them that are up for it including me. Additionally at swimming today with the kids Thomas said that he'd be up for it as well as he's around at 12-2pm and he may even be able to get Rod the Aussie along. So our first session could see 8 of us there! That means I'll have to sort out some more stumps as all our old stumps are smashed up. With regards the final steps of the process, I've sent the our details which confirm that we agree to their terms and that should arrive back at the school by Monday. So hopefully it just means next Sunday we just turn up with the cash.


Been exercising upper body, core and shoulders and this is coming along okay. Generally fitness cardiovascular type stuff I'm probably well behing with and yet next Sunday I'm supposed to be playing 5 aside football for an hour after 2 lots of cricket - our 2 hour session in the nets and then if I get involve in Ben and Joe's nets in some way and then after dinner - the football. So really I need to do something this week - power walking or something - I may do it tonight?


Went outside the house today and later threw some balls at the swimming pool up against a wall whilst waiting for Ben and Joe. Not that successful. At best I could get the ball to go straight and found that the best results came about with a really wide fingered grip and trying to trail the fingers off the ball for as long as possible. I think I need to go back over all my previous notes in my other blog and see what the conclusions were when I was practicing a lot and beginning to get the Leg Break. I could easily get disillusioned and just go back to bowling wrong uns all the time, but I really want to persevre with this and be in a situation where I'm happy to bowl good length and line small leg breaks. So I will keep at it.

Next Weekend

If everything goes to plan we've got an exceptionally busy weekend sport-wise. Ben & Joe kick off with swimming at 3.30pm, both their sessions are staggered one after the other 1/2 hour each and while one or the other is hanging around waiting the other is having batting practice in a corridor with Thomas, some of the other Dads and me. If the weathers warmer I may even go somewhere and chuck a few overs as well.

Sunday we'll have to have early lunch as at 12.00 I've got my nets with the MPA boys. Michelle will then take Ben from there to his Karate test for his 1st belt. At 2pm I'll hopefully get Simon or Badger to give me a lift home and then we pack our gear up and head off to Fitzwymarc School in Rayleigh for an hours practice in the nets there (Joe and Ben). Back from that and it's our evening dinner and then a bit later I'm playing 5 aside football. Hold on - how old am I 28 or 38 - whoops 48!!!! I can see myself waking up with some aches and pains!! I'm just hoping I don't pull any major muscles, so there'll be some warm ups and warm downs I reckon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's good news all the way!

A lovely sunny day today with the prospects as I write that this evening on the way home because of the clear skies there may have been an obvious move towards spring and there maybe light in the sky? We'll have to wait and see. It's been raining loads so the ground under-foot is still really wet and spongy and I'm still in two minds as to whether I should role our wicket soon rather than wait till March. The advantage of doing it how would be that there's very little grass cover at the moment because the grass has hardly grown if at all and it would be easier to roll. I'm thinking if I leave it and we have a mild and dryish Feb the grass will start to grow really thick and the rolling wont have us much impact on the wicket?

Some good news on the Nets front. I contacted another school at the weekend and I've had a reply and so far all the indications are that it's going to be a relatively easy process in getting access and they're willing to do a deal on the price as there's only a few of us that will be attending. Initially I've said that we're interested in using the facilities every fortnight and starting the weekend after next. So hopefully by the end of today they may have got back to me with a price and any conditions they want met? I just hope that they aren't going to go through some Spannish inquisition process with the H&S as that'll do us again. So that looks good at the minute I just hope that the cost will be realistic and affordable. This venue has nets and mats as well, so it's looking good.

Thinking about the portable nets idea for the field I'm now thinking that a couple of years back we did practice outside quite a bit through late March and April, but once the nice weather arrived the practice sessions tailed right off and I'm wondering if I go through all the aggro of designing, ordering and fabricating these nets how much use will be get out of them? If they're not used I'm wondering whether we could get away with using them on our local field for Ben, Joe and me?

Later.... It just gets better. Got into work and I've had a really quick and positive response to our request to hire their nets and hall and they've said yes and that they only want £40 from us for the 2 hours! Further more we'll be paying for it on a 'As you use it basis'. So providing there's 4 or more of us it's a tenner each which we're all up for. Fingers crossed the forms they're going to send through are not horrendously complex and ridiculous asking for all sorts of insurance stuff to be met. The only other area that may be of some concern is the time, but it sounds as though that's going to be okay.

14.25 update - It's virtually sorted either Saturday or Sunday between 1pm and 3pm is good to go, all I've got to do is fill in the forms. The last time we used this venue the forms were simple and efficient. Talking to Simon et al they're all okay here at college with the Sunday option, I've just got to contact Badger and Alex. Looks like the first session there may be 6 of us! So it's going to be £40 split between whoever turns up and rounded up to the next quid to cover wear and tear on my gear.

Completely of topic

I was appalled today to hear the story about the Cornish fisherman not being allowed to build a jetty in their village at Helford because 70% of the 'villagers' are people from up country that only live in their houses for a few weeks in a year and they want to the seafront to look pretty so they can gloat about the nice little cove they live in etc.

Anyway that aside I cam across this which is brilliant -

Here's the Helfor story - I'd donate money to the fisherman if there was a fund to help them go to court and fight these twats!

It kind of smacks of the same logic the WWF and all those other Fluffy Bunny Brigade merchants have regarding the Tigers in India in that swamp. All the local indigenous people who get eaten by the bloody tigers have to move out to some dry arid crap hole just so that the middle class westerners can feel all cosy and good about saving the poxy tigers. Same with the Innuits in Canada and their economy that's partly supported by trading in Seal fur. I could write a whole blog on all this stuff and rant for days!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Net designs

Got up this morning and noted that it was light at 7.30 and saw on the weather that the sun rises at 7.28, so more psycologically nice indicators that spring is on it's way.

I didn't mention that on Sunday I did a pitch inspection over at the field where we play cricket. I had a bit of finding the markers that indicate where the wicket used to be but eventually found them. The actual pitch itself looks as though it was used at the weekend at some point which must be the first time in ages, but following weeks of wet, snow and frost the imapct of the match on the field has been quite dramatic and it does look a mess. The outfield is worse and it seems the square in the middle looks as though it's one of the lesser damaged areas, but it still doesn't look that good. Underfoot despite all the wet recently it doesn't feel that soft, so how much the affect the roller will have I'm not sure. We'll just have to see how the usage and weather affects it over the next few months.

Net Plans

I've been trying to design a net to use for erecting on a field with the intention of putting it up on 5 Tree field or somewhere. I've initially designed it to be either the full length of a wicket 66' or 2/3rds 44'. But looking around on the internet it appears that some of the bays they sell are pretty short, so at the minute I'm undecided about how big the nets will be? I'm erring towards a 66 footer. I've been able to source most of the stuff on the internet and it appears that it wont cost that much and the most awkward parts to transport will be the posts which I'll be able to bundle up and put on my roof rack (Estate Car). The nets I can get for £35 that's 3mtrs x 50 mtrs which is more than enough. The most expensive bit may be the wood as we'll need up to 8 posts which need to be around 3 mtrs in length and fairly sturdy. At the minute I'm not able to ascertain whether I can get 3 mtr posts.

£35.00 Nets 3mtrs x 50mtrs
8 post 2" x 2" x 3 mtrs
2 support beams 2.6 mtrs 2"x2"
60 mtrs of heavy duty cord or light nylon rope
4 big stakes
2 Rachet straps to make the whole thing taut.
Big hammer.

I've also got to decide whether the rope will be a permanent part of the net or whether we put the support structure up and then hang the nets, which may be easier? I also reckon I'll contact the council and see what they think about us erecting the nets. I can't see that there'll be that much of a problem as they allow the rest of the world to put up goal posts and Gazebo's and the like. What I'll have to do is go and look at the byelaws. The only thing I can think of is there may be something along the lines of you're not to put up tents or temporary structure - but then what's the score with everyone else putting up the afore-mentioned items? It's worth a shot?

I'm on a mission now!

I'm on a mission now!
I've designed a net system that I reckon we can knock up pretty cheap and it's robust enough to be put up and taken down with relative ease. I've just got to figure out the minimum width which seems to be 3.6mtrs and what the minimum length could be, but all the materials I've looked at means we could easily have it the length of a wicket e.g. 66 foot long!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Enthused by the response from the MPA boys and the indication that they're interested in having a knock about out on a field as the summer gets closer. I realised the potential there for me to get all sorts of valuable practice in as I'll either be bowling at someone for real or be bowled at and it's just something I get very little chance to do. I've got a venue in mind as mentioned yesterday - 5 tree field or the artificial wicket at Glouscester Park. But a couple of months back I considered looking into the feasibility of transportable nets to use on our local field for practice with Ben and Joe. Now with the renewed interest from the MPA boys the aggro and expense of looking at this suddenly has become justifiable. I've just been pondering it and remembered I'd seen my mate Virender's pictures on of his makeshift nets at his pitch and realised that we could model ours on his.....
This looks completely feasible and I can't see why it would be an issue on a playing field because I've watched numerous blokes turn up with portable goal posts and nets and have impromptu training sessions on the very same fields - so why not us?

The nets dirt cheap off the internet and the only difficult bit would be the structure and what to make that out of and cheaply? So I reckon that'll be something I can work on over the next couple of months?

I thought I'd chuck this in as well - don't know if it's a repeat of previous entries? It comes from my other blog The Googly syndrome

Stuff I'm working on

In this section I'll put in a brief description of what I'm currently working on - primarily as a reminder to myself as I'm usually darting around with ideas all the time.Jan 19th - Currently off the back of seeing this video clip Through 180 DegreesI'm intending on working on my follow through - in this clip the bloke describes the action of the leg coming round and over 180 degrees and he then goes on to show a training drill where he goes along a line going through the action again and again checking to see if the action is 180 degrees. Looking at my own video clips on line at you can see that my follow through is in excess of 180 degrees and needs to be looked at.Energy in the delivery The other aspect this time inspired and informed by is the energy in the delivery which is related to the above. So I'll be looking at the stand start drills trying to get that explosive delivery.

Posted by MPA first eleven at 16:15 0 comments
Saturday, 6 September 2008

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Last night coming home from work at 5pm I was looking for any hint of a glow of sunlight on the horizon heralding the return of summer and there was nothing as the sun had probably gone down at 4.15 or something - but at least there's hope and maybe next Friday there maybe?

After 3 or 4 weeks of trying to sort out a venue with nets it seems that H&S was the final nail in the coffin on that front and this ridiculous requirement for insurance despite the fact that there's 4 - 6 of just wanting to have a knock about and the requirements from the school just worked against us, so I've more or less given up. The situation was further complicated by the fact that it seemed like the school was going to need the money up front and it's not guaranteed that every week we'll be able to get the four of us there each time to cover the cost of hiring the hall. I'll go back to the bloke again and see what the arrangements are on a more 1 off situation and see if that works out easier?

Instead we're using sports halls as described in an earlier post. If there's only 4 or less of us we'll be restricted to using a badminton bay which is too short but will be okay just to have a muck about in and practice batting. So last night I booked the bay and called round everyone and it seems Badger, Alex and Simon will join me today between 1pm and 3pm which'll be good.

We had a letter today from Basildon & Pitsea CC confirming that Ben and Joe have secured places at the pratice sessions at Fitzwymarc school right through till April which is good. It works out reasonbly priced which is good and it'll be interesting to see which of the new kids are committed enough to turn up seeing as it's so far away? But then to be honest it's not just the kids it's the parents committment too that is required as it's so far away! I'm wondering myself how things will pan out in the summer if they make the grade to play in Basildon & Pitseas under 11's - when will they play e.g. will it clash with my games at G&CCC and how might we manage that? We'll have to see as it happens.

I've uploaded a video clip of Joe onto youtube so I can monitor his development over the coming months and get feedback from other people as to what I should be getting him to do. I reckon looking at it he's not doing too bad, I think he just needs to work on his follow through and the stepping over aspect of the leading leg. I'll have to show him the Beau casson vids and do the same exercise with him. We did it Monday, but I reckon it'll be useful if he sees the Beau Casson/David Freedman clip.


Yep today's knockabout went okay, everyone I expected there turned up and we had a couple of hours primarily bowling, but everyone got a chance to bat as well. I got all padded up and I snuck in 20 minutes or so facing real balls and that went okay, but given the short run up that we have it's not really that reflective of a real situation, but in my case any batting practice is good practice. Alex said of the three of us that were bowling at him mine was the most problematic and they all seemed to have trouble playing against a mixture if Googlies, Leg Breaks and Flippers. The Leg Breaks were interesting as this is the ball I have major problems with and not having bowled it for some time it wasn't working that well from my perspective. It was very inconsistent and hardly turning - but Alex was having problems with it edging it and almost every time hitting it badly out to cover where if there'd been a bloke there it'd been caught, but he was saying that the weak leg break although it wasn't turning much it was producing a lot more bounce than the flipper and bowled with the flipper and the Wrong he was saying it was difficult, so that sounds good. But then on the other hand he would be the first to concede that he's not that good at batting.

With it being a 2 hour session it panned out that we all had about 20 minutes batting (Alex quite a bit more) and the rest of the time we were all bowling so it was a rotation of three of us continuosly - so we're all a bit knackered and achey - my buttocks especially! So it looks like I need to start to work on my fitness carefully otherwise I may end up over-doing it.

Later on me Joe and Ben had a knock about indoors in a corridor at James Hornsby school and Ben is bowling well and his batting looked slightly more confident. Whilst at James Hornsby (Where Ben and Joe have swimming lessons) one of the other Dads invited me to a game of 6 aside football at the Laindon centre where we practiced cricket today in a couple of weeks time. So it's the same day Ben and Joe play at Fitzwymarc for the first time, so that's going to be a sporty day all round as Ben's also doing his first belt in Karate that day.

Going back to yesterdays comment regarding the light at 5pm, today coming out of swimming I noted that there was light in the sky although there was about 95% cloud cover. So it looks as though by next week we'll be coming out of swimming in the light!

Regarding the next practice for the MPA boys it looks as though they want it in a couple of weeks so I may try and get somewhere slightly bigger as Mark Soye and Nick Naughty are quite likely to turn up. Interestingly Simon, Badger and Alex were all talking about practicing on grass, so it sounds like they're up for this for a few months maybe more. So I reckon we could end up on the artificial wicket at Glouscester Park or maybe '5 Tree field' at Glouscester Park which in fact is a nice bit of field that I really like and is really flat and we may get the Asian blokes turn up who still practice over that way sometimes?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Dropped off our application and money for B&PCC under 11's training sessions last night, hopefully it won't be too late as it seems there's a first come first served policy going on and Joe and Ben will be gutted if they don't get in. The practice sessions are now being held miles away, so that may put some people off and it's changed from midday Saturday to late afternoon Sunday and it's only for an hour. It'll be interesting to see how they manage it for an hour as that seems like a fairly short period of time, perhaps it'll be primarily nets?

I contacted my own team and they've already started and guess what it's on my bloody late night again. That means I may be able to get along for two sessions over the next few weeks unless I have my timetable changed for the next semester, which I'm not that hopeful about, I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Modern life is crap part 2

Eventually this morning I received the letter with 20 pages of forms to fill in just in order that 4 maybe 8 of us, all adults over the age of 30 can have a knock about in the nets at a school. There's so many reasons why this so wrong! 1. The school needless to say could use the revenue albeit not a great deal and 2. The Government etc bang on about people keeping fit and doing exercise. 3. This could be the incentive that some of the blokes involved need to get properly involved in cricket. The three that would be regulars - Badger, Simon and Alex have all played cricket for thier schools when they were kids and represented their schools at county level in Simon's case and they'd be ideal candidates to join Grays & Chadwell I reckon? So this form and it's stringent requirements for all sorts of stuff that seemingly relates to a proper club that might include minors just serves to stop us even dipping our toes in the water as such.

Apparently talking to people on forums on the internet this is a new thing that has started to creep in this year, but you can see where it's going can't you? There you are on a council playing field playing cricket, you hit the ball for a six and it takes someone out. Needless to say no-one these days turns round and says **** happens - it was just a flukey accident, so there's an inevitability that in days to come - maybe next year you'll be told you can't play cricket, football or whatever in an open public space unless of course you've got insurance!

So we're screwed, it looks like no nets for us and yet we're so up for it we're willing to pay anything up to about 12.50 each for a couple of hours in the nets. There may be some mileage in booking the same venue in a more ad hoc manner e.g. individual bookings - one at a time rather than block bookings on a regular basis. It seems that if you book it in a more informal manner the requirements that you need to meet are not so stringent, so I'll have to look at that as an option.

So in the meantime I'm now looking at booking council sports halls and went and had a look at two tonight. There's no nets and it's slightly more expensive, but more importantly it's not subject to having to sign 20 page contracts and what have you and commiting yourself to it long term and paying up front which is where the other option was going and it would have been me that stumped up the money with no guarantee of ever getting it back off the blokes simply because they might not have attended the sessions that had been booked in advance. This new option also means it's booked at the last minute and there's no upfront commitment and it can be cancelled at short notice with no comeback.

I do feel like giving up on it as it's too much aggro and it wasn't even my idea this time round! But I do need the batting practice!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Easing into it

Despite the fact that I still feel dog rough after my Christmas Flu, I've begun to make some attempt at getting fit again. This morning I started a few arm and shoulder exercises and this evening Joe and I went to the Laindon centre and had a knock about, did some catching practice, throwing and fielding exercises and we worked on trying to get Joe to do the step -over in his delivery and we made a little bit of progress. I think I need to show Joe the David Friedman/Beau Casson videos on Youtube as he'd probably be more likely to take that on board. So I'll try that in the next few days and see if it registers with him. Other than that he did okay.

At work today I came across some video clips of some of the old MPA 1st XI footage from 2 years ago in the nets at James Hornsby school and my God how much have I improved! Let's hope the same level and rate of improvement can be had over the next year or so?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Modern Life is Crap

If you've been following the blog, you might be aware that some of the old mpa 1st XI blokes from 3 years ago now have re-kindled their desire to have a knock about and are playing around with the idea of reforming the MPA 1st XI in order that we can have a couple of games over the summer. Nothing formal - just a bunch of blokes that just might get it together to play a game and get thrashed no doubt. As part of the very loose plan I said that I'd see if I could get a venue so that we could get some practice in the nets and found somewhere we could use for 2 hours on a Saturday for 40 quid which is half the price we used to pay 3 years ago! So it was all systems go with the prospects that most weeks we'd be able to rustle up 4 of us with the chance that maybe as many as 6 or perhaps 7 could make it on the odd week? So at a push it looked like we'd have to cough up a tenner each for 2 hours practice.

But since the ball got rolling I've had an email that says we'd have to provide an insurance document - what's that all about? The last venue we used didn't ask for insurance and needless to say the venue has it's own public liability insurance so why on earth do we need insurance and what for?

It just galls me to think that you've got a situation where on one hand the government and NGO's are on banging on about the need for people to get fit and that 50% of the UK's population are over-weight and that we should all be getting more active and engaging in sport and yet when you try and do something (As we are) someone seems intent on throwing a spanner in the works. I've looked at one or two online websites and it looks as though if we go for the insurance option we're looking at 185 quid or something, so it'll kill it dead there and then.

The blokes that will get involved are the types that are just a smidgeon away from being encouraged to get involved in a team. If we could get this together - there's 2 or 3 of them that with just a bit of encouragement might make the step from here to playing regularly? Also if this happens - we'll need a cricket pitch at some point and I know for certain all the cricket pitches in our area are under threat because of under-use, no wonder when if you try and form an informal team you just seem to have the world seemingly throwing barriers in front of you rather than encouraging you!

Anyway - I'll see what happens and let you know if we get it together.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Stuff to work on.........

One of my mates on the Internet - Virender Singh has made a couple of useful comments about my bowling which I'll be looking at working into my practice sessions. He's said.....

Hi Dave,I saw ur bowling video and ur bowling video's of side,front and back view were helpful to understand ur leg spin.Firstly u have a relaxed approach in bowling and even while bowling that is good.Is ur run up the same as in the video or more.Ur arm angle w.r.t shoulder should be close like 11-12 o'clock(from front view).One important correction is to land ur front foot toe pointing towards slips or atleast it should be straight.Currently;it is pointing towards leg side which is ideal for off spinner not for leg spin.As it will not allow ur body rotation completely as seen in this video YouTube - Someblokecalleddave wrist spin bowlingPlay and pause to check ur action very closely u will find that during the 19th second of the video.If u remember the video posted by u from youtube about beau casson leg spin.In that follow thru is mentioned very clearly and the required drill for the same.If u are able to follow thru perfectly that will put more spin to ur bowling.Also watch the batsmen till the last moment.While bowling concentrate on the Batsmen's toe for leg spin.While ur are practicing "Spot Bowling"; make sure u have the good length marked clearly so u can focus on it and practice ur line and length accordingly-which is not visible in these videos.Consider the batsmen's front foot defense and mark the spot accordingly. I hope these advice will be helpful.Practice a lot and post ur next indoor video to cross -check the same.If possible can u post the next videos in full motion as well.Virender

Since then I've found some more Beau Casson/David Freedman footage and looked at my bowling against Beau Casson's. It looks like I can get going on a few things -

1. Bowl along a line - and get the foot that is following through to come over and round and land on the same line. Virender advises that If I'm looking to produce Leg Breaks make it land slightly pointing to slips.

2. General speed and whipping the arm over needs to be more dynamic with the arm coming through all the way up into the arm pit.

3. Release of the ball needs to be at 10-11 o'clock for the Leg Break.

4. The stride I use is okay on release but I need to be aware of making maximum use of height in the stride keeping the leading arm up high and straight.

If we get in the nets next weekend and I've recovered sufficiently from the flu I'll give some of this a go and film it too.

Friday, January 02, 2009

How long is it till summer?

Man am I bored, mind you - not so bored that I want to go back to work! I've been ill since boxing day and spent 4 days in bed with the flu, I don't think I've done that since the 1980's! Since then I've been mooching around the house hardly doing anything - certainly haven't been out bowling or playing any form of cricket so I'm now beginning to get withdrawal symptoms and I'm waiting for the postman to send details of either Ben and Joe's pratcice arrangments or whether we're going to be able to use the sports hall at Woodlands for net practice. On both fronts I've not heard anything yet and the first 'MPA' practice is supposed to be a week tomorrow.

Other than that I've found another link to another short clip of the David Freedman on-line leg spin bowling (And others) coaching. This is the actual home for the website - but there's another useful 2 minute clip with what maybe useful coaching advice - check it out...