Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No cricket this weekend coming?

No games at Grays AKA Thurrock, and nothing doing at Basildon either as they couldn't get a fixture. Not to worry though as it's a chance for the foot to have a rest and get better although I don't believe that's actually happening despite the distinct lack of cricket matches at the minute.
At the weekend when the video clips were shot of Joe bowling me with his Wrong Un the wicket was going through a new stage. See images. The ground now having totally dried out has gone through the 'Big Cracks' stage and is now crumbling on the surface and the sections divided up by the big cracks seem to be becoming loose deeper down and therefore move when you try and move them. For the moment where the cracks are the edges are softening and breaking up, making the surface good for spinning on.
What we really need is water e.g. some heavy rain. I can appreciate if you've got a proper cricket wicket with access to a water supply it would be relatively easy to re-wet the ground and just roll it compressing the earth and re-creating a superb flat surface again. Unfortunately we have to wait for rain.

It's going to be interesting to see how well the grass recovers once the summer ends and we're able to re-seed it. I'm tempted to work on the other end as well this autumn and perhaps establish a crease a lot further back from the point where we bowl. That might mean that next summer we would tear up and damage/flatten an area in the middle of the current wicket extending the good really flat section?

Had a bowl and a bat tonight with Matt Pinnock, which was good and he might be looking to make it a regular feature. It gives me opportunities to devise batting strategies for spinners, not that they worked out that well tonight.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kwik Cricket

Taken to Kwik cricket of late trying to get the boys into batting and fielding more and it seems to be working and the boys from the field last year have joined in tonight over at the paddock. I scored the most runs even with my gammy leg and the majority of the runs were scored by just fending the ball forward so that the bowler was the best option to collect the ball, which gave me enough time to make the singles. The idea is that this will reinforce some of the stuff they're learning at B&PCC over at Mopsies. I noticed that Mike Blerkham batted a few runs last Monday, but the emphasis of what he was doing was good communication between the batsman and just stabbing the ball into the middle of the wicket and taking the singles. So hopefully either Ben or Joe will see that to make runs you only need to defend the ball and play it into the middle of the wicket......

Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28th

We're having a good spell of weather at the minute with the temperature today up in the 28-30 degrees centigrade region and it's been like that for the best part of 2 weeks as I recall. The consequence to the wicket in the paddock is that it's gone through a drying out and cracking phase where the bowling area was into a crumbly phase where the ball makes contact with the wicket. This means that if you get some rotation on the ball it and hits one of these more crumbly areas or the big cracks it now turns well - see this clip where Joe my 8 year old gets me with a lovely Wrong Un in the paddock having set me up with 5 or 6 straight balls that were all slightly erring towards the leg-side, he them pitches one outside of off and you can see what happens.....

Have a look at the other clip with me bowling to him earlier again same kind of tactic nothing really turning - certainly not towards leg and then the last ball a wrong un.

They practiced tonight over at Mopsies park and both of them batted quite well and bowled pretty good too with most of the balls just outside of the off-stump. I noticed that when Joe bowled at Travis he did the same thing - a series of loopy straight balls and then a faster flatter ball that turned into the body, it might be the case that when he bowls faster he produces an off-spinner or an off-cutter? I don't think he realises that this is the case or that it's done intentionally, he really only makes concious decisions with regards whether he bowls slow with flight and faster and flatter. Ben on the other-hand as he's getting older makes more complex decisions with regards his bowling but that much more than Joe.

Again as I've said before I just wish they realised the fact that they're dead lucky to have the Paddock right outside our house and that I maintain it and put the net up whenever they wish. Hopefully as they get older they'll realise and make more use of it?

At the weekend we went over the Rec at Langdon Hills and had a knock about playing Kwik - Cricket with some of their mates and they all seemed to get into that and enjoy that. Again one of the kids was one of the types that has a natural ability to hit the ball a kid called Kieran Barbaro, very good, but never played cricket in his life!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

11 times and counting

So there we go, no surprises - Germany 4 England 1. England for about 10 minutes looked like they were vaguely interested till the dis-allowed goal. I can't comment on strategies, it's not my game but to me it looked as though when the Germans had the ball they had an extra 3 or 4 players, there was always a good 2 or 3 blokes in wide open spaces for whoever had the ball to pass to. Whereas England always seemed to be forced to pass to a player who had a German right on his shoulder or directly in front of him. To the uninitiated it looked to me that when England had the ball all the English players were (as we used to say) marked. Then when the Germans had the ball virtually all their players were running into spaces into which they would launch their next attack, whilst the English players were too busy thinking about their next male grooming product contract or were too knackered from playing last week.

So, 11 times now on the trott we've not won the world cup. It strikes me that we celebrate idiocy - Big Brother, almost every program on C4 that may have been called yoof tv, x-factor and all those kinds of programs. All kinds of people get paid shed loads of money for doing nothing, fame and celebrity status is the most sought after status in life irrespective of what it is that you do. Even in industry and commerce people are paid enormous bonuses for over-seeing catastrophies having been allowed to write in clauses to their contracts almost as if they know they're going to fail. We do look like a country of total losers on so many front, but there are glimmers of hope....

I've avoided the news so far, so I don't know how we've done against the Aussies today, hopefully there's going to be continuing good news which bodes well for the Ashes in December. Meanwhile Andy Murray is still in the running at Wimbledon and as a nation we're still the leaders in most cycling events. It strikes me that fame and ridiculous wealth only serves to corrupt and ruin things that were once quite magic and real.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

No games this weekend

No cricket for any of us this weekend and I'm guessing this may have something to do with this ridiculous notion that as a nation we're good at football and there's some chance that we might win the world cup. They say your most important and formative stage in your life is around seven years old, what happens then kind of lays down a template that under-pins who you are and what you believe in. Well in 1966 when we did win the world cup for the one and only time I was just short of being 7. I think as a consequence I then went through life thinking that we're a great footballing nation, helped by being one of the 32 million people that watched the Chelsea v Leeds FA cup in 1970 and being utterly mesmerised. Since then football has come a long way, it's no longer played by blokes that were wannabe pub landlords when they retired, instead we have to watch the wannabe films stars and models - Nancy boys "Guys" that roll around on the ground writhing in pain having been tripped over by another big girls blouse. Or as the Aussies call us Whinging Poms and I can see why when they see and read about Wayne Roonie bleating on about the fact that he's knackered after playing football all season! Jesus - do we hear about real blokes who play proper endurance sports and have real injuries moaning about their vocation. All those faggot footballers who earn 100,000 quid plus want to turn on the tele and watch something other than East Enders, X-Factor and all that crap that I imagine they probably watch in between hanging out with page 3 girls and other "Guys" at exclusive night clubs. Try following the Tour De France and see what real physical and mental endurance is, watch those blokes come off their bikes in a tangle of carbon fibre and alloys at 50mph onto ashphalt, or going over the edge of a mountain in the same manner and then not say anything, but get back on that bike and finish the 28 day long race. Do we ever see their ugly, but exquistely groomed faces on the tele moaning about it? What about the 2 blokes that just played tennis virtually non-stop for 11 hours over three days in the baking hot sun? Can they stop and have the ocassional break while the ball goes up the other end, was their concentration and focus shouldered by 10 other blokes - no, they played full-on for 11 hours, non stop, full commitment and they do this all year for a fraction of what footballers earn.

Then we have cricket, I'd have said that cricket wasn't that demanding on the body and wasn't that demanding physically before I started to play it, but I've never been involved in a sport where I've seen and suffered so many physical injuries. People die playing cricket, I've never heard anyone dying playing football, a soft leather ball full of air hitting you at 60mph isn't quite the same as a small rock hard ball hitting you square in the head or chest at 100mph + is it. I've watched some of the world cup this time round and noted that John Terry was held up a being almost super-human worthy of a George Cross for diving in front of the ball (attempting mind you-not succeeding) using his head/body to stop England from conceding a goal. In cricket this is a basic fielding technique, you dive in front of or onto the ball stopping it with anything - your face, chest, bollocks, legs, ribs or preferably your hands. Think too of the great innings - the blokes that have stood in the blazing heat and faced hundreds and hundreds of deliveries where the oppositions bowlers have had on their agenda to get rid of you by removing your head or testicles as well as your bails and gone on to score in excess of 300 runs. this takes total focus and absolute concentration - sweat pours from their helmets as they play for hour upon hour under a barrage of balls being thrown at them at 80mph + and do they moan, do they whinge, they get broken ribs, toes and fingers, but they don't go down writhing in pain, they stick it out 'Don't show em it hurts boys' is the cricket mantra delivered to small boys of 6 and 7 years old. Only today playing cricket with my 8 year old son, he was the wicket keeper and a ball went leg-side I played a hook shot and he was there and copped the bat in the arm and he went down "Joe - get up, this isn't football, you're a cricket player" was my response and he got up and played on. In the same way if this stuff happens, no-one starts offering each other out like a bunch of tarts at a boxing day sale. If you don't like it and you can't play a proper blokes game, take up something that's easy that's played by "Guys" that have male grooming products and care about their hairs condition. Yeah try that game that as a nation we're dog-shit at - try football, you only have to play it for 90 minutes and the responsibility and pressure is shared bewteen 12 of you. Also fall into that trap where you believe that your son or even you yourself might one day be earning stupid amounts of cash for playing it, yeah - you and several million other deluded fools.

10 world cups later and I've had enough, it's taken a long time to realise it, but propaganda and brain-washing is effective, but at the ripe old age of 50 I can now see that we are shit at football, but we're good at other things and one of them is cricket.

Yeah and I'm pissed that my game this Sunday was cancelled because of the England Germany match!

So - rant over, no cricket this weekend so we had a couple of hours in the paddock ..........

Monday, June 14, 2010

I can't not bowl!

Knackered knee, leg and foot - but the top half of the body still works! Ben and Joe had thier training night tonight over at Mopsies. That went really well and they really enjoyed it. John - one of the coaches invited me along to their net sessions on a Wednesday night, if my leg was in order I'd have gone this Wednesday, but I'll probably give it a miss if there's no real improvement. At training I bowled the Big Leg Break up against the wall putting a bag in front of the stumps and trying to turn the ball around it. Had some real near misses, but didn't do it this time. Enthused by that once Ben and Joe were in bed I went over the paddock and did some static bowling just exploring the wrist and finger flick for the biggun. Probably threw 125 + balls and it looks increasingly promising. The last 25 I worked on accuracy as well as spin and there was some trade off - but it wasn't too bad. I'm now easily able to bowl the ball the full 22 yards with the big flick even from a static standing position.

What I'm hoping to do is take a note book over the paddock and make notes on what I do and perhaps the success rates with regards accuracy and spin so I can monitor how the bowling improves.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A game at last!

Checked out the playcricket website earlier in the week and there were no Sunday games posted up for Grays and no-one contacted me during the week leading up to the weekend, so when B&PCC contacted me saying they needed players on Sunday I once again jumped at the chance.

Ben and Joe have their best game to date with B&PCC U 11's

Both of them recorded their personal best batting scores and both didn't give away their wickets which in this form of the game (Terrier Cricket) concedes the loss of 5 runs. The key to the game seems to be to defend straight balls and look to score runs off the loose balls, but the pirmary objective is to not get bowled or hit the balls into the air to get yourself dismissed. Which to me sounds like a pretty clever form of the game for kids to learn with. I've heard of kids being encouraged to try and hit the ball big in this format and end up at the end of the season with a deficit of runs because of all the dismissals they incurred in between hitting the fours and sixes. This same strategy also means games are lost whereas the same kids who obviously have a good eye-ball combination would potentially come away at the end of the season with a high run tally if they played straight and listened to the coaches.
Ben and Joe so far this year have been a lot more successful with thier retention of their wickets and are slowly growing in confidence with their batting. Joe especially who seems to be paired each week with Harry Davy an older and bigger lad is doing well and is a more focussed batsman than his bigger brother Ben. Joe's good with the calling and is always halfway down the wicket once the bowler has passed him in his delivery and I think he understands that Harry is a better batsman and looks to get Harry on strike. Harry's not as vocal as Joe but Joe says that he gives him the nod when he's going to run.
If you look at the scores Frank did best scoring 12 with Harry and Ben coming second scoring 7 runs each and then Joe in equal 3rd place with Anthony, so not bad for a couple of bowlers. It wont be long before they pass my personal best of 9 which I scored in my first game ever and have never been able to match since. One of the highlights of Ben's innings was his 4, a lovely straight-bat cover drive which John mentioned the next day in training.

The details will follow through the week along with some images.

But some of the headlines..............

B&PCC v Harold Wood CC - away

Slipped and twisted my knee fielding

Quite early in the game fielding at Mid-off, the ball came at me at some speed going to my right and I think I set off after it and realised I'd over done it and was going to over-shoot where the ball was going to come through so I kind of dragged my back foot to brake and leaned back towards the back foot where the ball was now heading. My back leg which was now bearing all the weight slipped and buckled under me having to give at the knee to accomodate all the re-direction of my body weight and twisted my knee joint in the inner leg region. It hurt and for a moment I thought I was going to have to go off. All this on top of the fact that I'm increasingly suffering from the plantar faciitus which already now limits my running abilities. So that was sore from about the 9th over through to the drink break at 20 overs. Then I got one of those tubi-grip sleeves and put in on the leg for support and it worked a treat through my 7 overs and right through till the end of the game. Sitting here now it feels like it's going to seize up over night and be really stiff in the morning?

My Bowling
As usual of late I was pitched in amongst a couple of blokes that were well set and looking to score big totals. The seamers had all done their jobs and Pinno the Spinno who'd had a practice in the nets at Mopsies before we came seemingly had ruled himself out of the bowling, so I was the only spin option. So with my list of injuries and recent run of bad form and lacking in confidence I gave it a go keeping in mind that if the leg-breaks didn't work out I could turn to the Flipper variations.

Pulled off some pretty impressive dives in the field one at Mid-off going to my right and one at Point protecting a short boundary again going to my right.
Took a wicket - actually hit the stumps on a wicket that wasn't offering any assistance, got one to turn into the batsman (Wrong Un) hit middle. 7-0-54-1 so not that good, but a wicket nonetheless.
The Big Leg Break
They had some half decent nets at the grounds at Harold Wood so I was able to have a bit of a bowl and tried bowling the Biggun and it came out well, good line and length differing degrees of turn off the wicket. I was almost tempted to try it in the game, but bottled out. Interestingly looking at the Richie Benauds Master class video uploaded by Golden Arm I noted that he also advocates learning to spin the ball hard first and then add the accuracy later - saying that it can take up to 4 years to get the accuracy aspect sorted. So what with how it went in the nets today I'm kind of enthused and as soon as my leg allows me I'll be focusing on spinning the ball hard and working on some accuracy.
My Batting
Once again I batted at No.11 but in front of me was ***** and he's a pretty good batsman so I was fairly optimistic about my batting prospects. The wickets in front of me had fallen in pretty quick succession from some medium pace and slow bowling and the word was that it was straight and not turning or doing anything off the pitch so as long as I defended and played the loose balls there might be some runs to be had and there were overs in hand (5 or 6). The first few balls were on the money and I just blocked - this was facing the slow bowler who was tossing them up tempting me to have a go and I resisted. One ball went down the legside and I hit that with my one-handed shot that I seem to have developed. The next ball off the slow bowler was a full toss outside of the Off-stump so I had that away over the top of mid-wicket but to the longer boundary and I got three runs. That ball was the last of the over which meant I was back on strike to the very straight medium pace bowler. I blocked the ball fairly well, but then the bloke put one down the legside and I hit the ball with my one-handed legside shot and there was a Legslip waiting there and that was the end of me. So I've been caught by Leg-Slip fielders twice now recently, so I'll have to keep an eye on them.

Richie Benaud master class in Leg - Spin

Another brilliant link from fellow blogger the Top-Spinner who also is a contributor to the forums on

Saturday, June 12, 2010



Yep, at the minute I'm probably at my lowest ebb with my bowling and looking for answers. Today I returned to bowling the Big Leg Break using the big flick and again as with previous times had a degree of success with it. I had 2 periods in the day where I tried it and both were successful to different degrees. The earlier session I was getting the ball to turn exceptionally well, but also managed to keep a good line for a fairly high percentage. The second session was different in that I bowled a leg-side line using a single stump. The ball was pitching well outside leg and it turned in really well and hit the single stump at least once every six balls. On both ocassions the bowling was off a one or two step run-up and over the full 22 yards. The thing is during the second session the balls that didn't turn went straight, so a straight down the middle approach might be better?

What I may do is return to the approach I used to take when I was learning the very basics and have a note pad and record the good and bad balls and make notes about all the things I do to try and get things working properly. It seems after a long session bowling in my conventional manner where I wasn't at all happy with the outcome, the latter session where I was giving the ball a big flick - the bowling, albeit wayward looked potentially better? So perhaps I should look again at bowling with the big flick? I've got a game tomorrow again with B&PCC, so I'll see how that goes and take it from there.

Net Session in the paddock

Had a fairly good session with Ben and Joe in the paddock with both of them batting pretty well, especially against me which as you might have read above rung alarm bells. They've got a game at Mopsies Park tomorrow as well. So hopefully the net session may have shaken off some cobwebs?

By the end of the session the area in front of the stumps was pretty rutted and hollowed out so I took the chance this evening to water the area and add some more earth to fill the dip and level it off - see below.

Hopefully the kids will stay off it and it'll harden nicely for this coming week when I'll get a chance to bowl at my new mate Dhaneesh?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Paddock comes good

As you may have read recently my green-keeping activities took a turn for the better along with possibly discovering a half decent compound of clay and compost to make a good repair mix. That combined with the use of the mesh netting to facilitate a good rolling system, the wicket at the minute looks exceptionally good. We've had fairly damp air of late so that the drying of the wicket is relatively slow which might help with the reduction in the way that the inevitable cracks might form? Tonight I mowed the wicket from end to end, but then dropped the blades to their lowest setting to mow the area in which the ball falls. The mower at this setting is set so low that there's guide blade the precedes the cutting blades and this guide blade scrapes off any uneveness in the surface.. At only one point was there any evidence of scraping and it was minimal. The result of the cutting and it wasn't done 100% is that the wicket in the area in which we'd be bowling is beautifully flat, flat beyone anything I could have imagined back in February when it was looking like a swamp!

Jim - you need to drop by again for another session!

Then it gets better................

I'd just gone over at 7 for an hour or two and had bowled just 5 or so balls when I noticed an Asian looking bloke coming up the road and he'd obviously spotted me bowling and as he approached you could see that he was absolutely gagging to say something at least if not get involved, so I went to the fence and asked 'Do you play cricket'? Being an Indian (which I soon discovered) that was like asking is the Pope catholic? Within a few minutes I'd gone back to the garage and was back at the wicket padded up facing some balls off this bloke Dhaneesh. Half way through we swapped over and we spent probably almost an hour. It turns out that he's working at Fords, considering becoming a teacher and lives nearby alone for 3 or 4 days in the week and then goes back to Birmingham to see his family at the weekend. It looks like he's more than up for joining me Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights for net sessions. His bowling was fine, probably inclined to hold back because he doesn't know me yet, but he took my wicket several times even at the slow pace he was bowling at! With the net put up and a couple of days in the nets he'll get back in the groove and start slinging them down with some vehemence, meaning I'll get some much needed practice! How good is that!!!! I can't wait!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

6th June 2010

Not having been selected again for a game with Thurrock, I'm having to scratch around for games elsewhere and fortunately because my kids play for B&PCC I've been able to play for them again and we got a match over at my local ground 'The Rec" at Langdon Hills.

The day before knowing that I had a game I went over and threw a few balls on the wicket to see if it offered any turn and bounce and it did - it looked very promising with all the flippers that I'm currently bowling. I did spend a while bowling the Leg Break as well, but that's still not coming out well at all. The thing was the practice on the wicket Saturday was under bright blue skies after a period of hot sunshine for the last few days with temperature in the 25 - 28 degree region. Then over night it rained quite heavily and the forecast for today was more rain.

So 2pm the game started with our captain 'Pinno the Spinno' opting to bat first which I found rather odd because once again we had what looked like a fairly weak side with really new players - young lads and a couple of older blokes. Whereas they looked mostly like blokes at the kind of age they'd be at the peak of their game?

The team comprised of B&PCC's 'G-Man' and may of his protege's that he'd trained over the last few years so he was frustrated to see all these younger blokes take the crease and swing the bat wildly at balls that were on the money as if they were in a T20 games. Needless to say 3 or 4 ducks later our innings ended with the whole team having been bowled out for 68? I went in last and felt as though there may have been a vague chance that I might see my PB as I joined 'G-Man' as the last pair, but came away not out for 0!

Needless to say trying to bowl them out for 67 wasn't going to be easy and they lost 2 wickets getting past 68. Shortly after though the rain came and even if the game had panned out better we'd have all been rained off anyway. I didn't get to bowl in this match which was a shame as I was interested in seeing how the new Flipper attack would work out. Interesting though they had an older bloke who bowled very slow loopy straight balls and he was very economic and I think he took at least 3 wickets. His length was good and consistent though.

It seems that every match that I've played in this season for one reason or another the game has been mis-matched and we've never had the slightest glimmer of hope. The only game that ever looked as though it was looking fair was a rained off match between two B&PCC teams at Mopsies Park where I'd taken a wicket.

More rain and chance to roll the Paddock

With the weather getting better of late and the dryness, the wicket has started to crumble a bit and get a bit pitted. I'd imagine that on wickets where it's relative grassless and this seems to be the case at Mopsies park they can get the wicket smooth by saturating it with water and rolling it when it's damp? I can't water it so I have to wait till we have rain. Shortly after I got back from the match it rained heavily and I took the opportunity to have a roll.

I'd read recently that they stick some kind of fabric on the wicket when rolling when it's damp otherwise the dirt sticks to the roller - sack cloth? I'd done some rudimentary experiments using the netting we use when we have our net practice and this seemed to work with just doing repairs and stamping the mud flat. So this evening I got a bucket of earth and did some work while the wicket was wet.

I pinned the net down in the area that we all bowl onto which obviously needs to be flat and rolled over the top of the net and straight away it was obvious that indeed this was a very good idea. I means I can stand on it when I'm rolling and because the net is taut, you can identify where the dips are and I was then able to do some filling in with the 'Repair dirt' and then roll it flat.

As you can see above the wicket in comparison with more recent shots of it appears to be far less grassy and a lot more muddy and therefore potentially flatter. I reckon it's important that there is established grass there or at least the roots sytem below the surface as this needless to say binds the surface together and reduces the chances of the earth/wicket surface breaking up and powdering. I'm fairly certain that the make-up of the earth at the minute what with it being a high percentage clay compound it'll dry very quickly and be subject to crazing. The good thing is that there is grass growing here and it's fairly established.

This shot above is the usually very rutted bowlers end which is just powder once it gets dry and becomes a dust bowl and is very uneven. So this evening I put a lot of earth down and used the same method with the net to flatten it. I suspect that once it does dry it wont hold together for very long as there's no grass growing here at all and will need to be repaired in the late summer with some new grass sewn. In the short term though my main objective now is just to get it flatter than it is and make it even.

This shot demonstrates how flat I am able to get it using this net and roller technique. I don't think I'm going to be able to get it really nice this year because it is a long term project and I am battling against all sorts of problems especially in the winter, but if I can keep getting the earth down and get it level as I did with the other end last year it looks potentially very promising for both ends next summer if I can get some seed down in the late summer - early autumn onto what will potentially be a massively flatter wicket.

The other thing I'm going to do is lower the blades again on the mower - possibly to the lowest cut option when I cut the grass in the wicket area and see if that makes a difference to our bowling and batting although even prior to this current maintenance the ball goes through fairly true and consistent. I just wish my lads realised how lucky they are to have this a couple of yards from the house and made use of it more!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Wicket repairs in the Paddock

It's rained all day today so the paddock has a had a good soaking and the cracks have all swelled up and closed on the wicket. What with the ground being so moist I've taken the chance to do further repairs and try a different method. This time I used a combination of the 2/3rds chalky clay and 1/3rd garden/kitchen compost and then mixed it up. So I've filled any dents and holes that have developed at both the batting end and the bowling end. The bowling end is really uneven and the dirt put down there has made it a lot more level. Normally I'd have then rolled it, but the last time I did this the sticky clay then stuck to the roller and was pulled out of the ground. This time I put a net over the repairs and pressed the earth by standing on it into the holes and dents. The good thing about this was that you could see that the 'repair dirt' becoming moist and wet as well, so the theory as before is that the 2 wet compounds blend together and dry at a similar rate? Wont know till the sun comes out as it is due to in the next couple of days. Hopefully it'll rain a little more over-night and the new stuff with fuse with the existing soil more effectively?

The majority of the dirt went on the bowling end and it'll be interesting to see how this holds up what with being trodden every time you bowl.