Saturday, January 28, 2012

Practice with Frank Farrington wrist spinner

This afternoon after last nights net session which I was quite happy about, I decided that I'd go over to the Rec and have a bit of a bowl and look at my line and length. When I got over there I was pleased to find Wrist Spinner Frank Farrington with his Dad mark, so it ended up that I had someone to bowl at and I even got a bit of bat as well. Here's Frank bowling last year -

We had a chat about the make up of the U13's team which Frank moves up to this year alongside my older son Ben. Talking about it, Mark seemed to think that the U13's might be short of players, but coming home tonight I went through the potential list with Ben and Joe and it looks pretty healthy I reckon? I've kind of identified 3 good batsmen and following them up are lads that can swing the bat and get the ball over the boundary, who are going to need to listen to the coaches and adapt their game a bit - learn to hit the ball along the ground, run 1's and 2's and look to turn the strike over and communicate well with the bloke at the other end. Six months in the life of a kid that is 11, 12 or 13 is a relatively long time and sometimes 'Big' learning curves can happen. Further down my virtual order there's a couple of promising looking kids with the potential to bat as well and with a little luck their confidence might come through this season. With regards bowlers I reckon we've got 5-7 good uns including Frank with his Wrist Spin.

Locally the feeling I got was that around the district last years U13's were made up of predominantly older lads who would have all moved up to the U15's and for the most part the district U11's weren't that good and our U11's did pretty well against them all. So I'm kind of expecting another fairly decent year for the U13's.

Tomorrow then with the first of the U13's nets, it'll be good to see who shows up and make a good account of themselves.

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First net of the season

Last night saw the first net of the season. I only had an hour and I only bowled. Being the first net the organisation of it wasn't 100% and that mean that the net I bowled in didn't have a batsman in it, so me and another bloke had it to ourselves just bowling. I put marker down and just focussed on hitting a spot on the pitch and it went okay. Towards the end a batsman joined us and we were able to bowl at him. He was a new bloke and he looked okay, but I got him through the gate with a Leg Break pitched outside of leg coming in to hit the off-stump, so I was quite with that.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Paddock Pre-Season

It's been very dry and mild this winter and as a result we're expecting a drought this summer unless of course we have an odd summer and it rains all the time. But, recent summers have been pretty good with lots of sunshine and fine weather, so there's no real reason for that to change. As a result the Paddock isn't swampy as it was last year and its lush and green (Where there is grass) because nature thinks its spring - 11 degrees today! So yesterday I went over and had a look to see how it was recovering with no seeding done last Autumn.

As you can see, the crease area at the batting end is slowly recovering, but it's not going to be ready for April/May. I'm going to have to get some seed down as early as possible. The bowling end isn't so much of a problem as we've got some very heavy duty rubber matting and that's going to be at the bowling end where it normally gets worn. We'll just bring that backwards and forwards I reckon. We'll have to see.

Sidearm Pro + Readers Windball

Another pre-season knock-about and a try out with a range of different balls with the Sidearm. We've been mixing balls up when we've given it a go and one of the balls that seemed to be more difficult to use was the Readers Windballs, which, if you could use them would be ideal, rubber and hard wearing and relatively weighty. So today over at out usual venue (The Tennis courts at the Rec) I gave the Readers Windball a go to see if it would work.

For some reason and I suppose it's the weight and the size, it requires a slightly different approach, but within about 7 balls I was getting sussed and from then on the accuracy was spot on and the Readers wind ball is another contender for use with kids or training without having to get all padded up. It does seem that with a bit of work most of the balls you would use in cricket be it training balls or cricket balls, you can with a little bit of work get the hang of all of them. So the need to buy the other variations of the Sidearm does seem suspect. If you buy the most expensive one - the Pro version it does seems as though it is potentially very versatile and usable with a whole range of balls.

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stuart Macgill & Bradd Hogg

Down Under it seems like Old Boys Stuart Macgill & Brad Hogg have made a pretty big impression on Australias Big Bash T20 comp and are so full of themselves for having shown the young - uns how it's done they're following Shane Warnes example and have put themselves up for auction in the IPL and are valued at around $100, 000

I for one have got my fingers crossed that both of them will get picked and we'll see some quality Wrist Spin in the IPL.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pre Season Paddock

I had a quick look at the Paddock last weekend and it's looking okay, nowhere enough grass at the batting end, but the rest of it looks reasonable. With the incredibly dry winter, it's not become a swamp this winter which is good and all I need to do now is get my timing right with regards to seeding it this spring. I'm thinking get the seed down at the end of Feb and keep my fingers crossed that it takes and that we don't get a very cold March and the grass gets established? I'll have to do some research and see if that's the right approach.

The fence which was mysteriously ripped down over August Bank Holiday hasn't been replaced and that's potentially an issue as any cover drives or balls through the offside are going to end up denting the cars that the commuters from Billericay all park just adjacent to the Paddock. I'll have to look out for some more scaffolding netting and perhaps get that up when we have knock about in there, the downside of that being its more aggro putting it all up and getting it put away again.

Follower No.13 signed up this week. Welcome mate hope you check out the blog everynow and then and get something from it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Another cold but sunny day today and while the kids were out on their scooters I went over the Rec to have a bit of a bowl and a practice with the Sidearm again. They were over near the Rec and once I turned up they spotted me and came over and one thing led to another and without much prompting they were getting involved. Initially Joe came over and had a go with the Sidearm with me batting. He had a little success with it, but generally they were pretty wayward. There's a tendency to try and increase the speed once you've got a couple on target and this is what Joe was doing. Joe had a go facing it with the Red Slazenger Balls and did okay, but the star of the last couple of days including today was Ozan, the kid that doesn't do sport. Ozan, no matter where the ball went - leg-side or off-side, he got some bat on it. Leg-side or on his legs especially, he was pretty adept flicking the ball down to fine leg or whacking it and losing one ball over the top of square leg for 4! So he looks promising for the summer for our knockabouts, we just need to instill some confidence and get him to buy some box pants and a box. You never know - by the end of the summer he might be batting for Billericay School and calling himself a cricket player, that would be a right result!

We all finished up having a bowl and bat batting in pairs looking to practice good communication and running singles, Joe did well in that he stayed in for the longest and he made a couple of runs here and there.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sidearm Pro cricket

Nets is in a couple of weekends, so we got out to the Rec Tennis courts for a bit of a knockabout today as it was sunny. We took the Sidearm Pro and gave that a run out in amongst our own bowling using the Slazenger Red Balls.

Previous testing with the red Slazenger Balls which are tennis ball size and covered in fur like a tennis ball but far heavier with nowhere near the same bounce, had worked out okay. During the initial test last week it looked promising in that I could get the ball on or around the off stump relatively easy.

So today with Joe, Ben, Kieran and Ozan we gave the combination another go and it worked out well. Within a few goes I was able to get very good accuracy. Joe, Ben, Kieran and Ozan all had a go with the Sidearm with differing degrees of success and enthusiasm against me, but overall from my point of view it was pretty disappointing. But for them with me being able to use the Sidearm with good accuracy it looks like a very promising tool. So much so that after the session I went over to Sports Direct and bought another 10 of the Red Slazenger Balls.

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Sidearm Pro Update

If you've seen the posts and the comments over at bigcricket I've made over the last few weeks, you'll have seen that I was concerned slighty over the issue of using the Sidearm in conjunction with training with kids. The Sidearm Pro works really well with balls around standard cricket ball size including Hockey balls which I've been using on tarmac in order to get used to the device. Outside the house mucking around and trying it out with different balls we soon found that we could also use the Sidearm with Readers windballs accurately with only a slight modification in the slinging action. This lead me to visualising a practice scenario in the Paddock and I soon realised this would be enhanced if we had a lot of windballs so we could sling a load before we collected them up, but then that would mean buying £36 worth of windballs. The obvious solution would have been to use tennis balls, but we'd tested those and they're unusable with the Sidearm Pro.

The next solution I came up with was to maybe look at buying a Dog Throwing version which I know can chuck tennis balls and could be used with Slazenger Red Ball which have far less bounce and a lot more weight than a regular tennis ball. But this afternoon when I went over the Rec tennis courts for a bowl I took three of the Slazenger Red Balls and gave them a go and lo and behold they work and at £1.00 a go I reckon I can stretch to 12 of those for practice with Ben and Joe this spring. This also means that the Slidearm Pro despite being designed for full size balls seemingly is probably going to be okay with the youth size cricket balls as well.

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.

The 2012 season starts here.

Here in the UK we're in the depths of winter, it's nowhere near as cold as it was last year and todays been relatively mild at 11 degrees. With winter nets approaching at the end of this month I've been out and had a bit of a bowl, probably did the equivalent of about 10 - 12 overs. It went okay considering how unfit I've got in the last 6-8 weeks. Having said that, all my niggles seem to have repaired themselves, the knee feels pretty good - no soreness from that, my plantar fasciitis is pretty much under control and non existent, so as long as I get a good warm up regime in place I'm looking forward to a better year this year, as the last two, what with the root and branch changes to my bowling action along with the recovery from the Googly syndrome, meant that I've had a bad couple of years.

At the moment my focus is going to be on what's happening bodily, out of the bound I'm looking to get nicely side on, looking over the leading arm shoulder. I'm going to try and extend the length of my stride a little into the pivot and there I'll be looking to get nice and tall and up on to the ball of the foot, the final bit will be the arm speed factor. I bumped into my protoge Frank Farrington today with his Dad as I was finishing up and he grabbed a ball saying that it was the first time he'd thrown a ball since late Oct and the thing I noticed straight away was his fast arm speed, he really whips his arms over and I reckon this has a lot to do with his success as a wrist spinner. So this is another key area I'll be looking at. The objective between now an April when the season starts will be to tie all these things together and get the action through the crease nice and smooth and consistent. Some upper body fitness work is going to be required as that seems to be the weak point tied in with some core strength work. So it'll planks and rotational press ups for me and as from tomorrow I'll be attending Yoga classes as well.

Oh yeah yesterdays post re Frank on Google - i had a look tonight and he was in the 3rd place slot!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Frank Farrington English Wrist Spinner

I've just been posting over on the spin pages on Big Cricket and a new bloke on there who has a Youtube channel is looking for obscure Spin Bowlers. So, helping him out, I thought I'd compile a list of Aussie Wrist Spinners and then English Wrist Spinners using Google searches. When I got to the Google search I typed in List of English Wrist Spinners and guess what came up as the fifth most common result............,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=f74db0825e4a2c00&biw=1920&bih=965

Which has Frank Farringtons bowling vid on my youtube channel 7th in the world! Classic. Frank - if you're reading this ..... No Pressure mate!

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.