Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wrist Spin Drills and ideas

Nice find, promoted on Google + by David Hinchcliffe from Cricket Victoria in Australia. Has some useful looking drills and ideas that are worthwhile trying.

David Warner's Test career batting average since quitting Twitter is 112.75 and counting. When on Twitter he averaged 36.86

David Warner's Test career batting average since quitting Twitter is 112.75 and counting. When on Twitter he averaged 36.86

I love this stat, not being a lover of Twitter and seeing it as a major feature in dumming down many aspects of what we all do, this I thought was quite telling. Jason Gillespie thought the same... click the link below...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

South Africa's answer to Frank Farrington?

As far as I know revolutions on the ball is the only thing that can cause drift. You have to put inhumane effort into spinning the ball, Shane Warne didn't get all that spin merely by putting a little effort in. He grunted louder than fast bowlers when they want to bowl 160kph!

Last year I opened the bowling and the sharp seam cut my ring finger till it bled. I kept on bowling without use of plasters and even though the pain was quite excruciating I could still bowl. Eventually the skin on my finger hardened and is now heavily callused. That rough skin allows me to grip the ball much more firmly, so I can still bowl with a new ball without it slipping because of the roughness of the skin. My grip is orthodox, but not entirely the same as most people's grips. The last knuckle of my ring finger doesn't touch the seam so it's contact with it is delayed (more revs) and my index and middle fingers point in the opposite direction of the usual grip. (Or are more or less straight) My wrist can bend a lot and has lots of "spring" power. When I started out I had a straight-ish wrist but now it's much more cocked and the more wrist I use the more revs I seem to get. The grip you demonstrate in your blog is slightly different, it seems more rigid and stiff, almost military like. I have tried it for myself and I get more revs with it when I spin the ball from hand to hand, but much less when I bowl with it.

The only thing that makes me spin the ball so hard is the fact that I try to spin it hard, and the above mentioned attributes that I have. At least once a week I have "revs practice" , where I start out by putting 100% effort in, and say that was 750 revs. Even if the next ball has twice as much spin on it, it was only 800 revs. I keep psyching myself up until I really feel that I'm putting at least 2700 revs on the ball, but no, defective Trackman, only 1000 revs. Getting angry and pumping myself up like that helps me get more spin on the ball.

One other thing I do sometimes is draw a line in the nets about 1 meter to the right of the stumps. From very early I start the ball on that line, wanting to drift it onto the stumps, and for the whole day I try to do it until I'm finally satisfied and believe I have done it.

Spin always comes first for me, I want to spin the ball more than Warne and I want it more than anything else! I want to turn the pitch into brimstone with fierce revs, and I want to scorch the cover off the ball. I'd rather bowl a hip high full toss and know I put everything on it than a good length ball with anything less on it than my absolute most. I adopted this mentality this season and hopefully by next year I'll be spinning the ball so much that I can start to work on other things as well.

This isn't really what it takes to get drift, anyone can get good drift if they just try to spin the ball a lot, but I'm not satisfied with a little bit. I want a pitches length of drift and even more turn, but I'm a bit crazy when it comes to wrist spin:D

13 year old Jacques Voigt from the Eastern Cape area.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another blatant attempt to promote one of my other blogs

This is a massive list which is generally useful for anyone who's studying photography at level 3 or above. The list which is on-going and constantly updated, lists photographers who are seen by critics, curators, designers, editors, academics and peers as being innovative and unconventional tackling subjects in new and different ways, exploring 'The Human condition'.

As much as I can I glean the names from printed journals in the first instance or books. The list should be a starting point for your research if you are a student, you should try and access hard-copy magazines where possible and I would advocate that you use Journals and Magazines as your primary research tool.

Monday, December 02, 2013


I had a bowl outside the house yesterday, just mucking about and getting side on in my bound, wary that I hadn't done much in the last month or so I only did it a handful of times and then came in as it was too cold as well. Got up Sunday and noted that I'd got a sore knee! Proves you've only got to ease up for a little while and the process of getting back into it might be problematic?

I'm going to have to wait till that now fixes, do some massage and take it easy and once it's repaired start with some easy stuff and ease into January with some knee strengthening drills.

Friday, November 08, 2013

If you're interested in photography...

If you're interested in photography and wondering why I'm not posting on here a great deal at the moment this is the reason why...

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The gather in bowling

Just read and interesting piece of advice from SLA on regarding 'The Gather'

The gather is the part of the action that precedes the arm reaching up and out towards the batsman as you explode through the crease (4th from left). As you walk or run in, he suggests that if your action is going completely wrong and you've identified it's the gather that is the problem, you grab your ear until you're in position to the reach up and out (From the left that would be image 2 & 3 that would  be the ear grabbing stage).

Or from 50 seconds in on this Vid of Warney.

Maybe don't actually grab your ear, but get your hand up around your face and hold it there as you work through the issue.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Just found this on Vimeo, not seen it before, basic instructions for bowling wrist spin.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What to do during the off season - Cricket

There's been some discussion about what to do during the off-season if you play cricket. Personally I'd love to carry on playing indoors, but there doesn't seem to be many opportunities to do so, I did consider in the summer getting some of the old MPA crew together and somehow cobble a team together and join a league if such a thing is possible, but I'd forgotten about it and it's too late now.

Over the last few years whilst the kids were young I was able to carry on playing and mucking about with them, but as they're now 15 and 13 it's slightly more difficult to get them to do that, although they do if I ask them, but a part of me doesn't want to over do it and put them off of cricket. As I was learning and struggling with the Googly syndrome I used to put a lot of effort into training and I used to get out as much as I could during the winter, practicing 3 or more times a week. I'm less inclined to do that these days and since last year when I hardly did anything over the winter because of Joe's leg incident. I found going into the season this year, despite the fact that I'd hardly practiced, things went better and I continued with an approach where I practiced less and therefore didn't over-analyse what I was doing. I kind of found that by practicing in shorter bursts, but being more focussed on what it was that I wanted to achieve and limiting those goals, things came together in a different way. So this winter I'm going to repeat that process.

Fitness, strength, agility, stamina.

What I have noticed is that I don't get a good start to the season seemingly because I'm simply not fit enough and the main aspect of this seems to be strength. I'm a teacher, so I don't do a lot of physical exertion as a part of my job, especially upper body strength, which of course for a wrist spinner, arms and shoulders and core strength are essential. Once into the season and with general summer activities with my two sons, my fitness levels start to increase and by the time we get to late June things are starting to come together. But that means I've usually bowled poorly through all of May and all of June almost, which isn't good.

So over this winter, I'm going to focus on Fitness, strength and flexibility, hoping that stamina just comes along naturally as it's something I'm usually okay with. One of my gripes with these kind of things is the time factor, so I can't be doing with spending loads of time huffing and puffing doing this stuff. So, I've been looking for a way to do it that makes good use of down-time and the approach I've come up with at the moment is this.

Using this video here, I've taken these exercises and at the moment reduced the time spent doing each one down by about 50%. What I'm doing is... When I get an opportunity to do the sequence, I go though it - I've just done it amidst writing the blog and I did it earlier waiting for a kettle to boil for a cup of tea. So anytime there's a few minutes I'll do it, the hope is that I'll build the strength slowly but surely and increase the reps over a period of time till I'm doing the full five minute version 3 or more times a day. I have modified the drill slightly as I don't do the burpee jumps at the end instead I do this exercise here as it's specific to my own bowling - improving my deltoids and shoulder (Rotator cuff).

Hopefully going into winter nets I'll be in a better place with regards to my upper body strength and the transition into the new season a lot better? The only other thing I'm still working on is flexibility and balance, I'm looking for a similar sequence of yoga moves that'll help with that aspect. Once I find one I'll add that to my drills.

Monday, October 28, 2013

On a more positive note...

On a more positive note (See previous post) searching around for pictures of the now defunct Murrayfields cricket pavilion in Gloucester Park, I came across these images here of a design for our own clubs pavilion/clubhouse. See the link below for more details.

Basildon & Pitsea cricket club - new club house design.

Basildon Sporting Villages cricket facilities

Here in Basildon we have a biggish park/recreational space near our town centre 'Gloucester Park'. I think it was created to serve the people of Basildon and the surrounding area and for the most part over the last 50 years or so it's done that quite well under successive councils, combing the facilities there with others around the borough.

A few years ago in conjunction with the Olympics a lot of the council facilities were shut down and demolished and in their place came the Basildon Sporting Village with one of their slogans being 'Everyone Active' see image below.
On Gloucester Park, until quite recently there were at least 2 cricket pitches. One, the main one 'Murray Field' which is now right next to the 'Sporting Village' and the other which may have been de-commissioned by the council is between the sporting village and the fishing lakes. The Murray Field pitch use to boast a half decent wicket, surrounded by semi- mature trees, an all-weather wicket and a big pavilion with a substantial bar which used to be open to the public as a bar as I recall, although I'm not too sure. (See the link, there's more detail and the pitch seems to have been there since 1967).

Up until a few years ago, despite the fact that the pavilion had become derelict, the pitch was still maintained, rolled, cut, spiked in the winter, fed and chained off when not in use. But in recent years, probably due to a number of things... Sky TV buying TV cricket rights and in doing so massively limiting the access to cricket for kids and anyone who wants to watch cricket and the fact that cricket has virtually been omitted from schools for a number of reasons...

High percentage of female staff at primary schools.
Selling off of playing fields in schools in the 1980's to build houses.
This countries ridiculous obsession with football, a game we're patently useless at, yet pursue in schools with a fervour that is incomprehensible and has so many negative aspects to it.

But despite all these things working against cricket, the ground was still there and the artificial wicket remained, meaning that people could go over there and have a knock about and access that at least for free. I've practiced over there several times in the last 5 or 6 years and last summer a bunch of Indian blokes took to having informal games on the all-weather pitch on Saturday mornings using windballs, this looked like the kind of set-up that may have led to these blokes eventually playing proper cricket?

If you turn on the news these days and for the past 10 years or so, one of the re-occurring themes is that of obesity and a nation of people that are sedentary and don't get out and about. Whilst this is already an issue that worries the government, in the future with a massive ageing population and a decreasing 'Working age' population, it's becoming increasingly important that both those sections of our society should look after themselves physically. Hence the massive drives to increase and promote sport using the Olympics as the vehicle to get that message out there.

So, I found it somewhat odd that this turn of events happened a week ago, when Joe, Ben and I (12 & 14 years old) went over the Murrayfields pitch adjacent to the everyone active Basildon Sporting Village and had a bit of a bowl on the all weather wicket that's still there. When we arrived we had a look at what remains of the wicket. The wicket, which appears to have been there since 1967 and was intended as suitable for "county class cricket matches" has sadly been neglected under the management of the Basildon Sporting Village and is now a Health & Safety issue. Where once there was a square with enough space for at least four tracks which featured Billiard table level wickets under the councils care, there is now something that resembles a football pitch in its state. The all-weather pitch is also in a mess, although still usable, but the surrounding grass is encroaching on to the artificial wicket making it narrower than it should be. It was also covered in animal faeces.

We cleaned up the faeces and spent about an hour and eventually gave up because of the rain. We packed up our gear and made our way back to the car. As we did so we were met by a bloke wearing BSV attire and another man who looked like his 'Heavy'. Who then said something along the lines of...
"Hello mate, I've just come out to tell you that you can't play cricket on there anymore".
"What"? I asked somewhat bemused as there seemed to be no reason for us not to be able to play cricket.
"No, I'm afraid not unless you PAY, we've got teams that use that facility and it's our field now and you can't just walk out there unless you've paid for it".
"What?!" I was incredulous. "No-one in their right mind would use that field for cricket anymore it's wrecked".
"Well, that's where you're wrong because several teams have used it last summer"...

Yes, that is true, I did see a couple of teams use it in June as I recall and having only been neglected for a year at that point, the wicket was just about usable. But several teams sounds a bit optimistic. Anyway, back to the altercation... At this point I nearly had steam coming out of my ears and I was having to stay calm.

"So, we're not allowed to use the artificial wicket"?
"Nope, it's ours, you can if you pay for it though".
"So, you're going out of your way to actively discourage people from engaging in sport"?
"Nope, as I said, if you pay for it as some teams do, you can use it, we're a business, we have to charge you".
"What about the Indian lads that played on it in the summer"?
"Yep, we told them to move on... there's a space over near the skatepark, you can go and play there".
"Unbelievable". I said shaking my head and walking away in total disgust.

So that's it, another nail in the cricket coffin. Meanwhile other people appeared to be going about their versions of recreation with impunity on the same space - jogging and running and walking their dogs. I suppose we should be thankful that it hasn't got to the point where companies like this are able to charge us for running and dog-walking? Therefore, if they're allowed on the same space what might be the rules for exclusion? Is it that they don't want you on the wicket or is it the whole oval? If we played in the outfield would that be okay? If we went over there and trained - throwing drills and the like would that be going too far? Would it be the action of throwing that takes things too far and are they watching the dog walkers thinking they maybe able to charger them as they're throwing and getting really active?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Field settings

Field settings.

I'm just on the internet at the moment discussing field settings for Wrist Spinners and needed to upload a diagram of this one here. It's discussing the approach whereby you leave a dirty great gap in the field (The hatched section) to encourage the batsman to hit the ball through there. In this instance - I'd be bowling on an off-stump line trying to encouarage the batsman to drive the ball through that area with a straight bat. With the ball going away from the edge of the bat with turn off the wicket (leg breaks) at some point I'm going to find an edge? I suspect that such a radical field would only be used on tail-enders, but I'll see what the others on the forum say...

Friday, September 27, 2013

The boy done well.

The season just gone was the first season after my younger son Joe's road accident where he suffered a pretty nasty compound fracture. He spent a whole year out not doing any sport while his leg fixed - the accident happening in April 2012. He had the pins removed nearly a year later this January and then had a couple of months before being given the clear to resume sport in March.

April saw a shaky start to the season for him with massive muscle reduction due to the inactivity, he was run-out so many times because he lacked the power and strength at the start of the season. Batsmen targeted him it seemed seeing that of all the players he was the one that couldn't run that well. Initially it looked as though he might not have a team, so many of the kids that were in his team in the 2011 season seemingly giving up and fading way in the 2012 season which was also marred by the fact that it was one of the wettest summers on record here in the UK. At the start of the season his U13's team was made up of 3 kids and what with all of the other factors I was afraid that he may have turned round and said "Dad, I'm not that fussed, it's going to be 2 years before my legs back to normal... I wont play this season". Thankfully the youth manager at the club Jeff 'No-Ball' Noble came up with a cunning plan...

Our U15's team is in a good situation with more players than are needed, meaning many of the lads get over-looked for most of the games. Jeff realised that he could make up an U15's 'B' team by combing the over-looked U15's boys and the U13's "Three". Through discussions with the local clubs he was able to set up a season of 'Under 15's B-Team matches and so Joe was back on track albeit only 11 and in an U15's league. Despite the fact that Joe had his weak leg, a year out of all sport and being one of the youngest in the team, he went from strength to strength. His abilitied were stretched even further as he was commandered to play in the U16's team - made up of 90% U15's A-Team players. He didn't back down and had to face some seriously pacey bowling from some big lads that must have turned 16 on the day that allowed them to play in the U16's!!!

As the year went on her got fitter and fitter, being that bit older he was prepared to put his body on the line in the field and he bowled really well. Over the summer in the paddock he began to work with finger spin and has got pretty good at it mixing it up with his straight stuff in matches. I reckon next year as his leg nears normalisation and he grows in height and all round confidence this'll come together quite well.

At the end of the season we had our clubs annual fun day, which I love and at the end of the day they issued all the youth players with the annual youth awards. I hadn't thought about that much as Ben hadn't practiced in the paddock at all almost and as a result his bowling this season was very sporadic in both the U15's and the 4ths and 3rd XI's. He had the ocassional spell that went well and the odd over here and there was really good, but nothing like the consistency of some of the other boys in his age group. With regards to bowling, Joe had got better all year, but what with being in the same age group and team as the legendary Frank Farrington (Wrist Spinner) Joe was never going to be in contention for a bowling award. But I'd over-looked the potential of 'All-rounder'. I think they announced the U15's awards first and when they got to the all-rounder award, it then dawned on me... Who would be the 'All-rounder'? I thought who was in the team and realised it would be between Frank and Joe and therefore Joe had a chance and sure enough as you'll see below, Joe won U15's B-Team All-rounder!!!
Joe accepting his award from Jeff Noble and Bob Ayres.

 Joe 3rd from left with the other winners for 2013 including fellow 'Paddock Boy' Harry 'The underground shrew' Hodgson.
Joe and Harry Hodgson.

Monday, September 16, 2013

I've virtually written a book!

Over the last few years I've been trying to update my other blog (The legspin one) which still gets loads of hits despite the fact that it's not been updated properly for years. I've got a load of files in folders that I've been working on with the intention of up-dating that blog and possibly areas of this blog. I still need to get hold of a copy of photo-shop to work on loads of ideas I have for graphics, photo's and illustrations for the blog, but tonight I've had a bit of a sort out and now I've got some sense of how enormous this project has become and how far more advanced it is in comparison with any of the existing content. I wouldn't hold your breath though, because there's still a lot of work to do, but I may be able to start uploading the content chapter by chapter to the other blog.

It looks as though without a doubt it's likely to be the most comprehensive web-link on the internet with regards wrist-spinning, not because of my advanced knowledge or anything like that, but just because of my enthusiasm and committment to our speciality.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Women's international T20 cricket England

I run the risk of sounding sexist here and generalising on a grand scale and apologise beforehand if I do. A couple of weeks ago, someone we know was given a handful of tickets for the Australia v England women's T20 match at the Essex Count Ground here in Blighty. The match was a part of their Ashes tour and we went along... My wife who doesn't like cricket and my two lads Joe 12, Ben 14. The weather was good and it was a late start evening match meaning they ended up playing under lights for the 2nd innings. I'm not a massive cricket fan, who goes all the time, but I've seen a few test match games featuring a number of the test match sides... England, Australia, Pakistan and India. I play cricket at 3rd and 4th XI club level and therefore play alongside youngsters 15, 16, 17 and 18 year olds. But, nothing could have prepared me for what I saw that evening...

I work in FE education teaching girls between the age of 16 and 25, our college has sports qualifications and I see some of the activities that they get involved in, but overall I must admit I kind of write girls off as being a lost cause when it comes to sport. So this game I watched was a revelation, I was absolutely amazed at every aspect of the game, I've never seen cricket played with such intensity, commitment, agility and skill as both the England and Australian sides. Maybe it's the same in mens T20, but without witnessing it, I'm sceptical? Maybe I have such low expectations of women's sport, that this reality which may be normal for avid sports watchers - was just totally new and unexpected for me?

I was amazed at how fit they were overall, simple things like, if one of the girls did something spectacular inside the circle, some of the girls on the boundary would think nothing of running in congratulating her and running back to their fielding position. Not once, but throughout the game, as though conservation of energy was not on their radar. Whilst fielding, they were continually running as sweepers almost 1/4 of the way round the pitch at full tilt to then put in a spectacular dive at full stretch for the ball to land cleanly as if magnetised into their hands to then land and get up within a fraction of a second getting the ball 95% of the time straight back to the keepers hands. It was draw dropping amazing and again not a one off or restricted to one super fielder, but all of them, it wasn't like they were human, they were super-human, I've never seen anything like it in my life. I've seen some amazing surfers, the worlds best, I've seen premiership football (which is as dull as hell and totally over-rated) but this was incredibly good. The English wicket keeper Sarah Taylor was simply astounding, standing up to the stumps to the 'quicks', taking the ball from full blooded hook shots almost wearing the bat in the face and she doesn't wear a helmet! A cat couldn't have reacted that fast on speed. Looking around for something to back up or explain the no helmet rationale I found this and reading some of it, I'm not alone in recognising the super-human aspects of these girls, Taylor in particular - being discussed within the ECB it seems, as an option in the mens game, she is that good!

I've read and heard before, that in the future, the fact that because of the biology of women and thier in-built superior recovery rate, which comes as a result of having to go through child birth and then get back to looking after a family, this puts women in a potentially superior place to men. They apparently run marathons and go through other physical long haul endurance tests and recover at far faster rates than we do. With todays diets and the developments in sport science are we looking at a period soon where women's sport starts to have parity with men? Because the evidence I saw at Essex a couple of weeks ago would suggest that the day is far closer than I'd ever imagined.

I'd recommend Women's international T20 cricket to anyone if it featured either England or Australia, it was for me the greatest sports spectacle I've ever seen with regards skill, agility, speed, commitment, stamina and more besides!

*Note; As with a lot of people who write on the internet, I am not an expert and I have to admit some of the stuff above relating to Women and their recovery rates is not substantiated and I don't recall where I got that info from. This morning I've searched for some data from a more reliable source and somewhat worringly, this article came up 3rd place in the search on Google!

I found this which was interesting because it claims that women in some instances are more likely to sustain injuries than men, but it doesn't then go on to say anything with regards my claim that they recover quicker once injured. Again because this is '' the sources for their claims like mine are vague and unsubstantiated. If you are looking for the truth, you're advised to look at books, they're far more reliable!

Later....(From - )

What all of this emerging science means for women and the scientists who study (or ignore) them is not yet completely clear. “We need more research” into the differences between male and female athletes, Dr. Rowlands says. In his own study, a particularly intriguing and mysterious finding suggested that the female cyclists somehow sustained less muscle damage during the hard intervals than the men did. Their blood contained lower levels of creatine kinase, a biochemical marker of trauma in muscle tissue. Did oestrogen protect the women’s muscles during the riding? And if so, why did the female cyclists who ingested protein complain of sore and tired muscles during the sessions? “Honestly, I don’t know,” Dr. Rowlands says, adding that he does not think that his findings suggest that women should skip protein after exercise. “It’s true that we didn’t see evidence for a benefit,” he says. But his study was one of a kind. The findings need to be replicated.
In the meantime, female athletes should view with scepticism the results from exercise studies that use only male subjects. As Dr. Rowlands says — echoing a chorus of men before him — when it comes to women, there’s a great deal that sports scientists “just don’t understand.”

Friday, September 13, 2013

Let it rain!

Last week I decided that maybe I'll get a little more cricket out of Ben next year and maybe fair bit out of Joe as he's younger. In view of this it'll be worthwhile doing some repairs on the wicket in the paddock which is in a right state. Over the last couple of years I've been collecting clay and compost and I've got a nice repair mixture already made up in bins and bags around the yard and in the garage. So I bought some treated seed and after filling in the holes and rolling the repaired areas seeded it all.

Then up till today we had dry weather and it wasn't look at all promising with regards to the new grass getting off to a good start, but this evening and for the next 48 hours we're going to have rain, so it looks like things will get underway. I'll try and post some pictures over the weekend.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Personal development

Yesterday I mentioned that the paddock hadn’t been used that much, implying that this season I hadn’t practiced as much as I might have done in previous years. Basically that’s the truth, early in the season I did the usual things where I perceived that I was doing okay and then suddenly the next day I was bowling badly again with no idea of what it was that had happened in the intervening 24 hours. I also felt as though if my own bowling was as bad as it was, who was I to pass comment on other people’s bowling and I ended up feeling like a bit of charlatan on the forums, so started to pull back from that a little, to re-assess where I was at with my own bowling.
One of the key observations I've made over the last couple of years, has been the more relaxed I am the better I bowl, an obvious call and one that is advocated by Peter Philpott in his book. So, the plan was chill out and see what would happen. So I bowled less and limited what it was that I was doing, focusing on the leg break and only toying with the top spinner and the wrong un. I tried a couple of things that contradicted a lot of the info I’d been picking up from different people on the internet and things I’d read in books and they worked out quite well. I watched the kid at our club – Frank Farrington and spoke to him about what he does, this is a kid who’s only 12/13 years old but takes 8 wicket hauls for 9 runs and stuff, bamboozles adults and sends them packing cursing and swearing looking for revenge when they come back to field only to find he’s a half decent bat as well as a damn fine bowler!
Overall, I just felt that I needed stop listening to all the info and trust my own feelings and try and bowl relaxed. Philott makes a big issue of the relaxation aspect of the bowling and Warne advocates it in some of his on-line videos. Sure enough, as soon as I started to implement some of these strategies, my bowling started to come together on a more consistent basis in practice scenarios. Another thing I noticed in games is the neccesity to hydrate, then leaves me with a full bladder when I'm in the field and I become really aware of it and that leads to a sensation of not being fully relaxed and I discovered that when I'm given the nod I now ask if I can go off and have a pee and this leads to far better bowling as I'm more relaxed and not focussed on my bladder.
I''m currently dipping into Brian Wilkins book and noted some interesting stuff. In the Flipper chapter he makes some good observations with regards to written descriptions of the aspects and details of bowling - specifically the Flipper. He makes the point in the chapter that there have been so many attempts at describing the Flipper with very little knowledge of it, that it's muddied the waters as such. But he concedes generally that cricket terminology and descriptions are difficult to grasp when presented as words on a page and this is something I've struggled with too, along with audio descriptions too. One of which that has always flummoxed me is the wrist spinners instructions with regards the shoulder going over one another to generate spin. Terry Jenner demonstrates it quite well in one of his BBC videos on Youtube 1:58 in, with all these tutorials and explanations, it's very easy to let these instructions pass you by, without you realising how integral they are to your bowling.

Another thing that Wilkins gets across through using examples of the experiences of many of the all time greatest wrist spinners is the time factor involved in learning how to bowl wrist spin. He cites Benuad in the flipper section saying that it was two years in the process from discovery to effective use. Whereas this season I was hoping to re-introduce my flipper having not bowled it for the best part of two years only to find I'd lost it. The same with the Wrong Un; having suddenly felt that my Leg Break had come together I've been very wary about bowling the wrong un for fear of messing up my leg break action. The result has been that neither the flipper or the wrong un have come up to scratch, the flipper especially poor and the wrong comes out as a top-spinner.

All of which have helped me find some decent form towards the end of the season, but still relatively wicket-less. The order that these revelations arrived in were...

1. Realising that being relaxed is essential.
2. Bowl with a loose grip*
3. Get side-on and get the shoulders going one over the other.
4. Cock the wrist.

The application of these made dramatic basic improvements, and meant that my stock ball was coming out really well, the addition of things such as getting up on the toes and standing tall, then brought dramatic dip and bounce and more turn off the wicket.

Another thing that's always bothered me is the descriptions of the ball fizzing through the air, I'd never heard my ball fizzing through the air and no-one had ever mentioned it, but I asked Joe to listen half way down the strip and he said that most of them do, so that was a very simple thing that gave me more confidence.

Some of these things need to be written about in isolation and I'll aim to go over them again in some way, but I think reflecting on what's happened and reading about the great bowlers and the time they spend developing different deliveries, the over-riding realisation is that what we do is bloody hard and it does take years and years to do it well.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Longest gap between blogging

It's been a while since I last posted anything on here or the two forums I'm normally active on. There's been a number of reasons... The 'Gove' affect is one of them and one of the others is the discovery of Battlefield 3 on the Xbox in 'Hardcore' mode, but that's kind of wearing off now as I'm reaching the highest level in the game. The other reason was the multitude of cricket games, Joe's been playing, Ben's been in the Under 15's, 16's, 4th XI and the 3rd XI with me, so it's just been mental and we went surfing in the middle of it all and the weather has been very commendable. All of which has meant there's been very little in the way of time for blogging! But. now the season has finished and the nights are rapidly drawing in, there's more time and I can get back on it and report on what's happened and what I've been up to.

One of the things that I aim to do is come up with some kind of strategy whereby I possibly blog once a week and formulate some way of reducing the waffle. I'll have to see how it goes.

Anyway, todays content - The Paddock

Last year at this time of year I didn't do any remedial work on the paddock and at the batting end of the strip, there was still evidence of wear from the previous season, so needless to say this season that wear has been exacerbated and it's been in a right state for months, not helped by the good weather. So this year I've decided to risk it and tonight I've been over there and filled in the big hole with a mixture of clay and organic matter (Compost) and some of the smaller holes and the foot marks at the bowling end. I've used coated seed for shady areas made by Qualcast. There's rain predicted for the next couple of days and then another warm spell, so with a bit of luck that'll get the grass growing and on its way. I just hope that the footballers don't come over as they seem to at this time of year and wreck the whole field including the newly seeded areas. There's nothing I can do about it other than keep my fingers crossed!

Generally though the paddock is looking okay and looks to have benefitted from having the brambles and trees cut down from the fence on the south side as they were starting to block the light.

I didn't used it as much as I normally do and I'll say why in a blog in the next week or so, Ben and Kieran hardly used it, I think Kieran came along and bowled once and the fact that neither of them bowled in there and practiced in the way that they normally do is reflected in the fact that neither of them bowled spectacularly this year and it affected their selection and where they bowled in the bowling attack. Neither of them won any awards either, whereas Joe, who has been in there practicing and working on his fitness, did benefit from it and won U13's all-rounder this year which is good.

Friday, July 19, 2013

This blog does not represent the opninions and views of the B&PCC.

Under 15's B team v Orsett B team (Allegedly).

Another blazing hot evening and this game was played over at Mopsies. Frank Farrington didn't play, so for once we had to include an A team player to replace Frank. Remember, our U15's B team is full of 11 and 12 year olds and there's hardly any U15's in it! Despite this they were playing a bloke who looked like Darren Gough and he looked nothing like a B-Team player!

They batted first and finished on 99 with a couple of wickets still in hand. My younger son Joe bowled and did quite well taking three wickets and running out a bloke during one of his last overs taking a good return throw from the boundary off of legit U15's B player Finlay Munro. Luke Sharman took a spectacular one handed catch off of one of Joe's balls at gully. Unfortunately Joe couldn't return the favour off of one of Lukes balls at Mid-off, which was loopy and in the air for ages and Joe put it down. It was good to see Joe having a real go in the field, putting his body on the line diving to try and stop the ball at fine leg. Despite his limp and his leg still with a year more in recovery he was running hard trying to stop the ball and put in a sterling effort.

Tim Brown fielded well as he always does, he never shy's away from a ball, no matter how hard and when he batted later in the match hit a couple of fours. Mark Broadhurst got off to a very good start hitting some big fours and a six as I recall in his first two overs and was looking to be heading towards a very good score before being caught in the crease wafting at a wide one and not moving his feet.

Orsett won in the end with us falling short with the bat and all being bowled out well short of the total. But there were some good performances. Luke Sharmans bowling looked very threatening and very much improved, taking one wicket, but causing all sorts of problems for everyone that faced him.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The weekend ahead

With both sons playing cricket and me getting a match each week and then training as well, I've had very little time to write the blogs and I'm currently trying to think of a way of blogging to some kind of template, we'll have to see how that goes.

Joe's playing tonight at Mopsies park in the U15's b (Joe's only just 12) and he's doing fairly well with his bowling, although he's still limping a year or more after his RTA. But the main event is the weekends game against.... Sat 20 Jul 2013 :  4th XI Sat v Hainault & Clayhall 5th XI (Home (Langdon Hills) ).

At the minute as you can see here, we're second in the league which is a rare event and seemingly only second because the team in the lead has played an additional game? The only game we've lost was the one that Ben and I didn't play in, as we went to Derbyshire for a family do.

Shepherd Neame Limited

'p' = Played
'wbf'= Won Batting First (25 points)
'wbs'= Won Batting Second (20 points)
'd'= Draw (0 points)(Drawn)
'lbf'= Lost Batting First (0 points)
'lbs'= Lost Batting Second (0 points)
'a'= Abandoned (6 points)(Aband)
'BP' = Bonus Points
'pen' = Penalty Points
'%W (xc)'= Percentage wins (exc. conceded)
'Pts'= Points
Having played in most of the games for the 4ths, I was worried that there might be a situation where, because we're nearing the end of the season and we're doing really well, "The club selectors" might start bringing in players to ensure a win, meaning that blokes that have played through all the rain, cold, dodgy wickets etc establishing this position might be shoved aside. Apparently this almost happened last night, but our captain stepped in and said no and ensured that the regulars got selected as much as possible. Apparently there were 16 people trying to get a game - what I want to know, is where were those people when we had to play with 9 or 10 players?
Anyway, that aside, it looks like a good game Saturday on the cards red-hot (For England) 30 degrees + . Last night in the nets I sustained two knocks on the leg and ankles so had them in ice for 15 minutes. I can't believe how well ice works, as I've got up this morning and I'm fine! I think I heard last night that I got selected on the basis of my commitment in the field, after my performance over at Fairlop waters in the covers, so this morning I've been out and bought shin guards, so I can be even more committed!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Basildon & Pitsea 4th XI v Southend on Sea & EMT 6th XI

To be continued....

Another typical English mid summer cricket match. Last night at about 7pm it poured down with rain for the best part of an hour, so to ensure that the wicket was damp and sticky. Got up this morning and it was cloudy bright with more cloud than bright and a very stiff breeze. By the time we arrived at the match it was 95% cloud and it rained a little, but with the wind it wasn’t ever going to hang about.

 As usual we were low on numbers, we were missing 3 including the 'Captain' Lee Dutton 20 minutes before the match, but local lad Tim Brown had walked over with his kit having seen that a couple of players hadn't declared on the website that they were available looking to play. In addition Kieran 'The Barbarian' Barbero was on standby for such an event as well. The Captain turned up oblivious of the fact that he was the captain, he didn't have a score book or any balls, so 20 mins before the game we were in disarray. Lee (Joking) said to me, are you the captain today Dave? Someone then piped up, you're the captain Lee you was at the top of the list, that make you the captain. Lee said that a phone call might have been useful.

Pat (Anthony's Uncle) went back to the club to get some match balls and the call went to Kieran to make his way to the match and Tim was given the nod to play as well. A full team was in place, the opposition had won the toss and decided to field, seemingly to allow more time for the wicket to dry out.

The opposition looked (as usual) as though they'd probably be better than us, the boys in the team looked older and there seemed to more blokes in their team than ours and when they went into the field it looked as though there was too many of them for some reason?

Sonny Downes and Harrison Birch opened the batting for us. Right from the outset, they had a bloke ‘Wood’ bowling from the west end of the pitch and he bowled 17-5-34-6. Initially because of how slow he was and his run-up, which wavered from the left and then to the right and included a little skip, I thought he was a spinner, but the ball wasn’t turning. But it soon became apparent that he was bowling it on a nagging length with very good accuracy and varying the length slightly along with the speed. No-one could get him away particularly easily and throughout his spell which is the longest I’ve seen in this format here at Basildon. He took six wickets including Sonny Downes our opener, Sonny went cheaply for only 3 runs. Looking at Woods bowling figures, he took all 6 wickets from the first seven batsmen except for Anthony Ayres who came in at No.5 and ended up with a superb 49 not out. Anthony was denied his maiden 50 in any format, by a couple of things... Brads rash shot through cover that was caught by a sharp catch and possibly by a ropey decision on my part when umpiring. One of the byes I called when Anthony was batting, he claimed at the time came off the bat, but it was too late it had been signalled. That mistake cost him his 50, but to his credit he was amazingly philosophical about it, saying that he was okay about it and not that bothered, just happy to have made such a valuable contribution.

Harrison Birch also did well, scoring 24 before being bowled by ‘Wood’ and next in line for commendable batting was Lee Dutton the captain with 15. I scored 5 runs which is good for me, one of which was a four, but the bowler put the ball right where I needed it to be to hit it back past him on the onside, with too much speed on it for the mid-on fielder to get to it. Kieran ‘The Barbarian’ Barbero did well too with his ‘Cow corner’ slogs, if it wasn’t for some pretty nifty fielding he may have scored 15, two of his potential fours were stopped almost on the  boundary line and he only managed to get one through for the four. Our innings finished all out for 150.
150 didn’t look like a lot. The Southend bowling had been shabby a lot of the time with the exception of that one bloke ‘Wood’.  With 20 of our runs gained from wides, it seemed as though, this was not a bowling side and therefore the aspect of their game that sees them in the top three in the league along with us, must be their batting. It looked as though we was going to have a battle on our hands, but we did have a couple of good seam bowlers in Ben and Bradley Staff.

Two big strapping lads strode out wielding Warsop bats. By my reckoning (as a bowler) if you’ve forked out for a Warsop bat, which is an expensive piece of willow, you've got to have the batting skills, technique and all the shots to justify such a gesture. The word went round amongst the bowlers... "Uh-oh, look out lads, they've got Warsops... now we're in trouble". Were we about to see a display of batting superiority... Bradley stood on his mark, ball in hand, the bloke on strike, facing him, ready to unleash the wrath of Warsop...
But then... 3 balls in and only one run on the board L. Bunce is caught at point by Kieran 'The Barbarian' Barbero off of Brads bowling. We're all looking at each other incredulously, thinking... but he's got a Warsop... Ben was the next bowler, bowling from the eastern end, his over only accrued one run, despite the use of the Warsops! The bowling continued in this manner and eventually someone hit a four in the twelfth over lifting the run rate above 1 an over. Both Brad and Ben bowled really well. Ben recently has bowled poorly and has been disappointed, so this sudden return to form was good to see, he put it down to the fact that he wasn't marking out his run up and was just getting on with it and bowling with freedom.  In the 7th over the other bloke with the Warsop was dismissed in exactly the same way... Brad bowling, Kieran taking another very sharp catch at point, so Warsop bloke 'Elmer' had to make his way back to the sheds having scored 5 singles. Personally, if I was being dismissed in this manner, I'd consider buying a second-hand bat or a new Kashmir one, allowing me to walk off without that sense of expectation from the opposition based on the fact that I'm wielding a Warsop, but that's just me. There does seem to be a pattern developing here, it's as though the use of the Warsop bat puts the batsmen in some kind of deluded superior state of mind, as though the bat makes a difference. The evidence does seem to suggest otherwise.

The game progressed with Southend not being able to get the runs on the board, wickets fell relatively easily. Lee threw the ball to me and I wasn't sure how it would go, given my recent poor form, but these bloke were in a difficult situation and we were cruising. Still undecided whether I bowl off of a run-in, or whether I include the bound if I come in off of a short run up, I opted to go for a Jenner-esque two step walk-in.

The first over included the obligatory wide ball off the cut strip and the batsman smacking me for a couple of 4's, so I came away with 9 off the first over, but Lee could see it was coming together and said "Yeah, have another one", thinking by this time (I reckon) the opposition were moving towards playing for a draw as opposed to a win. The next over was a lot better, the field was changed and I only conceded 1 run. I may have chucked in an Wrong Un as Sonny was right behind me at Mid-Off saying 'Bowl him the Wrong Un Dave'. I tried going round the wicket to one bloke who looked susceptible and then went back again, then with S.Ridgewell on strike a loose ball went legside (As did several) and he tried to flick it away down past Ben at Fine Leg. The ball was in the air and Ben came forward and took a very low but obvious catch and I got a wicket at last! Nice to have a father and son combo wicket as well! There was a chance during my bowling where a run out was on, but as the ball came in low and flat off of Brads fielding I couldn't hold on to it to take the bails off and missed the chance.

A bloke came in shortly after my spell and Lee had a few overs as this bloke who seemed to make what appeared to be a concerted effort to get the run rate going and move towards the chance of a win? Lees bowling was erratic, which made me feel a lot better about some of the overs I've bowled in recent matches and I reckon I'd have Lee as captain any day of the week as he's probably a lot more empathetic to the plight of the spin bowler on a bad day, as he's a spinner himself and has been through the same crap as I have! Lee got a few wickets from what he described as poor bowling except for one really nice one. In his overs he bowled a fair few wides outside of the off-stump and for the most part the ball wasn't turning, but then he threw one up well outside of the off-stump and the bloke just raised his bat to get the wide and the ball, which was spinning, hit a bit of rough and came back in at 45 degrees and hit the stumps!
"That's what you call and off-break mate" he said as the batsman walked off looking back at his broken stumps.

Around about this point in the game they shut up shop and seemed to make the decision that the win wasn't on and that they'd play for the draw. A kid with a mullet (Bottrill)?Then came out (No.3) and started to bat at the east end (Park end). He then blocked and blocked and blocked like I've never seen before. Lee tried all sorts of tactics, fielding in close looking for a catching chance, but the kids bat was firmly angled forwards and everything was being hit into the ground. Anything slightly wide of the off-stump was just left. Lee moved us all out to see if he'd try and hit it and run a single, but he wasn't going to go anywhere unless he hit a four or a two. I don't know how long he was out there, but it seemed as though 90% of the time he was at the park end blocking away making Geoffrey Boycott look like a T20 player!

Teas came and went and the 6 o'clock rule came into play and this kid was still there blocking for England. In the meantime the blokes at the other end seemed to have another agenda altogether. They were hitting the balls and running - again, seemingly in 2's and 4's meaning that Dr Block (Bottrill) always remained at the same end. Watching the overs tick by the game changed and went from a position where it looked like they were playing for a draw, to a situation where we were creeping towards a win by virtue of taking wickets. But then the last man came on with several overs to go - the bowler who'd taken all the wickets (Wood). Lee said "I know this bloke, I've played against him before, he can block like the kid here, this is going to be a draw. Wood took his position at the crease and then swung that bat like a psycho dealing mostly in 4's and throwing in a 6 or two! The game changed again, we needed a wicket, if the ball was on the stumps Wood blocked just as well as Mullet boy. Anything slightly loose and the ball was sailing over or between the fielders going for 4's and very quickly!

Their total on the 13th over was 135 chasing 150 with Wood still smacking the ball around with gusto and confidence. I'd been back on, Sonny had a go, Lee had been on again and so had Brad and Ben who'd bowled really well. Kieran wasn't an option because his shoulder was knackered, but he'd have been my choice because he swings the ball and bowls on difficult lengths. With only 15 needed off of another 6 or 7 overs, the draw was looking like a highly likely win with Woods batting. But these were the last two blokes and we only needed that one wicket! But with the win now an option, their tactics changed and they started to take singles looking for the win and worked slowly towards a victory. Because Wood looked solid despite the fact that he had been going after the ball and Bottrill had played so well for so long blocking it was beginning to look like a lost cause. It was quiet in the field, so I took it upon myself to start getting a bit of noise going "C'mon Basildon"! Clapping and commending the bowling when the dot balls came or the fielding was good. With Bottrill now looking for singles and Wood doing the same, the pressure was on them now to bring home the win. We just needed to bowl tight and field well. Wood hit a couple of fours in quick succession, leaving Bottrill on strike. Lee made another bowling change bringing Anthony back on, the first ball bowled did the trick, Bottrill bowled and the game won with only a handful of runs needed on their part. Bottrill was gutted, Wood was more philosophical saying it had been a good battle.

A couple of days later the league tables were updated (See below) and this win now put us up into 2nd position in the league with our next game against Orsett. Thankfully Orsett are languishing down at the bottom of the league table, suggesting that we have a chance of winning.

Lee Dutton Member profile - no photo available
Jamie  Britton Member profile - no photo available
Anthony Ayres Member profile
Paul Card Member profile - no photo available
Ben Thompson Member profile
Dave Thompson Member profile
Abdullah Al Roky Member profile - no photo available
Harrison Birch Member profile
Bradley Staff Member profile
Sonny Downes Member profile
Lewis Brown Member profileLewis Brown


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Joe progress compound fracture recovery

I haven't done this in a while because the healing process has slowed down considerably, so the week by week differences are so minimal they'd probably be hard to see. The images here are the first for 2 months, so if compared with the images shot at the start of April here, there maybe a noticeable difference.

 The leg overview.
 The inside of the leg with the 'Hole' next to the penny and the exit wound to the left.
 'The hole' close up.
 The exit wound close up.

This it the impact wound on the back of the leg.

Overall it's coming together for Joe slowly, he's back to doing as much sport as he can, but as the physio said back in March it's going to be a long haul (2 years) before he regains the fitness levels he had at the time of the accident. One of the consequences of this, is that when he's playing cricket it's almost inevitable that he's going to be run-out, because he still hasn't got the muscles to get going and he's still carrying some additional weight gained whilst recovering. He had to miss out on some of the school sports that he would have participated in - running etc and he only managed to secure a place in one event whereas he'd have expected to represent his 'House' in several events.

Another quick update on Joe. I followed Joe on his way out to school on Friday after I'd updated my blog and reported to you that he doesn't limp. I watched him walk down the rode and noticed that he does in fact still limp, I think normally it's not something I'm looking for, as I'm usually looking to be positive, but he leaped over a wall and I thought 'Well, that's good to see as well', but then watched as he walked away and watched and observed that he does still have a limp. It may be that it's one of those situations, where initially, early in the day he's not loose and warmed up, and as the day goes on he loses the limp, but that's something I'll have to look out for?
 Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Best bowling figures for a spin bowler?

Last night I witnessed and recorded on a video, an amazing spell of bowling by the wrist spinner Frank Farrington (Aged 12) bowling in the U15's for Basildon & Pitsea cricket club. I remember reading a few years back, news paper clippings about Peter Philpott, who wrote the seminal book The Art of Wrist Spin Bowling. The figures that stood out for me were 2 for 36 and 3 for 77 in games played in Manly, New South Wales against adult teams. I know already I've seen Frank do better than that last summer against adults and I'm fairly certain he did as well as this in a recent adult league game. But last night in an Under 15's B team game he did something that can only be described as amazing...

So Tuesday night, same story – rush home, get in, get my work gear off, chuck some civvies on and in the car to try and get to Orsett in 10 minutes! Needed a Subaru Impreza and a rally driver to do it though! The weather didn’t look promising, heading towards Basildon the sky looked ominously dark in that area as it had done heading out of Southend.

By the time we arrived at Orsett it didn’t look any better and as we got out of the car it started to spit.
The background story to this game… Having played at two clubs in this area of Essex, Orsett are seen as the team to beat. Rumour has it that they are such a big set up, with so many kids wanting to play for them, the kids have to go through some kind of aptitude test and if they don’t come up to scratch they’re not taken on. A mate of mine who lives right near the ground has a son who’s around about 13 or 14 and he managed to pass this test, but I recall speaking to him a couple of years later and he was saying that despite the fact that he was in the set-up, he’d never played a league game for the club.
The club is very well resourced both in terms of players and facilities and as such tends to be a very successful team. A couple of seasons ago our U13’s met them in the final and we lost by one run, so for us they are the team to beat. Our U15’s A team, who for the most part are made up of that same team that were beaten by one run, played their game at Orsett last week were bowled out for 53, batting first and were home within a matter of 2 hours, six of the lads went for ducks. So, today there was an expectancy of more of the same.
Mark Broadhurst Member profile
Stevie Wyatt Member profile
Harry Hodgson Member profile - no photo available
Michael Dickson Member profile
Luke Sharman Member profile - no photo available
Abdul Baig Member profile - no photo available
Frank Farrington Member profile
Tim Brown Member profile
Joe  Thompson Member profile
Oliver Biebuyck Member profile
Finlay Munro Member profileFinlay Munro

As we arrived it looked as though Joe was going to open the bowling again for the 2nd game running and the umpires were still getting themselves organised, so I quickly set up the camera only to find that I didn’t have a tripod plate. Despite this, I still video'd most of Joes bowling in the rain which now had increased to the point where it might look like the game could be called off. Joes first over was okay with him bowling into a very stiff breeze and pouring rain and he bowled a couple of wide-ish balls one of which was given as a wide, but then got it together and settled. He was bowling slow, so I can only assume that he was trying out his finger spin or he was knackered from doing PE in his last lesson at school following on from school sports the previous day. Remember too, he is still recovering from his RTA and compound fracture of his tibia and wont be fully fit for another 18 months according to the physio’s. Looking at the score sheet though, once he got it more on target and at the stumps instead of outside of the off-stump, they started to get into him. The two scorebooks don't tally up and one has him finishing with 4-1-16-0 and the other 4-0-21-0.

Oliver Biebuyck bowled from the southern end a little faster than Joe and overall it looked fairly tidy with his first over a maiden. The fielding was good and despite two strong batsmen they kept at it. The two openers and the number 3 & 4 all had decent innings and the opener retired on 35
You can see that they readily took to our bowlers, scoring freely, all hitting fours. Behind us where "The Orsett", all waiting to go in and plunder the bowling, I could hear kids saying “Oh I can’t wait to get out there, they’ve got spin bowlers, I’m just going to smack them out of the park”. Well, actually none of them are spin-bowlers as such, these are just lads trying to find their way and haven't quite settled as yet with regards to what they do, with the exception of one lad - Frank Farrington.
The runs kept coming at over 6 an over and we couldn’t dislodge the batsmen and then there was a break through. Frank brought on Luke Sharman, a left-arm orthodox apprentice. He had a very shaky start with his length, bowling far too full - full tosses and the first ball a beamer that nearly went over Harry "Jeff Boycott" Hodgsons head (Keeper). The following ball to C.Boreham he tried to smack out of the park through the mid-wicket region, but again it was another full toss and he didn't get any bat on it. The follow-up ball was similar and the kid Boreham smacked it as promised by his pals sitting behind me. The ball went sailing over the boundary for 6 through mid-wicket and the score at this point was looking beyond being salvaged. Frank discreetly made a field change and pushed Tim Brown deeper towards the boundary at Mid-wicket. Luke tossed another one up and this time (I think) it bounced and the kid swung at it with the same intention, but this time it went right up in the air straight towards where Frank had set Tim. We went inside and had a cup of tea and came out and the ball by now was coming down and Tim was settling himself beneath it to take the catch. This being our B-team the odds were against us by my reckoning... The hands went up and met the ball - thwack! Straight into Tim's hands and then out again, we all held our breath. In a split second Tim swivelled his head, got sight of the ball again and grabbed it... This time safely! Everyone went up and all the lads ran in to congratulate Tim...

Everyone had bowled and the score was in excess of 103 and 14 overs had gone, with only a few overs in hand, so Frank brought himself on. For me, he’d come on too late and later in the game I asked him about this and he came back with an interesting reply. He bowled his first over and it was uneventful coming away with 1-0-6-1. From where I was, I couldn’t see whether it was turning or not off the pitch, but his bowling action looked good and he was bowling with lots of air. Their no.3 batsman was doing well and was on 25 and survived Franks opening over.
His second over was better. The first two balls were singles, but the batsmen didn’t look as though they had any idea as to what to do – this is the same kids that were going to smash the spinners out of the park. The 3rd ball was tossed up leg-side and turned sharply hitting middle and off and Frank had bowled him round the legs! Things had suddenly got better, but remember... we had the "smash em out of the park brigade" on their way in with their Warsop bats. The fourth ball looked a little ropey as though he'd dragged it down a bit and it pitched short, the kid dropped to his knee ready for the big heave-ho instead of a defensive straight bat block, missed it and was given LBW. Frank was now on a hat-trick. The next kid came in and you'd have thought he'd have been thinking I'll block this, play safe and then smack him out of the park in the way that he deserves to be. Nope, the cock-sure wanna be batsman, clears his legs out of the way of his stumps, drops to his knee like some Kevin Pietersen, takes a massive swing it and gives Frank his hat-trick! Our boys go mad!
The new kid A.Cammack has a go and luck is with him and he scores 4. But Frank isn't finished with them yet. He starts his 3rd over with scores of 2-0-12-3. The first ball is a dot ball and the four hitter Cammack is on strike. Again the kid clears his stumps to free his arms, this time standing up - massive swing, cops hold of the ball with the bat and straight up into the air and Abdul Baig trots in for an easy catch. 2:2-0-12-4. The next kid comes in and they're still deluded that they can play spinners and that it's easy. What was it that the greatest batsman in the world said -
"No ball bowled is as difficult as one which leaves the bat and goes towards the slips. The really good leg-break beats them all.” - Sir Donald Bradman
I'll carry this on tomorrow, but in the meantime here's the BBC version of the video. I've emailed the BBC to see if they want to use the story and I've contacted the local papers, at this stage I'm waiting to here from them.
There will be another video which is longer including some of the play in between and that'll have some comical captions. A lot of people have commented on the bloke in this still image above, saying that his reaction is hilarious. So watch out for that in the next few days.
It was noted that these lads were not actual B-team players as such, because as many as 5 of them were in the U15's A team last week. This is kind of backed up by looking at their website and you'll see that there is no B-team as such for the U15's, which kind of contradicts my earlier supposition about how well resourced player-wise they are.

The opinions and views expressed on this website are not endorsed by any of the clubs involved.