An unusual year ahead of us this year. My sons are 16 and 13, Ben's doing GCSE's and has a girlfriend and a mobile phone, so his commitment to cricket has waned a considerable amount which was expected. He's also going to be setting aside time to revise for his GCSE's, so how much cricket he'll play this year remains to be seen. Joe on the other hand at 13 and having now recovered from his RTA and taller than both Ben and me is looking to be a useful bowler this year. He bowls off-spin and medium pace, but his medium pace is getting quicker and quicker and I reckon by the end of this coming season he's going to be a tricky bowler to face especially if he continues to practice on the paddock across the road from me.
In the nets, Joe's been far more successful at dismissing me than Ben has, Ben bowls a length that I find easy to block, whereas Joe bowls on a really difficult length as far as I'm concerned and varies his pace and the way he bowls a great deal. Like Ben he has an off-cutter and unlike Ben Joe bowls with swing occasionally and seems to be more interested in bowling as an art.
Over the Easter break we've been doing some work over on the paddock getting it ready. It's been very wet, but this last couple of days with the sunny weather it's starting to dry out. We've cut back all of the grass, brambles and bushes that were growing along the fence as these were blocking out the light and encouraging drug users to hide behind the bushes and do their stuff. With the increase in light the wicket will grow nicely this year and we'll have some good practice sessions. We've focused on getting the off-stump channel line rolled really well this year so that batting might be possible. But we'll have to see how it dries out and how it plays.