19 August 2015

Funny place to put the covers

 Played yesterday for a Hertfordshire over 60s side at Stotfold. Beautiful ground where Letchworth Garden City play some of their home matches. It's in an old Victorian Asylum now used as a health centre, so obviously brings back memories of playing at Fair Mile Hospital. We trounced our Sussex opponents and were then asked to put the covers on - fair enough.
What was odd was that the groundsman was happy for the next strips to get rained on - what he wanted was to keep the bird poo off the artificial strip so we were asked to put the covers over it !
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28 May 2015

Always learn when playing with your betters

 Kent Village Cricket League sounds pretty, well Village actually but not so. Most clubs have a County II or Academy player or two and certainly the game I played the Sunday before last was the highest standard I've played in for a bit ( did OK, thanks but probably should have been taken off when the slog was on, but you get an extra point if you bowl the oppo out).
You could tell the standard was high when our two openers ( Kent CCC fringes and Northants Premier League) were bowling........... at the fifth stump to cries of " good line". Players at our usual level know that you've got to hit one of the first three stumps ! 
Then the standard slipped............ Of course well coached players have text book leave alones or pad ups and following an immaculate ( bat miles away) kick away of a ball way outside leg stump the ( league supplied) umpire said " do that again and I'll give you out" - brilliant !
Really pretty grounds too - hop fields on three sides.
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25 March 2015

Why Surrey ?

If KP wants to get back into the Test Team by scoring shed-loads of runs he's obviously wise to face 2nd Division attacks. But wouldn't it have been a truer trial to play in the First Division? Don't forget his stats were starting to fall away as quickly as his sense of decorum.
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4 March 2015

What recreational cricketers can learn from this World Cup.............

 Is the pointlessness of limited over games between mis-matched sides.
What is the point of Afghanistan trying to "chase" Australia's 417/6, Ireland or The West Indies "chasing"  South Africa's 411/4 or  408/5 ? Even England "chasing" Australia's 342/9 ? All of these games were lost before the first innings was over. Best tactic for the team batting second is to go to the pub, and it's often even more true when the strong side has fielded first.
I once played in a pre season friendly that should not have been arranged - our opposition "gave" us 200 runs to add to the real 40 odd all out (MHD 0*, obviously) to get some batting practise. Ridiculous. Do not retain.
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Balancing act...

Love this headline....!!   I hope Ballance doesn't become another victim of mismanagement by the England selectors/hierarchy and keeps up his stellar Test form when they next play the longer form.

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28 February 2015

Do these games have any impact on the end result of the World Cup?

Time will tell, but I suspect that they'll have zero impact on the end winner.   I may well have written on here before about how - at the very least - I'd make the final of the World Cup a best of 3 matches as ODIs can sometimes sway one way or another for little reason.   So listening to these matches is interesting and 2 in particular have been thrilling - NZ v Australia this morning and Scotland v Afghanistan earlier in the week, but they all feel like warm up games really.   

Four - or at a push five - sides *could* win it but for so many I can't help but feel they're not playing their best side for so many reasons.

Australia don't have Ryan Harris playing, or Nathan Lyon even in the squad.   

South Africa have the recently retired Jacques Kallis watching, despite the fact that he was in the top 10 Big Bash batsmen and South Africa are crying out for a 5th bowler who can bat 7.   They've also left out Johan Botha and Ryan McLaren, despite seemingly grooming McLaren for this tournament over the last couple of years.

West Indies have Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard at home and that definitely can't be for cricket reasons.   And very sadly Sunil Narine wasn't allowed to take part as he's currently considered to throw it - he would have been my pick for top group stage wicket taker.   I say currently because it seems routine that you go away for a bit and then come back and all is ok.

Much like South Africa with McLaren, New Zealand spent the last two years grooming James Neesham and then went back to Grant Elliott (which may well have been the right choice), but on cricketing ability alone Jessie Ryder has to be in any NZ XI.

Pakistan didn't take the chance to draft in Saeed Ajmal into their side after his clearance to bowl and Shoaib Malik seems to be suffering one of his many "not the right fit" moments during a World Cup which is a little unfortunate for him.   What happened to Umar Gul is anyone's guess.

Sri Lanka couldn't find a place in their squad for Ajantha Mendis which could become an issue if Herath gets injured.   And no place in their starting line up for the very under-rated Nuwan Kulasekara.

And of course England have Jonathan Trott working for Sky rather than playing and no Kevin Pietersen.   They don't play Ravi Bopara, and there wasn't room in the squad for Ben Stokes.

So all these group matches may have a point after all.   Perhaps more sides will have their best XI on the park by the time the knockout stages come about.   But I doubt it.

And who were the five that could win it?   Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India could win it, with Sri Lanka the outside bets.   The others have no chance whatsoever, even given the unpredictability of one off ODIs.    It'll still be good to listen to.

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13 January 2015

Glad to see that they understand.............

I see that the ACT XI allowed our tourists to bat without bothering with a toss. That shows true understanding of your duties as the host of a touring side. I wonder how many of the tourists were still in the pub.
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