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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It's the way forward

Vincent takes aim at Australia's egos
Cricinfo staff
January 31, 2007
Lou Vincent says it is easy to motivate himself to take on the Australians © Getty Images
Lou Vincent has returned fire at Australia's "never-ending" sledging by saying their players think they are "bigger than the game". Speaking after his 66 against Australia in Perth, Vincent said the size of the opposition's egos motivated him to take them on.
"I watched Roger Federer [at the Australian Open] the other day and thought, 'What a true champion'," Vincent said on Newstalk ZB."He's the sort of guy you want to watch because he plays the game well and he's humble about it."
"You watch Australia and just their egos. Sure, you're talented, you've got great players and you win most of the time, but as blokes they've got no time for you."
Vincent was happy to post a half-century in his first match back with the squad and he followed it with 76 in Tuesday's game against England. "It was just good to have a bit of luck and stick it to them - just to keep them quiet for a while," he said. "It's never-ending. They're very close-knit.
"They hunt like a pack of dogs. There's not just one guy going at you, there's a little bit here, a little bit there. I mean, I love that part of the game, I think it's brilliant, but as soon as they start calling you all sorts of stuff it gets a bit tiring. I personally think that they think they're bigger than the game. It's all about standing up to them."
Peter Young, a Cricket Australia spokesman, said Australia play hard and it is one of the reasons they are No. 1. "What Lou Vincent is saying is not particularly different to what a lot of people say about competing against Australia," Young said in The Australian. "It's red-blooded competition."

News and updates

Practice format

It’s been suggested in some quarters that we need to structure the practice sessions in some way. I’m still of the opinion that we should still keep it loose for a couple of weeks, but maybe with more emphasis on the bowlers getting the opportunity to bowl more? I’ve tried to figure out a way of rotating the bowling and batting, but there always ends up a couple of people wicket keeping who are not necessarily the wicket keepers. So unless someone else comes up with something I reckon we should keep it fun and loose. If you’re one of the bowlers take it upon yourself to do as much as you wish. That then leaves openings for Tom, Mark, Naughty and Steve Bone to concentrate on batting and becoming the key Batsman unless of course they’re still up for other duties? But I’m of the opinion people now need to take their places within the team and start to specialise

The situation seems to me to be this – All of us have to bat. There’s four people that have the potential to specialise in batting as they’ve not yet indicated they feel they have the potential (or willing to train) to be Bowlers or Wicket Keepers. As far as I’m concerned I’d like for these people to become specialists in batting –

Tom, Naughty, Mark and Steve – Specialist Batsmen
Richard (AR) and Alex (AR) – Specialist Wicket Keepers
Dave – Specialist Leg Spin Bowler
Thomas (AR) and Rod (AR) Specialist Fast swing bowlers
Simon (AR), Alex and Badger (AR) Specialist Fast Seam bowlers

Those that have (AR) after their names, seem to me to be good all rounders in that they can bat pretty well too!

Match Rules

It looks as though this coming weekend we may have our best turnout yet with the potential for 13 blokes turning up. If it turns out that we do have 10 or 12 we could aim to play some of the ECB rules for indoor cricket.

Here’s some of the rules in brief. We’ll leave the byes and leg byes. Wides we’ll give a point to the batting team.

There’s some white boards, so I’ll try and remember to take a pen and we’ll keep scores. The fifth or sixth man from the batting team can act as umpire

· 12 x 6 ball overs – maximum of 3 overs per bloke
· 6 Two batsmen shall be at the wicket at all times during aninnings. In the event of a team losing five wickets withinthe permitted 12 overs, the last man shall continuebatting with the fifth man out remaining at the wicket asa non-striker.
· When a batsman reaches or passes a personal total of25 he shall retire, but may return to the crease on thedeparture of the fifth batsman. Retired batsmen mustreturn in order of their retirement and take the place ofthe retiring or dismissed batsman. Two 'live' batsmenshall be at the wicket until such time as the fifth wickethas fallen. The batsman shall retire again when he scoresan additional 25 runs on his return to the crease unlesshe is the last remaining batsman, in which case he cancomplete his innings.
· A ball struck to hit the boundary wall behind the bowlerwithout touching the floor or any other wall or ceilingshall count boundary 6 runs. If, however, the ball touchesthe floor but does not touch any of the other walls or theceiling and hits the boundary wall, then it shall count asboundary 4 runs.
· Before the toss, the umpires shall agree with bothcaptains the exact interpretation of 'boundary wall','ceiling', 'side wall' and 'back wall'.
· A ball struck to hit the ceiling or one or more of the sideor back walls shall count 1 run, even if the ballsubsequently hits the boundary wall in which case itremains in play.
· 2 additional runs shall be scored if the batsmen complete a run (if the ball is struck to hit the ceiling or side or back wall and a batsman is then run out1 run shall be scored).
· 2 runs shall be scored if the striker plays the ball and itdoes not hit a wall and the batsmen complete a run.
· Methods of dismissalApart from the normal methods of dismissal contained inthe Laws of Cricket, the following variations shall apply:
· The batsman shall be caught out by a fieldsman after theball has hit the ceiling, the netting or any wall exceptdirectly from the boundary wall, provided the ball has nottouched the floor.
· The last not-out batsman shall be given out if the nonstrikerrunning with him is given out.
· The batsman or the non-striker shall be given not out ifthe ball rebounds from a wall or ceiling and hits a wicketwithout being touched by a fieldsman.

Net News

Other news – I went over to the hall tonight to see if the caretaker had managed to get that pole out of the nets that seemed to be preventing us from pulling the nets out fully. He’d forgotten, so I offered to give him a hand with it and we got it sorted tonight using a ladder, so hopefully on Saturday they come out all the way.

Stump news

It looks as though we may have 4 sets of ‘Stumps’ I’ve designed a new type which will fall over rather than disintegrate……

At the last mpafirsteleven some of the fast bowlers smashed the stumps, so I’ve been thinking what can we do on the cheap to replace them that’ll work and possibly not break so readily. Yesterday I got some plywood 12mm for nothing and the idea was to cut these into stump shapes and see if that’s any stronger? The idea being that once cut these would somehow be slotted into a chunky base, much the same as the old style that have been broken. The idea being as it’s plywood it should be stronger than straight forward wood? So with drills and an electric saw Joe (My 5 year old) and me set to it.

This is what we came up with, it approximates the size of real stumps and is basically just a target at which to aim the ball or defend depending on what you’re doing. We’ll paint them white before the practice.

Giving it some thought later on as to how to make the things stand up, but then not be ridged to the point where if they’re hit by a fast ball they’re not going to give at I realised they need to be so that as soon as they’re hit they fall over or at least give.

This is the solution I came up with – market clamps see below. They’re light and strong and should come away from the stumps if hit (Even if soft) so in theory not be so susceptible to be being broken?

They’re strong enough to hold the stumps upright and offer an easy solution to the problem. So we’ll give these a go?


Training

So now my backs a little better, I’ll start training again, but this time not over-do it
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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Michael Vaugn On the BBC

Have a look at this Michael Vaughn talking about captaincy

http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/sol/newsid_5410000/newsid_5410900/5410938.stm?bw=bb&mp=rm

Copy the above and paste into your browser. I like what he says about the bowlers being able to set their field when they're bowling. Having never played a competitive game I've got no idea about how much time is given over to discussing field placings when you're given the nod to bowl, is there such a thing as wasting time in cricket if you're deemed as taking too long to make decisions about bowling?
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Friday, January 26, 2007

Strategies & team selection

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Next Net Practice

It’s looking like we’re moving towards having an idea who is going to form the main core of the team and I’m glad to say it’s MPA blokes with a few ringers. As Alex has said the ringers are shaping up nice in that we’ve got Thomas who’s good with the bat and possibly got potential with the bowling too, the Aussie bloke Rod’s looking handy at bowling as well so things are coming together.

My own feeling is that at the moment while we’re still finding our feet and getting a sense of who’s up for this and who’s just in for a laugh the loose arrangement with the net practice is fine. But I reckon we’ve got to look at it being more structured fairly soon otherwise we’ll have no sense of going forward with a strategy. As far as I’m concerned we’re winning the psychological battle and all we need now is to gain more confidence with the skills and techniques and that’s going to come about through people deciding on their specialities and aiming to hone their skills. For me I need to know who is going to be the wicket keeper and for that person to take up the role more seriously in order that we can practice together and work as a unit as the relationship is essential to the success of the team (Gilchrist and Warne).

Simon says that we need around six bowlers, so over the next couple of weeks maybe we should pinpoint who these bowlers are? Similarly we need to ascertain who will be our key batsmen and allow them to get the necessary time in the nets facing the key bowlers? So it’s a case of – if you want these roles you’ve got to step up and be counted and prove yourself possibly? I dunno – this is where we need the captain to step in (Alex)?

To reinforce the practice angle – check this out from www.harrowdrive.com

How to run an effective net
Posted on Sunday 23 July 2006
Club cricket nets are often wasted opportunities, despite being more popular with players than ever. To make a net more effective for everyone involved, follow my guide to making your cricket nets better training:
How to run an effective cricket net
The key element is to nominate someone to take overall charge of the net. Ideally this will be the club captain or coach, but anyone can do it as long as there is a person in charge.
Set the tone and build team spirit by warming up effectively before you go near the net.
Set session goals for each individual (for example, practice driving along the ground or work on slower ball).
Try and simulate match conditions as closely as possible. Here are some ideas:
Separate nets for seam and spin bowlers.Have a wicketkeeper in the spinners net.Only players likely to bowl in a game to bowl.Bowlers to set imaginary field before bowling.Use ground markers to help with line/length.Opening bowlers bowl to opening batsmen with a new ball.Bat in pairs and have calling and running between the wickets.Bowlers bowl an over each instead of one ball at a time.Challenge bowler to see how many balls they can deliver before batsman can leave it.Set batsman realistic run scoring targets.And if you want to be really hard: If you are out, you are out of the net.
Finish with an effective cool down, stretch and comments from captain or coach.
Also consider playing a practice game instead of having a net. It is more realistic, more challenging and can be a modified to ensure everyone gets the practice they want (for example batting in pairs for a set time).
More on various practice games soon.Filed in:

Dave
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Finance & Kookaburra balls

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Alex asked about the Kookaburra Balls and the possibility that we may buy some more? Last week with the attendance we made an excess of £30, but I've yet to still recoup my £140 outlay on the monthly hire fee. So this coming session anything over 4 people attending will see me paid off and the remainder of the money available to buy gear with - Balls, helmets, bats or spring back stumps for instance? The projected attendance what with the current enthusiasm levels should be at the very least 10 people again meaning we'll have an excess of £70 in the coffers. Having said that I feel it would be better to have £140 in hand in order that I don't have to fork out the deposit again and become overdrawn or use my savings. So in the short term that's seems a reasonable strategy? All of the money collected, spent or held I'll keep an excel spreadsheet of listing who's paid in and who attends etc and at any time if you want to have a look at it I'll produce it. I could even print it off each session for viewing at the after practice analysis.

On the subject of the balls – my feeling is that we have enough pads and gloves to use the real thing. If the bowlers are going to get any practice that’s worthy I think it needs to be conducted with the real thing and there are several people that agree with this, obviously if you don’t fancy the real balls opt for the Kookaburra ones and yes in time we’ll get some more. But as far as I’m concerned using the kookaburra’s is potentially setting me on a backward step and if you’re looking to be one of the batsmen in the first six you too should be getting used to the idea of having big F****s like that Kiwi bloke (6’8” x 3’6” of muscle) trying to throw a hard ball at you at 80mph!

Practicing

25th Jan

If anyone feels inclined to contribute to the blog you can do so by either emailing me and I’ll put the stuff straight into the blog or you can log on to www.blogspot.com get yourself a blog and then from there you can link to mine. I’m not suggesting you maintain your own blog in the way that I do here, but by having a blog it will enable you to make contributions.

I got a response from Alex today re my questions about bowling leg side with RH handed batsmen.

Hey Dave –

Seems you are famous on the net, you’ll be the ECB development officer for Essex or something before you know it!. New venue was cool, there was plenty of space and the nets did the job – the two ringers you have lined up are rather handy at batting and bowling it must be said, nice one! Are we getting a few more kookaburra plastic balls (like the red and white one) for next practice or a couple more real ones (personally I’m more than happy to bat against real ones for the whole session)?

On the bowling front you are correct that the aim with the standard leg spin bowl is to hit the bowlers foot holes (batsman’s end obviously) outside leg stump and spin the ball viciously back in, this may elicit some playing and missing (as in your diagram) but standard procedure for batsmen (with pads) is to just stick a leg in the way of the delivery (since anything bowled outside leg stump cannot given out LBW). If you spin it less than the batsman expects you may well end up with an outside edge nick probably going to square leg. The key is mixing it up as you do so when you bowl in line (particularly if the batsman is just padding up to you) the batsman expects the ball to spin outside the off stump and will try for a square cut (off side shot) thinking it’s a loose one they can hit, however this is where you bowl one that stays straight gaining a inside edge or a complete miss (giving the chance of bowled or played on, stumped or LBW). I personally found your bowling pretty difficult to hit due to the variation and the fact I’m not so good with wider deliveries (I like it straight) so it slowed my scoring down which is the primary aim – it gets the batsman frustrated and makes them hit rash shots (as I did at the end of the over). Keep persevering with it. What you do need though is a few more close fielders to put pressure on the batsman and the keeper needs to play right up at the wicket to take nicks and stumpings.

Hope that helps

Al J

On the www.harrowdrive.com website tonight the topic of discussion was practicing and improving. The bloke was saying that it takes something like 10,000 hours to get really good a cricket. Which is 416 days of non-stop cricket. Even if you put in 3 hours a day 365 days a year that’s 9 years before you’re really good. I can’t imagine a fat biffa like Shane Warne practiced at that rate leading up to his dismissal of Mike Gatting? It’s probably the case that the people that are exceptionally good at it are either simply Australians or naturally gifted. There’s just some things in life you can do and others you can’t and you know intuitively that there’s no way you’re ever going to be playing for Arsenal, or on centre court at Wimbledon by the time you’re 21. So for the likes of us it’s a case of practicing as much as we can just so long as we have our day of glory when we see those sports science blokes drowning their sorrows in their diet cokes at the bar of Welstead Gardens some time in the summer (Surely they don’t drink do they – they’re machines, their bodies are temples to sports science and human perfection)?

I spoke to them again today and they’re playing it cool. I think we’ve got them on the ropes, I asked the big bloke how many different variations he had in with his bowling (He’s their leg spin bowler) and he said just the leg break, then laughing he said that their opening fast bowler was the big Kiwi geezer and some other tall bloke that I didn’t know. Then the Kiwi bloke walked past and I mentioned it to him and he didn’t have a clue and certainly isn’t a fast bowler! So I think we’re winning the psychological game. I may even up the ante a bit and start leaving coaching handouts on the printer for them to come across and give the impression that we’re really going for it!

Back to the issue of 10,000 hours. I certainly haven’t got 10,000 hours of cricket life in me, I’ll be dead before then, but I’ll be aiming to get out and bowl as much as I can when I can leading up to the games to get my line consistent.

The great news is that club spinners don’t need to produce magic balls to rip through the opposition like seamers do.They can do it with a decent level of accuracy, a confident captain who sets the right fields and an opposition who cannot resist having a go (and let’s face it, most club batsmen fancy themselves against spin).

On the subject of games I reckon we should push the idea that we should play a series of three games with the sports science blokes, so we can really rub their noses in it with a 3-0 white wash!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

We'll have some of that!

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Having now read the article previously mentioned I'm going to use in our blog - Have a look there's some good ideas in here. One that Simon had previously mentioned regarding getting our own shirts "Make sure we've all got intimidating nicknames on the back" he said down the pub after the last practice.....

How does Dave continue to turn those screws and get the opponents ready to lose?
Club Clothing. Nothing says ‘we are a team’ more than all looking alike. That means as much club clothing as possible. Caps are great because they are cheap but so are jumpers, shirts, tracksuits and, if you are really keen, training shirts.
Impressive Drills. Fielding drills are not just a way to practice your fielding. Make sure you have one drill that looks complicated and difficult (but is actually easier than it looks) and perform it with the whole team when the opposition are looking on.
Team Talks. Another team unity trick is to ensure the opposition know that you are plotting their downfall. This works on matchday by having a team huddle before play or running out of the dressing room together. In Dave’s case he can work on them off the pitch by consipring in corners with fielding diagrams within the eyeline of the others.
Sledging. Banter is a vital part of cricket. If you can put opponents in a negative frame of mind by pointing out their cricketing shortcomings you make them doubt themselves. This also works if you make it seem like you are training harder than them too. Drill plans, books on cricket, getting fit and practicing all the time are great ways to do this.
All these tricks are relatively negative but effective. They knock the other team down rather than build your team up. You can get them ready to lose, but you also need to be ready to win. That means never giving up, trusting yourself and knowing your tactics.
Good luck Dave, and good luck everyone else joining (or starting) a team in 2007.

I like the idea of leaving books all over the place - especially on my desk where Dean Wells has to walk past!
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It's a small world out there!

Check this out! I got in tonight turned on the internet and looked through my emails. The only email of the day was from a website that I subscribe to called www.harrowdrive.com the website has loads of useful links and articles relating to fitness, tactics, captaincy and all things cricket including psychology. So I was interested to see that tonights instalment was going to be about Cricket psychology and winning. I opened up the link, read the intro and then had to do a double take because they'd lifted a bit off our blog! Have a look...... http://www.harrowdrive.com/category/tactics/ how funny is that!

Dave

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Post practice analysis

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Again disappointed with myself initially after the net practice I spent Sunday afternoon bowling on grass again trying to rectify my mistakes. This time bowling 51 overs back to back and again on grass doing so much better despite it being wet. But thinking about it, the practice in the nets although it was awful for the first 90 minutes because I couldn't get my length or placing right it did come together during the session where we were playing against each other. Yeah I bowled loads of wides, but the length and the variations worked. Okay I didn't bowl anyone out but almost everyone without exception was knocking short balls right up into the air and in a match would no doubt have been caught out. I also edged a few and a couple of people were caught behind, so in affect I did okay? You tell me - is that true?

I've also got a question for you experts out there. If I'm bowling against a RH batsman I am allowed to bowl down his leg side aren’t I with the intention of making the ball swing in round the back of his legs? (See the first diagram left). Does it then follow that if I was to bowl a straight ball fairly wide I'd get away with it as if the batsman was to try a hook, sweep or square cut shot the length of their arms and bat would extend quite some distance? (See image below).



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Friday, January 19, 2007

They've taken the bait

Sports science have taken the bait! I emailed Dean Wells today and reminded him of the challenge. He then obviously distributed the email to his blokes and then there ensued a bit of mild sledging across the team rooms. From what I could gather a few of them play a bit of cricket. Dean himself plays, so does the big bloke to his right - he played at county level as a kid and 'Yeah I throw a bit of spin' was his comment to me asking if anyone was a spin bowler. The funny bloke plays as well and they all said they were medium pace bowlers. Later in the day I spoke to the scouser and the big bloke on the way out and they were joking, but the sense I got was that they felt ill prepared and as though we'd got the jump on them....... "We'll have to get the dept to see if there's money in the budget to pay for a bowling machine down at Garrons". So they don't seem as though their bowlers are up to the grade to put their batsmen through thier paces! I reckon we've got the psycological edge on them already, they'll all be thinking now - 'that's why that twat walks around with a cricket ball all the time' then realise I've been doing so for months and that we might be serious about this!? The plan is coming together - I can smell victory already, we've already won the psycological battle, all we need to do is turn the screws a bit more......
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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The New Venue


This is it brighter, cleaner - better! In fact better than I even realised. Look closer at the ceiling in the horizontal image and you'll see the rails along which the nets are supported. There's three of them which means the hall divides into 5 sections along the hall! All this for a paltry £70.

I had a quick look at the nets and they seem fine, the runners appear to work, with the caretaker saying neither him or the other caretaker have ever known them to have been used!

I've arranged with the caretaker to be able to get in 10 or 15 minutes early and get rid of the 5 aside goals (push over to the sides) and pull the nets out so that when we all turn up we're ready to go.

Now there's five netted off areas we need five sets of stumps. I've run out of Wind Breaks to make stumps out of, so we need to get some money together to get more stumps (Wind breaks) or maybe even invest in some spring back stumps? They're about £30 a go from Argos. Homemade ones are fine by me - so if anyones got an old wind break kicking around in their garage or a load of dowelling - let me have it and I'll make two more sets of stumps.

We also need at least 4 more of the plastic Kookaburra practice balls. All the research that I've done suggests for indoors use on smooth concrete and wooden floors these are the ones that approximate the real thing most closely. They bounce ok and their weight considering they're plastic is the nearest to the real thing. If you/we buy them from www.newitts.com they're about £7.00 each with P&P.

Dave

Subs proposal

We’ve moved venues now to James Hornsby School, which on first impressions seems to have a purpose built hall. It features a wider and longer hall in that there’s probably space for a wicket keeper at one end and a run up for the bowlers at the other end. It also appears to have nets running the length of the hall dividing the hall up into three sections. Perfect for cricket practice and well worth the additional £20 split between us all. Here’s the state of play as it stands.

Currently I have a list of 19 people that have shown an interest in being involved (3 of them very tentatively) and the list of wannabe’s grows every week.

The fortnightly fee for the venue is £70 seemingly paid up front monthly (I’m in the process of doing this for the first time right now). At the moment it’s kind of out of necessity falling to me to pay it otherwise we’re not going to get in there for this weekend (20th Jan).

The situation I don’t want to face is one where we have a practice session and only 5 people turn up and we’re short on the £70.

I’ve given this a bit of thought and talked to a handful of people that seem really up for it and they’ve agreed that it may be an idea to set a fixed practice session fee of £10 for anyone that comes along to the practices.

We’re confident that for most sessions we’ll get the required minimum of 7 players but it looks like it may run to more than that most fortnights and therefore there’s the potential to accumulate cash – a kind of ‘subs’. At the moment there’s a lot of goodwill on both my part and Carl Hodgsons in that we’re supplying a lot of the gear – bats, balls, pads, gloves etc and it’s subject to wear and tear.

The extra cash generated by the subs could be put into an account to purchase ‘Pooled’ equipment – bats, balls, helmets.

At the end of the season if there is any surplus we could have an end of season Bar B Q over at Welstead gardens or something to celebrate our triumph over Sports Science?

The only foreseeable problem might be the ownership of the ‘Pooled’ equipment? My suggestion would be to EBAY it all and get shot of it and use the money for the end of season bash? Or just keep it here for future generations of MPA staff. Suggestions are requested.

So what’s the reckoning to the £10 practice session fee being set? If need be I’ll keep accounts so that every penny is accountable and every purchase is agreed by some form of committee agreement?

Don’t forget your £10 this Saturday! (If you know you’re going to be there the next session I’ll have £20 off you if you can stretch to it this month).

Cheers

Dave

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Umpires

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I’ve been bothered by the Umpire factor e.g. what the F**k do we do for umpires when we play? Apparently you umpire for each other e.g. The batting sides 11th Man or some other designated player umpires and you just play on an honesty basis. If there is an incident you just have to err towards the opposing side when having to make tricky decisions.
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O ye of little faith

Oh ye of little faith
Like me I guess you spent quite a bit of the weekend practicing or training. You may have noticed the weather was dry for once with most of Sunday actually sunny. That meant as far as I was concerned it was cricket weather! Saturday ill prepared with only 10 balls I only managed to bowl the equivalent of 20 overs back to back with a lot of time spent walking from one end of the wicket to the other. Sunday I had 21 balls with me and bowled in excess of 33 overs back to back. Needless to say with that amount of practice (despite it being slippery underfoot) I got some stuff sorted.

Here’s a breakdown of my progress with each of my deliveries.....

Leg spin; I’ve made a big advance with this since the last indoor practice (Previously mentioned) in that my wrist is coming into play as well as the arm and fingers. Previously I’ve relied on the finger and arm action, but now the wrist is part of the action I think I’m going to be making some big advances. I also noted that The ball was coming out of my had more like a top spinner, so I’m working to rectify this and the majority of the balls thrown today and yesterday were my basic leg spin trying to get the ball to come out of my hand right, on target and turn when they hit the ground. I made some advances with the accuracy with about 80% on target. I spent the whole session both days almost throwing entirely long balls either Yorkers or full toss, but then laced that with some conventional 4 yards in front of leg. Overall I was pleased with the consistency but not with the spin. It may be that wet grass doesn’t allow it to spin as much as it should? It certainly was taking all of the bounce out of it that’s for sure.

Wrong-Un; Had a session of these as well last weekend and discovered I can do them easily. They seem to be easily done and turn into stumps from off with ease. Because they seemed so easy I’ve left them for a while. Had a go today and was surprised at how accurate they were, so Wrong-Un’s look promising for dryer weather.

Top Spin or Over Spinner; As above – seem really easy and accurate, but this one just goes straight, a faster ball.

Flipper; This is the one I like. Apparently it’s difficult to master. This is the reason I walk around with a ball in my hand 24-7 as I’m flipping it, building the strength and dexterity in my fingers to bowl it. Again this is one I’m confident about but acknowledge because it’s totally different to all the others I usually bowl a couple of lose ones till I get my line, but then I lose the element of surprise with it. It’s something I’ve got to work on with regards the line. The technique and length are all there, just the accuracy when it’s mixed in with other variations. The ‘Flipper’ element of it I reckon I’ve got cracked. Yesterday I threw a couple of overs and the back spin on it as they hit the deck was chucking up divots! These blokes turn as well on dry grass, it’s a nice ball to throw.

Slider; I’ve had a go at this and seem to be able to do something with it, but it doesn’t feel right. It’s like the wrong un and the over spinner in that it’s easily thrown on target, but my action felt wrong so I need someone at some point in the future to have a look at it for me one day.

In addition to this I’m training, doing all sorts of exercises to increase upper body strength. I’ve got a pull up bar jammed in the doorway of my office and I’m currently doing 15 – 20 a day in 5 at a time stints and then holding a chin tuck while I bring my knees up to my chin at least five times, that as well as others that I wont go in to. But needless to say I’m taking this seriously.

In the nets Saturday

In the nets this Saturday can I stake my claim to having a bowl a Thomas Slater and can I request Richard Sainsbury as the wicket keeper please as the F****r reckons he can knock me all over the park – we’ll see.
Back to the title of this entry in the blog.
I cannot imagine for a moment that any team we come up against at this stage what with playing friendlies is going to be any better than us – especially sports science. I reckon if we practice as we are, we’ll be okay and I’m supremely confident in that over the next few months my bowling for one is going to get so much better. I cannot wait for May so that I can go and watch some cricket teams playing on village greens to see if they’re doing what I’m doing and give myself a benchmark to work against.
I’ve had a couple of people already who have never faced me with a real ball in my hand, or have seen me recently say outright that I’m shit or that they can bat me all over the park, I can’t wait to face these people and see how they get on. Bring it on!

Finally pertaining to the title, I’ve just read an article from a website called www.harrowdrive.com on the website there’s a load of tactical stuff and ideas. In amongst that I came across the following…

It’s a little known fact that most club cricket games are won and lost with spinners. The reason is that most club batsmen tend to have a decent defence and not many shots while most club seamers tend to not be good enough to fire out the opposition.
That leaves the spinners to step in.
The great news is that club spinners don’t need to produce magic balls to rip through the opposition like seamers do.
They can do it with a decent level of accuracy, a confident captain who sets the right fields and an opposition who cannot resist having a go (and let’s face it, most club batsmen fancy themselves against spin).
You may have noticed a great big proviso in that last paragraph: Spinners need to be handled well enough to do their job. It’s very easy for a captain to think a spinner is bowling badly when he is buying wickets.
So how do the captain and spinner work together to do this?
The role of spin bowlers in club cricket
As we have discussed before,
players need to know their role in the team. So what is the role of spinners?
Without a doubt the number one role of club spinners to take wickets.
While some spinners will be more stock bowlers and some wicket buyers, all are the key to bowling sides out in
most conditions.
The quality of batsman is also a factor, with better players needing less flight and tail enders unable to resist loopier bowling.
Spot the difference
Although all spinners are wicket takers, almost all spinners are different too. Each spinner will have a unique style which will make a difference to the way they get wickets. These include:
Flight
Pace
Turn
Bounce
Crease Position
Variations (arm ball, googly, over or round the wicket)
Batters preferences need to be taken into account too. Batsman who use their feet to drive will need more in the covers than sweepers for example.
While all these are vital factors to take into account, the key difference is whether they are off spin, slow left arm or leg spin.


So there you go we are going to win - You must be trying to win even at the risk of losing.
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Friday, January 12, 2007

Training Ideas/videos

Have a look at this website for some good training ideas

www.cricinfo.com.au

This’ll take you to the cricinfo home page. If you look to the left there’s a link for ‘The Cricket show’. Click on this and you’ll then be presented with 3 years worth of cricket videos from Australia’s cricket show. Included among them are some good ‘Masterclass’ videos. One of the better ones recently that we should be looking at and adopting as a guide to our training is the ‘Fielding Master class’ in the 2006-2007 section.
Now have a look at www.bbc.co.uk/sport click on cricket and then choose skills and again there’s a series of master class videos that don’t quite have the same fun/enthusiasm feeling as the Aussie website does, but are still useful. You can se when you compare the two why they beat the fuck out of us in the ashes.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Poster Idea

Here's an idea for a poster. I reckon we should get them up around the college or sent by email throughout the college to see if we entice anyone into a game. I'll email my brother in the next few days and see if he's up for it still (Dean Wells) but I reckon they'll be having second thoughts about it now!

If anyone knows any other teams we could play as it says in the poster - Bring it on!

Dave
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It just got so much better!

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Laindon community centre was okay for a bunch of part time wannabe cricket players, but after seeing Alex, Simon and few others perform and Simon saying there wasn't enough room for a run up to bowl it was obvious this was a potential 'Team' in the making. We've got people going to the Gym and working out (Thomas and Nick Naughty). We had Naughty ditch his Pies and Lager diet for Lettuce, Raw carrots and diet coke -it was obvious something was going off. I therefore needed to respond and up the ante on the practicing facilities.

Gentlemen I now propose we ditch Laindon Community Centre for James Hornsby School.

James Hornsby school features

1. Bigger, brighter and better 39yrds x 25yrds approx long enough to accommodate a full length wicket space for a wicket keeper and a LONG run up for the bowlers!
2. Nets. 3 of them it looks like that run the length of the hall - this hall appears to have been designed with cricket practice in mind. It's the real deal!
4. Wooden floors.
5. And it's only £35 per hour
6. It's available every Saturday 12 - 2pm or 11 - 1pm.

I've got the forms and have provisionally booked it every two saturdays till May.

You wait till you see it - I think it's gonna be so much better!

Dave
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Monday, January 08, 2007

Our pitch

Man I can't wait - this just looks just so F*****g good. We've just got to get some opponents now, so if you know anyone who's in some Mickey Mouse team getin touch and let's get this sorted. Let's see if we can play at least 4 matches over the summer?

Dave

Post Mortem

I was gutted at my own bowling performance on Saturday, although it wasn't with a real ball or on grass as you all pointed out. I can buy into the real ball aspect as they're so much heavier than the Kookaburra practice ball but as for the fact that I couldn't get the bastard thing to turn at all I was bothered. So today despite the fact that the grass is soaking and I was wearing wellies I went over to my own wicket a couple of yards from where I live and threw a few balls and there was a slight improvement. With the extra weight I was a lot more accurate and consistent, but still not getting it to turn much. So I got out some Stuey Mcgill, Shane Warne & Terry Jenner Master Class video's and did a bit of a post mortem. Having looked at them I think it was Terry Jenner who had the solution. I looks like I was bowling leading with the thumb edge of my hand rather than the palm of my hand facing the batsman as I was releasing the ball. Tonight at home throwing the ball around it does look like the solution and the impression I've got now is if I can throw the balls with palm facing the batsman it comes out spinning in such a way that when it hits the ground it has just got to take a sharp left? It looks so radically different to what I've been doing over the last couple of months. What I have been doing is more like 'Over Spin'. I can't wait to get into that hall in a fortnight!
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Sunday, January 07, 2007

6 A side indoor Cricket Rules (ECB)

Found this on the ECB website. If we ever get up to maybe 10 of us for a practice session or even 12 we could give this a go. Have a read it's a far better way to play than what we were doing and includes the chance to score runs between wickets and sounds as though it wouldn't take much longer than an hour maybe hour and half?

Playing Conditions
1 Laws
The Laws of Cricket (2000 code 2nd Edition - 2003) shall
apply with the exception of the following playing
regulations:
1.1 Teams shall consist of six players each.
1.2 Each match shall consist of one innings per team.
1.3 Each innings shall consist of a maximum of 12 six
ball overs.
1.4 No more than 3 overs shall be bowled by any individual.
In calculating each individual's accrued number of overs,
part of an over shall be deemed as a full over.
1.5 There shall be a 10 minute interval between innings.
1.6 Two batsmen shall be at the wicket at all times during an
innings. In the event of a team losing five wickets within
the permitted 12 overs, the last man shall continue
batting with the fifth man out remaining at the wicket as
a non-striker.
1.7 When a batsman reaches or passes a personal total of
25 he shall retire, but may return to the crease on the
departure of the fifth batsman. Retired batsmen must
return in order of their retirement and take the place of
the retiring or dismissed batsman. Two 'live' batsmen
shall be at the wicket until such time as the fifth wicket
has fallen. The batsman shall retire again when he scores
an additional 25 runs on his return to the crease unless
he is the last remaining batsman, in which case he can
complete his innings.
1.8 If the ball passes, or would have passed, above shoulder
height of the batsman standing upright at the crease, the
umpire at the bowler's end shall call and signal 'No Ball'.
If any venue uses only a half-mat, any ball not pitching
on the mat shall be called a 'No Ball'.
3
Indoor Six-a-Side Club Cricket Championship
41
1.9 Law 25.1 - Wide Ball - Judging a Wide
Please refer to Generic Playing Condition 7.
2 Results
The team scoring the most runs in its innings shall be the
winner. If the scores of both teams are equal, then the
team taking the greater number of wickets shall be the
winner. If the teams are still equal, a 'bowl out' contest
will be held to achieve a winner. Please refer to Generic
Playing Condition 9. If circumstances make the contest
impossible, the match shall be decided by the toss of
a coin.
3 Scoring
The scoring for Indoor Cricket shall take place as follows:
3.1 A ball struck to hit the boundary wall behind the bowler
without touching the floor or any other wall or ceiling
shall count boundary 6 runs. If, however, the ball touches
the floor but does not touch any of the other walls or the
ceiling and hits the boundary wall, then it shall count as
boundary 4 runs.
3.1.1 Before the toss, the umpires shall agree with both
captains the exact interpretation of 'boundary wall',
'ceiling', 'side wall' and 'back wall'.
3.1.2 If a ball is struck into an open gallery along a wall that is
not a boundary wall, the ball becomes dead and the
striker is credited with 1 run.
3.2 A ball struck to hit the ceiling or one or more of the side
or back walls shall count 1 run, even if the ball
subsequently hits the boundary wall in which case it
remains in play. 2 additional runs shall be scored if the
batsmen complete a run (if the ball is struck to hit the
ceiling or side or back wall and a batsman is then run out
1 run shall be scored).
42
3.3 2 runs shall be scored if the striker plays the ball and it
does not hit a wall and the batsmen complete a run.
3.4 A Bye shall count as 1 extra if the ball hits a wall
(including the boundary wall); a leg-bye shall count as
1 extra if the ball hits a wall (including the boundary wall).
In each case if the batsmen complete a run 2 additional
extras shall be scored.
3.5 2 Byes or 2 leg-byes shall be scored if the batsmen
complete a run without the ball hitting a wall.
3.6 No Ball
3.6.1 A No Ball shall score 1 penalty run, recorded as a No Ball
extra, in addition to any other runs scored under 3.6.2.
and 3.6.3.
3.6.2. From a No Ball struck by the batsman, runs scored as in
Scoring Regulations 3.1., 3.2. and 3.3. shall be
accredited to the striker. If the Batsmen do not run and
the ball does not touch any wall or ceiling, then just the
penalty shall be scored.
3.6.3. From a No Ball not struck by the batsman, or from one
striking his person when he is trying to avoid being hit by
the ball, runs shall be scored as in Scoring Regulations
3.1., 3.2. and 3.3.; these shall be credited as No
Ball extras.
3.7 Wide
3.7.1 A Wide Ball shall score 1 penalty run, recorded as a Wide
extra, in addition to any other runs scored under 3.7.2
and 3.7.3.
3.7.2 If a Wide Ball is called and the ball goes on to hit the
ceiling or any wall, then 1 run shall be credited under
extras; 2 additional runs shall be credited under extras
every time the batsmen complete a run.
3.7.3 If a Wide Ball is called but it does not hit the ceiling or
any wall, 2 runs shall be credited under extras for every
run completed by the batsmen.
3
Indoor Six-a-Side Club Cricket Championship
43
3.8 An overthrow hitting any wall or walls shall count as only
1 run to the batsman or to the total of extras as
appropriate. Additional overthrows can only ensue from
each additional throw which goes on to hit a wall or walls
(the batsmen shall not change ends).
3.9 If in the opinion of the umpire the ball becomes lodged in
netting or in any obstacle then the umpire shall call and
signal 'dead ball' and award 1 run. The batsmen shall
return to their original ends.
4 Methods of dismissal
Apart from the normal methods of dismissal contained in
the Laws of Cricket, the following variations shall apply:
4.1 The batsman shall be caught out by a fieldsman after the
ball has hit the ceiling, the netting or any wall except
directly from the boundary wall, provided the ball has not
touched the floor.
4.2 The last not-out batsman shall be given out if the nonstriker
running with him is given out.
4.3 The batsman or the non-striker shall be given not out if
the ball rebounds from a wall or ceiling and hits a wicket
without being touched by a fieldsman.
44

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.
http://www.legspinbowling.blogspot.co.uk/
 

Shane Warne

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The Ashes: Could Warne Soon Be Playing for the Enemy? Cricket: After announcing his retirement could Shane Warne be next in line to coach England? Kevin Mitchell investigates.
For Shane Warne the future is always a gamble, be it on the dance floor or on the cricket field. But the most intriguing prospect of them all - The Blond helping England win back the Ashes - has suddenly, mischievously perhaps, presented itself as a left-field alternative to the condition he fears most: boredom. The idea that Warne could replace Duncan Fletcher as the England coach after giving his team such a comprehensive flaying for the best part of 16 years is, at first glance, both fanciful and illogical. But the suspicion that it might have been planted by Warne himself after the announcement of his retirement can't be discounted. (Ladbrokes rate it a 200...#8209;1 shot and, while, they didn't get rich getting it wrong, Warne likes a punt at good odds.) A more realistic scenario is that Tom Moody, a long-time Worcester resident and an Anglophile whose coaching contract with Sri Lanka expires soon, would love the job. And he would be quite happy if he had the finest wrist spinner of them all as an assistant. There are reasons to be sceptical, of course. Warne is a 37-year-old playboy still shrugging off the least appealing aspects of adolescence; he is a champion and great players rarely have the patience or the understanding of fallibility to pass on their genius to mortals; and he is, if you had not noticed, Australian to the roots of his bleached hair. Yet three influential voices here, James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, Steve Waugh, Warne's captain in 56 of the spinner's 143 Test matches, and the game's eminence grise, Richie Benaud, think it is not that absurd an idea that Warne would spread his wisdom beyond the place that is girt by sea. 'It would be good for world cricket,' Sutherland told The Observer. Asked if the tearaway would make a good coach, even of England, Benaud said: 'Yes, he would. He's got the best cricket brain of anyone you'll come across. He comes up against all different types of batsmen and then he puts them back in the pavilion.' He has done it 699 times for Australia. Could Shane 'we don't want the English to win at anything' Warne use that superbrain to help England inflict similar damage on Australia? For the moment, dreaming that he would shift his allegiance so dramatically, like a lot that surrounds the life of the man they call Hollywood, is mere speculation. Inevitably, it started in the newspapers. Waugh was the first to utter the heresy. 'I wouldn't be surprised if they offer him to be the England coach,' he wrote in his syndicated column on Thursday, the day Australia woke up to the news that their number-one larrikin was quitting the game. Later, Warne, all gleamingly content and so happy to talk he went on for a quarter of an hour after the cameras had stopped rolling, replied: 'I don't know what Stephen's on. Definitely not in my plans at the moment, no.' Rarely can the words 'at the moment' have been so loaded. As Warne said during an entertaining and frank retirement press conference in a jam-packed members' room of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (played out in front of 23 television crews, 40 photographers, hundreds of journalists after his 100-yard limousine ride from the Cricket Australia HQ to an underground car park), his immediate plans reside elsewhere. He wants to take part in whitewashing England in the Melbourne and Sydney Tests, mull over a few offers from TV and publishers, raise more money for his children's charity, which is on target for $A2million (£800,000) this year, and play cricket in the back yard with his kids. He might have added, but didn't, that he will talk to his estranged wife, Simone, about a reconciliation while he gets used to the unfamiliar sensation of not spending his days in a dressing room full of smelly kit and his nights in various dimly lit pulling emporiums with Kevin Pietersen and unknown, story-selling bimbos and strippers. Certainly, he has no further cricket commitments in Australia. Which is interesting. At the end of the southern summer, Warne will get ready for another stint with Hampshire, where he has two years left on his contract. As he is walking away from the international game, as well as Victoria and his club side, St Kilda, it will be the only cricket he will play - and that will hardly satisfy the ambition of one of cricket's most restless souls, a man, even at 37, for whom a mobile phone is not so much a means of communication as another way to get into trouble. So the prospect of taking over from Fletcher, who will almost certainly step down after the World Cup, or helping Moody remains a tantalising possibility. Also in the mix - if you can stand further speculation - is the outside chance that Glenn McGrath, who announced yesterday that he he too will call it a day after next year's World Cup, might be tempted to join the team, given he spent a season with his old team-mate Moody at Worcestershire. Whatever Warne does, he leaves a trail of glorious memories, some more palatable than others, and cricket owes him a considerable debt. The statistics glow like neon lights on the billboard for a movie. There is nothing left for him to achieve, nothing he could achieve. His bones are aching. He is half a stone overweight and, heroically, he has dragged himself through this series to impose his awesome gifts on batsmen still stunned in his glare. He is, as Benaud says, simply the best over-the-wrist bowler there ever was. He might also be judged to be the best bowler, whatever the discipline, and (according to Wisden) one of the five best cricketers of the twentieth century, alongside four knights: Sir Jack Hobbs, Sir Garry Sobers, Sir Viv Richards and, of course, Sir Don Bradman. More words are superfluous. All we need to do is rerun the images of all those incredibly clever dismissals, those dipping, spitting deliveries that reduced very good players to dupes. But there was always more to Warne than his fingers - as any number of women will testify. All his supposedly adult life, Warne has been mesmerised by anyone in a short skirt and who smelt nice. It is said by his unauthorised biographer (the best kind), Paul Berry, that he has slept with a thousand women - which is 300 more than his wickets tally. However, when the sun finally faded on his career, he went home to the one who mattered most, Simone. She was the only person who could have made him take stock. She and their three children, apparently, want him back. He wants to go back. Even the prurient and the judgmental (of whom there is no shortage in Australia) ought to cheer on that prospect. While their Brighton mansion in Melbourne's suburbia often resembles a besieged castle, surrounded by camera crews and journalists, it is his only haven now that he has left his other home, the Australia cricket team. He hasn't always been the perfect, house-trained occupant there, either, and there have been tensions within the side in recent years that have been conveniently ignored in the interest of team success. When I asked Steve Waugh earlier this year whether he thought Warne might have made a good Test captain, he replied with a steady gaze and unquivering certainty: 'Mate, I think we made the right decision.' And that choice was SR Waugh. SK Warne was never going to get the plum. And, whatever we thought outside the dressing room about his obvious tactical acumen, the inner sanctum would not have it. Adam Gilchrist, as straight as a five-bar gate, indulges him up to a point and Waugh often lost patience with him. John 'Buck' Buchanan, the coach in touch with dead Chinese warlords, was not a soulmate. He has friends, of course - Michael Slater, also marginalised because of his eccentricities; Michael 'Pup' Clarke, whom he has mentored; and, to the annoyance of some of his compatriots, another youngster, KP at Hampshire - most of them away from the mainstream. Clarke only now is shredding his image as a bit of a lad, a nightclub starlet dazzled by his own image, a Warne in the making. In his own circle, Warne seems to be more admired and treasured as a player than clung to like an old friend. He runs his own race, does his own deals, creates his own noise - and makes more money than any of his team-mates. He drags people along in his wake. Warne, more enthusiastically than the others in this rather amazing cricket team, embraces celebrity. Yet - and this throws up uncomfortable contradictions for his critics - he is the most affable man. I interviewed him at the end of Waugh's last Ashes tour, in the team hotel in west London. It was the usual deal, arranged by sponsors, the clock ticking. But he would have talked all day. He expounded on all aspects of his life and his cricket. He could not have been more charming. And then, halfway through the interview, the photographer John Riordan moved about the hotel room to grab the best shot. Warne was sitting near the window. On the sill was an ashtray, and in the ashtray was a cigarette swimming in what might have been brandy, whisky or beer from the night before. He was keen that it not be in the shot but didn't say so; instead, he slowly and surreptitiously put a finger on the ashtray and dragged it from view along the window sill. He is a lot like a boxer, the kid from Ferntree Gully. He has grown up in the art of deception. As Benaud observes, he puts batsmen back in the pavilion. What he does to Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood and countless others on the pitch, he does to others away from his workplace. It is not malicious, just deep-rooted. Berry seems to have taken a hard line on Warne, although you could hardly question his forensic skills given the number of people he spoke to in compiling Spun Out: the Shane Warne Story. But, personally, I'm drawn to the player's obviously self-serving and maybe unconvincing defence. He calls Berry's book 'a pack of lies', which it isn't. He told Alpha magazine in his most recent interview: 'People are wrong when they think I'm a bighead. I'm not arrogant. I'm confident in my ability on the cricket field but, away from cricket, I think I'm very generous, genuine, loyal and fair.' Simone might quibble with some of that. But she's still there. The night before he announced he was retiring, they went out to dinner in Melbourne. It was some statement. You would have to be a particularly callous critic not to wish them the best. He goes on: 'A lot of people don't like me and that's fine. The general person in the street is very nice to me. They think a lot of the media attention has been unfair as well.' That's nonsense. The media, here and in Britain, have been in turn adulatory and hard on him - for good reason: he's a brilliant twit. And often he's in denial about his poorest traits. Warne is selfish. He is often what the Australians call 'a hoon'. Or a 'two-bob mug lair'. But he's like most of us. He is fallible and amazing, all in one. Nobody in sport that I can think of so embodies the oddity of being simultaneously an idiot and a genius. For most of us, that's good enough. We are privileged to have been alive in his time.
By Guardian Unlimited © Copyright Guardian Newspapers 2006Published: 12/24/2006

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Training 6th Jan

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It happened at last - only took 3 months to get together but it did happen and by all accounts it was a bit of a laugh and we're all up for it in two weeks time, so we're looking at the next training session being at the same time and same venue and it may happen every fortnight if the enthusiasm is sustained "It's a bit of a day out for Nick and me, it' makes a change from southend" (Simon).

In attendance

Mark Soye
Alex Wood
Steve Bone
Dave Thompson
Thomas Slater
Nick Naughty
Simon Grainge
Richard Sainsbury

I've just realised there was 8 of us and we've all given Richard £7.00 each by my reckoning that's £56 and the venue was only £48. I reckon the extra cash should be spent on another Kookaburra Practice ball?

Anyway other than that, all that attended seemed to get into and we had some valuable practice in our pursuit of beating Sports Science this coming summer. There were some half decent batsmen and bowlers in the group and few with a dodgey action. If we can iron out the dodgey action we might have a good mix of bowlers. Down the pub after it was kind of suggested that Alex might take on the role of team captain as he seems to be more knowledgable on techniques and strategies and was already without prompting suggesting things and guiding people. The revelations of the day were Simon and Alex. Simon with his fast bowling and Alex with his Batting. Having seen a few us now having a go more of an idea about the team positions is beginning to form. Here's a suggestion - but I'm not the team captain so this could easily be over-ridden.

Batting order -

Openers Alex Wood & Simon Grainge
Richard Sainsbury
Thomas Slater
Mark Soye
Nick Naughty
Steve Bone (His arm was knackered)
Dave Thompson

Bowling

Simon Grainge (fast)
Thomas Slater (Medium) - needs some work on his dodgey action
Richard Sainsbury (Medium) - Dodgey action?
Dave Thompson (Leg Spin slow)

I'll have to distribute the passwords so you can all have a say about how shit I am and conduct some sledging!

Cheers to Carl Hodgson (who couldn't attend but sent his apologies for not being able to make it) for lending us the bats.
Cheers to Richard Sainsbury who coughed up the cash as the venue only took cash or cheques.

We'll still look at other venues because even using the hall length to length it still wasn't long enough for a short run up or Wicket keepers to have a chance to practice in any way.

Equipment wise we're okay, we've got more than enough pads and gloves, it would be nice to have another 2 of those plastic/soft balls for the sessions at the start of the session as they're more akin to the weight of a real cricket ball and they have the seam and have a similar bounce. I think everybody is aware of the potential dangers and a few got a couple of stingers even using the plastic balls. Fortunately no-one got hit in the bollocks, but once we start playing or practicing on grass with real balls there's going to be a need for helmets. Personally I'm in the process of buying one right now off of EBAY. They're not cheap and they're obviously prone to getting sweaty and horrible, so I'm inlcined not to share the helmet with anyone. Ideally we'd all get our own and I'd advise EBAY as the solution as you can pick them up virtually unused for 1/3 or 1/2 the price for a new one (About £20). But if people want to share helmets and get 2 or 3 'Team helmets' we'll have to sort some kind of list of head sizes and sort the money aspect out and if need be I'll bid for some on EBAY, but you'll have to let me know.

Next Practice (Subject to confirmation and booking) will be Staurday 20th Jan at 12.00 - 14.00hrs
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Friday, January 05, 2007

Paying to practice

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The venue's going to cost £48 for the 2 hours so we'll split that by however many of us turn up. Other than that there's the cost of the balls and possible wear and tear on the gear. The soft balls cost £3.00 each and the proper cricket balls along with costs to order them are around £7.00 each, I'll leave it till the end of the session and see how kanckered they are before I let you all decide how much you want to contribute to the 'Ball & kit fund'.
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Thursday, January 04, 2007

2nd Hour training strategy 6th Jan


For the 2nd hour some people have suggested we have a game of some sort. Having given some thought to this I've come up with this idea....
The length of the sports hall is such that we can bowl full length and have a wicket keeper. Again it's going to be tight for space and if all 12 people turn up as indicated by those that have shown an interest there's going to have to be some kind of format to playing. So this is my suggestion. Instead of aiming to whack the ball as hard as physically possible all the time, perhaps we should aim to put the ball in specific areas simulating trying to play it between fielders (I might be ambitious in these suggestions). The idea being if you can hit the ball not beyond point B and at the floor as you do so (Denying any catching opportunities you score 6. If you hit the ball between zones A & B that's a 4 and anywhere between A & C you only get 1 and bewteen the two 'C' markers 2 points.

That means 3 people will be occupied with Batting, bowling and Wicket keeping with the others in slips positions or other fielding positions?

Again we'll do this in Quick cricket style e.g. the batsman is only in for an over and the aim is to get as many points in your over. If you get bowled, caught or stumped etc you lose 6 points? Personally I think we should try and use the real ball for this because this will be the only opportunity for anyone who is serious about bowling to get a chance to do so at the right length?

What do you reckon a plan or a load of bollocks?

Dave.

I'm off to watch England get whitewashed by the Aussies now....
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Training Strategy 1st hour 6th Jan

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So basically what we've got is a sports hall normally divided into 3 bays with nets as per the image here. So for the first hour the plan is to use all 3 bays to bat in.

Each person batting gets to face 3 overs or so with the bowlers doing the same. Any spare people in the bays field.

Unfortunately the distance between A & B is a lot shorter than 22 yards and we'll probably going to have to use softballs (baseball practice balls) because that's one of the stipulations of using the space. The good thing is you can whack the things as hard as you like. Personally I'm up for sneaking some proper balls in so if anyone fancies facing a hard ball we'll be using the middle bay (Protected either side by nets) for bowling practice that approximates the real thing albeit a bit short? Remember I'm a slow spin bowler so it's not going to be that dangerous. Hopefully that'll keep us all busy and no-one's going to be standing around bored?
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