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Friday, February 29, 2008

Just been on the www.simplycricket.net website looking at the forum and noticed a thread that a bloke had posted on commenting that he took some time getting settled in to the game http://www.simplycricket.net/slowness-t2015.0.html;msg17932;topicseen#new if you look at the response to the initial question by the bloke calling himself "Almost Austwick" he makes a really good point about using "soft hands" just to get the bat on the ball and kill the speed and just let the ball fall at your feet. I'm assuming that if you do this - you'd have previously spoken to the batsman at the other end and alerted him to the fact that you're going to do this as it's his call as to whether you run or not and obviously he's the one that can see how close the wicket keeper is to the ball?

So that's something I'm going to keep in mind this weekend and try and see if I can do it.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

General stuff

Weekend doesn't look too promising with regards the weather, looks as though it's probably going to rain. One of the blokes at work - Richard spoke about wanting to get out and have a bit of a bat, so there's a bit of interest there? I've teased them asking if they want to sell their bats for a tenner as they're not going to be using them again - they seem to be intending to do so at some point in the future.

I noticed that on www.simplycricket.net my thread in the forums has now passed 3000 views, when I first started contributing to it back in Dec it only had a few. Looking around the website it looks as though the "Leg Spin Bowling" thread which is the one I contribute to the most, is the most viewed thread on the site which is nice. Bit by bit there's a few other younger blokes that beginning to make a contribution, which is good because when it comes down to it I'm probably the one with the most need to learn out of all of them! But it's good fun. It's a shame in a way that there's not more adults out there who have got genuine experience and skill that could make a valid contribution instead of sitting around watching crap on the tele all night, but then it's horses for courses and people simply don't like sitting at a computer writing pages after pages of the same old bull like I do!

Anyway more waffle - I've made a bit of a concerted effort to do some shoulder exercises I'm now trying to do the pulling the rubber bands apart behind the head thing. I can easily get up to 20 and then it gets hard, by 25 that's it I'm done and I can't do another. I'll have a go in a minute and see how I get on? But it's the running and the throwing long distances which I need to do stuff with. At the weekend I get to run about a bit chasing down the balls that Thomas hits all over the park. We need more blokes to get it a bit more active - we need those local blokes to start turning up! I noticed tonight that the evenings are getting lighter it's that which will make the big difference, once the light extends beyond 7pm I reckon they'll be out there?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Practice session

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The rain continued to hold off today, meaning that here in Essex it hasn't rained for probably more than 2 weeks, so the ground is drying out nicely. So as per last weekend Thomas and I managed to get out on the field for an hour or so at 3pm hoping that we might be joined by the bloke from a couple of weeks back. Turns out that we didn't see him.

The weather was blustery and grey but a reasonable 12-13 degrees. We both had a bowl and a bat. I tried to take on board some of the stuff the blokes on simplycricket.net had advised me to change - bring my arm up higher and sort my run-in out. The initial impression I got from making these changes was that my bowling seemed faster and relatively accurate as in the first 4 overs I think I bowled Thomas out. He then seemed to get used to me and then was hitting me all over the place and only much later with a really low and fast flipper did I manage to get a ball past him.

I'm not sure whether it's because I'm just not that fit at the moment, but my bowling did seem to deterioate after about the 6th or 7th over and I resorted to all sorts of tactics without giving it much thought. I tried the Leg Breaks again - they were too full and not turning and it just felt like I was trying too hard whereas the Wrong Uns come out love little with very little effort. I've come away from todays session thinking maybe I should just concentrate on 3 different deliveries - The Top Spinner, The Wrong Un and the Flipper (Which turns from leg to off like a leg break). I think the majority of the wickets were taken by mixing up the speed and length of the Top-spinner, so if I then add to that the occassional Wrong Un and Flipper will that work for me? More than anything I need to have more people involved with the practices, so that I can put these theories into practice and then do the thing where the batsman plays as though it's a game (Has to score x amount of runs off an over).

I think though overall I have improved - I bowl nowhere near as many wides as I used to and I vary the delivery speed and length.
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Friday, February 22, 2008

MPA resurrection?

Mark "Suicide" Soye mentioned today that he and someone else had been talking about playing cricket and he asked if anyone was still up for it? So that's Rod the Aussie, Thomas and now Mark showing an inclination to play cricket. I think Simon's up for it and Richard, so there's six of us.

I've got to admit I still can't get my butt into gear to do any training. Getting a comment from David Hinchcliffe reminded me that elsewhere people are preparing and getting ready for the season. I noticed a couple of weeks back Conan the Kiwi and Gavin at work were in the Gym working out and here I am with my cup of tea and half a kit kat going no where!

I've got to start soon, but I feel really lethargic and at work we're all waiting for an Ofsted inspection and we're all suffering psycologically a bit, this inspection has been hanging over our heads for almost a year with every weekly meeting the same message - It's going to happen soon, so be as prepared as you can blah blah. It's just draining and it's making it so that just getting out of bed in the morning seems like hell and then by the time you get home you just want to sleep. None of it is coinducive with getting out there and doing any training.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The weekend ahead

Just watched the weather and it's looking very promising with regards the weekend. It's going to be around 14 degrees and windy tonight and tomorrow, so what with the rain holding off and the wind the ground is going to be drying out nicely and it'll be a fairly pleasent?

Hopefully I might be able to persuade some of the old team to come out for a bit of a knock about and put some of the stuff into practice that I've been advised to look at with regards my bowling via the internet after posting the video clip. The primary objective will be to get my front arm up higher and use it in levering the other arm over faster to add the whip effect as the arms rotate? I've also been requested to shoot the video footage closer so that the run-in is recorded in more detail, so I'll do this from both the side and the back I reckon?

I emailed the bloke at the council from last year and he's given me his mobile number and said to arrange and meet him to have a chat as to how he might be able to help us. He's mentioned that as yet the Rec isn't booked up on Sundays which sounds really worrying as it's normally block booked by Basildon cricket club as far as I was aware, so that suggests that something drastic has happened? It's more worrying for cricket in more general terms because if the Rec isn't used for Cricket and people are not paying to use it, needless to say the neccessity to maintain a wicket will be nulified. I've noticed in the past that if you look at ariel images of Gloucester Park it appears that at some point in the past there was another cricket pitch behind the running track, is it a case that in this area cricket is dying out? It would really be a shame if that was the case? Especially when you think in terms of the facilities that G&CCC have to put up with when compared to the beauty and serenity of the pitch at the Rec and the fact that the council take such pride in maintaining it! It'd be devastating if this pitch disappears. But then again I may be reading far too much into the email!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Five Tree Field 17th Feb

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I'm not sure what to think about today and some of the other stuff that has happened this week (nets on Tuesday). At one point this afternoon what with not being able to bowl Leg Break balls I was thinking why am I bothering to do this and surely this means with regards to G&CCC I'm probably a liabilty and they're just being polite in letting me play? I was beginning to get really down about it, but then remembered I've read on-line loads of batsmen cursing "Bad" leg spin bowlers because despite their potential inabilities they still manage to get people out. Then reflecting on what happened today there's loads of things that were working against me -

  • The ground was wet and the ball wasn't bouncing.
  • I'm unfit still.
  • The ball was wet and slippery.
  • It's slippery underfoot.
  • There were no fielders

Whereas the positives could be seen as -
  • I did bowl Thomas once
  • I got him once bowled and caught
  • I had loads of near misses
  • My bowling line and length has improved
  • If there had been fielders it would have been a different story
  • In a pressure situation I was far more effective

So I reckon I keep at it and see how things come along and keep plugging away at the leg breaks - they did spin a bit today. See what happens once more people get involved, the other bloke who was supposed to have turned up failed to do so today, but I reckon they'll be there eventually and once there's some fielders it'll make a big difference, a half decent wicket keeper today would have got Thomas several times as well.

One last thing I that is a positive I batted today and made a concious effort to move my feet and stand to the side more so that the stumps are exposed to the ball (As advised by Wayne at G&CCC) and it worked I hit the ball lots and Thomas is fastish and makes the ball swing outwards to from off to leg. So that's a definite positive. Just need the spring to come so that all these bloke come and join in.
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Sunday, February 17, 2008

17th Feb Five Tree Field

Hmm, today has been interesting - disheartening in lots of ways. I'd said that I'd upload some video clips of my bowling for people to comment on but I'm not sure I'm up for taking such a hammering.

I've looked at the clips and my initial thought was "That just looks ridiculously slow". I had a mate join me who played with us last year, the blokes not a cricket player and in the few games we played last year he was bowled for a duck everytime, as I recall last year he just went for every ball really aggressively and was caught each time. But with no fielders around and with no pressure he can get on the end of almost anything and hit it. So initially this is what he was doing. No matter what I bowled he was just moving and getting the bat on it. He seems to have amazing eye to ball awareness and reacts very late and in practice situations like today he managed to knock me all over the park. (he's left handed).

I was beating myself about it a bit and then I realised that if you were to crank up the pressure it would more than likely affect the way he played? So remembering something David Hinchcliffe had recommended to me last summer we changed the dynamics of the confrontation e.g. "Six balls left and you've got to score 20 runs". That then changed everything and he was far less affective. Also in a game situation we'd have just placed fielders in positions to catch the ball and again his batting would have been shown up for it's weaknesses, he concedes that he's not an accomplished batsman, just strong with quick reactions. So having thought about it like that I'm feeling slightly better.

I also noticed looking at the video clip that my balls are very flighty and are in the air seemingly ages and again I was thinking this looks so wrong, but then I looked at some of the clips on-line - (Terry Jenner clips) and my flight looks similar. But then looking at the clips on the cloverdale videos McGill appears to bowl with less height but much faster?

I suppose the ground is still soaked so there's hardly any bounce in it and other factors. Looking at the cloverdale video I'm slightly heartened as some of what I do looks spot on and it looks as though if I keep practicing the line and length accuracy, if I vary what I'm doing it should all come together. Again, going back to today I noticed that the speed of the delivery really bamboozled my mate, so maybe it wasn't all so bad? In a game situation with fielders maybe I wouldn't have clean bowled him which I only managed to do once today, but he'd have been caught behind and out at point again and again.

What he did conceded was that since last year my line and length accuracy had improved. I also noted tonight in the cloverdale video Terry Jenner says when talking about Wrong Un's "Don't bowl it so often that you lose your Leg Break". It looks like this is what I've done, I tried several today and they did turn a bit every now and then but nothing like my Wrong Uns.
As for the videos - I've been in two minds about posting them, but have decided to post one of them, I still need to sort out how to position the camera for best affect. All I'm asking for with regards this one is my run in - what's it like? Anyone offer any advice?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUv2mFcGqxw

It's only worth looking at the first minute, I think the rest of the clip we're out of frame collecting balls, I did try and edit it, but it doesn't seemed to have happened.

Tree Field

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I don't like the name "Tree field" so I'm going to call it "Five Tree field" in the short term. Anyway a bit of news - I sent an email out tonight to the bloke at the Council who helped us out last year to see if there's anything he can do for us, even if it means he or someone drives along the length of the pitch when they to and fro between locations at the park. I noticed that last year when we were on holiday in Cornwall the cars driving up and down between the tents compacted and flattened the ground quite nicely when it was wet and it was a massive improvement on just grass. We'll have to see what happens, if they can't do anything we'll just have to use what we've got.
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Friday, February 15, 2008

Test

I've eventually got my video camera working and have been playing with it. I've recorded a few exploratory clips primarily testing it out and I've uploaded one here just as a test to see if it links to websites and the blog here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iE_F4AUoMc

I'm having a bit of aggro trying to limit the size of the files and I also need to get some video editing software so that I don't end up having to post all the uneccesary stuff in between the actual bowling, but it seems to have worked but did take ages.

But this link does work, so that's it - I'll be able to post little clips of me bowling and get people on-line to look at what I'm doing and comment. I did notice that when you view this clip it comes up with a clip of Terry Jenner going through some Leg Spin stuff and I noticed that his follow through is fairly sedate?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ben and Joe

My boys had a leaflet go around their school a couple of weeks ago highlighting a heap of activities that were going on at a local council leisure/sports centre. There was all the usual things that you'd expect - eye catching "Exciting stuff" - kick boxing, extreme this and extreme that and on Thursday 10am to 11am "Cricket". Not extreme cricket or death cricket, just your bog standard "Cricket" and without any prompting (Much to my wifes dismay) both my boys opted to do cricket!

So this morning I skipped work and took them down to the leisure centre with no idea as to what was going to happen armed with the knowledge that there was only going to be 4 kids in total unless more had signed up yesterday.Just after 10 a bloke turned up "Matt" from Essex County Cricket Club and away he went.

The bloke was brilliant! My 2 boys are quite shy and the other 2 kids initially gave the impression of being confident in their abilities of being potential cricketers, one citing that he'd been trialed by a team or similar. The bloke Matt went through warm ups - all cricket specific, gradually building towards arming them with balls and eventually bats. He taught them how to bowl and then a front foot drive and then they all played kwik cricket.My kids went from being vaguely interested in cricket to a new level, my little-un who's 6 turned out to be the best catcher and the my older son who's the least interested turned out to be the best seam bowler and batsman.The interesting thing was that the bloke kept the pace moving all the time, never at any point were they doing anything long enough for any of them to get bored or recognise that they weren't particularly good at it. Even at the end when they were playing competitively against each other instead of letting my oldest lad hog the limelight and accumulate an ever increasing total they renewed the game started afresh giving other kids the chance to shine and possibly be the winner.

The bloke was brilliant.Both my lads as you'll have read above only have a vague interest in cricket and I run the risk of being accused of over-kill and diminishing their chances of taking the sport up. They both came away saying they'd given it 9 out of 10 for fun!

**************

Weather's looking good for the weekend albeit cold. So Sunday I'm going to be there with the bloke from last Sunday and I'll be concentrating on my walk in and follow through. Still haven't looked at that damn video camera though.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Todays exercises

Been doing some core strength stuff and other stuff

L sits - holding them for 15-20 secs at a time did 4 or 5 of those
Pull ups - I'm only managing 3 of those at the moment trying to build on them
The plank - 2 lots of minute each
Press up - but walking from side to side rather than up & down
Usual pulling the elastic band behind the head till my muscles can't do it anymore.
Sprinting in short bursts (Playing football with the kids)
Bowling continuously from end to end for over an hour.

None of this is in one session - broken up across the day. I need to do more running and throwing especially long distance stuff.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Paid my years subs

Neil, don't forget I paid my subs - cash the cheque ASAP please.
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Net Session

Nightmare! I don't know what happens - I seem to do okay outside on the grass and then when I get inside much of what I do goes wrong? Is it that I'm intimidated by the fact that so many people are watching? If so this isn't good. Somehow I've got to take some positives from tonight.

One thing that was weird was one of the blokes in our team - Neil Samwell who's one of the key figures in the team and I've got to say one of the friendlier blokes said as soon as I arrived that he'd been keeping an eye on the blog! So much so (And I think he's pulling my leg a bit) that he said he was disappointed by the gap in the blog activity through Dec and January and then was pleased that I'd started up again recently!!

So if you're having a read Neil, cheers for tonight it's good to have someone tell me what I'm doing wrong and giving some encouragement and advice as to how to correct it. Although I'm going to make a whole bunch of excuses now for how crap I was, but I do acknowledge what was said and will make an effort to do something about it.

One of the points Neil raised was that my walk in is wrong - I was doing the walk in and stop thing like I was doing last year in the nets. As far as I know when I bowl on grass I'm not as bad? But I would definitely acknowledge that if I'm trying to bowl Leg Breaks I do pull up short and have no follow through. I think what was happening tonight I was aware of the fact that My trainers were a bit slippery and I didn't want to go arse of tit. But once Neil had mentioned it and said give it a go and follow through I tried it and he said there was a difference/improvement. So I'll have to try this out. What I need to do is figure out how the little video camera I bought works and use it when I'm out on grass and check to see what my bowling looks like?

The other really frustrating thing was that I wasn't able to bowl a single flipper anywhere near the stumps, they all went flying off to Leg about 10 yards too long - why? God knows what I was doing? Yet earlier today on grass I was hitting the stumps and getting the ball to spin from leg to off all the time.

The more I think about it - it seems I get the yips when the pressure is on to perform. Yeah - this could be it - when I'm out on a field bowling on my own everything is fine. As soon as someone comes along and starts watching me it all goes to pieces - I start trying too hard. This is an observation I made earlier in the year, if I do things in a really relaxed manner it works fine, but as soon as I try and do stuff with a heightened sense of determination it all goes horribly wrong. So some how I've got to switch off from thinking about what I'm doing and who might be watching and just do it in a really relaxed and uninhibited manner.

So positives from tonight -

1. Other people in the team do care and do offer advice and encouragement and this bodes well for the new season especially if I can get out on the field prior to matches and practice.
2. The Flipper aside, my Top-spinners and Wrong Uns were fairly accurate and this is while everyone was watching.
3. I've now been made aware of the fact that my walk-in is problematic and I need to look at that as an issue as well.

Additionally........

4. If I get the Gloucester Park blokes all playing this summer in the evenings there's going to have to be some positive outcome to playing with and against them - the bloke who joined me on Sunday within a matter of minutes was giving me advice that seemed to make a lot of sense.

I just wish I didn't have to work on Tuesday nights as this means tonight will probably be my one and only net session - gutted.

One last thing - the balls; I've been discussing the size of balls with people on the internet and I know there are differences in sizes and I've mentioned it before in the context of playing with G&CCC saying that in the past the balls they use seem to be bigger. I seem to have to distinct sizes amongst my collection and when I'm trying to practice seriously I go for the bigger ones as they seem like "Real" size balls, but tonight I noticed (The flipper especially) the balls they were using seemed enormous! The flipper is the variation with the flick between the fingers and the smaller the ball is the easier it is to do this. Tonight not one of my flippers was anywhere near being acceptable - is it a size issue as well? I'm convinced it is.
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Practice session



As predicted the weather was unbelievably warm and I made sure that we went over to Gloucester Park on the Tree Field and got some practice in using stumps for the first time partly to get the attention of any prospective players and the ground staff at the park. All in it was a very good practice session with some very consistent bowling (line and length) although I didn't record how good it was as I have done in the past. So it does look as though all my practice with the Top Spinners has paid off because they in particular are very accurate, but with an added bonus of just turning my hand only slightly they become Wrong Uns and very effective wrong Uns at that - they turn quite dramatically!

There did seem to be loads of council staff around, so hopefully word will get around and I'll get a visit from the bloke who helped out last year. I also noted that adjacent to the field there were a couple of bloke who were driving around and working using one of those 6 wheeled rough terrain vehicles. If I could just get them to make a slight detour everytime they to and fro from their main working area to the section our field is in and drive along the length of our wicket surely that would be beneficial in that it would flatten out and compress our wicket? It's something I'll have to work on.























So here we are Feb 12th and the first use of stumps and cricket balls!

Hopefully tonight in my one and only net session with my team I'll be able to replicate some of the bowling I managed today? I'll report back later.
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15 degrees centigrade!

Strewth it's Feb 12th and it's going to be 15 degrees today!

Yesterday I took some pictures with Ben and Joe over at the field that we'll be using for cricket this summer and I'm just sitting here now thinking what I can do today to prepare for it. The area where the ball lands needs to be flat and smooth and I'm just wondering whether there's any point of going over there and flattening it some how? The ground is still very moist and wet and I suppose I could try and contact the council and see if they could help in some way? I'm wondering if there's any point in getting a piece of board and laying it on lumpy bits of the new wicket to be and just stamp on it to make it flatter? Or if there's any dips fill em in while the grass is still just about to start growing more rapidly?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Gloucester Park "Tree Field"













Gloucester Park is a big area and there's several places you can have a game of cricket. 2 official cricket pitches one with a pavillion (Murrayfields) and loads of open field areas including the area that I looked at last year called J field because of the peculiar J shaped mowing pattern that was there. Anyway this fields going to be designated as "Tree field" owing to the obvious trees that are adjacent to the wicket.





The first image here is looking SSW and you can see that the field is big enough but smack in the middle almost is a bunch of trees and these trees are in a position equivalent to an area between point and cover if you're at the southern end of the wicket batting which is a pain in the butt, but this is where these blokes play and the patch of grass that is the most even and most central is here.





The next image is looking in the opposite direction towards where the first shot was taken. My two sons are standing where the stumps will be and this illustrates the proximity of the trees with a fourth tree just out of shot on the right. It's not ideal but this field is very central to the town and is in an area only a few hundred yards from some more favourable fields that I'm hoping to maybe persuading these blokes to play or get them to play eventually on the real cricket pitches (again only a few hundred yards away). The other benefit of these fields is that they are right under the noses and within site of the council officials that work nearby on the council bowling greens. I've had loads of support from the council in the past and if I can propogate that support again this summer there is a small chance that I might even be able to get the council roll a wicket and even cut the field and wicket for us? It may be the case that the bowling green only at the edge of the field has a roller?




All in all apart from the trees this is a good venue with the potential for two teams to be formed here over the coming summer and having a bit of a laugh and some good games.

Watch this space.....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

exercise log

Still can't get too excited about the prospect of exercise, I prefer to do it in situ.

I've been doing some pulling of those bands that physio-therapists give you behind my head to do my shoulder muscles and arms. Some L sits which I do in my kitchen while waiting for kettles to boil and stuff. Stretching exercises for my calf muscle which I'm doing more of and walking and running more than usual, but still pretty lightweight stuff.

Still being lazy. Bowled a lot today though.

Break through!

Again lovely and sunny and warm 13 degrees. So late in the afternoon I drove over to the field at Gloucester Park for a bit of a practice and look at the prospects of marking out and maintaining a wicket there this summer to try and encourage the blokes that play there to take their cricket a step further.

Got over there and there was no-one around, but the light was low in the sky and was picking out the lumps, bumps and undulations in the field allowing me to have a good look and make a decision as to where I might position the wicket. I found a relatively flat spot running in the same line as the blokes had their wicket last year but more towards the centre of the field. I measured it out and pressed some of those flourescent orange lucozade lids into the ground to mark out where the stumps will go. I set up some stumps and bowled a few overs to see if I could get someone's attention even at this early stage.

My bowling was pretty good which was nice, even the leg breaks looked okay, all in all it seemed pretty good with me hitting the stumps very frequently especially with the wrong Uns which I was getting to turn nicely (Maybe I'm Off spin bowler more than a leg spin bowler)? Anyway I kept bowling and was enjoying myself and had just delievered a nice Flipper hitting the stumps and I heard someone shout something in approval from the outfield. Looking round I saw one of the blokes from last summer and he came over and offered to keep while I bowled. It turns out that he bowls a Chinaman normally but screwed up his shoulder some years back. We threw some balls had a chat and he gave me some advice about my bowling saying that pitching the ball 5 yards/metres in front of the stumps was too short - it would allow the batsman to step back and hit the ball which is true as that's what my mate Nakul always did.

At the end of the session he said "Do you come over here often"? I said not normally and explained what had happened last year at Great Berry had kind of forced me to look at this field as a practice option. I then told him about my intentions of maintaining a practice wicket and that usually the council support me with this and that they'd even offered the use of the nearby council wickets free of charge if I was encouraging "Grass Roots" involvement in the sport. He asked if I'd be back next week or if I played in the evenings? I said yeah and went on to explain if he was up for it (Or indeed if he'd turned up earlier as the gear was in my car) I'd bring all my gear - bats, gloves you name it. He then said he'd bring his over as well next sunday and we'd meet up at 4pm.

So brilliant already and it's only February and my plan is swinging into action! Furthermore a couple of the blokes from our team last year - Rod the Aussie and Thomas are both syaing they're up for a knock about as well. So things are on the up!

Also, despite the fact that there's a group of trees right near the wicket and we'll have to play around/with them the field is quite a nice field surrounded by fairly mature trees so it's quite a nice location. There's always the option once I've got all these blokes on board that we change the location to another nearby field (J Field) which is only a few hundred yards away - that's big and open and flat and can be as big as we want it.

I just hope that the weather holds out and I can meet up with this bloke and get the ball rolling and get something really good going this summer.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Leg Spin

Leg Breaks - this is the one if you're a Leg Spinner you're meant to be able to do and it's the one that if I'm honest is the one I'm worst at. Over the last few months I've been talking to people on the www.simplycricket.net website and they've said that if I'm going to ever achieve my goals I'm going to have to somehow re-learn how to bowl leg breaks. I say re-learn because it is the ball/action that i started out with.

Recently I've been exercising my arms, shoulders and rotator cuff using specific exercises in order that I can stave off any injuries over the summer. I've also not been bowling, trying out the idea that if I have a break from it I might come back with a slightly different approach and this seems to have worked as today what with the weather being very mild and sunny I bowled some balls concentrating on the leg break.

The thing I seemed to have lost the ability to do was release the ball with the plam of the hand facing the batsman, so that when the wrist flicks the ball is release spinning from right to left. Today I made a point of trying to do this and had a great deal of success pitching the ball very wide of leg and making it turn into off and hit the stumps albeit over a very short distance. It seems if I can repeat this action and watch my follow through as that's also a bit ropey when bowling leg breaks I might be moving in the right direction again? I've been enthused by the success with getting the ball to turn and I'm now looking to follow this up with a concerted effort to crack this before the season so this becomes my stock ball.

I think I need to move away from having the flipper as my main ball. If I can use the leg break with the top spinner as my main balls that can then leave me with the flipper and the Wrong un as "Surprise balls" to pull out of the bag in situations that might call for the added variety. Hopefully this weather is going to continue into tomorrow in the same way as there may be a chance for some bowling against one of the old MPA 1st XI blokes - Thomas. He's the bloke that was always able to knock me all over the park. So tomorrow could be fun.
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Monday, February 04, 2008

exercise log

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Knackered - 12 hours almost non stop teaching. Got home at 21.45. There's no chance that I'm going anywhere tonight. At best I'm going to do some stretches and a plank or two. I'm going to struggle with that I reckon. Calf muscle stretches I reckon will be my limit.
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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Fitness intentions and ideas

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There's football field just a few yards from my house so I reckon I may start my exercise regime there - but a better idea might be to do my training at the field or near the field where there's a big bunch of blokes (22-24 of them) who play informal cricket - the blokes I want to get playing real cricket this summer (See earlier posts). That way I can get a sense of how often they play, when they play and try and make friends with them so that I can make the propostion?

Check out www.gloucesterparkcricket.blogspot.com

Anyway that aside. What I'm going to do as I am so unfit is probably walk a circuit the first couple of times as fast as I probably can (Power walking)? over a period of 20 minutes. Then as I begin to get fitter intersperse jogging with sprints and walking trying to emulate what happens in cricket matches.

I've not mentioned warm ups have I? - I'll do those as well beforehand.

More to follow.....

Saturday, February 02, 2008

February update

Gutted!

I've had computer problems for the last month or so and haven't been able to get on-line and pick up emails and what have you. So yesterday I was able to check my emails and was really pleased to see that my main team I play for (Grays & Chadwell) had a date for this seasons net practice sessions and the first session is on the 5th of this month. I went to bed excited about the prospect at last of being able to bowl at someone rather than a target, I lay there contemplating talking to all the other leg spinners and maybe even getting some coaching in some form or at least some kind of feedback and then it dawned on me - the 5th.... That's soon...... That's at the start of the week? I then realised it was probably Monday or Tuesday - both nights and the only nights when I work till 9pm. The nets start at 9pm. Gutted! Absolutely gutted!

I'm now trying to think how I can get out what I'm doing or shift what I do to another day. But it doesn't look promising.

Fitness

It's gone down the pan. Over Christmas I did okay, I didn't over eat and felt so much better for it and didn't drink either so on that front I did better than any previous year. Everybody round this way suffered from either flu or sickness with the diaorhea and I managed to avoid that as well, so that was a result as well. But I just got the post Christmas blues and felt like doing nothing but sleeping. Additionally I'm still concerned (Or paranoid) about damaging my arm/shoulder through over-doing the practice, so it suited me to do virtually nothing for a month and then once I started to do the pre-habilitation exercises for my calf muscle injury from way back in September I then realised that there is some serious work to do there because the muscle now feels amazingly taught in comparison with the other leg. So January was written off on the fitness front and I've noticed at work if I simply climb three flights of stairs at work I'm huffing and puffing and my hearts beating fast.

So right now this moment I'm probably the most unfit I've ever been in my life and I've now got 3 months to address the situation.

What I intend to do is log my route to fitness here and possibly on the www.simplycricket.net where I'll be seeking advice and guidance.
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