I've got two sons - Ben who's now almost 19 and off to Reading Uni to study Geography, he's almost certainly been lost to cricket for the foreseeable future, he played a couple of games last season and enjoyed it, but this season hasn't played any despite being asked several times if he'd play. Joe though the younger son (Only just 16) is still hanging in there despite frequent threats of not wanting to play and having an air of complete indifference. But three weeks ago, because of how badly all of the teams in the club are doing he was more or less forced to move up to the 3rd XI and therefore no longer plays with me in the 4th XI. Going on what he was saying about the prospects of moving up, this seemed like a make or break moment, but the club and the 3rd XI captain handled it well and it seems he's enjoying it. It might help that since moving up they've won as many games than they've lost and this has been in part down to his bowling. Prior to that they'd hardly won any games at all.
This week Joe took 3 wickets for 13 runs off of 6.
This puts him in the position of 2nd highest wicket taker at the club at the moment along with Rob Brooks (Off-break bowler).
I played with him this week as I was moved up, I had a good game, fielded at Mid wicket, Mid-on and silly mid-wicket where I took a good catch off of Alastair Hayton's bowling (Off-break bowler). But Joe bowled really well as you can see. The wickets were all key players amongst their top four batsmen.
At the end of the game the 3rd XI boys were all saying that they were more than happy to have him, but were fully aware that it wouldn't be for long and that he'd be going up to the 2nd XI pretty soon e.g. next season. Dutton (4th XI captain) and many others reckon that he should be straight in the 2nd XI based on his bowling, but he is only just 16 and I personally think that should be kept for next season or perhaps a game before the end of this season to see what he reckons to it and how he gets on. One of the blokes Alastair Hayton said that he's never seen anyone bowl at Joe's pace at this level. Again reinforcing the comments of a Southend 2nd XI batsman a couple of weeks back that Joe clean bowled.
In the 4th XI we're really missing him now, we've had two games where all of us are looking around asking where's all the bowling gone? In part as our Captain has had to bail out of the team for this season as well.
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