Red Red Whine….

Some top moaning throughout the league and within our own club have reached me recently. So lets start with the league dinner. Most people agree that it was a bit of a let down last year, so the recent announcement that this year’s event will be at the same venue was met with surprise in some quarters. Maybe the venue just need to realise that we are their customers and not just a group of mug punters willing to accept whatever they throw at us. Now, the league asked for feedback as far back as November last year – so who gave any? If you don’t get involved, you should probably expect things to remain the same. Speaking personally, I blame Richard Blakey. The fact that he was ill probably didn’t affect his fee, and Tommy Cooper had one of his funniest moments when he literally died on stage. Richard simply did not have anything funny to say. This year we have been promised an international flavour, so it could be curry and poppadums, or it could be any one of a number of past England captains. 

The T20 tournament has reached the semi final stage, and our performances in progressing have been faultless. Not a single bad ball bowled and not a single false shot played. In fact so perfect have we been that our opposition simply wilted in the face of our awesome reputation, and all it took was a text message. For the semi final, drawn on 15th June, we are away at Hadfield, and the game was scheduled to take place just one week later. Now, our captain Dale Jones works away in the week, and the news of an imminent game came as a bit of a shock. Hadfield readily agreed to play at a later date, but the email exchange between Dale and our loquacious secretary Peter Crowley is something to behold. If you have the opportunity to read the text exchange on either phone I thoroughly recommend that you take the opportunity to do so. 

So, was 15th June really Father’s day? I seem to recall that Mother’s Day was a day for pampering, breakfast in bed and taking the kids out so that mum could have some quality “Me time”. Father’s Day seemed remarkably similar. Mum said, “The kids are making you breakfast and I’m off out for the day so that you can spend some quality time with them”. 

And speaking of kids, the under 15s played their third match of the season last Monday, having started in April with a rained off game rearranged to 1st May. This was followed by a bye week, so the second game happened on 19th May. Next up was a rained off game, so it was a full month before they got to play again. We could make use of Sundays, we could allow teams to arrange their own games (surely the road to chaos), or we could play the under 15s first and when they have finished all of their fixtures we could play the under 17s who have not only missed games because of the weather but also because both sets of players have had exams. The decision to permit teams to not field under 17s or under 15s was also a bizarre one, perhaps reflecting the current state of some clubs and not the overall desire to strengthen the standard of cricket throughout the league, and this has been exacerbated by the demise of High Lane. 

The simple fact is there are 3 days nominated for junior fixtures and 4 junior age groups (politely ignoring the earlier attempt to run games on Tuesdays) so you do the maths. Maybe a more radical approach has to be taken to change to under 11s, under 14s and under 17s or even under 18s? Would that mean less cricket for our juniors? Probably not. It would mean that less of them have to play two games in one week, or rather miss one of the two games in one week due to exam and other commitments. 

Ah well, the sun is shining. Back to work.