When A Rule Isn’t A Rule…

This may turn into a bit of a rant and yes, it is another sport related blog. But true to my own form, it is the only thing that would bring me back to blogging even if it is in a less active role.

This is in reaction to an incident in the U19 Cricket World Cup being held in Bangladesh. A match that was called a thrilling affair with teams life in the competition on the line, but finishes in what can only be described as an ugly and farcical manner.

http://www.cricket.com.au/news/under-19-world-cup-mankad-west-indies-keemo-paul-richard-ngarava-darren-lehmann-jos-buttler/2016-02-02

A mankad. The biggest leech in cricket today, maybe second to the “15 degrees” rubbish. Now the general purpose behind this ability to run out the non-striker is to remove any chance of “run stealing” whereby a batsman advances down the wicket to reduce the distance for a run to be completed. This rule has been explicitly written in the MCC Laws of cricket, the laws by which everyone plays by. The core of what is cricket.

Law 42.15: Bowler attempting to run out non-striker before delivery

The bowler is permitted, before entering his delivery stride, to attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of the over. If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball as soon as possible.

<https://www.lords.org/mcc/laws-of-cricket/laws/law-42-fair-and-unfair-play&gt;

Now the part to take note of here is in that first sentence: “… before entering his delivery stride,…” which as those who watch the video will note is not followed by in the U19s match. The batsman has not left his crease until the bowler’s full “back foot” is planted. When this foot hits the pitch, the bowler is deemed to have begun his delivery stride. All should be fine with this scenario, but it gets a little more complicated thanks to our friends over at the ICC.

All games played under the ICC are governed by an additional set of ICC Playing Conditions. For those without a clue, the ICC is the International Cricket Council which overlooks all cricket played between the many cricketing nations around the world. This means a test match between Australia and New Zealand is an ICC sanctioned match. The Old Boys XI vs The Tigers in 15th grade park cricket is obviously not. The ICC Playing Conditions include amendments or additions to the MCC Laws of Cricket. Funnily enough, the ICC completely replaces Law 42.15 with the following:

“The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to deliberately attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of the over. If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball as soon possible.”

<Taken from the ODI Playing Conditions, but is the same across formats: http://icc-live.s3.amazonaws.com/cms/media/about_docs/559921e3b7a49-2%20_Standard_ODI_July_2015.pdf>

The difference here is the point at which the bowler is permitted to run out the batsman. In this scenario, he has that extra time until he completes his delivery swing.

When you have the same scenario being able to be ruled two different ways, you are opening yourself up to confusion and anger over whatever way the decision goes. How can you expect the entire cricketing community to accept something like this when there’s no common ground on how that situation should be dealt with? This is essentially saying you can do something that is against the Laws of Cricket but it’s ok because the ICC says so. Too often there are rules that get changed for ICC sanctioned matches and when these new rules are seen on TV by many people, including ill-informed park cricket players, it starts to seep into those without the knowledge that what you see on the TV is how you play the game. The ICC should continue to govern the game, but not meddle with how the game is played.  This brings me to my biggest gripe, and it is a simple one.

ICC Playing Conditions are ruining the essence of cricket. They are bringing in a second set of rules that your every day cricket player does not play under and should not feel the need to think that it is what they play under. It is ruining the game from the top and it’s now spreading through from the bottom. People may say that it’s only park cricket and it’s no big deal, but if you have a game that has set rules, you play by them. Don’t play under a fabricated set of rules because it’s what you see on TV or hear from someone else. You wouldn’t change the rules in a football (soccer) match to allow strikers to catch the ball with their hands then drop kick it into the goal. Yes, that’s an extreme example but it is the exact same principle. The Laws of Cricket are there for everyone to play under, don’t screw around with that.

Let cricket be cricket.

It’s Not Often I Get Too Worked Up…

Some things frustrate me, like screaming kids in the shopping centre or the people across the road who can’t reverse out of their driveway properly, but there are other things which just scream over the top levels of ridiculous and that gets on my nerves in a way that it really shouldn’t. The scheduling of the NRL draw is just one of these things. Now that the final 6 rounds have been sorted, there really is no better time for me to just let this all out.

Now, I should probably clear a few things up so the context of this blog makes a little bit more sense. I’m a Wests Tigers supporter. Have been ever since the days of the Magpies and just naturally followed them through the merger. In translation, I’m a New South Wales boy so anything Queensland I want nothing to do with. Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys, don’t care. Another thing, I do not have pay TV meaning foxtel is not within my viewing arsenal. So Friday night games I watch, mostly the first game and I’m drifting off during the second game and sporadically watch the Sunday arvo games. Even though I’m a Tigers fan at heart, I enjoy watching my rugby league and not just games involving the Tigers. Every team has a different style, they have different players, some with more superstars than others, and its this variation which I enjoy watching. There are plenty of players I enjoy watching, Adam Reynolds from the Rabbitohs and Daly Cherry Evans from the Sea Eagles are just two of these examples. The hope is always, as a free to air watcher, to have the opportunity to watch all of the skills and performances possible by every team in the competition at some point during the year. Unfortunately, as of recently, the mere thought of having a more even spread of televised games has gone out the window.

Now, I’m first to admit I think the Tigers get a few too many televised games. In fact, this very season they had 5 Friday night games in the first 10 rounds. The Wests Tigers, notorious for Phil Gould’s love of Sunday arvo footy at Leichardt Oval, being put on Friday nights. I was actually at two of these games and the old adage that the Tigers can’t play at night seems fair given both times they were smashed by at least 40 points. But I still enjoy watching the Tigers on the tv when I get the chance.

My biggest gripe is with the current hardon the schedulers have for putting the Brisbane Broncos on Friday nights. They ended up with 16 games on Friday nights this season, out of 26 rounds. When you factor in they had two bye rounds and also had a run of three Monday night games in a row. Now, you may think the Monday night run isn’t relevant as it’s on fox rather than free to air, but that comes back to this obsession schedulers have with the Broncos.

You often hear teams complain about the “short turn-around” that comes with playing on Monday night. Now, the only logical complain is if you go from Monday to Friday in consecutive weeks. Luckily, this scheduling chaos does not occur in the 2013 season, something to be commended. Monday to Saturday is the same as a Sunday to Friday, if these shorter gaps between games are relatively well spread, no one has reason to complain. The thing with Brisbane is with the huge amount of Friday night games, combined with their Monday night streak, they are getting consistent full week breaks.

Before you get all worked up, I get that part of the scheduling is about showing teams that perform more regularly throughout the season so more entertaining and tight games are shown, and even the unwritten rule that there has to be a Queensland side on Friday night (although almost always fulfilled by the Broncos). But if we compare the amount of games televised on free to air in 2013 in relation to the team’s positioning in 2012 we get some very interesting results.

Last season’s minor premiers, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs were rewarded with 17 televised games over 26 rounds with 4 of those on Sundays. Although a slow start from the boys in blue and white, they have picked up their performances with many big players returning. Do they deserve to be shown more often? Sure. But 17/26 rounds may be a little too much.

The ‘Dogs are only pipped by one team in total games on free to air, you guessed it. The Brisbane Broncos. With their 18 televised matches, 16 Friday nights as mentioned before, all going to a team which finished 8th last year and have struggled to cement a place in the top 8 this year. This is not the Brisbane of old with over half the Queensland representative players in their team. This is a new Brisbane with younger, unproven players along with ageing experienced players. For a team that clearly hasn’t pulled out the performances, they should not be shown as often as they are.

There are two other teams which really stand out, and not for good reasons. The Canberra Raiders and the Cronulla Sharks. Two of the three least televised teams in 2013 (along with the New Zealand Warriors who I can understand their lack of free to air games), both of which finished in the top 8 in 2012. How badly robbed have these two teams been this year? Try 5 games for the two teams, combined. The worst part is that the Raiders, a team which can be outstanding at their home ground, only got 1 which was an away game and ended up being their worst performance of the year. The Sharks are coming into a strong few years after a lot of key signings along with a very strong squad and yet have been continually shot down for appearances on free to air tv. Their fans must be fuming. The Sharks currently sit 6th on the ladder and the Raiders in the mix for 8th after a very good run of form.

It’s the abnormally large gap between the most shown teams and the least shown teams that frustrate me the most when it comes to this great game. Although I haven’t looked extensively at their draw but I have heard the AFL is a lot more spread with its draw, merely limiting its Friday night blockbusters. But that may be partly down to a different style of television agreement where Friday games are shown along with specific games involving either the teams within the state in which it is airing (e.g. Swans and Giants games shown in NSW regardless of time). But in the non-AFL states, you can forgive them for driving viewing towards certain teams. The NRL on the other hand and these claims that Brisbane is the “home of rugby league” or something now but it seems they can’t go a couple of weeks without the Broncos on free to air.

For the amount of times you can say that Brisbane are the most heavily supported team in the NRL and they may bring in the ratings, but what about all the fans of the teams that continually get relegated to pay tv week after week. Are the Broncos fans more important that those of the Sharks or the Raiders? It’s not like the teams are snubbed for being out of form, more they aren’t in favour with whoever it is that makes these decisions. It’s disappointing to say the least and I know I’m not the only one who hopes this starts to change in the future.

 

For those interested here are the numbers for 2013 with Team Name, Friday, Sunday, Total FtA and 2012 ladder position.

Broncos

16

2

18

8

Bulldogs

13

4

17

1

Cowboys

5

1

6

5

Dragons

4

5

9

9

Eels

6

3

9

16

Knights

2

7

9

12

Panthers

3

5

8

15

Rabbitohs

9

2

11

3

Raiders

1

0

1

6

Roosters

7

3

10

13

Sea Eagles

5

1

6

4

Sharks

3

1

4

7

Storm

5

5

10

2

Tigers

9

4

13

10

Titans

2

7

9

11

Warriors

2

1

3

14

 

Bang. Crash. Boom. BASH!

This is the unfinished draft of my blog for the KFC T20 Big Bash League. I saw it as a shame to leave it in my drafts even though it’s late. Enjoy.

 

The Big Bash League (BBL) is here and set to start in mid-December, sponsored by KFC. This competition involves eight, city based teams all with unique and modern monikers, bright new colours and more importantly, some of the best cricketing talent from all over Australia and the rest of the world. This is set to be the start of a new revolution in Australian domestic cricket with this Twenty20 competition about to begin its inaugural season. With teams based in Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth with two teams in Sydney and Melbourne, this new competition is sure to create fierce new rivalries and a new era in Australian cricket. This is very exciting stuff.

When the details for the BBL were first drafted, player squads, international player limits, salary caps and ownership privatization were all part of the plan. Each franchise was advised of a month(-ish) long period in which they could negotiate player contracts, by the end of which they must have the minimum 14 players in their preliminary squad with no more than 18 players all up. Within minutes of this opening, two of the biggest signings of the competition were made. Australian opening T20 batsman and one of the most dangerous men in world cricket, David Warner, and the most flamboyant and aggressive batsmen from the West Indies, Chris Gayle, were both signed by the Sydney Thunder. Immediately, everyone knew this was a serious competition. The game was on. It started, right now!

From here, each team assembled what they thought would be a match winning squad, signing the very best in batsmen, the most dangerous bowlers and a bunch of new, young talent sure to let loose in this new generation of cricket. So from here I would like to express my thoughts on all eight franchises, their rosters and all other BBL related news pertaining to the teams. I’d like to acknowledge whoever made the Big Bash Board (http://bigbashboard.com/), this is where I am obtaining the majority of my information from. Check it out if you’re interested, there’s heaps of interesting statistics even team comparisons, its pretty cool.

Starting with the Sydney Thunder. Right out of the blocks quickly, signing the most dangerous opening partnership available in world cricket. West Indian Chris Gayle (68 matches, over 2,100 runs with 205 fours and 131 sixes) and Local boy David Warner (the most experienced of the squad with over 100 T20 matches, amassing almost 3,000 runs at a strike rate of 140, 296 fours and 114 sixes to his name). And after their latest Champions League meeting in the NSW v Bangalore match-up, the Thunder are surely licking their lips about signing these two. Warner was named captain of the Thunder, a man who has hit the most sixes at the Thunder home ground, ANZ Stadium. The choice of venue for the Thunder is ideal. It’s got a capacity of 82,000 which although won’t be reached, provides a large range of viewing areas for the spectators to watch the game from any angle they please. The Thunder will be fitted in a bright, electric green strip with a yellow-ish thunderbolt shaped T over the stomach. Very bright, so it will stand out against the mostly darker colours of the other teams. One notable signing is their wicketkeeper, Daniel Smith, who will double as a player and the Assistant Coach. The Thunder’s second international signing is West Indies fast bowler, Fidel Edwards. Sure to bring some fire to a bowling line up with the likes of Australian international and cult icon Doug Bollinger, and the unorthadox Scott Coyte. The top order for the Thunder is very solid, with Champions League hero Phil Hughes, as well as Usman Khawaja and Craig Phillipson to bolster the batting, the Thunder are sure to put on big scores at ANZ which has short straight boundaries when the pitch is east/west instead of north/south (that it should be, but thats another argument). One player in the Thunder line-up to keep an eye on IMO is young Sean Abbott. I have heard a lot of good things about him from people within my local district cricket association and if given a shot with some superstars, Abs is certain to step up to their level on a regular basis.

Cross town rivalries will be ever present in the first BBL season and none more so that the Sydney Showdown, the Thunder up against the Rockstars of the competition, the Sydney Sixers! The Sixers are making bold moves, particularly with their choice of colour. PINK! (or, magenta… but who’s getting tied down on specifics?) It’s different, it will stand out, it encapsulates Sydney fairly well, many believe the colour choice was a throw back to the Mardi gras which is held in Sydney,also this decision provides an opportunity for the Sixers to make a potential connection with the McGrath Foundation and support a great cause and helping out a former NSW great. Playing out of the picturesque Sydney Cricket Ground (which will host its first domestic T20 match during the BBL) for the first game of the tournament against the Brisbane team. Captained by Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin who brings with him 36 games experience with over 550 runs with 44 fours and 17 sixes. Joining him at the top end of the batting order will be dual Alan Border medallist Shane Watson (66 matches, over 1,700 runs, 152 fours and 83 sixes as well as 55 wickets) and English T20 opener Michael Lumb (103 matches, just under 2,200 runs, 285 fours, 71 sixes and a highest score of 124*) both of which boast a T20 batting strike rate of over 140.00. The Sixers have brought home batsman Ed Cowan from Tassie, as well as making some major all rounder signings of Moises Henriques (40 matches, 550 runs and 31 wickets), Steve Smith (41 matches, over 400 runs and 42 wickets) and Steven O’Keefe (11 matches, almost 100 runs and 10 wickets).

The 8th of January, 2012.These two Sydney warhorses will come to battle at ANZ Stadium Homebush. 6pm on a Sunday night, any cricket fans in Sydney should get along to the game. It’s sure to be a cracker!

Parallel to the Sydney derby, Melbourne also has their own version of the cross-city clash with the Stars and the Renegades based in the south. This rivalry shows a number of similarities to the Sydney derby with teams in similar colour shades and an East v West theme sure to bring fire to each meeting of these powerhouses.

Starting with the MCG based Stars in their green uniforms, who appear to have scouted a lot of experience with Skipper Cam White, and fellow all-rounders Adam Voges and England import Luke Wright all playing over 70 T20 matches and David Hussey playing a massive 155 games in total. These four powerhouses are sure to make up the spine of the Stars line-up, lifting the squad and carrying the team to victory. With almost 10,000 runs between the four of them, 4 hundreds, strike-rates of 130+ and almost 400 sixes hit. Others to keep an eye on from the batting line up include ex-Tasmanian George Bailey, former banana bender Chris Simpson and two Victorians in Matthew Wade and Rob Quiney. The Stars’ bowling line-up isnt to be scoffed at either, boasting Australian star Peter Siddle, locals Clint McKay, James Pattinson and John Hastings and another Tassie in James Faulkner. Factor in spinner Jon Holland and you’ve got a very handy squad playing out of Australia’s largest capacity stadium.

Over to the west of the MCG, we have Etihad Stadium, which you may remember as the Telstra Dome where in 2005, Australian batsman Mike Hussey once hit a ball so high, it hit the roof! Playing out of this unique stadium we have the Melbourne Renegades in a vivid red shirts. Probably the most interesting part about the Renegades squad is that they have no Cricket Australia contracted players, the only Big Bash League team in the competition in this situation. However, the Renegades have probably the strongest squad in the league. With Brad Hodge’s 3600+ runs at 35 with almost 400 fours and 90 sixes at the head of a strong batting line up. Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes blistering pace to open the bowling with almost 240 wickets between them and strike rates of 17 or less. The Renegades have also made one of the biggest international signings of the league with Pakistani all rounder and T20 superstar, Shahid Afridi who has 1300 runs at a strike rate of 157.66 and 112 wickets at 17.92 giving him the Renegades’ highest individual batting strike rate and bowling average. The Renegades have also picked up former West Australian spin bowler Aaron Heal, as well as confirming Victorians Andrew McDonald and Aaron Finch, both of which are sure to provide tons of entertainment for the Etihad crowds. The Renegades’ second international signing is Afridi’s international teammate Abdul Razzaq, a handy all rounder with 1500 runs and 90 wickets. I’m already looking forward to the 30th December when the Renegades travel to ANZ Stadium to play the Sydney Thunder.

Australian and International Cricket

The current Australian side currently has alot of ‘aging’ players with Katich, Ponting, Hussey and even North are reaching that difficult age for batsmen. They start to lose their eye of the ball and their timing. A perfect example of a player being too old is Mark Waugh, he was a brilliant batsman who based alot of his technique on timing. As he grew older he lost this timing and so lost his skill with the bat.

My view on: Shane Warne.  One of The best test bowler of all time, and is legally the highest wicket taker in test match cricket. (I’ll talk about that later) He announced his retirement at the end of the 06/07 Ashes Series against England no durr here in Australia. After this series he went over to captain/coach the Indian Premier League team the Rajisthan Royals. I have always believed that Wanrey had enough time left, and of course the skill, to continue playing international test match cricket until the end of the current Ashes series in England (09).

Another great bowler we lost in that short period was Glenn McGrath, one of the most consistent pace bowlers of the modern era, and now founder of the McGrath Foundation doing great work with nurses and the treatment of breast cancer. Both McGrath and Warne together in the attack at opposite ends was one of the most feared bowling combinations in world cricket and it was very rare that this combination did not result in one, if not more, wickets falling in the space of only a few overs.

The Australian team was faced with a difficult position when the retirement of explosive batsman and great gloveman, Adam Gilchrist. Gilly, who was robbed of the fastest century in test match history (Hoggard you dog, bowling a friggin wide) struck with the bat in an explosive fashion with the ability to take bowling attacks apart in the matter of a few overs.

Losing one of our most successful and steady opening partnerships, Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer, were also a huge loos to what was once a world class side. Any team’s opening batsmen are the rock to a good innings and these two were reliable at the top of the order, on numerous occasions making century partnerships and even a few double century opening stands.

Allan Border took over the captaincy from Kim Hughes, the notorious cry-baby in 1984 during a test series against the West Indies. He ‘adopted a team of relative no-names including David Boon in his second test. After the team’s continual failures against other international test playing nations under Hughes, Border took on such names as Craig McDermott, Simon O;Donnell, Merv Hughes, Rod Marsh and a very young Steve Waugh. He took this team of young unknowns and developed their games to take Australia to the top of world cricket in the late 80’s and 90’s, being seen as the father of Australia’s dominance of world cricket in the past 20 years.

Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor and Ricky Ponting can not be compared to Allan Border as a captain. They all inherited a class test team, who already knew what they had to do to win matches. With this team they successfully injected young talent to give them a taste of international cricket at the highest level (or against England).

As you most probably skipped read before, alot of great players from Australia’s recent test team have retired in a short time span. The team had NOT bred young players though during their reign at the top, keeping with the same team under the assumption…if we change, we may not keep winning.

I forsee the same position Border faced when he first took over the captaincy happening when Michael Clarke relieves Ricky Ponting of his duties. I think that Ponting’s side has lacked the blooding of young players.

It doesnt help when they bring in a young player into the squad for a tour, Phillip Hghes, and drop him after two test matches due to “poor form”. Aside from the fact the Hughes was NOT OUT when Strauss “caught” the ball which clearly bounced before him. And who do they replace him with? Shane Watson. Mr Breaks-a-lot. Australia should have kept Hughes in the side, they have no back-up specialist batsmen.

You may have heard the Brad Haddin broke his index finger on his left hand just before play in the third test. They took Graham Manou over, luckily, as a replacement… but who would keep if Manou were to also be injured? Hussey, who is losing sight of the ball? The perfect replacement as a third keeper would have been Phillip Hughes, who kept for his Under 19’s representative side.

Personally, i’m a huge fan of Phillip Huges and Michael Clarke. The latter of which is the major influence behind my online display name. I have also met their batting coach, Neil D’Costa, whilst completing my level 1 coaching certificate as approved by Cricket Australia.

That’s enough of Australia-centric stuff so i’ll move onto a few other issues which really tick me off.

India.

The BCCI have constantly tried to show their dominance over the ICC, claiming they should have the power over world cricket and all financial benefits as well. The also try their best to ‘intimidate’ the ICC into making decisions in their favour. This is one reason why i hate the IPL.

The IPL was at first a great money-maker for international superstars with contracts worth millions of dollars on offer. The main premice of the inaugral season of the IPL was its abundance of world talent. When the second season came around, the Indians complained, saying there were too many foreign players in the IPL and that it should be an Indian based competition. This contradicts any reasons why the first season was so successful. You can probably see why the second season was not as suce$$ful as the first.

Murali.

The recently retired, contravercial spin bowler, who holds very little in my books. He has been proven to have an illegal bowling action, during studies in Perth. Firstly, you shouldn’t test someone for a dodgy action in a lab. He is obviously not going to chuck while he is being tested. Secondly, after he was proven to be a chucker the ICC CHANGED THE RULE so his action was legal. Now, i don’t care what problems he may have with his arm, if he has a disorder with his arm, maybe HE SHOULD’T BE A BOWLER/CRICKET PLAYER! What pissed me off even more was that even after they proved he was a chucker and changed the rule, they let all his statistics from before he was proven illegal to stand. The least they could have done was wipe ALL his wickets from his career. Harsh but, i believe, fair.

This brings me to the Murali vs Warne debate. Warne will ALWAYS come out on top in this battle. Warne produced alot more quality wickets against quality opponents. He also had to cope with having McGrath bowling in the same innings, giving Warne less opportunities. People say that Murali takes more higher order batsmen…. SO WHAT? all that says is that Sri Lanka’s opening bowlers are shit. Murali took the majority of his wickets against teams such as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Warne only played bangladesh on a few occasions.

Warne will always be better than the chucker, Murali. That fact cannot be denied.

Coaching, Training, it’s just cricket.

Writing this immediately after sending an email in regards to a coaching training course i wish to attend.

To give a little background….

I play cricket, and have for 11 seasons now. Throught his time i have been involved in three (yes three) different clubs. The latest of these, Kings Langley Cricket Club, has been by far the best in terms of administration and my overall enjoyment of the game.

I joined KLCC four seasons ago for the Under 15’s competition, after my father wished not to coach my junior team. The club we were at did not like this idea as they wanted him to stay as coach as they had no replacement. In this season, my team proceeded to make the grand final, losing by only a few runs (i actually dont remember the margin, all i remember is that we got the guy who got 200 in the semi out for 0). The next season, my junior team did not perform as well as the previous season, but i had been given the opportunity to “fill in” for one of our senior teams, B15 a low grade. I then proceeded to participate in every game of the season for the B15’s, and halfway through the season, the captain decided that i should be opening the bowling, which i was quite excited about. This B15 team were minor premiers (i.e. first place). Our first semi final was a very exciting game, one which i will not forget in a long time. The week before we had played the same team, who chalked up 298 in the first innings and we chased it down with one wicket spare. In  the semi final, we were batting first and we were toppled over for a miserable 70-something. We needed a big effort in the field if we were to make it to the grand final. Our openers (by this stage, we had brought up anohter player from my junior team who is alot better [he now plays A grade]) had taken a few wickets and we were excited as they were only in the 30’s. The oppositions last recognised batsman had came to the crease and the weight of his team was on his shoulders. Our opening bowlers had finished their spell and i was due to come on at the northern end of the ground. There was one over at the southern end before i was up to bowl. Our keeper missed one delivery and the batsmen took off for a run, I at fine leg, promptly ran towards the racing ball as the batsmen turned for a second. I reached the ball and fired it in, with the recognised batsman running towards the keepers end. A beautiful throw, right above the bails, and he was run out. Oh the celebrations that went on at that very moment. From there the current bowler and myself cleaned up the tail, ending their innigs at an embarrasing 44 runs.

The grand final loomed upon us all, to be played at our home ground, the smallest in the district. We had beaten this team oonce during the season, but they had the wood against us in our last bout. The day arrived, we lost the toss and were sent in to the field. The opposition had the best opening batting partnership of all the teams in our grade. We opened with the same bowlers as the semi, neither taking a wicket. I was told to warm up and bowl the next over at the northern end.

This is where i talk it up.

My first over was tight, little runs scored. The second over is where our teams first breakthrough occured. One of the openers popped it up to a player in short (who’s name, no joke, is Chris Brown) They were 1-30something. The next over, third delivery and with the other opener on stike, i came in to bowl, pushed it a bit wide to allow for the inswing. The batsman positioned himself to leave, which he did. The ball swung back in, hitting the seam and cutting back towards the batsman. (At this point the scorers [one bieng my father] had marked a dot ball on the score sheet) BUT the ball hit the top of the off (outer most) stump, and the batsman was dissmissed. I was cheering, our team was cheering, the batsman was absolutely dumbfounded. We continued our roll dissmissing the opposition for 130 something, a reasonable total but in a final, anything is possible.

I cant recall too much about our batting innings, as i rarely paid attention when we were batting, most of the guys had some great stories some of which ill tell in another blog.

We ended up passing their total and won the competition, enough about thatm it was too long already.

Anyway, the next season, my father had decided to assist in our clubs minicircket program, training for 150 under 8 year olds on a friday night, to help him get away from the stress of his work. I have no idea how putting up with 250 screaming kids can be less stressful, but anyway.

He asked me if i would like to join him in the second week, which i did and have now done for two whole seasons only missing one week since my first appearance.

The first year, the club had employed a man, Brad, to organise numerous activities for the kids, for the second season, he had moved to queensland and had got married (and last week we got news that his wife had given birth to their first child) so two of the other helpers had taken over, with my father and i as assistants. This coming season, they are looking toput someone on permanently in the same role as Brad hadand they have suggested the two who have done it.

Now my father and i have both partaken in many cricket related workshops, we are both qualified district umpires and both level one cricket australia accredited coaches.

Over the past month, my mother (who works in child care) was sent an email regarding a Community Coach Training Program, which she suggested to me. I am now printing off the enrollment package for this couse, to be held in the olympic stadium [OMG], and will be sending it this afternoon.

If i am to complete this course and through this find employment in related industry, i will be paid and a small payment will be put to my nominated club or organisation.

I am hoping that by completing this course, i am looked at by the club as a suitable heir to Brad’s position.

Well, well, what do we have here.

Now although this may be the first blog posted on wordpress, doesn’t mean I haven’t been involved in the online weblog community. I have previously used a blog on a site “Xanga”, as forcedencouraged by a good friend. Why I am putting myself through all this again, i don’t know. But what i do know is that i will most likely move away from Xanga and more towards this, due to the few people i know on xanga updating less and less frequently.

So i’ll keep this first one short and say, i hope you enjoy your times on my blog page. feel free to comment on whatever, i’ll try and reply to everything if i can.

I hope that this blog can help people understand who i am as a person, let me release alot of anger that i try not to release in the open and give me opportunities to plug my own shit youtube videos, twitter and others. (I will also try and keep the swearing to a minimum [personal goal – please don’t make a fuss about it])