Friday, June 15, 2007

Annihilated

Where to start? We got beat again severely I'm not even sure at this stage that I want to even mention the score but rest assured it was bad.

They (Sports Science) fielded some really good players - blokes that are obviously not college staff, (We do the same) but I think they've got contacts with local cricket clubs and they're able to draw on them as players. There was an Aussie bloke who was pretty lethal as a bowler, a noisy South African bloke who took Deans place as the wicket keeper - he was good. Then there was the bloke they call 'Ethnic' and he was fast (Bowling). But the surprise for me was Ronnie. Last time I saw him bowl was against SEEVIC and he was okay tonight he was lethal. I umpired through all of his overs and he was unbelievably accurate and fast. With regards the batting we only took a few wickets and again they used the young bloke who batted well and they had to retire him after he'd scored 50. It seemed to me that there was a handful of people that play regular cricket and are decent cricket players along with some really good cricket players. We didn't stand a chance.

Now the excuses........

Nakul, Rod, badger, Sunhail and Alex#2 weren't there. Both Chris and Jack bowled really well but where both dismissed cheaply, I think Chris got some runs and Jack went for a duck and then came a succession of ducks including Richard. Thankfully Jack's Dad Ian had given Jack and Chris a lift and he mentioned in passing that he'd played cricket years ago and if we didn't have an 11th man he didn't mind stepping in. Ian played well and scored probably 75% of our runs if not more. I managed to stay in through 2-3 other peoples dismissals but only scored 1 run as far as I recall and I run Terry out as he wasn't shouting run/stay etc and I shouted run when it was his shout and he was dismissed.

Worthy performances on our side......

Richard - he did really well wicket keeping
Jack - Very good bowling commended by loads of the opposition and Boffa. Also noted for good contributions in the field - stopping balls and catching.
Chris - Very good bowling commended by loads of the opposition and Boffa and like Jack commended for his fielding.
Simon - Commended for a good bowling performance very consistent.
Ian - for scoring all the runs.

Boffa who's now seen us play a couple of times recommends that I no longer bowl saying that I'm the worst bowler he's ever seen. I've got to admit in a situation such as a match he's right it does seem that I'm completely phased by the situation and bowl badly. So now I've got to sit down and re-evaluate the situation. The only reason I do this is so that I can bowl. The only reason I spend hour after hour practicing is so that when it comes to the day I get that chance and by his reckoning I shouldn't bother as it's to the detriment of the team. I did bowl awfully and it's true that I did in the previous game, but I felt more confident this time round and to be honest I think I was put off by Boffa's comments on the field albeit meant to help at the time. Personally I think with more games my confidence may grow and I will be less phased with each ensuing match? He disputes that and says I shouldn't bowl at all stick to the batting as I'm so much a better batsman than I am a bowler.

I think what I'll do for the good of the team is not bowl in the 40 overs match (Which is something I've been looking forward to doing since all this started) but in the meantime continue to practice and look to join a local club and see how I fair there at bowling and maybe pick up some coaching? Again I reckon it's a case of bowling more against a variety of people in different situations. Maybe doing that I'll overcome being phased by the event?

If as Boffa says batting is my strength I'll look to improve on that and make sure my contribution in that area is worthy of a place on the team?

This could be a pivotal point in the teams short history as I found the whole thing really demoralising and talking to Boffa after - he told me a few home truths and has forced me to look at the whole situation slightly differently.

The decision I need to make is why am I doing this? Do I need all of the aggro involved especially the issues around why do we exist as a team and is the ethos of the team one of winning? If it is - what as a team do we need to do to improve our chances of winning and what sacrifices are involved in the pursuit of winning. I've acknowledged that I maybe have to step down as a bowler because in game situations I'm wholly inaffective. In order to stay in the team I've now got to up my game as a batsman. The crux of Boffas argument was - does the rest of the team really have a sense of the whole picture and share my passion to win and if they do, why are they not like me and spending hours trying to maintain a place in the team through practice or willing to hold there hand up and say - Jack, Chris, Badger, Nakul etc are far better and more affective bowlers than me - let them have my place in the bowling line up. I may have my day if someone doesn't turn up and a bowler is required but until then I'm going to step down and work on my batting to ensure I play at least as a fielder and batsman on July 1st.

I'm with Boffa on this - it's a case of on July 1st we should field our best team. The game is on a Sunday and theoretically everyone is available to play. So the question is - Who will play? I posted my dream team a couple of days ago and it's unchanged other than the bowling line up. From what I know of the bowlers if we had 5 bowlers (8 overs each) I'd go for.

Jack
Chris
Nakul
Suhail
Simon

6 Bowlers

I'd add Rod.

Everyone I know that looks at this from the outside says that I'm mad and they say - If you want to play cricket why don't you join a real cricket team and join up - you wont have all this aggro and you may find that you're playing with people that are as equally obsessed as you are? It's a vaild point. In the short term I'm going to stick at it and see out the rest of the summer. The Aussies and Kiwis today contacted me today and said they'd be up for another 3 games between now and September so we still have a possible 4 games to go? In the meantime I'm going to go along to Westcliffs net practice next week and see how I go and maybe look at joining a club more local to me here in Basildon.

Don't forget Sunday practice is at 'The Rec' 9.30 - 12.30 if you want a place in the team come along to the practice and prove your willing and worthiness!

One final point. This was a dismal performance but we had to face a team which did appear to be made up in part of very strong players that did look like they'd been playing for years. Our team is made up of people that have hardly ever played or used to play years and years ago. If we had been able to play Suhail, Alex#2, Rod, Nakul and Badger the outcome would have been better - I'm not saying we'd have one because some of their players were very good including Ronnie who I was amazed at in how much better he was and he claims to be new to cricket. What I want to say is Chris and Jack is don't give up on us yet - hang in there at least till the next game.

Dave