Today thinking about the potential over the summer for all of the local kids on my estate that go to my sons school just down the road to all suddenly get involved in playing cricket this summer, I've realised I need to get this moving along a bit. "local field" as I refer to it is on the edge of our estate 150 yards from my house. It's primarily a football field with an old tin hut at one end that is also a Boxing gym. The gym seems to get used 2 or 3 times a week in the evenings and football is played on the field in the winter, but last year there was hardly any football played at all. Last summer the people who look after the field let the grass grow to a height of about 1.5 feet, this year despite the lack of football they've been cutting the grass frequently. The area that we use is over in the far corner probably on one of the corners of the goal area diagonal running towards the corner of the pitch.
What with the increase in kids joining in this year and the potential for a fair gang of them to get involved and my older son now showing a readiness to hit the ball, it looks like we need to let our practice wicket recover and look at moving to the centre of the field and prepare a wicket there. So tonight I looked at a couple of possibilities locally - one more long term and the other the "Local field". I've measured local field tonight and it's a long oval shape 50 yards from each set of stumps running along the wicket - so the entire length is about 117 yards long by 70 yards wide. So we could play with a 35 yard boundary all round.
Not being able to contain myself at the prospect of preparing this field I've already been over there at dusk and marked out the length and width by cutting the first few feet at either end. So at the moment the state of preparation is thus...
(A) is the position of the practice wicket currently where I do a lot of my bowling practice and (B) is the proposed position of the new 17 yard wicket for the kids in the summer. The 2 dark green patches are the extent of the cutting that I've done so far just in order to establish where the ends of the track are.
From the car park the practice wicket is not that visible. The only people that would ever know it's there would be the groundsman and the boxers as they often run round the field as a part of their training. But plonking a cricket wicket smack bang in the middle of their field may get their backs up a bit. I've checked out their website and the people that lease the land seem to be egalitarian in that they're a voluntary organisation with a constitution and aims which are basically to enhance the fitness and minds of boys between the ages of 6 and 16 through boxing and football. I wonder where cricket would fit into their plans? I was tempted to contact them through their website and ask if they minded that I cut their grass and got the local kids playing cricket - but I'm sceptical as to how egalitarian they really are as I've seen them over there in the winter on the edges of the football picthes and they all looked a bit "Red in the neck". None of them looked like Guardian or Telegraph readers and I'd guess that if they were to catch me red handed cutting their pitch they'd not be that polite in asking me to refrain from doing so.
But needless to say I will continue - watch this space.