If you're looking for my Legspin Blogs....
Didn't get to practice today which is diappointing, although I went over to the tennis courts with Ben and Joe and we had a knock about there trying to get them to practice in a way that'll be helpful with their indoor game coming up this Friday. It kind of went okay but there's shed loads wrong with what they do and they're not inclined to listen to me at all. Another aspect is this continuing trait where they get really upset at not being able to do stuf - so they turn up pick their bats up and start swining at the ball with no discipline and then get wound up when they get bowled so readily. I was talking to Michelle and it's apparently a trait of hers - impatience and frustration of not being able to do something easily and quickly. I had to stop the practice and again explain that cricket isn't easy and that they need to practice more often in order to step into a situation like this and into games and expect to be hitting the ball and scoring runs. It seemed to work and they got on with it with a slightly better attitude.
So that ended up being the only opportunity that I had to bowl all day. Other than that I checked out the wicket in the Paddock to see how that was coming along and it looks okay. The only thing I'm doing at the minute is raking it and clearing all the leaves. We had a lot of rain yesterday and Friday and the last couple of days have been incredibly mild so the grass is still growing. The wicket in comparison to all the surrounding grass which is in a real mess looks very lush and level. The fact that the goal mouths in the Paddock are in such a bad way and the general eveness means that the kids are not using it to play football in which suits me fine. Additionally and somewhat incredibly people take their dogs in there to crap all over it when it's obviously there for kids to play in! Again this works in my favour as no-one in their right mind would want to play football in so much dog crap.
The only thing I can do with regards improving the wicket at the minute would be further work at the bowlers end making that more level or hollow tining the batting end or something similar. As I haven't got a hollow tining tool what I may do is just areate the grass by making holes in it which apparently works okay, so I may look to do that in the next couple of weeks.
One of my concerns about the levelling process was whether the new top layer of loam would integrate with the sub-layer which is clay. The hope is that the roots of the new grass would bind the two layers together and the evidence from what I can see at the minute is that this is happening and that the new layer does seem to have binded okay. I wont really know until the late spring when we get to play on it for the first time, that'll be the test to see if this has all worked, but so far so good.
Another thing I'm looking to get sorted is all the holes in the fence around the paddock, once we start batting in there the chances are we're going to start losing balls through the holes, so I've contacted the council bloke who's helped us out in the past who likes my grass roots approach to getting people involved in cricket asking him if he can doing anything for us. Along with the email I've sent a load of images of the state the fence is in so maybe in the new year when the councils have to start clearing all their excess money running up to the end of the financial year we may get lucky and the fence might get fixed?
I also walked across the field where we have our wicket in the summer and I reckon if that's used again this coming summer we'll definitely go for having it running in the opposite direction this year. But alternatively as all the boys are getting that much older I reckon there's a chance that we may actually change pitches and play more frequently over at The Rec which is about 1/4 mile away. The advantage of that is that it's a public space and it's adjacent to a big estate with people of a different socio-economic standing and the kids off that estate all have their own bats. We've played over there on several ocassions and these kids have joined in and on the odd ocassion there's been the odd kid that's quite handy with the bat and the ball having played it at school. Also the grass is in so much better condition meaning the ball actually rolls across your outfield. So the prospects of having games with a full 11 people fielding and 2 batting all competing against each other or maybe even team formats is very high. We'll have to see how it goes.....
Another thing I've been doing is cleaning up and oiling my bats, so three of them I've removed all the stickers from them sanded them down, oiled them up and replaced the bat grips. Man getting the stickers and protective tape off was hard work, the initital peeling was okay but with the stickers especially a big thick layer of glue was left that just clogged up the sandpaper. Eventually I found that scraping the glue off using a scalpel worked out to be the best option and then once 95% of it was off sandpaper then worked.