A little bit about me and my little blog

This is by far not the first cricket blog to be written and it certainly won't be the last (or necessarily the best). But it's mine.

This is mainly an excuse for me to carry on about a sport that has been something of an obsession since I was knee high to a middle stump. An obsession which has never left throughout the many highs (behave, there have been some) and lows (and boy have there been many of those…..) of being and England cricket fan in the years since.

The views and opinions in this blog are entirely my own. Sometimes light-hearted, occasionally irreverent, hopefully never offensive.

What gives this fool the right to have an opinion on this great sport? Where are his credentials I hear you ask? Well I think my catch at mid-on in the inter-house final at Heath Grammar school in 1981 speaks for itself…..

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The County Championship - week 1

Do not be misled by the title of this blog entry - while it certainly does deal with the County Championship, the fact that it also states 'week 1' doesn't mean to say that this will be a regular weekly update. In fact judging from my previous posts (i.e. the time gaps between them), I may well complete this short introduction to the season and then not get around to writing another piece until the eventual champions are crowned (which of course will be Yorkshire) in the final week of the season (which, if the current length of the cricket season is anything to go by, should be around Christmas time). Don't judge me, I'm a busy stressed out man with commitments........

No, the idea is to at least make some attempt to spend some time on what for me is still a sporting institution, which while often wrongly maligned is possibly more than ever in need of some concerted support when you take into account other cricket competitions that I cannot bring myself to mention. Just rearrange the initials PLI and you'll be on the right track. Of course it goes without saying that if you want in-depth and considered analysis of each game without any hint of bias or sarcasm on the writers part, then you're in the wrong place. There are bloggers galore who are far more adept at quoting every little statistical fact and notable episode that takes place each week than I am.

So what has happened so far this week that has caught Well bowled, Harold's eye?

Root signs extended contract with Yorkshire, is named by Wisden - but is still injured

Watch that bloody thumb on that jacket!
Times photographer,Graham Morris
England child genius batsman and occasional off-spinner, Joe Root took time away from his cub scout duties to sign an extension to his contract with god's own cricket county (that's Yorkshire by the way) that will see him staying and winning cups and championships until at least the 2016 season. As yet it's unclear whether the boy wonder will be fit to start in our (sorry, Yorkshire's) opening game against Somerset this coming weekend due to sustaining a fractured thumb some weeks ago during his bob-a-job week.

To cushion the blow of his sore thumb Joe was named, alongside  Shikhar Dhawan, Charlotte Edwards, Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers for the prestigious Wisden Almanack's five cricketers of the year. This is an award is given to those who excelled during the previous English cricketing summer and can only be included on the list once in their career - a fact that seemed to escape many of the "why the hell hasn't (insert name of your choice) been included in the list" for some screamers of the Twitteratie.  The boy genius's 339 runs as England retained the Ashes which included a magnificent 180 in the Lord's Test meant that he was singled out for one of the awards. They should go well with his cub scout 'helping an old lady across the street award' he also gained last week at cub scout camp in Harrogate

England's failures down-under out of form players, find some county mojo

If the county championship provided nothing else (which of course it does) then the early start in the damp and chilly April gave some players who took a bit of a hammering in the calamity down under to get restore some confidence and gets some runs/wickets or merely some time in the middle.

Matty Prior became the first batsman this season to score a county hundred when he made 125 for Sussex against Middlesex this week. Hopefully that might go a little way to help him forget about his abysmal Ashes he had after being dropped after the 3rd Test when managing only 17.83 with the bat.

By coincidence his wicket was finally taken by another England misfit, he of the wicket-hitting-no-balling-restructured after restructured bowling action, Steven Finn. If you recall, Finny was picked for the Ashes tour but in a stroke of cunning genius by our coaching staff that was meant to throw the Aussies into a state of bewilderment and confusion, he didn't actually play a game, despite the fact that the rest of the bowling unit were crap struggling . It didn't confuse Aussies. 

Steven Finn - still confused about that Ashes tour..
Finny's rather impressive 6-80 might go some way to reinvigorating not just his confidence, but that of the selectors for the upcoming Test series against India. One can live in hope.

The man who replaced Prior in the Ashes series, Jonny Bairstow, was also another who was in need of some time in the middle. You'll remember that young Jonny learnt that being thrust into a Test series against Australia in which ones team has been well and truly rodgered might not be the best time to stake your claim for an extended place in the side, especially when you played sod all first class cricket that season beforehand. (Another stroke of genius of planning from the coaching staff - not).

Eva's waiting for you in the treatment room, Jonny....

It seems that the team doctor/physio at Yorkshire may actually now be none other than Eva Mendes, because he too is in need of medical attention. Apparently young Jonny boy, not wanting Joe Root to have all the fun, has been ruled out for up to six weeks after breaking a finger. It was all Liam Plunkett's fault as it was his delivery that fractured Bairstow's left hand finger and as a consequence is now set to miss Yorkshire's first four County Championship games of the season - Oh goody.

On a brighter note, Jimmy Anderson's 5-55 for Lancashire in the opening innings of their new county season against Notts is surely a sign that the golden god of English fast bowling is hopefully too a sign that he has also put the calamity down under behind him.

That all for now, folks. Well except that is for a picture of Eva Mendes, the Yorkshire cricket club Physio...... well in an ideal world she would be.

I'll sithee in't treatment room lads


  1. If the English players (or their fans) feel they are up to it just because they score runs or take wickets against their own men in their own land, they will be deluding themselves. Even if they beat India in the summer Test series it will not amount to any redemption. They need to go Down Under and beat blank the aussies. Until they do that they have to cop all the criticism that come their way.

    The same applies to India. They need to beat England in England this summer and again in India whenever they tour India. Until then they cannot claim to have evened the score.

    1. I completely agree - the sign of the quality of any Test playing country is how they perform on foreign pitches, and that certainly in the long term is the target for Peter Moores and his newly appointed assistant. However, the short term needs to be the rebuilding of the squad this summer with an infusion of young, hungry talent. It's going to be a long road to evening the score methinks.

  2. Interesting comments but what and where is the future? Everyone you mention has the end of their career in site apart from Root who has a couple of decades before he matures. There is a new England coach on his/her (equal opportunities) way who may wish to consider the future. Who do you think in the county teams is waving their arms saying "Please can I have a go?"
    In week 2 I look forward to your comments on the chef's match winning innings and return to form.

    1. Cheers, Dod - though I'm not sure how you would regard the likes of Jonny Bairstow (24) and Steve Finn (25) as having the end of their careers in sight.