Much debate following the Icec Report which really said nothing new, and the real shame is that so many clubs at all levels are only now saying they will review it and have a think about what they could do. Sometimes the response is more shameful than the original “crime”.
Of all the resulting debates there is, for me, one obvious ommission: that the current infrastructure throughout club cricket is not even fit for current purpose never mind to open up and offer genuine inclusivity and diversity.
The modern cricketer has a lot of equipment which most changing rooms can’t accommodate. One result of this extra equipment is less car sharing, so car parking often inadequate.
Showers and toilets rarely clean, private or appealing.
Food options limited generally to crisps, nuts, chocolate and sweets.
Bar areas not large enough and often rudimentary.
And this is before we want to significantly grow the junior, women’s and LGBTQ+ game.
With most clubs only having one pitch “new” teams are often sent off to some rented ground with even less facilities, where post game the attractive option is to go home.
It will be hard enough convincing those traditionally ignored that Cricket now wants them (or at least their money), but keeping them involved will be a very hard ask without significant investment in the infrastructure.
I know the argument will be to focus on changing existing mindsets (which is needed) and then try and improve facilities, but wouldn’t a more powerful “we want you” message be to build the infrastructure and say “this is for you”.
A much quieter week cricket wise for me as a couple of events meant that I didn’t play this weekend (Woman’s T20 at Edgbaston and as Sands had been away all week I am away most of next week so we wanted a weekend doing nothing other watching some cricket and walking the dogs. Knowing this was the plan I opted to give my legs a longer rest than normal (they deserved and needed it) and so skipped all coaching and training dates as well.
England v Australia T20
First Woman’s game for Sands and to be honest was great to see a nearly full Edgbaston without such a party atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong. It was loud and appreciative but not raucous.
The cricket was good, but on the night Australia just looked fitter, better organised and in control. They made the chase a little interesting towards the end but as with so much T20 the result was never really in doubt once England had batted.
Staffordshire v Yorkshire
Back with the 2s this week and batting first we posted just under 240. Contributed 41 off 27 at 150 before being run out, and whilst the score was a good one for us it was still below par in terms of what we need to set to be competitive: 260
Yorkshire showed their class and experience knocking them off for the loss of only 3 wickets with a couple of wickets to spare.
We were very poor in the field and lacked a good 5th bowler.
First game this year with my mate in Harrogate. Played OK, won and was a really enjoyable afternoon.
Good test on the body as whilst knees had their usual post match soreness they were OK and rest of body was good.
England v Australia
Always enjoy my trips to Headingley as they are an opportunity to meet up with some mates for golf and curry but I think in future I will just go up for a few days to see them and not bother with the cricket! Whilst the cricket was exciting it wasn’t that good, and the crowd behaviour and chanting/booing and then targeting Australians as they left the ground was really very unpleasant and not something I am comfortable being around.