A Subtle Shift Of Brands

Two games this week, both debuts making it 5 debuts in a row, and I may have just reinvented myself as an opening bowler who rarely bats!

First game was for a club called Greenflies against Church Eaton, a lovely club about 6 miles from me where a team mate from Staffs Seniors Captains the 2s and I one of their players was on the Stage 2 Umpiring Course I did. I met Aslam who runs Greenflies at the XL game earlier this month and as I didn’t bat that game (was down at 9), but bowled first change he must have thought I was a bowler. We batted first, I got 6* off 2 balls batting 8, and then opened the bowling, returning figures of 8-2-2-14 which I was more than pleased with, but most pleasing was the way my body dealt with an 8 over spell.

Fielding wise I feel stiff when running, but am running and moving OK so it seems that what I need to do now is just make my body used to fielding. Knees sore post game as was shoulder/arm, but encouragingly no issues the following morning.

Second game was my debut for Staffordshire Seniors 2s against Cheshire, a game I was planning to miss but with both the Captain and Vice Captain unavailable and a rather depleted team in general I felt I should play.

Opened the bowling with 9 straight overs for figures of 9-0-0-45 which reflected three poor balls being put away, 3 singles being turned into 4s by teammates and a few good shots. Batters gave no chances and I was a little bemused not to have a few overs held back for later in the innings. Not as bemused though as not being asked to bat when we were chasing 250!!! We lost. I was pleased to bowl 9 overs, making 17 in 3 days, and my general movement and fitness was pretty good.

This is not the future of my Cricket though. If I am going to bowl I need to bowl at the end of the innings as once I have bowled I simply can’t throw at all, so I would bowl me at the end and I am OK to bowl my full allocation in one go. Batting I need to be 5, 6 or 7 and that is a priority.

I have now started some weekly training and fitness with another old timer with a long term injury problem. I am in that Catch 22 situation: I am not fit enough, but the training puts a stress on my body so I will see how it goes. What I do need to do is get my body used to playing and training, and manage the pain. Sports Therapist says body has no signs of trauma after these last two games, in fact is better than they expected, so pain is either old age/injury which won’t go away or body adjusting to playing. They think have pinpointed the shoulder issue and I have a plan to improve it.

It has taken a while but my season has finally started to take shape: Coaching/Playing for Birmingham Unicorns on Sunday, Coaching/Netting with Unicorns on Monday, playing Staffs Seniors on Tuesday and training on Thursday.

I think I will manage this. Sunday I will not be doing too much playing wise so should be relatively kind on my body, and Monday nets are just an opportunity to get some movement into the legs. Tuesday will be my main game and Thursday an opportunity to work on some technique and a little fitness.

I have parked the idea of playing Club Cricket this season as I think the above alongside the scheduled NBCC and guest games will be enough.

I am not selected for Unicorns this Sunday and don’t know if will be required on Tuesday, but a week to put in some time in the nets, rest and do some training is most welcome.

Staffs Seniors is still a bit up un the air. After this weeks game the other 59 year old playing in 1s is 60 so I am eligible to be selected for the 1s. At the beginning of the season this was not an option I considered or would have welcomed as I didn’t think I would get much of a game, but if I am not batting in 2s, and if my body is better doing less this season it is a more attractive thought.

At least I am playing again now and getting some use out of all my equipment, and have even accommodated a little shift in brand use thanks to Masuri no longer being in the cricket bat business having decided they would focus on safety equipment and clothing.

For Staffs Cricket and NBCC Red Ball games I am using Wiliamson Boucher Bat and Masuri Pads, Gloves and Thigh Guard.

For Unicorns, XL and other Red Ball games I am using Gray-Nicolls Hypernova Bat, Pads, Gloves and a Gray-Nicolls Thigh Guard.

White Ball Cricket remains Black Gray-Nicolls Legend Pads and Gloves, Masuri Thigh Guard and either Williamson Boucher Bat or a very heavy Gray-Nicolls Hypernova Bat.

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