Diary of a Vegan Cricketer (Week Fourteen)

Three games and three losses, a net (in the rain), a very impressive charity game, a slight blip on the anticipated Vegan front, lost at golf and had a Deep Tissue Massage …. not the best of weeks but did get some runs!

2024 Season Week Fourteen: July 1st – July 7th

Finding time to train/coach is proving very hard this season: with playing most Saturday, Sunday and Tuesdays, seeing my parents Monday, Wednesday and Friday and golf on a Thursday the only realistic time is Monday evening which makes it cricket ‘stuff’ four days in a row, which is hard on the body and I am not getting much out of the Monday sessions. We are going to try Sunday mornings before a game for a few weeks and see if that helps, but this week we stuck to Monday nights, in the drizzle!

Tuesday I was in Leicestershire with Staffs 1s where we failed to take our chances, had a few questionable decisions (what cricket team ever doesn’t!!)and with so many carrying injuries, away, unfit we were set a total we were never going to reach …. and we proved that in some style!

Wednesday I played in a charity games for Runs4Research a cause very close to Sands and I as she has now lost both parents to dementia and my mother has it. Burghley Park is set in the park of Burghley House near Stamford, Lincolnshire. Its pavilion dates from 1892. Lincolnshire County Cricket Club played Minor Counties Championship matches at Burghley Park from 1928 to 1990. John Furley was a club captain. W. G. Grace played at the club early in his career.It is by far the best ground I have played on since my return to cricket, and it was by far the game that I was most out of my depth: both teams were top class made up of minor county players, County 2s players, premier and first division players ….. if I say I stood at first slip and we were 30 yards beyond the stumps you will get the general idea! Jacket, shirt and tie were required and a sit down two course lunch provided …. which if I am being picky was the only blip on the day. Having been asked for my dietary requirements I was full of optimism but as I walked in I heard the conversation about having decided not to get vegan sausages for the pre game coffee & as they had pastries …. full butter croissants!! A genuine mistake for which they apologise. Lunch was lovely but again panic set in when they thought the vegetable tarts had butter in the pastry (they hadn’t) but the coleslaw was out of bounds, as was the feta salad (although I was asked how serious a vegan I was as they offered to fish out the feta cheese!) but the two salad options were great. No vegan option with the bread and whilst everyone tucked into a Pavlova I had a plate of strawberries. Now let me clear: that was fine, I was never a desert fan, wouldn’t have eaten much before going back out to field and really appreciated the thought and effort, but if asked I would say my being a vegan was accommodated not inclusive. The day however was brilliant …. topped off by a 6s competition that ran the whole of their festival week and saw c500 people turn up to watch.

Spot the odd one out!

Thursday I lost at golf having made the classic mistake of buying new clubs but not trying them before I played. I was 4 down after 4, rallied a little and I guess losing 3&2 wasn’t too bad given the start. New clubs seemed fine but I need to get down the driving range and figure out how far I hit them and tune the driver. It also took me about 9 holes to loosen up!

Friday I was back for a Deep Tissue Massage which hurt. I guess it is encouraging that he sees good progress and once again the message is more of the same and get the body used to doing what it can now do and hasn’t done for years. I also think I may have finally got to the root cause of the shoulder/neck/arm issue …. which may well be chest related!

Saturday I was with Church Eaton 1s in a game brought forward for the England Game and which looked like it would be rained off. Unfortunately it wasn’t and we had lost within 20 overs by the time I went out to bat at not very any for 6. Hung around for a while then nailed a full toss to deep long off for another duck. Didn’t bowl, dropped a sitter, and fielded like an even older man than I am. Reality is I need to be in the 2s as I need time to get to get some runs and to be honest I will contribute more to Church Eaton in the 2s than in the 1s.

Sunday played a social game to help a new LGBTQ+ team against the team I used to coach so a bit of ‘banter’. We batted first in a rain reduced 25 over game (after a false start) and I went on with 5 over to try and make the score respectable and give the opposition something to chase: 44 off 16 balls says it all really …. didn’t bowl as a) others needed to have a go and b) shoulder sore and we lost, but was a really fun day.

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