Diary of a Vegan Cricketer (Week Thirteen)

Good net sessions, a bit of a spanking, slight blip on the fitness front, the benefits of a good captain, a first win of the season and …. a good week to be a vegan!

2024 Season Week Thirteen: June 24th – June 30th

Going to start with the vegan news this week, as it a) really good and b) there isn’t a whole lot of other good news!

Avid readers may recall that a month ago the comment was made that the onus should be on me as a vegan to let people know that I was a vegan, rather than wait to be asked. I refute this totally a) because society being inclusive and diverse should not be down to an individual telling someone they are vegan/gay/black/muslim/disabled ….. and b) because the whole point of this diary is to record accurately and evenly what my life as a vegan cricketer is like this season.

This week I went along to Church Eaton on Monday night to do some coaching and there was a Under 9s tournament being played. Noticed on the bar that they had a sign promoting the hot dogs and burgers they were selling that evening, and the hot dog was vegan.

Later in the week a WhatsApp group popped up with a message from the captain saying the opposition at the weekend provided teas and to let him know of any dietary requirements.

Many ‘bigger’ clubs regularly promote Street Food vendors at the club on a Friday night in particular, but often at the weekends. My old club Barlaston do this and their posts crop up regularly on my social media so was really pleased to to see this:

Two options which is great, and not tagged onto the bottom but included amongst the other options which makes it even better!

You see it isn’t that hard, and nobody had to tell anyone!

I mentioned the simple message a captain put out above and the huge impact it has, and having captained Church Eaton on Saturday and Sunday I was reminded of a post I wrote some time ago: Selecting the right Captain. I play for a pretty large number of captains over the season, and captain a variety of sides myself. Sometimes the onus is on winning, others on giving players opportunities so having the ability to adjust and adapt is important. One skill above all else that I like in a captain ….. good communication. The thing I hate most about being a captain …. players with demands!! I am all for listening to what people want to get out of their game and helping them achieve it BUT I firmly these conversations should take place pre match day. Only thing you really want to hear from a player on match day: “what do you need from me today skipper”, and even then if as captain you have explained your plan, the roles of players, why you are doing what you are doing then even that question should be redundant.

The week started (I know bit back to front this weeks ramble) with a really great net …. until I felt my right hip/lower back ping. I carried on with some pain and a lot of caution, and spent the rest of the day stretching and resting but was far from comfortable and considered pulling out of the Staffs game the next day. I didn’t, but I may as well have …. we were thumped. Batting wise I was out LBW having hit it, bowling wise I struggled with any rotation but as they knocked them off for 1 I was hardly alone!

No surprise the rest of the week was spent resting and stretching with a session with the Sports Therapist on Friday: not bad news, the issue seems to be another ‘related’ one with the body reacting to the fact that I can now do more, so no serious harm done but it will take some time to fix and the recommendation was to not play for a couple of weeks.

Not a bad thing then that Saturday I captained Church Eaton in two T15 games (won one – our first victory of the year) and didn’t bat, bowled 3 overs and had an easy day in the field and on Sunday, asked to Captain at the 11th hour we were awful and got a right hammering, but again didn’t bowl, lasted 2 balls (to one that must have bounced all of 6 inches according to their players and umpire so pretty impossible to play for someone with a bad back to be fair) and only spent 7 or so overs in the field before they knocked them off.

I will play Staffs Tuesday and then take a view. I think Staffs have a few weeks off before the cup stage of the season starts, and I have a charity game on Wednesday I will play in, and then the following two Sundays am representing NBCC in some very social games so maybe will just play those and give Church Eaton a miss? It is three years now since I started playing again and that is three years of pain and discomfort in every match and not being fit enough or flexible enough. I am convinced the work I am doing will sort the old body out, but my performances are being effected and it has crossed my mind to call it a day for this season and just focus on my body until next season.

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