Diary of a Vegan Cricketer (Week Three)

The season starts (ish), first request to provide dietary preferences, (yet) another cricket app, 8:56 Foundation (@856Foundation), and a change of plans for the season!

2024 Season Week Three: April 15th – April 21st

Had to wait until Week Three, and the very last day at that, before strapping on the pads in anger, so of course it was inevitable that would get a First Ball Duck! But …. whilst the scorebook never lies it doesn’t always tell the whole story, and whilst it would be inappropriate to share the details in full here, sometimes there is a better end result! To be fair it was a two innings game, I had a reasonable knock (not out) in the other innings and bowled well enough.

I was playing for Save Village Cricket at the lovely Grimston Cricket Club and the Captain (Ben) wanted to try a different format to try and make Saturday/Sunday cricket more attractive to players i.e. shorten how long it takes. The format was in effect two back to back 100 Ballmatches, with the first match counting as the first innings, and the aggregate score being the result. It was a good format, but I am not sure about the decision to bowl 50 balls from one end before switching ends as it made the game quite static for the Umpires and Fielders on the Boundaries. They could have swapped over, but that would have taken time. I would have bowled 20 balls from each end.

And they tasked us with saving village cricket!
Without doubt the worst kit I have ever been asked to wear!!!

It was cold and windy, but we had some sunshine, a lot of laughs, some good cricket and teams of mixed abilities, age and genders – if that isn’t worth saving nothing is, although I do think that if we are playing to save Village Cricket it should be played in Whites and include a Tea.

The game introduced me to the excellent 8:56 Foundation and hopefully No Boundaries Cricket Club will be able to support them again.

With the game being in Kings Lynn it was not only a test for the body playing wise (stood up really well overall) but also to the effect of driving – playing – driving had on it, and whilst it was significantly better than previous seasons it was a somewhat unpleasant drive home.

As a result it is obvious (to me) that I can’t commit to play in games that require any travel over an hour, which sort of rules out the majority of Staffordshire Seniors away fixtures. It would be wrong to ‘cherry pick’ games, or expect to be selected for only the home team, so for the foreseeable future I am making myself unavailable for selection as it seems right to give others the opportunity to play regularly.

It isn’t as if I don’t have enough other options: the Captain of the West Midlands Team has asked me which of the nine (9) fixtures I want to play in this season (by way of comparison Staffordshire Seniors have 8 games (the 1s) and 10 games (the 2s) so pretty similar in terms of number of games and no travel to Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Leicestershire, Worcestershire …..

I also need to take into account the role I would play in a team: I have to be realistic as to how much bowling I can do, and how one dimensional my batting may become.

My priority this year has always been Church Eaton, and that has increased since the launch of the NBCC LGBTQ+ Team, with four (4) Birmingham Unicorns players signing up to the Church Eaton 2s, where I have agreed to be Vice Captain and Coach this year. I am hoping to play every week where I will open the batting and bowl my allocation of overs. I have also agreed to be available for the majority of Sunday games to help the Captain and will probably bat 5 but only bowl if necessary.

Playing for the XL rather than Staffordshire Seniors has a number of attractions: the games are generally on a Wednesday which gives me longer to get over a two game weekend and have a couple of days with parents and the pets, whilst I would expect to bowl most games, I would expect to bat lower middle and still have a realistic chance of contributing to the result, and no long drives home after the game!!!

There are currently three (3) NBCC Fixtures in the diary and whilst a couple of these require a long drive, they both involve a hotel after the game and a game of golf the next day to loosen the body up.

I have seven (7) games where I will be playing as a guest to help raise funds/awareness and where necessary these will involve an over night stay after the game.

Talking of Church Eaton … they have elected to use Pitchero (that is three apps I have to use now) and in filling in the details I was asked for my dietary preferences – first time this season have been asked, but not clear how the information will be used: other than to target the ads the app shows me?

Elsewhere in the week: had a really good indoor coaching session with the NBCC LGBTQ+ players in Dudley on Tuesday, played golf on Thursday which was great but hard on my legs fitness wise and my fade/slice seems to have become a hook/draw which I think may be a result of my body moving differently (better now), and I managed two sessions on the bike, three sets of shuttles, a jog, rehab every day and a long training session outdoors on Saturday.

Had a physio session where I got a pretty good report, and confirmation that is a case of using the body now and concentrating on stretching and recovery.

All in all a busy week with (finally) some cricket. This week will hopefully include some golf, an XL game, my Mothers Birthday and if the weather holds a couple of outdoor DIY jobs.

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