Diary of a Vegan Cricketer (Week Twelve)

Played one game, one training session, two trips to Edgbaston, one game of golf, and some very positive news on the vegan and fitness front.

2024 Season Week Twelve: June 17th – June 23rd

Strange old game cricket: last week I spent 20+ over with my pads on, and scored 40+ runs. This week I spent 20+ overs with my pads on, watching our top 4 score 240 for 2. I was batting 5 again, but wasn’t needed. In the field I bowled 5 overs at first change, then handed over to our 5th bowler who was going to bowl their 9 overs and I was going to bowl my remaining 4 overs at the other end to close the game down …. only we bowled them out before then! Contributed two good catches running back at Mid Off, we secured the win, and I am feeling very much part of the team and welcomed by all, although wouldn’t assume I am a First XI choice just yet, but hopefully a few more games this season and then I can secure a starting birth next season.

I hadn’t realised just how ‘young’ our First XI squad was with 8 of us no older than 63 which means there is a really good opportunity for this team to play together for the next 3 to 5 years. That is my priority, to secure the number 5/6/7 all rounder position and try and help the team to a National Championship.

I don’t think that there is any surprise that my performances and focus are improving as my body is getting stronger each week. I went for a specialist Deep Tissue Massage this week to have an assessment of my strength and mobility and the results were really encouraging. More so for the future once I get the final few issues resolved, but I have a few extra exercises to do between games (can’t do too much as they do make the body stiff and sore for a few days) and a very specific programme for the off season.

I only played the one game this week partly because we had made plans when the fixtures came out and this was a ‘free week’ for the 2s (replaced by a T15 Cup Competition subsequently) which included Sunday at Edgbaston and partly because I needed to give my shoulder a bit of a rest. As it happened the plans were changed at the last minute and are now next week so I won’t be playing the T15’s for the 2s on Saturday but will be available for the Sunday Team.

Church Eaton are the perfect club in this respect: they aim to give as many players a game over a weekend as possible, and put no pressure on anyone to be available. The plan to Captain the 2s when the Captain was away hasn’t really worked out, but hopefully I can get a long run in the 2s soon and play primarily as a batter. My overall plan remains: full game (bat & bowl) on a Saturday for the 2s, play as a batter on Sunday, bat and bowl on a Tuesday for Staffs 1s

Having mentioned Edgbaston I will detour into the world of Vegan Life now ….. have now had three meetings/discussions with the team(s) at Edgbaston responsible for Support Services, Catering and Marketing and they could not have been more receptive of engaged. It helps that we have a common ‘definition’ of inclusivity: that nobody should have to ask. We have discussed hospitality, Skyline, Members Lounges and concession stands and identified some ‘early wins’ and some longer term challenges. This is part of their 2025 planning cycle and it great that they reached out and have been so proactive and positive.

It has also been good to be back at Edgbaston for a few games with Sands and catch up with mates: a T10 and a County Championship day, which is by far my favourite, but I totally get it needs the other formats to survive. I just hope that all the ‘new fans’ being created by the new formats, stay engaged with cricket and enjoy all the formats. I have been watching live cricket since the mid 70’s …. I wonder how many that are going to their first games this season will say the same in (many) years to come?

Not the best week training wise as only managed a few throw downs on Monday. I think I have sorted some regular training buddies out, but they all want to do it on a Monday which is far from ideal really if I play on a Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, but I do need to get more time with bat on ball and running!

Golf this week was probably the best I have played (certainly chipping and putting) and I won 3&2, having been 3 up after 9 so it was a very close back 9. Have certainly got the bug again (check out my eBay search history!) and it was really pleasing that my mate said that he had noticed a real improvement on my fitness and mobility over the last couple of weeks.

As for this week, if it goes to plan: Monday – Training, Tuesday – Playing, Thursday or Friday – Golf, Saturday – Not Available, Sunday – Playing ….. all subject to being selected.

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