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Lancashire Cricket Board - After all these years it cannot be back
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After all these years it cannot be back

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And it is not funny I can tell you

This morning when I awoke my left toe joint was sore. The soreness has increased as the day has progressed. The first time I suffered from the dreaded gout I was still at school. The staff found it amusing that the boss had gout. The sympathy was not overflowing. I did get some from Geoff Ogden recently retired Chairman of the Cricket Committee at the County Club. The reason he was sympathetic related to the fact that he suffered the same problem. Now with a little good fortune this may be a passing sore toe resulting from some form of injury suffered as I was busy taxi driving over the weekend. If not then I will need to focus on getting shut of it before we depart on our next cruise. I suppose the next 24 hours will be the test.


Over the weekend I clocked up some miles. The Shakers were triumphant again on Saturday seeing off Yeovil Town. They are languishing at the foot of the table but have recently appointed Gary Johnson as their Manager. He was Manager when they broke into the football league and he has been at a number of clubs since. He must have the loudest voice in football as his protestations could be heard loud and clear. He must get through some Strepsils in a season. Mind you even he with his vast experience may never have seen anything like the bizarre incident when we were awarded a penalty. The player who was tripped for the penalty was Giles Coke and the person assigned to take penalties is the skipper Steven Schumacher. Giles had hold of the ball and would not give it to his skipper. A melee ensued which needed the intervention of Mr Effetebore Sodje himself. He is quite a dominating figure but it needed some very strong action on his part with the help of others to separate the warring factions. Not the ideal preparation for taking a penalty. Indeed after the two had been separated Mr Sodje placed the ball on the penalty spot giving rise to our concern that he might be about to take the penalty himself. It was not so however and the skipper stepped up and scored. I always thought that when someone is made captain that his authority counts.


Both the BBC and Sky have got this incident taped. Giles Coke has apologised profusely on the Shakers website. I note from this that our reserves are playing Man City this afternoon. Might go and have a peek.


Yesterday it was Tom’s turn to be at the Indoor Centre at Old Trafford. It was the second of seven sessions for the Under 12 squad. They did some fielding practices and then running between the wickets before getting into the nets. David Leighton is worth watching on these sessions. He is very active and animated as he persuades his players to follow his example. I would need to lie down for an hour afterwards. Keep it up Dave.


As we were heading towards the end of the session the Indoor Centre began to get very crowded with lots of girls in the Under 11 age group along with parents and family. My good friend Stan Heaton was there to watch some of his cricketers from Burnley go through their paces as they did their very best to book a place in the Girls Under 11 team for this year. It was great to see this and another example of how much the girls game in Lancashire has come on. Jenny was in attendance again with Jasmine to cast their eyes over the group of girls which must have numbered 30+.


Yesterday on return to base camp I distributed the dates for this year’s Bob Hurst (U11), Hacking Cup (U13) and Ainsworth Trophy (U15) District Competitions. These were the dates from the Quarter Final stages onwards. The next stage will be to complete the Competitions Handbook for distributing in mid February. The draws will be done at the next LSCA Executive Meeting on February 9th.


I am going to be looking after the fixture arrangements for the Under 16’s and 17’s this year and I managed to make contact with “Stanny” at Old Trafford yesterday. I am meeting with him and Titch on Thursday to look at both age groups dates.


Finally today I am pleased to say that the entries for our Inter-School Comps are gathering pace. We now have over 40 schools booked in. I do hope that schools act promptly so we can get the draws completed in time to meet the deadline for inclusion in the LCB Handbook.


Finally, finally an update on the Heaton Zoo. She has now added another shark, an Indian Rhino and two very expensive butterflies, and obtained a further extension. The last butterfly arrived this morning to great excitement.


Pass me the painkillers.

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