Winter Weather Returns - Just As
Cricket, Lovely Cricket
You can almost guarantee it. Just as the cricket season is about to get under way the weather takes a turn for the worse. It is true that certain parts of the country would welcome a deluge – but not here. Nevertheless the Under 11 trial due at Burnley Cricket Club tomorrow is off due to a waterlogged ground. Mind you that is not what Qasim Ali put in his email to Tim McKiernan that I have just read. In addition the Mount’s first game on Saturday which should have been a friendly with Norden has also fallen foul of the conditions. Oh to be in England now that summer’s almost here.
Many of our young players on the Levels of Excellence Scheme will be starting to play some games soon. The Excellence Intranet site is not accessible at the moment. We have been doing some work on it which I think will make it more interesting and usable. We should be up and running by early May. Keep a note of your performances and check the website. I will alert you from the Blog as well as in the News Items on the LCB Website.
I said in my last Blog that we had much to report about the season ahead and some very interesting developments. We have introduced an Under 10 team for 2012 which will play four fixtures before going down to Kings College, Taunton for a three day Festival beginning on July 20th. That team’s trials along with the other LSCA age groups should be underway pretty soon. You can see all the fixtures on this website under the “Representative – Excellence Cricket” section. Check this regularly as the details do change.
You will notice that in certain age groups the concept of Development Squad teams has had a major boost for 2012. We have had “B” teams for some time now especially at the Under 15 age group. This season we see major developments in the Under 14 and Under 13 age groups.
At Under 13 there will be two friendly matches before the season begins and the main county team starts its eight match programme in the ECB 40 Overs Cup. For some years now the Under 13 County team has travelled down to Taunton for the Festival at Kings College. This will continue this year. We have, however, agreed to send a Development Squad team to Brighton the week before Taunton to take part in a Sport Arabia / Sussex CCC Inter-County Festival. This will give up to 14 additional players the chance to represent Lancashire. The opponents for the week are not yet known but there will be teams from Abu Dhabi and Sharjah there alongside Sussex, London and Berkshire. It was an email from the organiser to Peter Moores at the County Club that initiated our involvement.
There will be changes at Under 14 level as well. There will be three Development Squad matches in June and early July as in the past couple of years. An additional Festival for the Under 14’s will also give many fringe players the chance to represent the County and attempt to break into the main county squad. The problem at this stage is we are not totally sure which team will go to which Festival. All should be revealed pretty soon and the firm favourite is that the main County team will be involved in a new Festival taking place in Scarborough. This has the backing of the ECB North Region officials who are looking to use this to help start the process of selection for the North Region Squad for the ESC Bunbury Festival in 2013. The intention is that all the major North of England counties plus invited others (London in 2012) will take part. The full make-up of counties should be available very soon. The Festival will focus on Scarborough Cricket Club and College grounds in the area, with accommodation at one of the colleges. If the main squad participate in the Scarborough Festival then a Development Squad team will make the journey to Kings College, Taunton at the end of July. What a marvellous opportunity for additional players this will be. If the make-up of counties at Scarborough does not contain the strong Northern Counties then we will switch the Development Squad to Scarborough. Sounds complicated. Well if the main County Squad are scheduled for Scarborough but get through to the National Finals at Oakham School then that is where they will find themselves, not Scarborough.
A quick glance at the Fixture List on this website will make it all crystal clear for now.
The Under 15’s will have three Development Squad matches as in previous years with the added bonus of a two-day match in Yorkshire.
In addition in 2012 this concept of Development Squads has appeared within the Girl’s Teams. The Under 15 Girls has a Development Squad which will play a couple of games before representing the county at the Malvern College Festival at the end of July.
These developments will open up the whole process of county age group selection to an increasing number of young players. It should mean that performances especially in District Cricket will alert coaches and selectors at the time they are looking to pick the squads for these different Festivals.
These are exciting times.
Exciting times indeed. It is going to be very exciting for the occupants of 59 Turks Road. No it is nothing to do with the Most Famous Zoo in almost the entire world but the fact that the “Gas Board” has set up camp on Turks Road. Indeed over the past week a good part of Turks Road has become a building site with holes appearing everywhere. It did appear that this was focussed on the “other” side of the road – but “OH NO IT HASN’T”. As one of my Aunties used to say “I’ve had a giro”. What she really meant was that she had received an official letter from someone.
Our letter this morning (Wednesday) was from the GAS ALLIANCE. Basically it told us that chaos is about to descend from on high. On Saturday someone had spray painted a red arrow in the centre of our drive. Two of his mates appeared this afternoon to examine our gas meter which is in the garage. With a smile on his face one of them said “We are hoping to do this without having to dig up your garage”. The “IT” is related to the fact that on Friday “THEY” will be switching off our gas and connecting up a new pipe across the road and then linking it into 59 Turks Road. How this will happen heaven only knows. As a passing shot I asked if we would have to move our cars. “Well”, he said, “It will help as we will have to dig a hole in the middle of the footpath at the end of your drive.” Just out of interest I asked how long it would be before the hole was filled. “Well in my experience probably about a week.”
I forgot to mention the letter indicated our gas would be off from 8.00am to about 5.00am. I told our visitors this and they laughed a little and said “Only if all goes to plan.”
We are not totally reliant on gas – just for heating and hot water – but have you seen the forecast for Friday. Hells Bells!!!
It must be time for a Tesco Moment.
Just before doing that I will have to accept that John Hood’s Brentford gave the Shakers a good seeing to on Saturday but there was positive response on Monday when Colchester got a good pasting at Gigg Lane. One more win against Bournemouth at Gigg on Saturday and we should be safe and sound.
I am at Old Trafford tomorrow (Thursday) for the start of the Under 16 Squad Coaching Session with my good friend Rudders. I will love him and leave him at about 6.45 to move to another room for our Lancashire Schools Executive Meeting. This is the last one before the season gets underway. There will be much to discuss with a major item on May 21st and our match at Old Trafford. I have now a good idea of what I would like to happen but as always so much to do and so little time.
The big boss of LCB, Andy, as well as Dipesh has been off this week but I am hoping to see both of them fairly soon next week to talk MAY 21st and THE BOOK.
I have been overwhelmed by the orders for my tome which have flooded in. Thanks Steve – you were the one. At this rate I will have to print a single copy on my computer and loan it out unless someone can sponsor us to the tune of £2,000 or so. I know that there will be a much higher demand than the current sum of six copies ordered, but unless I get many more orders pretty soon then the project may crumble.
Just drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org , or ring me or send me a carrier pigeon or something. Better not send me a pigeon because you know the good lady hates them.
Dipesh has promised the order button will be on the website early next week.
I wasn’t joking about sponsorship. You can have an advert for free on the back cover and I will invite you to be my guest at the One Day International at Old Trafford in July.
Finally but finally – I have rambled a bit after my sensible start to this Blog with regard to the season. Perhaps the impending assault from the company chosen by the Gas Alliance to attack our gas supply – Balfour Beatty – has unsettled me. Do you think they would sponsor “the Book” if I asked nicely.
It is time – where’s the Tesco.