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A Blog for Christmas

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Eyes wide shut in New York Eyes wide shut in New York

After a spell of reflection and tendingdonitis

The spell of reflection applies to a couple of issues. If you remember the last Blog I did followed my final Annual Meeting for Lancashire Schools as its Honorary Secretary, I did refer to the fact that I was now in "wetirement" – the phase between being heavily involved in matters cricket to not being involved at all. Well the last few weeks have indeed been strange but I think I can now say that I have definitely "retired" from that role which had kept me busy for such a long time. Ordinarily I would have been up to my neck in arranging fixtures for 2014. All I have done is re-direct any errant emails from county contacts that had probably read my email announcing my departure but had forgotten to Mr Anders at the LCB Office.

My period of reflection coincided with what I now am led to believe was an intense attack of tendingdonitis in my right ankle. Regular readers will remember that I do suffer from the dreaded gout and I must admit for some time over the past six weeks I expressed views as to what was causing me to have rather a lot of pain and discomfort. A visit to my doctor and a battering from a physio led to the conclusion that it was a repetitive strain injury possibly caused by all the driving I did during the last cricket season. I am pleased to say that over the past couple of weeks matters have improved. For a period of time I was confined indoors and then had to be transported by the Good Lady. I managed today to drive into Old Trafford, whoops sorry, Emirates Old Trafford to see the Mighty Titch and to have a good nosy at their new surroundings in the Pavilion. The LCB now shares a good chunk of the 2nd Floor looking out over the Car park with the good people of the LCCC Foundation. It was good to see so many people hard at work although the allocation of desk space was a little strange. Tony Potter appeared to be based in the naughty boys' corner for one. Gary Porter's first words to me were "When are you going to do another Blog". I did say I was mulling over one. Whilst enjoying one of the Mighty Titch's famous cups of coffee discussion went over to the goings on in Oz.

The "mulling over" or "reflecting" I mentioned referred not to the actual cricket being played out in Oz but the basic relationship between the two sets of players. I have always had a thing about the need to play cricket hard but to have complete respect for the opposition whoever they may be. There were people present this afternoon who agreed with me that the traditions of cricket had been blown apart with the so called sledging between the two warring teams.

Sat sitting at my computer, which I am pleased to say now has Windows 7 and is operating normally again after being on a go-slow, I have reflected further. One very good point is that with the matches being played overnight I did not have to watch too much.

Clearly the Aussies have prepared better in the short time between the end of the Ashes in the UK to the start of the Ashes in Oz although whoever decided to play back-to-back Ashes should have their heads banged together. Good luck to the Aussies in terms of their cricket and we can look forward to getting the Ashes back in 2015. It could well be that our team will look a little different by then.

What is "sledging".

Most dictionaries have two definitions:-

"A sledge is a vehicle on runners for conveying loads or passengers over snow or ice, often pulled by draught animals" - this of course means getting on a sledge leads to sledging.

"Sledging or "Mental Disintegration" as it is also known is the tactic in cricket of talking to players on the opposition side (particularly batsmen) with the objective of destroying either their concentration or their confidence."

Having a word with the opposition, or a bit of banter, was always a part of my game many, many years ago. Threatening to break someone's arm was not in my repertoire and certainly I can never remember "sending someone off". Now it may be viewed by some members of the press as great material for them to write about but as good viewing for young impressionable up and coming cricketers it is very bad news. Just recently I came across an article by Jonathan Agnew on this topic and what disturbed him was the almost total lack of respect being shown between both teams.

I just wonder whether our mob were so keen to out-sledge the Oz lot that this has led to them losing the skills of cricket required to win matches. I still wonder what the umpires feel about all of this and even more what the administrators of the English and Australian Cricket Boards think.

Every young cricketer in Lancashire who comes into the Age Group system receives a Players Handbook setting out what is accepted, off the field and on it, from them when representing the county. I do hope in the final two tests of this current series that both teams let the cricket do the talking and not their sledges – for the good of the wider game of cricket.

Enough reflecting for now. I have now got off my soap box.

What else can I tell you? In past times I would have been able to bring you up to date with cricket happenings but I am now no longer in that loop. I can say after my afternoon at the Emirates Old Trafford that Shaun has been bombing along with the Fixtures and will be revealing all soon.

On other matters I still have not seen the Shakers win at home this season even at Gigg Lane or the JD Stadium. David Flitcroft is now back as Manager and he fills me with some hope that by the end of the season the club will still be in the Football League.

John Hood has been quiet about Wigan Athletic' snatching of Uwe Rosler from Brentford !!!

Sophie and Thomas continue with their football at the weekends although the Christmas and New Year will see a pause but I would have to say that the major topic of the moment within my family excluding just me is "What Candy Crush Level are you on". Although the Good Lady is still pressing on with her world famous Zoo she is getting seriously stressed out with being stuck for the past three weeks on Level 125 or something like that. Last Sunday after we had our regular Sunday meal at Chez Turks Road we had Philip, the lady Pamela, Sophie, Thomas and the Good Lady all sat flubbing on their Eyepads or Eyephones all playing this Candy Crush Saga. Philip threatened Civil War in the family when after just two days of playing Level 125 he moved on to the next Level. He texted me on Monday this week to inform me. I then had to break the news to the Good Lady. She took the news with great fortitude and humour ?????

Just a week to go and Christmas will be on us.

I do hope that everyone has a splendid Christmas and that the New Year brings everyone good cheer. Plus I do hope that we do not come home from Oz having been dumped 5 nil. Mind you what I would like even more is some decent banter between the teams and some serious signs of respect.

One question that was asked by not just one person in my visit to EOT this afternoon was "Where are you going on your next cruise?" The answer was "nowhere" at the moment. My period of confinement with the tendingdonitis posed questions on my ability to even walk any distance never mind make my way round a cruise ship. I have been keeping up to date with what is on offer and indeed last week I had a phone call from my personal Cruise Advisor, Nicola, at Cunard Headquarters in Southampton. The improvement in my walking capacities is now allowing us to consider options. Indeed when I have posted this Blog on the LCB Website I will have a little internet wandering.

Just checked with the Most Famous Zoo Keeper in the World. Still on Candy Crush Level 125.

Where's the Tesco ?? 

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John Hood 21/12/2013 18:55:15
Have no fear,John, Rosler did a very good job for the Mighty Bees, but onwards and upwards,THE BEES ARE GOING UP.....Especially after the 3-0 demolition of North end this afternoon.It would have brought a tear to your eye...
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