Here’s looking at what 2014 will have in store for us
Certainly the mileage will be less
Although my administrative life is over with Lancashire cricket my deep interest will still be there and I am looking forward to the season of 2014. I always felt when January arrived each year that we could see the light at the end of the tunnel with lighter nights, warmer weather and the beginning of the Age Group Squad Coaching Sessions.
The excitement will really begin when the summer’s fixtures start to see the light of day. I now have the full county club fixture list in my electronic diary and I am pleased at many of the new arrangements. I am intending to watch more at the Emirates Old Trafford this coming season as well as keeping an eye on the goings on with the County Age Group programme. My focus will of course be much more concentrated on the activities of number one son at the Mount plus the two grandkids Sophie and Thomas. Thomas will begin his squad coaching at the end of January. He has just a little problem in that today at the fracture clinic at Fairfield Hospital in Bury he had his left ankle encased in plaster. His footie training last Wednesday saw him crocked with what was initially diagnosed as soft tissue damage. The intervention of a very supportive “friend” saw the diagnosis amended to a slight break. This is what led to his appearance at the hospital this morning. The advice is that ten days of immobilisation will help things heal properly and have him fit by the end of the month.
Talking of being fit – I have to congratulate number one son on his slim line appearance for 2014. He has worked very hard at the gym and looks fitter than he has for many years. There is every chance he will start the summer in his best condition for some time. How he will finish it we will have to wait and see.
My contact with the Lancashire Cricket Board has been very limited over the holiday period but mind you EOT was closed for most of the time. I did go in to the office last Thursday to help Dipesh dig some trophies out to put in the new trophy cabinet in the Long Room of the new Pavilion. This was to help the County Club’s special meeting held last Sunday to celebrate 150 years since the club was founded. There are a number of celebratory events being held through the summer. The best celebration would be to get our hands on the County Championship Trophy again, and possibly some other silverware.
The LCB is now safely ensconced in the Pavilion’s second floor with impressive views across the Car Park. There is a lot more space than in the old offices but I suspect that the humour and banter that existed over there may need some working on in the Pavilion.
What have I been doing with myself over this last few weeks? Well my tendingdonitis seems to have cleared up but my lack of exercise and the perils of the festive season have not done a great deal for my weight. I do have an incentive ahead however to push me into a period of weight loss.
Whenever I appear within sight of many of my blog followers the first question is usually “Where’s the next cruise to then?” Now my incapacity has delayed our enquiries into available cruises over the next couple of months to the point that there is little availability for the cruise regions we are interested in. Eventually I began to look at the potential for a land based holiday where there would be plenty of sun. As a result we will be heading off some time over the next three months courtesy of Mr Branson to a little island well known for its weather and its feeling of Britishness. Mind you when I suggested Sandy Lane to the missus she baulked a bit at their quote of seven days with 1st Class travel via British Airways of £22,000 and that was just with breakfast. Mr Branson’s offering was much more acceptable and will be all inclusive. His hotel is pretty near the Savannah Garrison and its racetrack. I wonder if I will bump into my old mate Gary. He was very much into the gee-gees when he was at Radcliffe.
In my Blog before the New Year I did express my concerns that our Test team in Oz would be humbled 5-0. Well we were well and truly done over. One of the reasons, I think, that cricket appealed to me from my youth, was its great uncertainty and the fact that it did not appear to have the brutishness of many other sports. You know the old phrase – “It isn’t cricket” – meant that there was a proper way of doing and reacting to things. I wonder how many times I have said to one of our young cricketers – “It’s a great game” – when they have not performed as well as they would have liked. The biggest difference with the modern game comes from TV and the press. Not only have cricketers of today to face the challenge of Mitchell Johnson bowling straight and at great speed, of seeing Brad Haddin work miracles when the Aussies were in trouble, or of wondering why usually good fielders drop dollies – they then have to go and answer insane questions from members of the press, and dare I say it hear past English colleagues spouting forth about their inadequacies.
I did promise myself I would not get on my high horse about some of the things that have disappointed me with the Ashes this winter. Why can we just not accept that we were beaten by a team that was at the races from the start with players who had been coming into good form way back in the summer of 2013, and that our lads were caught well and truly out of form and wishing they were back home. We need to look ahead to the summer of 2014 with confidence that we will recover and be ready for the Ashes in 2015. That’s Cricket.
My one big wish is that we can begin to see the back of some of the more unpleasant images of the winter when it looked clear to me that there was a distinct lack of respect being shown to the traditions of cricket with some individuals pushing the boundaries of sportsmanship out of the window.
“It’s a great game cricket” – but only when its traditions are at the forefront.
Enough for now.
“We are going to B?rb??os” …….. Soon.
Do they have a Tesco’s there.
I am typing up this Blog with my computer having had a major service courtesy of my good friend Francis. I now have Windows 7 and Office 2013. I am considering two potential initiatives to keep the old grey matter active. My garage is full of archive materials for Lancashire Schools. I am hoping to get some time to sift my way through these with the anti-itching powder by my side and if possible scan much of what is there to produce an electronic archive. I already have a great deal on my computer. The other initiative is to carry on developing my Cruise Blog. When I retired from Hayward School many, many moons ago I developed a sort of book aimed at Cruising for Beginners. I did manage to get a great deal of stuff together and hawked it round a few travel agents – but too little avail. My aim is to create an online sort of Cruise Blog aimed at either “Veteran” or “Virgin” cruisers. When I am ready I will seek volunteers to test it out for me.
Did you notice how I very cleverly inserted a word towards the end of the last paragraph to help any of you who have not worked out where we are going on our next holiday but also the company we are travelling with?
The Shakers have mounted a surprise bid to escape from the relegation zone with the revolving doors at the JD Stadium (Gigg Lane) ever so busy with players in and players out. I am going to ask that we are issued with crib sheets when attending the next game so we can know who has arrived and who has left. I even saw them win a game for a change but they will need to do that a number of times yet. Mr Flitcroft will see us through – I hope. That chap John Hood must be really excited. Ever since Oovay went to Wigan the Bees have hardly lost a game.
One final word – the Good Lady did eventually pass the Candy Crush Level that was thwarting her in my last Blog. She is now well and truly stuck on another however.
I know what she needs me to do for her now.
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On Friday 12th December the first formal meeting of the Greater Manchester Cricket Leagues was held at Bradshaw Cricket Club, Bolton. ... Full story