The Club Cricketer:
Persistent Drizzle

Comment and Analysis | 12th May 2010

The weekend was a perfect time to pick up some much needed points in what is undoubtedly going to be a long tough season.

Unfortunately, with the rain lashing down in Nottingham, it wasn’t league points on offer this weekend but a perfect chance to pick up brownie points at home.

Thankfully the game against Notts Unity Casuals was cancelled before leaving the house.  There is nothing quite as frustrating as getting to the ground and sitting around the club house waiting for the rain to stop or for a pitch inspection to take place only to be cancelled at 4pm before tea has even arrived!

The rain was heavy and the sky sufficiently grey for an early call to be made and, despite protestation to the contrary, the text message confirming the inevitable was met with a wry smile in our household.

It was hard to totally believe the statements from my wife:

“Oh no is it off, that is a shame – will it be replayed?”

“I am really disappointed for you that the cricket is off today – I know how much you look forward to it.”

Even now she is arguing they are genuine but we all know what they really mean!

The majority of club cricketers will understand and the requirement to pick up early brownie points when they are on offer is a must.

It is understandable I suppose. How many sports mean leaving the house at 11am and not returning until at least 9pm?

The dawn of a new cricket season always involves a re-education process.  I consider myself very lucky to have an understanding wife but it does take a little while for the cricket season and everything that comes with it to sink in.

It is understandable I suppose. How many sports mean leaving the house at 11am and not returning until at least 9pm?

And that is just one day of the weekend – there is always the possibility of slipping in a Sunday fixture.  

Oh and don’t forget training during the week and the chance of a good village cup run and the T20 games in midweek.  

However, it is difficult to argue that watching cricket in the freezing cold and damp conditions we are greeted with in May is a nice afternoon for the family – a far easier sell when the sun is out and picnics are in full flow.

Obviously there needs to be a balance - especially with a 9 week old baby girl - which got me thinking about how best to play these situations?

On reflection I decided it was a bit like playing the wily old club spinner.  

You know the one – bowls a nagging length with a mixture of flight and guile, prone to dropping in a long hop or a full toss but capable of delivering something completely unplayable or turning one square.

There are a few options and tactics that can be employed against such an astute operator.

•    Spread the field

o    Attack can be the best form of defence
o    Take control and show who is the boss
o    Take a risk - just make sure it is calculated and well timed

•    Pick off the singles

o    With the field spread and control in your hands just pick off the singles
o    Enjoy a risk free existence

•    Use your feet
o    Keep on your toes and stay ahead of the game
o    Get to the pitch of any potential difficult deliveries

•    Keep them in the attack
o    Take advantage of the free runs
o    But don’t get greedy
o    Be prepared to defend a couple of full tosses and keep them on

Finally and perhaps most importantly be prepared to doff the cap and say “well bowled I haven’t got an answer for that one!”

Ben Thompson plays for Plumtree CC in the South Notts Cricket League.

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