51 days for 51 days

My blog is called cricket51days.com chosen since that was the number of days I spent in Australia last winter following the Ashes but little did I know that this summer I would see 51 days of live first class cricket- County, Test and One Day!

From a bygone age…not heading to Heathrow (as see over the Oval today)

Today’s the last day of my watching this season as commitments tomorrow prevent this so whilst Surrey show their true worth as Champions and chase down 410 just to make Essex bat again, what have I seen, heard, tasted, smelt and felt over those 51 days?

So…here’s a few things:

  • As many ‘young’ people as ‘retired’ at some county games – make the game attractive and they’ll turn up!
  • 8-1 field settings
  • Hit wicket as a dismissal
  • Seam, swing and spin – in all directions
  • Good batting, Bad batting
  • Good bowling, Bad bowling
  • Good fielding, Bad fielding
  • Time spent in committee meetings
  • Ball changes too numerous
  • Poor over rates – but did see one day where 96 were bowled before 6pm!
  • Bats measured
  • Umpires counting to four and checking
  • Rain, sun, bad light and double balls!
  • Red, pink and white balls
  • Dancing on the outfield- Bangra!
  • Playing hard but fair
  • Aggression, arrogance and confidence- and blurring between all three!
  • Dissent and disagreement
  • Heard…fashion advice, gardening ideas, food and recipes shared
  • Ground developments – good and bad
  • Laughter and tears
  • Hope, despair, triumph and disaster
  • Green lush outfields in middle of drought
  • Scoreboard chaos and collapse- including BBC at one stage!
  • Full grounds, empty grounds
  • New ideas, old ideas
  • Skills and foolishness in equal measure
  • No politics or religion!
  • Fielders fielding on their knees (on purpose)
  • Danish pastries, muffins and croissants- hard to decide which is best!
  • Benches at Lords – great view, but no comfort !
  • The 100 and the end of civilisation as we know it!
  • Long Room high chairs and the silence other than your footsteps when you return for a low score!
  • Bumrah’s run up
  • Baseball stances
  • Keepers standing up to fast bowlers!
  • Fielders running across the field to thank a team mate for fielding!
  • Substitute for concussion injury
  • Use of naughty step for bowler who decided to have ‘words’ with batsman who had hit him for 4! Bowler taken off and ends up at long leg for each over!

And as Blowers used to say…’it’s all been tremendous fun!’

Who says there’s nothing new to see or nothing ever happens! You just need to know where to look!

And back to the game for the last words…today Surrey played like champions whilst Essex at times looked lost; just proves you never know with this game. Roy and Stoneman were superb, Foakes steady (would walk into any other test side as a keeper) and Pope one for the future (ok he’s v young and just needs to tighten up his game when he first gets in…but a great prospect). Surrey have a small lead but only five wickets in hand. Could be an interesting session or two tomorrow…shame I can’t be there.

Roy falls for a fine 100.

But you can see what it meant to him to score a century!

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