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By Chris Marshall
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Cricket Diary: A Weekend Without Cricket Is a Weekend Without Radox

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Amazon sell a pack of 10 (5 pairs) of Hot Hands Hand Warmers for £3.99 (£3.79 if you set up a monthly subscription), which are air activated and provide up to ten hours heat, and they are very good.

An essential in any cricket kit bag!?

I know this because I stood with my cold hands in pockets staring at our somewhat optimistically named Summer House for most of the weekend, and thought I would try them out – not for the whole 10 hours of course, that would be silly, and a waste of drinking time. But if you use one whilst your other hand holds the beer and swap every 10 minutes you get a pretty good balance: warm hands and cold beer.

A rather wet and used Summer House!

Talking of silly I spent much of the time trying to remind myself just why we had left Spain to come back to the UK, a consideration not helped when I further depressed myself by checking on the weather in Spain via our Roof Security Camera!!! On the plus side I did start to work on a plan for some winter training in the sun if anyone is interested!?

Ice Cubes rather than hand warmers required.

Anyway to cricket, or rather what to do at a weekend when the cricket is a) cancelled and b) you are not selected. This is not a situation I have faced for over 33 years, yet only three weekends into the season it felt like a huge hole had been driven into my week.

It had already been a somewhat disjointed week with no nets on the Bank Holiday Monday evening at Penkridge Cricket Club, and only a short (and very windy and cold) session with the youngsters at Barlaston Cricket Club on the Tuesday evening, so by Friday I was ready for a good net and started to feel that I was getting to grips with playing the ball later, better shot selection and the new variable focal contact lenses seem to be working OK.

At least having no games gave my old legs a chance of a rest, although unless I move every half hour or so they tend to seize up, but it transpires that a walk to the fridge in the kitchen four time in a two hour period, followed by a trip up stairs to the toilet keeps them relatively loose. Repeat regularly until such time as the trips up stairs start to outnumber the walks to the kitchen.

Sunday I gave into the withdrawal cravings and padded up. I jest of course (although worryingly I suspect many would not be surprised if I had), but I did get my kit out to check it all over and give the bats some TLC, which when you think of it is a pretty strange description for something that involves bashing them with a wooden mallet! Transpires they do have a middle as well as the edges that I have been using which is good to know.

Also decided to count the various aches and pains I have accumulated over the last three weeks: I wont bore you with the number (and no it is not higher than my batting average – yet) but there is a remarkable symmetry to them. Bruising and cuts on both thumbs, both knees sore, and both big toes bruised. Couple of other toes and fingers but the rest are really just old injuries that are letting me know that they were not consulted about my decision to play again.

And in other news …..

Following on from my comments in last weeks diary about my less than graceful attempt at a dive, I was somewhat amused when Kasper decided he would demonstrate how it was done!

Kasper Demonstrating How To Dive

I received two bats from my friends at Williamson Boucher this week to help raise funds for my Supporting The NHS Project, which is much appreciated as ever. They continue to be extremely generous. These bats are worth £350 each and the plan is to raffle them at £10 per ticket with 30 tickets per bat, but if anyone at the club wants to buy one for £275 then please let me know. They are both Grade 1 Willow (not Bamboo) and are excellent.

Two Bats to Raffle Off For NHS From Williamson Boucher

Really do need to get a plan together for the Charity Cricket Day on Monday August 30th and I will start raffling off some of the donations over the next week or so.

In the Meantime They Have a New Home!!

And finally you may have seen that Dave Jones posted in the Penkridge Facebook Group that he was putting together a kit bag for the Penk Panthers, ladies hardball, so if you are so inclined have a look at the Gray-Nicolls site and if you are thinking of donating anything let me know what and I will see if I can get it cheaper. Stock Levels are very low on all cricket sites at the moment, and I can only get better prices on standard prices.

Have a great week, hopefully see you Monday, Friday and at the weekend if selected.

Thank You

Gray-Nicolls are generously supporting this diary and my return to cricket for the 2021 Season.

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