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By Chris Marshall
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Cricket Diary: Drinking In The Rain

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I have news, we have a new boiler. This is news, but is not the news though. The new boiler is way more powerful than the vintage one we inherited with the The Cottage which means three things:

  1. The water is a LOT hotter, which I found out rather painfully as I lowered my old bones through the Radox,
  2. The pressure is MUCH higher so the bath fills up faster which means an adjustment to my pre bath routine, and
  3. The result of 1 and 2 is MORE bubbles from my regular splash of Radox, which did not help at all with Point 1 above!

Of course this means I now need less Radox per bath, but to be honest if the weather stays like it is I wont be needing many baths anyway.

I get ahead of myself though.

With last weekend rained off as far as cricket was concerned, Monday was a bit of a revelation for me, and the dogs, as we managed a long morning walk, followed by a good net session where I continue to work on playing the ball later and better shot selection.

With more time on my hands than usual during the week I dusted off a few brain cells and wrote a review on Spond including some suggestions on how it could be used. This is part of a series of articles I am planning on how cricket has (and has not) changed since I last played. Given that neither the internet or mobile phones had been invented then it is no surprise that anything technology based sits in the changed camp. I wrote this on the Thursday and woke on the Friday to a rather surprising message on Twitter from the CEO Trine Falnes thanking me from the review and asking if I would look at the Club Management Platform for them.

Social Media can be pretty useful at times!

Another thing that has changed since my day is Dynamos Cricket and All Stars Cricket both of which I was aware of, but had not seen close up until Friday evening.

Brilliant! Club looked great with the youngsters running around, the parents enjoying a beer of two in the sun, and the club coaches doing an amazing job. Add on the 50 or so juniors at training afterwards and the club was rocking, and has every reason to proud of itself, and confident about the future.

Friday also gave me the opportunity to show a few players the Williamson Boucher Bat we are raffling off to contribute to the Supporting the NHS project. Fair to say that they were impressed and over the weekend we sold 24 of the 30 teams.

Six Teams Left (at time of writing). If we have sold and been paid for all teams we can present the bat on Friday evening.

As I have got older I have found that I benefit from routine and more time, so it was good to wake up on Saturday into what has already become my Saturday Match Day routine: get the old bones moving with some daily household chores (which is a rather glamorous way of describing cleaning the litter trays and filling up the cats food and water), followed by the increasingly necessary daily stretches. Breakfast, prepare the food I take with me, shower, quick go on the indoor bike to get the legs moving then down to the nets for half an hour with Mr Birch.

We were playing Springhill but to be honest I don’t think anyone really felt we would get a game, not least because we were playing on an all weather strip which resembled an ice rink more than a cricket strip, but pragmatism and desire resulted in a highly enjoyable and competitive T20. This was the first game we have played this year without the much needed and much appreciated ‘help’ from a player or two from the 3s, so the victory felt all the better in my opinion as it was a 4s only victory: everyone contributes, we fielded extremely well and with Nick behind the stumps I was able to relive my youth for an afternoon directing operations on the field. Much has been said elsewhere about individual performances but if you are so inclined ask any of the players about the flying policeman, the tumbling wicket keeper, or the disappearing opposition players!

Not such a great day for everything!

With no other Penkridge Team completing their game it was just the 4s that went back for a drink in the rain. Maybe it was the euphoria but we stood in the rain for 30 minutes before we realised we could be round the front of the pavilion under cover!

Sunday morning and another forecast of rain, but routines are routines so we took the dogs for an early morning walk (amazing how different my legs felt after only 20 overs in the field), then pet stuff, stretching, breakfast, prepare food, shower and then down to the ground for a net with Scooby, which we just completed before the expected rain started. With the game called off a few of us settled down for a few more beers (from the cold box) under the porch watching the rain fall, talking about the time I played with WG Grace, and waiting for the youngsters to be picked up by their parents!

And so to another week. Hopefully a dry one, hopefully a safe one and hopefully another successful one for all at Penkridge.

Thank You

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

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