International Duck Watch… for One Night Only!

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Silly Point’s long-retired gimmick has today come out of retirement to celebrate the astounding ineptitude of Pakistan’s Sahibzada Farhan’s introduction to international cricket. The international virgin managed to get himself stumped off a wide from the very first delivery that he faced in Harare today. That’s right, the opening batsman’s inscription in the scorebook reads: Out 0, Balls Faced 0!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18633/scorecard/1142919/australia-vs-pakistan-final-zimbabwe-twenty20-tri-series-2018

I can emphasise with Farhan as I once did the same thing myself. It wasn’t quite on the same scale, the Harrogate and District Evening League probably isn’t comparable to international cricket! In my defence, I’d only played a handful of matches at the time and unlike Farhan, I’m not a professional cricketer who has been practicing day after day for a number of years!

All joking aside, congratulations to Farhan on representing his country and fingers crossed for him that they’ll be opportunities in the future to put things right.

Burns & the Blast!

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Good morning loyal followers.

Please have a listen to my latest audio cast. Bear with, it’s a little bit football dominated for the first couple of minutes!

Many thanks

Happy Cricket!

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If like me, you’re in the habit of trawling through cricket blogs, then you’ll have become accustomed to an awful lot of cynicism, pessimism, scepticism and delusion. It appears that anything can be blamed on the ECB’s Tom Harrison or possibly Andrew Strauss. I mean anything! Your wife didn’t buy you those new shiny white cricket socks that you wanted for your birthday, then it’s probably Tom Harrison’s fault!

Nineteen-year-old Sam Curran can be written off as a 77mph trundler, three overs into his Test debut. Any uncapped England qualified player is the next best thing until they play. Anything less than fifty on debut, no wicket in their first over or simply that they bowl at less than 90mph, well they’re damaged goods now. Move onto the next cab off the rank! Any genuine fast bowler should play for England regardless of whether or not they can actually take wickets at domestic level and irrespective or any ability to play consecutive matches. This is the general ideology of bloggers and those who bother to post comments at the bottom of the internet!

All Stars Cricket has got kids playing bat ‘n’ ball but let’s slag it off anyway! If women are outside socialising and playing softball, then let’s slag that off for good measure too!

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Well, I’d like to break the mould. I’d like to write about happy cricket: Last night I scored my first run in nearly two years… YEY! I enjoyed getting some exercise and challenging myself in the fresh air and outdoors on a lovely summer’s evening.

Morne Morkel finally made his debut for Surrey and got me some Telegraph Fantasy Cricket points… YIPPEE!

All associate cricket nations will soon have full T20I status. That means players can regularly check their Cricinfo player profile page and look at their stats… WHOOPEE!

Tomorrow, cricketers up and down the country will be outside playing cricket. Some will be keeping communities together. They’ll be competing, learning, improving, breaking personal, team or league records, getting exercise, visiting new places, and living new experiences. Some people will even be playing for the first time. Said people will enjoy the company of their teammates, the weather and a drink or two (Doesn’t have to be alcoholic) post match… GREAT!

Spectators will enjoy watching and listening to international, county and village cricket, both at grounds and at home as well as in the car or anywhere else for that matter. They’ll be inspired and impressed by lots of what they see… YESSS!

Cricket. It’s fun, it’s hard, it’s rewarding if you put the effort in. The bigwigs get slagged off like any politicians do, regardless of whether or not they care, try or are any good. Moan, criticise, whinge… I’m sorry, this was supposed to be happy cricket! I’ve been blogging for nearly two years now. I write my own stuff (Of course I take inspiration from headlines and articles) and take my own pictures. I don’t just copy and paste. I don’t illegally use photos that I don’t have the rights too. I may write or say some rubbish but at least it’s my rubbish. This is probably (Possibly!) my first rant article.

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Some patronising and condescending advice to everybody (I’m being hypocritical aren’t I?): Support the England cricket team. Support cricket. SUPPORT!!!

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Matt Prior to last Nick Knight, it’d been nearly two years since I’d last scored a run. In my only two outings to the crease since the start of 2017, one last year and one this, I had been dismissed second ball without scoring. They were the first two instances of me batting whilst wearing glasses. Yesterday however, progress was made… small victories! I scored a run, one run, one whole run! As was the case in my previous innings, I walked to the crease during the penultimate over but this time at least made it to the last. Having calmly pushed the ball back past the bowler to get off the mark, in the final over, I opted for expansiveness against the opposition’s ringer… and was promptly bowled! Had I just got forward in an orthodox fashion, then I could’ve tapped an easy leg side single. Still, it’s a run, I fielded well and we won, onto the next round… but not selected for tomorrow’s league match!

That’s right folks, I thought that just one run merited a whole article. You just wait until I make it into double figures, it has been known to happen you know!

Upcoming Articles

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With the recent addition to the blog of audio casts to compliment the written word and with lots of cricket being played at all levels around the world, there’s much to look forward to at Silly Point throughout the rest of 2018.

Topics for future posts may include but not be limited to: The inaugural edition of Global T20 Canada, T20I status provided to all Associate Cricket nations, Telegraph Fantasy Cricket updates,┬áthe release of Cricket Captain 18, further Ashes Cricket (PS4) reports, book reviews, the author’s own efforts on the village circuit, first hand accounts of men’s and women’s ODI cricket (Trips to The Grange, Edinburgh and Headingley are booked!) and thoughts on England’s Test side’s continued woeful run of form (For the pessimists!)/renaissance (For the optimists!).

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Next year Silly Point will bring you match reports from the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and there’s sure to be many posts to keep readers and listeners occupied in the meantime.

Ducking on Day One!

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I’m not going to commit to a season diary just yet, particularly if things continue as they’ve started but having informed followers of my coming out of retirement and quest for an ever elusive half-century, I feel that it’s only apt to advise of my quack spectacular on the opening day of the village campaign!

I played one match last year and was dismissed second ball. It was the first time that I’d played cricket wearing glasses. Yesterday I played my second match with glasses and fell second ball again. That’s 0 runs in two innings across 2017-18. The only way is up!

I haven’t netted because I’d retired. The match was actually called off due to a damp pitch however the opposition’s first team’s opponents conceded because they couldn’t raise an XI. Therefore a ground that somehow wasn’t soaking became available. I batted at seven and arrived at the crease during the penultimate over. The points system has changed so there’s nothing to be gained for not being bowled out. We had wickets in hand so I just tried to hit as far as I could. Unfortunately that wasn’t very far. After failing to swat the first chest high ball I connected with the second and looking back, am not sure why they weren’t called no balls! The ball simply went up and with their team having dropped everything else, the young lad who nonchalantly dropped a pathetically casual one-handed attempt earlier in the match, made sure he safely wrapped two hands around the red spherical orb and terminated my brief affair at the wicket!

Oh look, we’ve now got yet another new scoring system that records all your stats in great detail…

http://birstwith.play-cricket.com/website/player_stats_widget/batting_stats/4049115?rule_type_id=179

Chasing Fifty!

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I thought that I’d retired from playing cricket. I haven’t attended pre-season nets, not that doing so has ever helped me in the past! I thought that my second ball duck early last season, clean bowled by a man who must’ve been at least 80, would forever remain my ungracious exit from the village game. I genuinely haven’t scored a run in nearly two years and was ready to flog my attic residing kit at the first car boot sale of the year on sunday… but, with the start of the club cricket campaign just a few days away, I received a text: “Fancy a game of cricket Saturday?… only play 40 overs now so should be done by 6pm at latest”. I ummed and ahhed for a while but the temptation was too strong. If the past few hundred innings are anything to go by then a duck is highly likely, a single figure score is quite likely, a score in the teens is a possibility and anything from twenty to forty-odd is optimistic but has been known to happen. Despite the severe duck risk, it’s that elusive half-century that tempts me back out onto the field. That and the remote (And I mean remote!) possibility that I might get a bowl. The closest I came to a half-ton was 47, when I opened the batting and was last man out to the first ball of the 44th over. That was way back in 2009! I did finish 40 not out in a T20 match in 2016, a match-winning innings but not a fifty.

So here it goes. The forecast isn’t great. There’s plenty of rain about so if we do take to the field then it’ll likely be the bowlers who are provided with some assistance. I’m making excuses already!