Ball Games!

Test Cricket returns tomorrow when England host West Indies at Southampton. Whether or not it should really be classed as Test status is debatable. Yes, Test cricketers will be playing but they’ve prepared by playing intra-squad matches and there’ll be no spectators in the ground. It is of course arguable that fans could attend and maintain social distancing however it’s more the getting there (Unnecessary risks on public transport etc) and getting in and out of the ground that are the problem.

West Indies are short of a few players. It’s perfectly understandable that some players, at least one of whom has suffered tragedy in his life, doesn’t want to tour England. Two of the absent players hail from Guyana where until recently at least, there hadn’t been many deaths. That may have changed as Coronavirus gains a grip on the Americas but it’s easy to comprehend that they didn’t want to visit a country where there’ve been thousands upon thousands of deaths, even if a little digging might suggest that a lot of those deaths have been in care homes. Of course BAME personnel do seem to be more vulnerable.

England will also be deprived of a player in the shape of their captain Joe Root. That possibly earns Joe Denly a reprieve and means that England’s batsmen will be competing against each other. Ben Stokes will lead England against a West Indies side who have some exciting young players in and around their squad.

West Indies have been written off before, only to show England up. Let’s hope for some competitive cricket to feast upon once again. Whether or not there’ll be artificial crowd noise like in the football we’ll have to wait and see.

May I take this opportunity to thank anybody and everybody for visiting my blog. You might like to visit my football blog http://www.leftbackfooty.com Please do… because nobody is!

3TC – I Like It!

If you were struggling to stomach The Hundred then 3TC is likely to make you choke on your cornflakes! But do you know what? Having watched the little explainer video on YouTube… I actually quite like the idea!

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/29338438/south-africa-return-cricket-delayed-3tc-competition-postponed

Yes it’s another South African cricket competition that isn’t going to get off the ground as anticipated and how practical three-team international matches outside of a major tournament would be is debatable but it seems like it could be really exciting.

One thing the video doesn’t make clear but is presumably easy to figure out is that if a batsman is left on their own then they have to keep walking back to the other end to be on strike even if they ran a single or a three.

Excuse my laziness but please watch the video presented by Mark Nicholas via the link above that does a better job of explaining it than I would. It seems really dynamic and like I say, I like the idea… though it’s probably not desperately necessary to rush to commence it in a coronavirus hotspot in the middle of the South African winter!

Out of the Darkness!

In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, counties continue to cancel the contracts of overseas players. If there is any cricket played this summer then it could be that local/English players are presented with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have had.

There are great benefits of experienced overseas players representing counties but far too many of those signings are nowadays made with a short term view. They’re a quick fix and more likely to delay the development of a young local lad than aid it.

If we do witness any county cricket this year then we could see some unfamiliar names taking to the field. Some will flounder never to be seen again and soon turn to working in the city etc but for some, they’ll seize the chance and go onto make a career that they might not have had. We’ll wait and see…

No Need for a Funky Title!

Hi all

It was my intention to post an audiocast but technical issues mean that we’ll have to content ourselves with the written word.

Firstly, I hope that everybody is well. Please stay safe and adhere to the appropriate advice. It isn’t always easy dependent on your employer but I hope that financially and health wise you’re all able to survive.

There will be little cricket this year. Recreational cricket will have to pass which will be of great frustration to many. Please try and stay positive. As for watching and following the professional game then maybe some short form cricket at the back end of the summer is as much as we can optimistically hope for. Whether or not travelling to these matches will be safe and practical for fans is a difficult question. This ‘thing’ isn’t just going to blow over. For the ECB and their Hundred baby that will be of grave concern!

I’ve stalled on Cricket 19. I’m halfway through a Test match as France but a mid-match patch, little children, work and the weather have all impeded my progress/enjoyment. I’ll try and round it off soon and post the details… it could be interesting!

Now is surely the time to read some cricket books and watch some films. Please refer to the relevant tabs at the top right of my blog for recommendations (Menu & Widgets-Home-Batting Order-Select Category).

Please stay safe everyone, wherever you are.

Paul aka Silly Point

Cricket and Coronavirus

England’s cricketers have returned from Sri Lanka and rightly so. If they’d stayed in Sri Lanka there’s no guarantee that they’d be able to get home at the conclusion of the tour. They may have spouses, dependents, children and elderly family who need their support. They can’t possibly have been expected to focus on cricket even if young healthy families are perceived to be at less risk. I myself have a child who is high risk and many people seem to be making misguided assumptions about who are and who aren’t vulnerable. England’s cricketers have a nice life but already spend enough time in hotels. To have been locked up in one with their families in England and no travel authorised just couldn’t have been allowed to happen.

As for The Hundred, the ECB will be worried!

Fingers crossed that cricket like society in general can recover soon.