The cricket season starts on Saturday.
I've got all my equipment looked out. Gloves, wellingtons. wheelbarrow. spade. shovel....
We're in the embryonic stage of putting up our new pavilion. 'Tis a thing of beauty, replacing a building that, while functional, most definitely wasn't. It had two dressing rooms of decent size, an undercover link corridor (useful when it rained) and a viewing/tea room, which had plenty of chairs from various sources and went through numerous replacement panes of glass from those who had perfected (and timed) the hoik over mid-wicket.
Alas it is no more. In its place, after 26 seasons of good use, is a wonderful structure that cost £14K new but was bought by us from a local tourist spot. They'd purchased it for a tea room but neglected to seek planning permission before erecting it. So down it came and into storage after only three weeks, where it sat until an enterprising club member came to hear of it and negotiated a remarkable £2K for it, including transportation to the club.
We now have to build it, which is a job for an early April weekend. Think the scene in Witness, where Harrison Ford and the Amish are erecting barns and all sorts of stuff in a day and you will have some idea of our plans. With two dressing rooms that could house 'proper' teams, a tea room AND a viewing room, not to mention toilets, we'll be in the lap of luxury in jig time... hopefully.
The tradesmen among our number reckon they can build it in a weekend with enough labourers to help and assistance from the weather. Saturday is the back-breaking stuff. Sixteen holes, 1.5 metres square and 1 metre deep need to be dug, then filled with concrete. Assuming all the people who said they would be there turn up we should be fine, but no doubt one or two will wake up on the morning with a sniffle, an ingrown toenail or an acute case of duvet dependency. We'll see, but none of us are planning a hectic Saturday evening...
On the pitch there's little to relate at present. The club are having a sale of last season's merchandise and I hope that at least one extra large white cricket shirt is left when I get down there in 2-3 weeks, just the job for my cricketing forays this year, as my current shirt is starting to look a little threadbare (bit like me, really...)
Steve Claridge made nice comments about Wayne Madsen, which anyone who has met the genial South African will vouch for, while the players will be getting set for Barbados any day now.
All this and the Rams beat Forest the other night. What we'd give to see our lads replicate that to their cricketing counterparts this summer! Its just a shame that the edge was taken off the win by the mindless morons with pathetic chants about the late Forest chairman. Neither funny nor clever, this is the sort of thing I would hate to see creep into cricket and is another reason why I don't really bother with football too much these days.