The countdown timer is approaching the seventy day mark. Hard as it has been to believe over the past week or so, when the rain has battered down and the snow has fallen in spectacular depths, we're just over a couple of months from the season.
I've already started my playing preparations. I got a brand new thigh pad from ebay for 99p plus postage (the velcro on the old one had a nasty habit of coming undone, leaving me a little exposed...) and a pair of batting gloves for very little more. Just need to get my bat re-gripped at Owzat-Cricket on my trip back home next month and I'm pretty much sorted for pre-season nets, which are only a month away.
Which will mean, of course, that I'm only about 29 years of fitness behind the Derbyshire squad, a mere trifle. Still, as long as I can chase a ball to the boundary and still jog back to my position in the field I think I'll be fine. Just as long as I don't have to do it for every ball of an over...
There's not too much news on the county circuit right now. An Essex fan took exception to last week's comments about Rob Quiney, but somewhat missed the point before lapsing into somewhat stereotypical anti-Derbyshire comments. Quiney is a decent cricketer, but is an average of 35 at the age of 30 anything to get unduly excited about? It is the same as that achieved by Jon Moss, who was a thoroughly decent, workmanlike but unspectacular player for us a few years back. Few would put him in the top tier of our overseas stars and I suspect the same fate may befall the new Essex man.
He may prove me wrong, of course and prove to be this summer's surprise package, but early season wickets in England have caused problems for many a top batsman in the past - Alviro Petersen last summer being a prime example. A long, dry summer may see Quiney in his element, but I'm not sure such weather is a natural consequence of the travails of this winter.
More later in the week.