Sunday, 3 August 2014

Weekend warmer

Sorry about the lack of blogging this weekend. but a short notice trip down south was required and I didn't have much access to the internet.

What I did get, while on my travels, was an interview that I am sure you will find fascinating in due course with a club legend who never took guard for the county and who is the last remaining link with pre-war Derbyshire cricket.

At 97 years of age, Walter Goodyear has a remarkable recall of the people and events of his time at the club and told me some remarkable stories. He was good enough to allow me the best part of four hours of his time and it was spellbinding stuff.

I need to edit it down now and will naturally honour the agreement to keep some of those stories confidential. There was so much information that it will take me some time, but the wait for it, in close season, will be worthwhile.

There's much to like in the club recollections of the legendary groundsman, covering a period from 1932 to 1982 and I'd like to publicly thank Walter for his time and those precious memories, as well as Harold Rhodes for facilitating the meeting. I am extremely grateful to both of them.

I hope my finished article does them justice.

Further afield, the T20 semi-finalists are now known and I suppose we all dream that sometime soon Derbyshire might make finals day. We'll need to bowl much better than we did this year, that's for sure, but the vastly improved form of the one-day cup suggests that there is potential with the addition of key personnel.

I watched Nottinghamshire today and once again this expensively compiled side lost out on a big occasion. Hampshire batted beautifully to overhaul their challenging total, led by James Vince, who I firmly believe to be one of the best batsmen in the country to watch. He's such a good timer of the ball and managed to overcome the loss of Maxwell and Adams to successive deliveries to steer his side home in some comfort. It shows how well Derbyshire did to beat the southern county in the fifty-over competition recently.

I'd also make passing comment on the Test series, given Derbyshire are not playing until Thursday, to say that the IPL is ensuring that India are unlikely to be top dogs in international cricket in the near future. While the touring side won the second Test against a luke-warm England side, their much-vaunted batting line-up's inexperience of English conditions is likely to cost them dearly.

Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Chetshwar Pujara don't look anything like the players they are at home. While the exclusivity of IPL contracts works well for the organisers and has given the players financial security beyond their wildest dreams, they need experience on different types of wickets to attain the talent and reputation of such predecessors as Gavaskar, Tendulkar and Azharuddin, who came to England and effectively used it as a finishing school.

The current trio will doubtless score thousands of runs in their careers, but the majority will be in their own country or on moribund tracks elsewhere. That's a shame, as all are potentially much better than that and both need and deserve greater exposure and experience than afforded by a twenty-over slog, even one as slick as the IPL.

Finally today, is it just me that finds the lack of cricket at the height of summer frustrating? I know the T20 is going on (and we're not in it) but next week we play on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday, then have an eight-day gap, followed by a ten-day one.

It is messy and at a time when many people are taking holidays and are technically free to watch some cricket, is counter-productive. I've no doubt that the players will be glad of the breaks, but when the same old critics start moaning about the lack of crowds at cricket, just think back to a time of year when they had the opportunities to get some and blew it.

Because they hadn't arranged any matches.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more about the lack of cricket Peakfan. Due to my job (work in a school) I sit down at the start of the season with the fixtures and work out how many days I can get to, before deciding whether to renew membership (or in the past two years get a six pack). This year I've not bothered with either as this coming Thursday and Sunday are the only days I could get to all summer! Ridiculous.

The administrators of the game need to sort this out - the young Vaughans, Stewarts, Goughs, Andersons all need inspiring and need to be able to see cricket . How can they see this inspiration in the flesh if there is no cricket to watch?

Chris in Crewe.