As we head into the Christmas season, here are a few random thoughts ahead of the festivities. There will be little time to blog over the next three days and I am sure you will all be in exactly the same boat.
Brendon McCullum retired from the international game...now there is a man who will be in demand around the world! The genial Kiwi has been one of the standout players of recent years and will be sought after for every T20 competition. A devastating batsman, competent wicket-keeper and thoughtful captain, there is much to like in a player whose teams play cricket the way that it should always be played - and enjoyed. He is also a man of considerable integrity and charm, one I hope we will continue to see on the world stage for many years to come. Today he was announced as a Middlesex player, the clamour for his services begins...
At the other end of the professional spectrum, Dan Redfern has signed to play Minor Counties cricket for Shropshire in 2016. I hope that it is a springboard for a talented cricketer to get his career back on track, because the player of 2012 was a genuine talent. Somewhere and somehow in between it all went rather wrong, but he is still young enough to rediscover his cricketing mojo. He has only to look at the example of Wes Durston to see how it can be done with hard work and the desire to keep doing so.
The news that the RLODC game against Yorkshire in June has been switched to Queens Park in Chesterfield is terrific, for fans of both counties. Allowing for good weather, there is a near-guarantee of a capacity crowd and there are few better sights in cricket than that delightful ground.
Finally tonight, I would just like to thank all of you for your support over the past twelve months, which have seen the blog close in on the magic one million hits mark. It has been a pleasure to meet and correspond with many of you over the course of the year and I look forward to doing so all over again in 2016.
Special thanks to Office Care for their support of the blog over the year. This allows it to look professional and remain advert-free and sincere thanks go to David and Martin Booth for their sponsorship.
In closing, there are now just three signed copies of the Edwin Smith book left and anyone wanting one of these should get in touch as soon as possible. Please search ebay under 'Edwin Smith book' or drop me an email to the usual address.
In between times, I wish you all a very happy Christmas.
I will catch up with you soon