THIS week’s column is written from my sick bed, or rather sick sofa. Important cricket events are taking place, but thanks to the first class Sky TV coverage I am missing little.
A planned visit to the 50-over Royal London Cup match at Derby did not take place, but every ball was watched on TV. Watching was a genuine joy.
The commentary was well informed and fair. So different from the Blofeld blatherings on the radio.
Limited-over cricket is constantly evolving and players’ skills especially so and this was evident watching Derbyshire beating us on Friday.
Craig Miles’ ‘knuckle ball’ impressed everyone, and of course for many viewers it would have been their first sight of the young Gloucestershire bowler. His easy run-up, fluent action and undoubted pace showed how much we can look forward to him winning us matches at every level.
Jack Taylor struck the ball sweetly in scoring 60, his highest score in county colours. I would play Jack in every game, as his batting and hopefully his bowling is of a game-changing nature. Wicket keeper Gareth Roderick is proving to be a player of the highest class both behind the stumps and in front of them.
Most exciting of all was Chris Dent’s belligerent bashing of the Derby attack. He was a real threat until he was undone by a ‘chinaman’ from left arm spinner David Wainwright. This was the moment of the game that TV captured best. The commentators spotted it, the cameras captured not just the wicket, but David’s celebrations. It was a joyous moment for all of us who enjoy watching quality spin bowling.
Captain Klinger was unlucky. His season is now over because of the broken arm he suffered in the game. This set us back considerably, and with Will Gidman having his worst game for Gloucestershire, victory eluded us. One last word about Gidman’s move to Notts. Currently on the staff at Trent Bridge are at least eight players purchased from other counties, five of whom have international experience at some level.
John Bracewell mentioned ‘parasitic clubs’ the other day. A wealthy club staging regular Test matches, Notts have the cash to plunder poorer counties.
Northampton and Leicester have particularly suffered. The game needs to face up to the fact that the rich are getting richer. Players are entitled to move so how about transfer fees or to use a less emotive word, compensation.
The T20 finals day at Edgbaston was also exciting viewing and clearly reflected the new public this version of cricket has brought to the game.
Cricketers no longer regard it as ‘hit and giggle’ but have adapted cleverly to the demands of the most exacting of the three competitions.
Spectators too add to the colour of the day. A day at the Lord’s Test is special, but so is finals day at Edgbaston. That the greatest of games can offer both delights is another example of its strength.
Strength is not a word that can currently be used about Poulton CC who are having a disastrous playing season. For a variety of reasons they lost some experienced players and that has asked too much of their able youngsters. The club is a sound one, however, and will certainly come again next year.
Cirencester CC fight on. A fine bowling display on Saturday kept them towards the top of the table. The vital question is can they make the final push?
It was the sofa again on Monday when having to surrender presidential duties at the ODI against India was a real blow.
The whole day would have been one I valued and cherished, the pinnacle of my cricketing life. How sad that the weather ruined all the hard work that had been put in ahead of the game.
Forest Green could not offer consolation with just a draw against Bristol Rovers but what an atmosphere there must have been in front of a bumper New Lawn crowd of 3,781.
I will also be unable to attend Gloucestershire’s quarter final at Canterbury on Friday. However, that game is on TV. No phone calls will be answered between 2pm and 9.30pm.
A win and a home semi final would cheer me up.