Humbug's Blog - Pieterson Free Zone

Humbug's Blog - Pieterson Free Zone

Greg's Feet

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We played against a team in the League a few weeks back and they had a white board in their changing closet. Three words were scrawled on it: ‘Focus, Intensity, Fun’. This translated into pre-match warm-ups, pinging a practice ball into a mini-net and then sadly sledging our Mo while batting. Clearly the approach was more Thames Valley than Chilterns League. Maybe a fourth word could be added to their white board, ‘Joy’. I know Veg had a few words to add but these are non-repeatable. Still, they were much better than us and a club clearly on the up benefitting from a recent huge influx of young, keen cricketers. I can still dream!

We hit a rare purple patch with 1XI, and at the time of writing the 2XI were unbeaten in the league. Good availability despite a tiny membership was key. Greg Double may not be the most gifted of cricketers but with feet that can kill small rodents at 10 meters, an engine like a 1940’s Beetle and an amusing line in sledges (plenty of spaces on the High Street, why can’t you hit them?), he is a great addition. Mind you, having perfected the slide pick-up fielding is a problem to those lending him whites. Beware skid marks, of many kinds! George’s 90 against Taplow 2XI in the same game was probably one of the best innings I have seen down the club since the hey-day of Lardy.

Of course I wrote the last paragraph in the present and had to change it to the past tense. Despite a real improvement in availability from last year a good 1XI is let down by a casual approach at times in an effort to side on fun and enjoyment. I agree there needs to be a balance, we don’t want to be drilled in the pursuit of success, and yet banter barracking or own batsmen I find deeply disappointing, especially at 9-2. Winning can also be fun, but there is a disturbing trend in late drop outs on Fridays and even Saturdays. I wonder if members realise the efforts skippers go to just to field a side. It is a function also of a small membership. Mind you, I shouldn’t complain, we get involved down at Hurley as they are a great bunch of lads and Val’s strawberry scones are sublime, and if any are left over Naeem quietly fills his lunchbox for after sun-set.  I am always entertained. Mo knocking out the skipper with a return throw, sheep caught up in the wire fence or players with sat navs heading for the wrong Winchmore Hill and realising their mistake only when they cruised past the Natural History Museum. At least they didn’t wait for Wembley Stadium to appear.

And finally, whether you are in or out, let us be ambitious for the club both on and off the field. We have great potential in our juniors while the senior membership declines.


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