Jimmy’s Hampshire Blog: Sunday – Vs. Gloucestershire @ Bristol.

On July 24, 2008 by

Rain. Forecasters have got it right so far but we’ll be here most of the day as we need to play, so we’ve got a potentially long old day and this ground isn’t the best place to watch the drizzle come down.

Apparently it’s still raining at home so it looks like the rain may be around for a wee bit longer than our man at the Met said on the box this morning.

Had a good feed and catch up with George (sister) last night – I quite like Bristol as a place, I’m sure it’s got its bad side but I quite like it’s laid back atmosphere in the parts I’ve been to.

Amazingly, considering the forecast rain, i think all the boys were tucked up in good time last night – the times are changing! An giant poker game is going on with both camps involved, some of the Gloucester lads took down out lads last time so some revenge is on the cards – excuse the unintentional pun…

I had a few drinks with George last night and was joined by one of George’s old friends, called George too, her boyfriend and a couple of his mates. They were quite surprised to see me having a beer the night before the game and even more taken back when I mentioned that some of the other lads were having a curry – we might be sportsmen and the diet and behaviour of players has changed markedly even in my brief time playing but we don’t have be as stringent as other sports in our physical preparation.

I’m fairly fortunate, I studied Human Biology at uni so have a decent understanding about nutrition and similar and even luckier still (compared to some of my team-mates) I happen to like food that’s pretty good for you – some of the lads still seem to be collecting Happy Meal toys judging by their fondness for a drive-thru, everything in moderation as they say but I think our fitness/conditioning man might be a little put out by then intake of a some…

Written by Jimmy Adams – LHB for Hampshire CCC

So Darren Pattinson – why?

On July 22, 2008 by

England’s first big move since the shake up of selectors came last week which saw Notts squad member Darren Pattinson come into the side.

I think it is safe to say that he didn’t get a rousing reception when it was announced. England captain Michael Vaughan even confirmed that he hadn’t even seen him bowl. He got the new ball from one end and was brought off after three uninspiring overs. On came fans favourite Freddie Flintoff and the rest as they say is history. He did go on to claim two wickets on debut although one of them was a really poor LBW decision.

You had to feel sorry for the seamer who had only 11 first class games under his belt. It isn’t like he is a promising youngster bursting on to the scene, he hadn’t set the county scene on fire. He is 29 years of age and really is a club player who got lucky after a spate of injuries for Victoria gave him the opportunity to play for the state in the Pura Cup and in the domestic Twenty20 down under.

It wasn’t the fact that he was called up that stunned and upset watchers and the media alike. It was the fact that he came in over a numerous amount of better options. Chris Tremlett was in the squad in case Ryan Sidebottom’s back wasn’t good to go – it wasn’t but yet he wasn’t picked – why? Matthew Hoggard is a Yorkshire player and has been a valuable England player, why couldn’t he be recalled on his home turf?

Then there is Steve Harmiston who is another player who has been an England player in the past. He is having a fine season up at County Durham and is bowling with pace and bounce. He and Hoggard are both still on Central Contracts and are therefore being paid by England. Either would’ve been a fine pick as would the likes of Tremlett, Simon Jones or Sajid Mahmood.

Hopefully this was just a hiccup and not an insight into the future of selections from the new Board of Directors. If it is then I am fearful for the immediate future of the national side.

Jimmy’s Hampshire Blog: The day after the benefit match and travel day

On by

Currently on the bus to Bristol – the coach journey’s are an easy time to tap away on my keyboard. There are few distractions and there’s nothing else to do so I can’t feel guilty for sitting in front of a laptop for a few hours when it’s a beautiful day and i should be spending time practising or in the garden.

We had a good day yesterday at one of Creepy’s benefit games – we got a good hiding though which was not in the script! Due to a lack of players, Tomo and I opened the batting, we did okay considering we were trying (unsuccessfully) to park every other ball into the neighbouring field but after our solid start we soon found ourselves in deep doo-doo and Browny yet again had to dig ourselves out of a hole.

Unfortunately this is no fun in a benefit game as all you want to do is try and swing as hard as can. The opposition knocked our score off with ease – to give you an idea of the game, I kept wicket (with mixed results, 2 stumpings but dropped catches, hard ones though) and Al Mullally opened the bowling when he was only really useful for propping up the bar…

Some good news yesterday, Liam Dawson scored a good hundred for the 2’s – hopefully he’ll relax into this season a bit more and be able to show his true colours. He’d been putting himself under too much pressure to perform and his performances had suffered a bit; there’s no need for him to worry so much, he’s a talented young lad and we all know what he’s capable of doing (let alone what he could achieve).

It’s a common problem for younger guys – putting themselves under too much internal pressure to perform immediately, I think some see a few of their peers getting a chance and try and push too hard to keep up. On the surface there is nothing wrong with setting high standards and pushing yourself but you can sometimes push too hard and get ahead of yourself, rather than controlling what’s right in front of you and relaxing a bit more. We all play are best when we’re not worrying about anything – a good bit of adrenalin helps but you need to channel it the right way.

Bristol – a good chance to catch up with my sister who’s living on a house boat near the city centre, sounds cool and it’s is in the summer but come the winter, judging by her stories, it sounds like a form of torture. The cold and damp don’t appeal when it’s sub-zero outside and that’s before you find out the generator’s rooted and as a consequence the heating is non-existent….

Forecast is pretty ropey tomorrow but the Met Office have not been overly accurate recently so we’ll see. The lads are, funnily enough, playing poker – Bondy’s back and will no doubt share the spoils with Dim though Benny and Slug are dark(ish) horses. I’m gonna listen to a few new CD’s (Howling Rain for those interested), pretend to read the paper when all I’m really doing is looking at the pictures and then hopefully we’ll have arrived.

Written by James Adams – LHB for Hampshire CCC

The future of cricket

On July 17, 2008 by

Twenty20 was born in England but it got its legs in India. Now the ECB is playing catch up and have decided that an English Premier League is the way forward. Where is cricket going?

I am a cricket lover, it was the sport I showed most gift for as a youngster. I played for my school and thoroughly enjoyed the sport. At school level you actually play 20 over games (well they did when I was a nipper – not sure if they still do now) and now that form of the game is the biggest thing to happen to the game since Kerry Packer waltzed on to the scene.

Twenty20 has done what world Series Cricket did in Australia – it has brought the game to women and children. The traditionalists do not enjoy T20 cricket, I know a lot of people who are very much against it but they shouldn’t see it as a rival to the longer forms of the game.

Test matches are the pinnacle of the sport for this generation but in the future will this still be the case? Will kids grow up wanting to hit a century at Lords to beat the Aussies for a few thousand pounds or would they prefer to play three Twenty20 games in the same five day period for twenty times the financial gain?

This is the question that cricket has to ask itself. Overkill of Twenty20 will lead to a generation of players who will only learn how to play the shortest version of the game. The rise in popularity of the Twenty20 game has led to more attacking and aggressive form of test cricket, which has been good for the game. However you can hear the twitching of players who are eager to earn vast sums of money in the Indian Premier League.

Twenty20 is a form of the game that’ll attract interest from those that aren’t traditionally cricket fans. It is also a form of the game that could be marketable in the United States. Twenty20 is definitely the future but cricket cannot forget its past. Twenty20 and Test cricket must both work and continue to work in the future.

Zimbabwe need to be taken out of the ICC

On July 2, 2008 by

So there is a big question around Zimbabwe’s future at the top table of the International Cricket Council. The President of the ICC Ray Mail says that it has nothing to do with the political situation in the country, but more to do with the development of cricket there, however this should not be the case.

He told Cricinfo.com that, "We are not the ones to debate on politics. It’s not about Zimbabwe’s membership in the ICC, either. Not at all. What we are concerned about is how to strengthen the game in Zimbabwe, how to encourage more cricketing interaction with them at any level."

I disagree completely though and fully back the ECB’s stance. How can you play sport against a representative of a nation who is openly killing its own people, you just can’t. I don’t see what the sub-continent members of the ICC are doing in backing Zimbabwe’s spot on the ICC.

Sport and Politics don’t mix well but at times you have to do what is right. They say that there is a whiff of compromise in the air that’ll see Zimbabwe skipping next years Twenty20 tournament in England, which’ll allow the ECB to still host the tournament following the government’s decision not to grant visa’s to the Zimbabwean team.

As an arena sport should all be about competition but at times it fills a bigger need. What is going on in Zimbabwe is appalling and if sport is a way to get at a monster such as Robert Mugabe then so be it. It is just sad that the sub-continent teams don’t feel the same.