2000 bleeps of the bowling machine auto feeder, 194 hours, 4 gym sessions, 3 practice sessions, 1 domestic game, 1 junior training session to run and a BBQ with the inlaws and the Pepsi World Cricket League 7 is upon us. I can only describe this time as being like mid December for a 6 year old, school finishes soon, you know what you want, but will Santa deliver?
World Cricket League is fast becoming a topic of conversation on Guernsey and I'm regularly being asked everything from 'How will we do?', 'Who's in the tournament?' and the most common comment 'I didn't know they played cricket in Japan?!' My swift response to the latter comment is now well rehearsed 'People in Japan probably don't know where Guernsey is'. Guernsey has an economy and that operates on a global level and a rich history of independence, however, it is by no means the cultural centre of the universe that many here believe it to be, 'why wouldn't there be cricket in Japan?' is more the question.
When I began thinking about how I would write this entry of my blog I found myself coming out with all the cliché filled 'sport speak' that I so wanted to avoid. I bounced from a Glenn McGrath 'we'll win 5-0' type propaganda to a somewhat adulation filled description of our opposition 'They've got some great players!'. Truth be told we don't really know what to expect from our opposition other than that like us they will be full of anticipation and desperate to win.
www.google.com ! The trawling of various cricket websites brings up scorecards, match reports, photos even some video from WCL5. Unlike being with Sussex where Wilson (the CricStat man) will compile a video dossier of every opposition player as well as stats on each player and team performances, we have absolutely nothing concrete to go on. The modest research I was able to come up with I've handed over to the management to do with as they see fit and now its just time to hit balls and focus on what I have to do, which in reality is all that I can control.
Friday I flew over to England on a whistle stop tour of the south coast. Arrived in Southampton at 7:40am and drove to Gray Nicolls in Robertsbridge to collect some kit and raid the bat boxes. Then to Hove for Sussex's match vs Durham and sort the logistics for 3 of our players who will be making their Sussex age-group debuts at the end of May (well done Will, Matthew and Josh), collect their kit and drive back to Romsey to surprise my Mother on her birthday.
Today (Saturday) is liberation day in Guernsey as the Island celebrates the end of the Nazi occupation during World War II. I'll be mixing watching some cricket with a BBQ at the residence of our captain, Stuart Le Prevost, a visit to the French market and spending some time with friends in St Peter Port.
In the domestic competition Lee Savident scored a 160 last week against my Academy boys, although my personal highlight was David Hooper scoring his maiden Div 1 century, albeit in a losing cause. I sneaked in with 70 not out and 3 for not many the day before as some of my so called young protégés committed cricket suicide against me. Obviously playing the man not the ball, at least that's what I suggested to them! Otherwise all the surfaces played well, nobody got injured and everyone got decent run outs.
I've got a club game tomorrow (Sunday) at the KGV which is my favorite ground on the Island, flat wicket, good sized boundaries and Hammy (grounds man) normally has a raging BBQ down there. After the game there is normally enough food left over and warm embers to save us from cooking when we get home. However, with a tournament so close at hand we won't be indulging in the contents of his fridge which puts most pubs to shame.
News has filtered through that Steve Bucknor will be umpiring in the tournament and no doubt he will add some star quality to the panel. I've always been impressed by the standard of umpiring at tournaments (they're all stars to me), I get a lot of LBW's. Just pitching on and straightening is my natural line! There is also no level of creeping or propaganda that I won't sink to in order to keep umpires happy and sneak a wicket.
All in all, can't wait, bring it on and Swine Flu don't you dare come to Guernsey!