Last weekend saw the start of this glorious, ‘it must be exam time’ Mediterranean weather. Many people, mainly the fair skinned Irish, overdid the sun and have spent this week resembling a cast of a cheap re-make of the classic “The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”. All of this magnificent sunshine, of course, meant one thing; no cricket for the author. It meant a cricket-free weekend in a corner of Ireland with no internet, no television and pretty spotty telephone coverage. There was a vid-e-o (ask your Dad) player and a number of classics to be watched. The feature length Carlsberg advert that is Ice Cold in Alex, the very stiff upper lipped The Colditz Story and the heart rendering but morally uplifting tale that is Dirty Dancing. It was wonderful. Although it was just a tad ironic to have no game to play; having already played through two tropical storms (this may be a slight exaggeration, but there was heavy rain) to complete games and also had games called off due to standing water. On the bright side, it meant not having to field for three hours under such a hot sun and joining the cast list.
There must have been many who relished the conditions and made hay whilst the sun did shine. One such person was Roy Silva who scored 295* in a 40 over a side game up North at the weekend. His strike rate was 324 runs per 100 balls. His entire innings was just 91 balls and he hit 34 sixes, including six in an over, and just 11 fours. It was an amazing performance, which should earn him “The Slog Sweep Performance of the Week”. This innings alone would place Roy in 25th place on the LCU Total Runs Scored table to date.
With regard to the pod cast ‘The Slog Sweep’, it is a most excellent production and is expanding its listener-ship with each new episode. The guests are chosen well and the regular reporters carry their enthusiasm for cricket and cricket players. It is now attracting over 12,500 unique plays and Messrs Robinson and Leonard are onto something here. It is well worth a listen and a “subscribe”. Coverage of cricket in Ireland has a new format and that format is the pod cast.
So once again cricket has the ability to enthral and delight in its tales and its stories and its achievements, both by individuals, by teams, by clubs.
Enough of the nice fluffy stuff and no better person to take us away from there than Stu Daltry. Stu has written a report of Day 1 of the Newstalk Inter-provincial series game between Leinster Lightning and Northern Knights at College Park and this is a snippet of his article on cover-point.ie (which I heartily recommend be read and spread). It is hoped that neither cover-point nor Stu Daltry will mind…
“…the Knights bowlers got more theatrical with their appeals. The appeal is part of the game, but I don’t like it when the bowler and close fielders feign celebration and then stand in tea-pot mode when the umpire doesn’t lift the finger.
It’s nothing short of disrespect to the umpires…..”
I couldn’t agree with Stu more on this. Even in the lower leagues of Leinster cricket when the batting side are also umpiring, respect should surely be shown to the umpires. No-one is retiring to their Caribbean island on monies made from umpiring at the top levels of Leinster cricket and none at all is being made by players just having to take their turn in the middle. It is a job without glory, but one that must be done to let the rest of us play the game of cricket. All of that having been said; the players standing in the middle must also earn the opposition players respect through consistency and by doing the best for the game of cricket and not just for their team.
The introduction of technology into the top tier of cricket has, if nothing else made spectators and players far more aware of what the Laws mean within the LBW decision. Of those who stand or have stood, either as a qualified umpire or an occasional ‘I can’t do the book’ player/umpire, who has not ‘seen’ DRS on the wicket in front of them? Mine is set slightly differently than that seen on television. My own has no ‘umpire’s call’; it is either out or not. I hasten to add that I do not have the big screen revealing the decision.
Stu also expresses some views in his article on College Park which you may or may not agree with, but they will provoke thoughts and perhaps debate. Which are your favourite grounds and why? Is it the facilities or the playing surface? What makes a ground memorable? And equally where would you rather not spend your limited free time playing cricket and why not? What really makes grounds welcoming or foreboding? I’d be interested to hear any views out there (firstname.lastname@example.org).
And that’s what “grinds my gears”….
Gareth Delany’s reign at the top of the overall points is over, for the time being anyway. New leader is Khalid Chaudhary whose total of 919 points leaves him 75 points ahead of Eoin Lenehan, with last week’s leader exactly 100 points adrift.
The top twenty overall points scorers in an old ‘Top of the Pops’ (ask your Dad what that means) format are:
Top run scorer next and runs are starting to flow for some players. Others are still struggling with the bounce, timing, line to play down, whether to play forward or back, what to leave, what to play and the thousands of other thoughts you can have when form has deserted you. Twenty five players have now reached or passed 300 runs for the season. 90,758 runs have come from the batsmen and the top ten run scorers, again in reverse order, are:
All bowlers now have to toil for their wickets as the province’s batsmen find some form. Pitches are firming up and no longer will the ball stick in the pitch. Anything short is leapt upon and dispatched, although some can still produce wickets with full tosses and long hops. Thus as it always was… Seven wickets cover the top 10 and 141 bowlers have taken at least 10 wickets. 4,813 wickets have fallen to bowlers and the top ten wicket takers currently are:
1,661, in a pleasing palindrome, is the number of players in Leinster cricket this season. 1,129 however have played less than five games at this stage of the season. Surely if we are to grow this game we love, we must be encouraging or selecting these players. The keenest players are not always the most available, but those who appear on the next table have the double joy of being available and being either very keen or very talented.
Highest score remains the domain of I Mohammed [R&SPU] whose 160 remains the summit for other to aim at. However, Roy Silva’s efforts would be a mere 135 runs ahead. However for a change and it is hoped a pleasant one, rather than the individual categories and leaders here are the top rated batsmen, bowlers and in the field, but on a per game basis.
The batsmen get the fantasy points earned for 50’s, tons and runs scored. Bowlers collect the points for 5 or 10 wicket innings, plus their wickets. In the field consists of catches, stumpings and turning up. The lists, though fewer this week, are longer.
Overall Batting MVPs: Points: (Runs + (50 *10) + (100*20)) / (games played)
Overall Bowling MVPs: Points: ((Wickets*20) + (5w*10) + (10w*20)) / (games played)
Overall in-the-field MVPs: Points: ((Games*10) + (catches*10) + (stumpings*15)) / (games played)
That is all…. And enough…. Thanks for reading so far...
Next week, our Grumpy Old Man finds something to moan about...