Our newest guest blogger, Chris Swallow, is a Suffolk cricketer that has played Minor Counties Cricket since 1999. He is a very talented player and will now be joining our team of bloggers as our resident expert on all things cricket related.
The New Season
After a cold winter of travelling around the county to sports halls and cricket facilities, finally April arrives and the cricket season is upon us! Months of training and coaching mean that however last year’s season panned out, personally or for your team, there is always a renewed sense of optimism and a belief that this season we can improve on last.
Our first club game was against the previous year’s league winners and is as good a barometer of where we are as team as any other. Usually packing your kit bag involves the basics such as warm up gear and playing whites, maybe a jumper but April cricket demands more preparation! In go the keep warm skins, hand warmers, beanies, extra socks and leggings all of which usually get used at the same time!
As a cricketer you can put in as much training as you like throughout the winter, different scenarios, bowling machines, throw-downs etc. but there is still nothing like the real thing. Variables like the weather don’t just have an impact on you, but also have a massive impact on the playing surface. Pitches in early season tend to be green and soft and very different to anything you can train on in the winter so it tends to favour the bowlers who get a lot more movement than they do mid-summer!
Facing that first ball, whether bowling or fielding, it still comes as a surprise. As a batter you want to feel the ball hit the bat, hopefully somewhere near the middle. As a bowler you want to land it in the right area and hope that you induce the equally nervous batsmen into doing something rash!
Unfortunately we lost our first game of the season, but only just. After posting a competitive 173 runs we managed to take 8 opposition wickets, had we taken a couple of early chances or indeed been that little bit sharper we may just have won!
A month further on and we are in good shape, second in the league with two wins, a draw and a loss. Looking ahead the weather should start to improve and the months of May, June and July tend to hold the best balance in conditions for both batsmen and bowlers.
As a player at this stage of the season, you are probably either really pleased with your start or working hard on your game to try and remedy an early season issue that has reared its ugly head. Either way, hard work does pay off so train hard and make your practice count!
Want to get into cricket? Need to refresh your kit for the new season? Then take a look at our range of cricket gear here. Alternatively, if you have any questions for Chris, then don’t hesitate to drop him a comment below!