Saturday, 30 July 2016

Natwest T20 Blast Final Group games and 1/4 Final Line up

Natwest T20 Blast Final Group games and 1/4 Final Line up 2016
The final group games were required to decide three places in the 1/4 final's which will be held in early August. In the North group Warwickshire blew a good chance after restricting Lancs to just 124/5 after the full 20 overs, Warwicks really struggled to a disappointing 94/8 

Durham managed to sneek into the final eight after scoring 193/2 they held off Derbyshire who could have qualified themselves but could only reach 180/9 just 13 runs short. 

In the South group Gloucestershire and Glamorgan had already been joined by Middlesex so just one 1/4 place was up for grabs. We will never know if Essex would have reached Glamorgan's target of 184/5 as rain stopped play before they got started. As it turned out, that single point was enough to see them go through.

Sussex probably still feeling the pain from their final match on Thursday where that game was stopped for rain after they had made a great start, but after just 4.1 overs the game never got restarted and so their point for a no result was not enough. So rain really did play a big part in this final place unfortunately. 

Essex coming out with the 4th slot in the end. All hard to work out with run rates as to what might have happened, but it would have been nice to complete these two games in particular.

So the 1/4 final line up is 

Mon 8th Aug Nottinghamshire v Essex 
Tue 9th Aug Northants v Middlesex
Wed 10th Aug Gloucestershire v Durham
Thu 11th Aug Glamorgan v Yorkshire 

As a footnote there were 15 No Results this year, compared with just the 7 in 2015. The swings and roundabouts of the weather.

Friday, 15 July 2016

England Winter Tour dates of India 2016/17

India Feb 2016
India have finally announced the tour dates for the forthcoming tour by England

1st Test 9th - 13th Nov  Rajkot
2nd Test 17th - 21st Nov  Viskhapatnam
3rd Test Nov 26th - 30th Mohali
4th Test Dec 8th - 12th Mumbai
5th Test Dec 16th - 20th Chennai

Jan 15th Pune
Jan 19th Cuttack
Jan 22nd Kolkata 

Jan 26th Kanpur
Jan 29th Nagpur
Feb 1st Bengaluru

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Cheltenham Cricket Festival 2016 Super Fixture List and very Happy Memories

Cheltenham Cricket Festival
Cheltenham Cricket Festival
Its the eve of the Cheltenham Cricket Festival and if you have never been, it is definitely one to put on your list.  

For me, this a great time for sporting memories, it is 50 years ago this month since England won the World Cup in 1966 I remembering watching those games in black and white aged just 8 years old living in Cheltenham. My first memory of Cricket was a little later. I was just 12 when I went to my first festival game in 1970 I loved it and then went to every single day for the next 4 years until I joined the RAF after the festival in August 1974 aged just 16! 

At just 12 years old, I would be up in the morning at 6.30 and in my Dad's shop by 7, I would work stacking shelves until 9.30 and get paid £1.50 more than enough for a great day at the Cricket. A lot of money in those days, but of course I had already bought a season ticket, I had to get an adults season ticket, because you weren't allowed in with a child's ticket without an adult. I paid about £10 an absolute bargain for me. Anyway by 9.45 my bike was locked to the railings at the college grounds and as soon as the gates opened, whoosh I was in, and sat in my favorite seat in two minutes flat. Ground completely empty of course. I was soon tucking into my packed lunch, and nearly always eaten it all before play had even started. Just as well I had £1.50. 

By the age of 14 I was also an expert at getting into the racing to watch the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so the challenge of sitting in the Members Pavilion at the College was of course far too much to resist. The easy way was to wait until lunch and just slowly edge across the ground. It was quite busy on the pitch kids playing cricket and adults looking at the square. So it wasn't difficult to slink quietly into the members area. Sitting right by the gate I could touch the players as they walked on and off. Mike Proctor of course everyone's hero. I wouldn't move a muscle once I got across the ground, fear of getting caught. However at the end of the play and the call of stumps, I would run around and help pick up rubbish. I had worked out by then if you did a job for someone you could get something in return. So it was no surprise that the Gloucestershire Officials would let me in the hallowed area for the return of a few odd jobs, I was soon selling scorecards in the mornings. 

So more than often I was first in, and almost last out, unlocking my bike and cycling home I was exhausted, but jumped out of bed next morning to do it all again.  

Fabulous memories of the College ground I would be sun burnt to bits some days sitting in the sunshine all day. So lets hope the weather picks up for this year and they have another very successful festival as they have a fabulous line up of fixtures this year, so do try and go. 

Wed 13th - 16th July Glos v Essex Specsavers County Championship

Sun 17th July Glos v Essex Natwest T20 Blast

Mon 18th July Pakistan A v Sri Lanka A 

Tue 19th July England Lions v Pakistan A

Wed 20th - 23rd July Glos v Leicestershire Specsaver County Championship

Sun 24th July Glos v Sussex Royal London One Day Cup

Monday, 11 July 2016

Essex have plans to host T20 games at Olympic Stadium from 2018

Essex have plans to host T20 games at Olympic Stadium from 2018
Olympic Stadium
Essex Cricket Club are hoping that their long term talks to hold a two week Cricket festival at the Olympic stadium will soon be agreed. This would mean a practice T20 game in 2017. Then a full two week festival in 2018 and the plan is to hold two or three T20 games. Along side this would be a womens game and also "recreational" cricket. Also the possibility of an England match some time in the future. The practicality of assembling a drop in pitch slap bang in the middle of West Ham's new ground has yet to be agreed in full.

Essex of course had a failed bid to become full tenants in 2010, so this is something that have aspired to do for some time, and by the looks of things have never given up hope. They will ultimately find out a lot about the reach and pulling power of Cricket in a super sized stadium, and I think an interesting move and am also pretty sure that a two week festival would be popular, as they clearly have thought about this for some time. I don't think holding Cricket in large stadiums like this is however something I like as a rule, but don't see much harm in project like this.

Cricket in Australia is different, they have half a dozen main cities and they can from time to time fill huge stadiums, and do get massive crowds (even if not full) to their Big Bash. Cricket in India is also different of course, their night games are held on hot barmy evenings, and the cost of tickets are extremely cheap.

Cricket in England is for most, about watching it on a lovely summers day (I know I know) in a picturesque ground or stadium enjoying the sound of willow hitting the ball. It is different, but it is different for a reason. Do we really want to watch Cricket in the Olympic Stadium?

Well looks like we are going to find out. But don't mock it too much because the plan is aimed at having local derby games played here, with games against Middlesex and Surrey (for instance) and no doubt they would create interest, and with good marketing and for a couple of games, could quite well fill the stadium. Am I hopelessly off the mark? What do you think?

Saturday, 9 July 2016

England name Lions Squad and Fixtures to play 4 ODI's in July 2016

England have named the following 12/13 man squad to play 4 ODI's in England later this month. It is normal for the Lions to tour during the winter so this is a new idea and will aid the younger players of overseas countries, as well as giving our own a mid season reminder that they are still on the selectors radar.

Dawid Malan (Captain)
Daniel Bell-Drummond
Ben Duckett
Joe Clarke
Brett D'Oliveria
Sam Billings
Liam Livingstone
Liam Dawson
Tom Curran
Jamie Overton (Back injury being monitored)
Saqib Mahmood
George Garton
Sam Curran (for final two fixtures) 
Mark Wood

The tri ODI mini series will give England 4 games

Tuesday 19th July 10.30am College Ground Cheltenham V Pakistan A

Thursday 21st July 2pm County Ground Northampton V Sri Lanka A

Sunday 24th July 10.30am Spitfire Ground Canterbury V Pakistan A

Monday 25th July 10.30am Spitfire Ground Canterbury V Sri Lanka A 

So quite a lot packed into just a week, I think perhaps another couple of players wouldn't be a bad idea myself. 

Friday, 8 July 2016

England Call up Toby Roland-Jones and Gary Ballance for 1st Pakistan Test

England have called up Toby Roland Jones to the squad of just 12 to play Pakistan 1st Test starting 14th July 2016. Jimmy Anderson is not fit for the game. This decision has been on/off all week unfortunately Jimmy has not made it in time.

I have been calling for rotation to give other players a chance, so I can't complain with the forced change. Toby is a tall bowler which England do like, he is now age 28, and of course Lords is his home track, so you can see the reasoning for his inclusion in the squad Will he actually play? Well you would expect that Jake Ball would get the nod, but he has got a slight elbow injury so that will obviously be a factor when they make the decision. 

The other main talking point and more controversial is that the expected/popular choice of Buttler has been put on hold (because it will happen eventually) and Gary Ballance has been given another chance. With Root being moved up the order to No 3. The team will be as follows.


Pakistan meanwhile have made a good start to their summer although the result of their first game against Somerset was a draw, the 3 day game was all but won by the visitors, they even declared twice. But a very good game by all accounts. Sussex are next up for another 3 day game which starts today. 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

England have a Long Summer schedule for 2017

The 2017 England Cricket schedule is going to be the longest season ever. Starting in very early May with five ODI games leading into the Champions Trophy in June. 
Then after three x T20 Fixtures England play 7 back to back Test Matches against South Africa x 4 and West Indies x 3. It's not finished there however. Another T20 and Five ODI fixtures against West Indies in late September.
One-day internationals:
5 May: England v Ireland, Bristol
7 May: England v Ireland, Lord's
24 May: England v South Africa, Headingley
27 May: England v South Africa, Southampton
29 May: England v South Africa, Lord's
Champions Trophy, one-day international tournament:
Twenty20 internationals:
21 June: England v South Africa, Southampton
23 June: England v South Africa, Taunton
25 June: England v South Africa, Cardiff
Test matches:
6-10 July: England v South Africa, Lord's
14-18 July: England v South Africa, Trent Bridge
27-31 July: England v South Africa, The Oval
4-8 August: England v South Africa, Old Trafford
17-21 August: England v West Indies, Edgbaston
25-29 August: England v West Indies, Headingley
7-11 September: England v West Indies, Lord's
Twenty20 international:
16 September: England v West Indies, Durham
One-day internationals:
19 September: England v West Indies, Old Trafford
21 September: England v West Indies, Trent Bridge
24 September: England v West Indies, Bristol
27 September: England v West Indies, The Oval
29 September: England v West Indies, Southampton