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2015 Diary

A Ramble on Women's Cricket
 - with diversions -

This diary will be updated erratically throughout the year.

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How's Your Arithmetic?

I have recently been critical (to anyone who'd listen) about taking a number of players to Sri Lanka for a batting and spin bowling camp. My reasons have been pretty simple. Try a calculation based on...

... yes - it's the traditional 'back-of-an-envelope!'
The formula goes like this...
(No of players & known support staff x cost of air ticket) + (No of players & known support staff x hotel or accommodation cost) +(sundry other expenses). What do you get? I'm not at all sure but almost certainly more than any Division One County gets to support winter training, matches and sundry expenses for a year, and that includes, in the case of at least one county, running seven teams. Since counties are the feeders for the EWA and England I leave you to decide what you might have done with this sort of cash.
We didn't really get a hint beforehand that any matches were to be involved which now makes a little more sense of the exercise, and these have produced some results that come as no surprise.

[Danni Wyatt © Don Miles]

le And if the pictures above doesn't give you the clue, then it is that both Danni Wyatt (left) and Georgia Elwiss can bat, or perhaps I should say CAN BAT, something I have mentioned here before. Yes - I know - the matches were against Sri Lanka A. If you feel this isn't the sort of opposition that should matter then presumably you feel the trip a waste of time and money. However, I can remind you of how well SL have done against more senior sides over the last few years. England are unlikely to take them for granted at their next meeting. Certainly they have performed well enough to say you can't ignore them.
The stats from the series of matches can be found here ...
Perhaps Wyatt and Elwiss' latest exploits will earn them promotion in the England setup. It certainly should!

County Champs - the latest comment  (May 14)


Does a new Franchise League mean...

County Championship Demise in 2016?

Round One of the 'Counties' Debrief by CRICKETher

The Forgotten Game

Ramble Comment

ECB Right on Team Proliferation?

Middlesex Captain on the 2015 County Season

Quote from the Guardian Newspaper
Everyone I speak to is looking to the future. Clare Connor at the ECB is already working on a major plan to create an elite domestic cricket league.


The Passing of a Great Coach

<June 2015>
One of the finest (if not the finest) coach that has graced the women's game in the time I have watched this sport (22 years) has died at the age of 74. Mike Shrimpton guided the White Ferns to a remarkable World Cup victory in 2000. Having watched the match, courtesy of a video posted to me by a New Zealand fan, I can say it was one of the great games of women's cricket. The high quality of New Zealand that day in the field is something I'll not forget and have been reminded of by the similar quality in their men during the World Cup this year. They were years ahead of their time.
I spoke to Mike only twice. In one case he was being very mischievous. An ex-England player (or so it seemed for she had been dropped the season before) approached around the boundary from one direction while the England coach approached from the other. Sitting on a roller chatting it became obvious to me not only that Mike had not yet met the England coach of the day but nonetheless knew exactly who he was. He called out to the player, who had just made a century in the match we were watching that there was a black cap waiting for her if she cared to move south. He made sure the England coach heard him. I then introduced him to England's coach and he feigned surprise at who he was. I did my best to hide my amusement.
On the other occasion we sat close to the sight screen at the bowler's end during a match and watched one of the most promising spinners I have seen wheel away. He asked if I'd noticed the four different kinds of delivery she bowled. I had to admit I hadn't - only two. He carefully explained to me what he had taught her and assured me a fifth variation was being worked on. Sadly the player left the sport for non-cricketing reasons or I suspect she would still have been near the top of the world all-time rankings today.
Watching the White Ferns under his talented eye, I was hugely impressed with what he had done with the side.
On Sky TV commentary during the men's ODI today (15.06.15), his countryman Ian Smith said of him, "I never knew a man who loved and lived the game of cricket more!" It is hard to imagine any coach could have a finer epitaph.

Mike Shrimpton :  Haidee Tiffen comments

New Zealand Obituary


A True All-Rounder

Once in a while you read something which (like fans of Tom Lehrer might remember) makes you realise how little you've accomplished. This is a direct quote (apart from the section in brackets added by me) from a Pakistan web site...
Noorena Shams is an extraordinarily talented individual and has garnered various accomplishments. She ranks third in U-19 women’s category in Asia (for Squash) and is the youngest Olympian from Pakistan. She’s an artist, U-13 cycling champion, U-19 women’s cricket team player. She holds 62 gold medals and has been the national debating champion for two consecutive years from 2012 to 2013.
Who doesn't read that and feel as if they missed out something along the way... The school masters' standard admonishment  would certainly apply to me - "could have done better". You couldn't really level that accusation at Noorena!


Colourful Launch for WBBL

This season I have been disappointed at the choice of clothing for many of the county sides. We were told that this season was to launch coloured clothing and white ball cricket. Well I've spotted the white ball all right but, on the premise that black and white aren't colours (no - don't ask me the science behind that statement) I've seen precious little colour. Sides regularly turn out in what seems to be rather funereal attire - sadly my own county included.

[Sussex Women's Cricket Squad 2015 © Don Miles]

Now this is absolutely fine if you're this team...

[White Ferns Squad 2015 © Don Miles]

Indeed it would perhaps be sacrilege if they played in any other strip!
Now if you want to see how it should be done, take a trip here. I can't comment on how well this series will go just yet - let's see how it's received, but the fact some TV coverage is guaranteed and that the clothing really is colourful is certainly a good start.


Has Anyone Suggested Differently?

A Series of 'Ashes memories' recently on the BBC web site, and one or two other interviews with past players have set me a conundrum. Has anyone actually suggested that anyone other than Cathryn Fitzpatrick was the most difficult bowler they had to face? I don't believe anyone has.

[Cathryn Fitzpatrick] © Don Miles

And my only comment to that would be that I am not surprised. Of all the women I have seen bowl she is certainly the one I would least have liked to face. Apart from her pace, which was a good 5 to 10mph faster than any others I have seen, even at their peaks, there was her ability to swing the ball, at times in a most dramatic fashion. Also as Ebz (Ebony Rainford-Brent) has remarked she would come at you all day. It seemed she had limitless energy. I can really recall only one occasion when she seemed to have been mastered and that was a knock by Claire Taylor at Shenley, and it would probably be more accurate to call that a draw. It took the master of one form of the game to cope with the master at the other discipline.
Will we ever see 'Fitz's' like again? I guess we will, but it may well not be in my lifetime. People talk about 'one-offs'  in sport. Well that was 'Fitz'!

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