Coach’s Corner – Farby’s Blog – 14 June

Tuesday 14th June 2011

Yet another exciting and interesting week, the two new signings have settled in well, both showing already that they are highly skilled and also good guys to have around. The T20 competition has started slowly for us, but thankfully we are now on the board and have a win. A very exciting game at Cardiff and such a better feeling leaving Cardiff late on Saturday night to the last time our team bus pulled out of the Swalec Stadium. Leaving Cardiff after the championship match was a horrible experience and terrible feeling. This time it was a much happier feeling and a far better coach ride home, even though I didn’t get to bed until 3am, it was well worth it.

It was not only important that we won one of the games on our west country trip, but also important for some of the players in the squad. Sam Northeast showed the quality we all know he has at Cardiff, he played one of, if not his best one day innings, he played well right from the start and took us to a great win. Wahab played a magnificent innings and perhaps surprised a few with quite how well he can bat. He hit the ball a long way in practice and looked very confident with the bat. We all knew how skillful he is with the ball, and he certainly showed that!!

Sam Billings came in and made his debut, and he deserved that for the way he has played. For those who watched the second team 20 20 matches at Canterbury last Wednesday you will have seen Sam played very well against an experienced Hampshire bowling attack. He also kept very well in both of those games and showed just how his game has developed in the last two years.

The week had started with terrible news that both Jarre and Matt Coles would be missing for periods of time. It was certainly not what we wanted. Having struggled with injuries in the early part of the season to the bowling unit, I really felt very good about our side once the two overseas lads had arrived. Only for Jarre to be ruled out for two weeks with a broken finger, and he did that dropping a high catch from me!! Colesy had just started to bowl well and really show what he is capable of. It has been a frustrating time for him, he has just not strung games together this season, this has caused him to struggle for form. Just when he starts to run into form at T Wells, then he gets injured.

The lads have a couple of days off, Sunday and Monday before we take on a tough period, this involves two back to back floodlight matches at Brighton and Canterbury followed by a championship match at Lords. To play a floodlight game at Canterbury on the Saturday night, finishing around ten, then jumping in the car for the trip to north London and having to start a four day game the next morning is far from ideal!! Think I have probably said enough on this subject.

I am looking forward to the three T20 matches this week, it will be great to see Murali again on Wednesday at Beckenham, the greatest bowler the game has ever seen, and one of the best characters to ever play the game. He is looking forward to coming back to Kent and will be looking forward to his verbal sparring with Keysy. Murali looked after me well in SL and is just a very nice guy. He made me laugh for most of my time with him, but also could drive you mad as well. He is a huge cricket anorak and loves the game, he will talk to anybody about the game and has opinions on anything and everything to do with the game. His boredom levels are very very low, and this was when you had to be on your guard, especially on planes or coaches. He would start random conversations about anything, just to stir you up. He is also one of the most generous people you will ever meet, he has helped so many excellent causes in SL and would make sure that dressing rooms attendants, coach drivers, kit van drivers and everybody else that helps an international touring team was always looked after.

We then play two games back to back, Friday at Hove and then Saturday under the new lights at Canterbury. We tested the new lights last Tuesday in a practice match and of course the second team played under them on Wednesday night. They are very impressive and I have to say are a massive step forward from the portable ones!!

Best wishes,