England out of the world cup, a huge shock in the NZ V SA game and Joe has started the pre season match against Lancashire with a hundred.
An interesting week in the world of cricket, some exciting games being played out and still there are shocks along the way, nothing more shocking however than the headline that caught my eye on the plane back from our excellent week in Dubai, and that was that Michael Yardy had left the England camp suffering from depression. I was staggered to see that, and it was a very sad headline, but I suppose one that could be understood. Touring is a tough lifestyle for everybody, and in the modern cricket world with the amount of games being played, the tough schedules and the intense media scrutiny, the players are under huge pressure. I don’t know Michael that well, but I have watched him develop as a player since the age of 17, and I have always found him a decent lad, and somebody who has always made the most of his ability, and somebody that I really hope makes a full recovery and enjoys his cricket again very soon.
England have been heavily battered for their performance against Sri Lanka, former players and so called experts are now putting all the blame on the lack of 50 over domestic cricket and time to change the team. I am adamant that we don’t need 50 over cricket at domestic level, we just need to think about the problems the squad had during this campaign, no side in the world could cope with so many injuries and illness to their group of players, and try to win a world cup after giving so much to the Ashes series. The sad thing is the programmes are set about eight years in advance, and the idea of playing seven one day matches following a five match test series was always going to be foolish. There arn`t many five match test series in the world, let alone seven match ODI series.
I did say last week NZ had no chance of progressing through to the semi finals, well wrong on that one, and the odd Kiwi I do know has been quick to tell me, apologies to them all!! I hope you are both happy now!!
Onto our trip to Dubai, it was an excellent trip, played on excellent facilities and with ideal weather conditions. The players put a lot into the eight days and have come back looking in good touch with both bat and ball. Joe played very well today at Beckenham, Rob also played very nicely. A good first day from the lads, and I thought we bowled pretty well in the 30 overs at the end of the day.
I am looking forward to seeing some of the other guys putting in good performances over the next two weeks, this in turn should mean that we have a confident team going into the first match at Chelmsford.
The ECB have made some decisions at last about next seasons county programme, and I am pleased with the idea of keeping 16 championship matches and reducing the T20 campaign. I have always been in favour of keeping the championship as it is. The next thing would be to get rid of the three non first class teams and add a quarter final to the CB 40, but now England have lost in the world cup, I guess there will be a call to play 50 over cricket.
Decent start at Beckenham, and I`m sure we all look forward to more good days.