Everything that has happened in the past couple of week pales into insignificance after what happened to Tom Maynard.
I can’t really put into words what I’m thinking having played against him only on Sunday afternoon and like a lot of you, I’m shocked by the news of his death.
I’ve known Tom for at least six years and remember him coming out to Perth when we were touring Australia in 06/07 and he stayed in the same hotel as us.
We got the chance to have a good chat as he was still at school I believe doing his A-levels and wanted to become a cricketer. His dad Matt was Assistant Coach at that time and we all knew that Tom had a bright future ahead of him.
I then saw him go on and make a career for himself at Glamorgan before moving on to Surrey in the past couple of years.
He was certainly a talented batsman and had the skills to go on and represent England and his passing will be a huge loss to all his friends and family and I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my condolences to everyone concerned.
It seems churlish then for anyone to complain about what has happened in the last couple of weeks with the weather, but it was a shame that Tunbridge Wells week was ruined by all that rain.
It’s always a good week down there and if you get the good weather, the people come out and having only one week a year there, to have it virtually all washed out bar a day or so was a real shame.
We always fancy playing there as we know the conditions and we feel we can do well. The lost revenue that came out of it was a disappointment and with times being so tight as they are, it will impact somewhere.
Hopefully, people will recognise that and maybe come and support a game that they might not have considered going to.
The weather has obviously caused us problems, like it has everyone else and the rain that fell at Tunbridge Wells was staggering. We lost that first day of the Championship game as it the ground was saturated and apparently there was a river going across the ground the weekend before, so it was no surprise that we lost that to the elements.
It was a real shame too that we couldn’t get a game on at Canterbury for the T20 game too after all the effort that had been made to move it, but it was obvious when the covers were pulled back that we wouldn’t be getting any cricket.
Moving on to the game against Beckenham on Sunday, it was nice to get a convincing win under our belts and get our T20 campaign going with a win. You always wonder how you are going to play in the T20 for the first game or two.
Surrey obviously had a plan to play their spinners and that came a bit unstuck for them. We will now need to assess where we are ahead of our game against Essex on Wednesday night. Jimmy has told us our fitness levels will now need to up yet again to prepare us for the challenges that lie ahead in the coming weeks.
I often get asked what we do when we aren’t playing cricket and like some of the guys, we chill out, have a chat, listen to some music or as we did at Tunbridge Wells, we listened to Keysey on the mic belting out some Elvis.
We were also treated to some great guitar work from Davo and Pete Kelly, so it was a bit of a musical week. As cricketers we can get bored quickly and Keysey is probably the one that gets bored the quickest!
For me, being away from home gives me a chance to catch up on some lost sleep, but saying that I don’t like being away from home too much as it’s nice to see the boys.
With a lot of floodlit games coming up starting in the evening, it gives you time in the morning to catch up with a bit of family life, help out around the house and on Sunday it was nice to be around the kids on Father’s Day.
The one problem you can have by playing these floodlit games is that you could show up to a game tired as your body clock can get knocked about a bit, so you need to prepare for that.
The Benefit carries on at pace and we have found out yet again that the people of Kent and beyond have been really supportive.
We had the hog roast at the Black Horse in Pembury which was a great night. It was a really nice relaxed affair and they put on a great spread for us. I think there were 130 people there, so I really enjoyed that.
The T20 game at Beckenham saw people put £400 plus in the buckets and I really appreciated that as it just goes to show people are prepared to put their hands in their pockets and put something in the bucket for me.
We’ve got the wine testing coming up at the St Lawrence Ground coming up and I think about half of the tickets have already gone for that. That should be another great night and is fairly cheap at £20 as you get your wine along with sausage and mash.
The guy who runs a place called the Wine Room from near Herne Bay is conducting it and he’s worked in the wine trade in Australia, so he will make it a fun night.
We’ve also got the Shepherd Neame brewery visit to come too, so hopefully there’s something for members and fans to come along and enjoy a good night out.
Tuesday night sees England play Ukraine and it was nice to see Welbeck score that goal the other night as they’re the kind of finishes I do in a warm up before we have a game!
With a bit of luck they’ll qualify and go on to have a good tournament.