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September 2008
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The captain’s blog: Relegation

September 2nd, 2008 by Edward Craig in Club cricket and tagged ,

Relegated. That’s what’s happened. No great surprise. I’d like to say it’s been a roller-coaster ride this season – to use a proper captain’s cliché – but it’s been more roll (downwards), then a gentle coast (upwards) and now flat-lining.

Last weekend’s game did throw up that experience which other sports rarely offer. We needed a win to have a glimmer of hope but when I discovered Alan Richardson (England A, Middlesex, opening bowler) was playing for Shepherds Bush, it was game over, in truth.

How often does an amateur footballer get to play against England’s finest? When do club rugby players face internationals? Even golfers have to pay a healthy sum to play alongside the world’s best in pro-am events. In cricket, if you play in the right leagues, all you have to do is turn up.

And it’s great. Okay, it is unfair – especially if he’s a quick bowler – but it is a privilege. I faced a bloke who was properly quick, who has taken serious first-class wickets. I faced two balls – yes, two. The first was a good lbw shout. The second removed my off stump. I saw it, played it, thought I’d hit it when I heard a healthy, wooden noise …

This is a bowler described on Cricinfo as a fast-medium journeyman. The next time I sit in the office describing Collingwood as rubbish or saying that Sidebottom bowls too slow (I’ve actually faced him as well, he was too quick for me), I’ll have in the back of my mind that this is nonsense. On the grand scheme of things, they are all brilliant players.

We can have no complaints with the relegation – thumped by a better team in the crucial game even if a couple of the opposition felt a touch guilty about Richardson’s performance (4 for 18 off 10 but it ripped the heart out of our run chase).

So – division three next season. Bring it on. We’re not going to lose too many players and I can see us causing chaos.

Edward Craig is deputy editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in Club cricket |

19 Responses to “The captain’s blog: Relegation”

  1.   jrod says:

    What a truly heart breaking story. If only you had found the pakistani bloke a woman, or a girl, this might have never even happened. And if you were trying to find him a girl, whilst trying to avoid relegation, it could have been made into a hit reality tv show.

    So many missed opportunities.

  2.   Edward Craig says:

    A season of missed opportunities - that’s what it was.

  3.   Daniel Brigham says:

    Do you have to give your Captain’s Cords back?

    (FYI, at Barnes they hand out cords not caps.)

  4.   Edward Craig says:

    They looked at what i had done to them and said i could keep them

  5.   Daniel Brigham says:

    Have you been relegated to trackie bottoms next year?

  6.   King Cricket says:

    The static charge transmitted to the ball when it’s shined on a pair of cords has been proven to massively aid conventional swing.

    Can’t believe you got relegated with that at your disposal.

  7.   Sajid Patel says:

    CRAIG OUT. He’s a bad as McClaren.

  8.   Daniel Brigham says:

    McClaren had better cords.

  9.   Edward Craig says:

    I got sacked by the board. Then i got unsacked. Now i am in limbo. i guess the lawyers will decide my future.

  10.   Ed's a Pimp says:

    Will Douglas Charlton take over next season?

  11.   Mick Jones says:

    I played against Barnes this season. They were poorly led and a complete shambles. The food was as bad as the captaincy.

  12.   Edward Craig says:

    Who were you playing for Mick? We had trouble with the catering (let alone the captaincy) for a few games this season…

  13.   jrod says:

    If Ed was a pimp, Barnes would have been way more successful.

  14.   sympathy for the bush says:

    Funny Enough. I recal Barnes C.C having an International player of their own last season (2007) a very gifted Afghani. I remember him smashing a dazzling and extremely rapid 80 odd. And then proceeding to claim an incredibly miserly 6 for with the ball. Turning it Square if my memory serves me correctly. Ironically, I believe this was against Shepherds Bush C.C..
    What goes around… etc

  15.   Edward Craig says:

    Nabi - oh for the days of Nabi. He was great…

  16.   Ed's a pimp says:

    hmm, funny how he left when you took over as captain. It seems that the Taliban are a softer regime than your management style.

  17.   Cricket Coach says:

    Batting Tips
    1 lower your backlift
    2 grip the bat with more bottom hand pressure = bat swing speed
    3. use some trigger movements(generates better anticipation)
    4.use a lighter stick

    good luck Ed

  18.   Edward Craig says:

    Thanks coach! I can now add a point 5… have an eye-test - i am now wearing glasses.

    Surely that’s why i couldn’t buy a run all season!

    And looks like Richardson might get a game for England…

  19.   The Village Cricketer says:

    Ed, I had to start wearing glasses last winter, and now use contact lenses when playing. Amazing what a difference they can make. Rather than being a blur, you see the ball clearly before you miss it!

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