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Ken Smith
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I’ve just been reading about 86 year old Bill Robinson from Bradford who was born with only one hand but has just announced his retirement from playing cricket. He started his career at the age of 18 as a fast bowler for his local club Mayfield but as he got older became a spin bowler. He had intended to retire at 50, but made himself available if his club for whom his son played were short of a bowler, which meant he usually was called upon every week. He later played for the Yorkshire Terriers disability team and was made captain, and has played at 5 of the Test grounds - Headingley, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, The Oval and even Lord’s. He felt he had the advantage over many other disabled people as having been born with only one hand he’d had to adapt to his disability all his life as he’d known no difference, whereas  people who had lost a limb later in life had to learn how to adapt later in life.His last match for the Terriers was last year when he scored a respectable 15 not out, and had intended to play a couple of matches this season, but the coronavirus pandemic put an end to that, hence his decision to retire gracefully now. 

I take my hat off to you sir, and think your story should receive more publicity even from non-cricketers. I often wear a Yorkshire cricket woollen sweater as it’s so warm and washes well. I’m frequently asked if I used to play cricket, which I did many years ago. But today I jokingly reply that I would need to face a tennis ball with a wider bat than the regulations allow, and also the use of a Zimmer frame.

So good wishes from me Bill and I hopefully you’ll be able to put your feet up and watch some cricket restrictions permitting.


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jarkko
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A facinating story. I play football in official matces during the summers. And we also kick about for fun and to keep fit three to four times a week.

I am 59 years old now and hope to play football still at least for 10 years. Or more with friends. I like the sosial side - we have a bit of banter while playing. And afterwards, too.

A good friend from our team will be taking part for the over 65 year olds' official championships next week end. I hope he wins a medal in the Champioship tournament. And have fun, too. I will be watching.

Up the Boro 

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Ken Smith
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There’s a saying “Never speak ill of the dead”. Well Chris Waters the Cricket correspondent for the Yorkshire Post obviously doesn’t adhere to that notion regarding Bob Willis one of England’s finest ever fast bowlers who sadly died last December and who the authorities have given his name to this year’s shortened County Championship. Whilst acknowledging Willis’s achievements on the cricket field, Waters suggests that as a pundit his comments were “brutal” especially when referring to Yorkshire’s England players.

He referred to Adil Rashid as “useless” and no way that he should go on tour to South Africa as the home batsmen would slaughter him. Willis also saw no future in choosing Gary Ballance as an England batsman because he batted “as if his shoelaces on his opposite feet were tied together”. He also was of the opinion that Whitby born Adam Lyth “was out of his depth and would never make it as an opening batsman for England”. Also that Jonny Bairstow “hasn’t any sort of defence for a Test batsman and should bat no higher than number 8” also adding “he plays like a rabbit caught in a car’s headlights”. Damaging opinions from a pundit, and they say Yorkshire folk are blunt and apt to call a spade a shovel.

The facts are that Adil Rashid is acknowledged as one of the finest leg spin bowlers in the World with a large range of variation, Gary Ballance has a career batting average of 49.54, Adam Lyth scored a century on his England debut, and that Jonny Bairstow as well as being a far better wicket keeper than Josh Butler the current England incumbent, has a career average of 40.74 with a top score of 176. But why let facts get in the way of an opinion. There is also a strong saying that a strong Yorkshire makes for a strong England. Perhaps Willis was jealous of that saying. 

Of course that old saying of “Never speak ill of the dead” is presumably because they can’t answer back. But the aforementioned Yorkshire cricketers could only answer back by the best means possible, on the field of play. Bob Willis might have been a nice person off camera, was certainly a bowler that I admired, but as a pundit came forward as a loathsome bigot in my eyes and I applaud Chris Waters in telling the facts as they are.


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grovehillwallah
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Forever Dormo
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@grovehillwallah: Good to see that, if we wish, we could stick a post on cricket or, indeed, other sports, on this site.  Ignoring the incredulity felt whilst watching Barcelona 2 - 8 Bayern Munich last night*, most of the football since the relaxation of lockdown has left me feeling rather cold. That applies to the end of the Championship and the Premier League, and most of the European games. For the most part I have watched in a semi-detached fashion, rather than avidly following the games.

The cricket, on the other hand has been entirely different.  Tense Test Matches with England coming back from 1 down to win against the West Indies 2-1, and then in the first Test against Pakistan being up against it until the last 2 sessions when a magniificent Woakes/Buttler partnership put us in the position to snatch a victory (whcih England gratefully did!).

And Yorkshire's Bob Willis Trophy start has been a welcome 2 wins out of 2 as we play "top of the table" Derbyshire in our 3rd game, which will go much of the way to deciding who wins this northern group.  And coverage is available from the BBCSport App (live internet commentary from Jonathan Doidge for YCCC and the local commentator for our opponent county each time).  Sometimes free streamed video coverage is offered, with the BBCSport App commentary. All good natured stuff and sometimes really engaging cricket.  Four days in which the teams jockey for position, maybe one team on top then the other fights back into contention and maybe then takes control, only for fortunes to turn again on days 3 and 4.  Some very tense cricket so far.

But also, when we were playing Durham in the first game, there was some spirited correspondence by email, Twitter etc, in reponse to (Mackem??) Durham commentator Marty Emmerson (their local BBC Station is BBC Newcastle) who had commented that Middlesbrough wasn't in Yorkshire and that people from there - whatever their Birth Certificates might say - had no right to be considered Yorkshiremen.  No doubt Chris Old and Bill Athey (and near neighbour Paul Jarvis born in Redcar) would have had something to say about that, and they had YCCC careers.  Marty Emmerson was adopting Anthony Vickers' old role in the argument.

And just as I type that, and the tea interval ends at Headingley, the game has been held up by rain!  YCCC 178-4.  And it's grey overhead in North Yorkshire.  More like March than August.  Well, even though much of the cricket has been rivetting, now it has been resumed after COVID-19 even if crowds are not yet allowed to attend, the weather has now got the better of us both at Southampton (2nd Test agains Pakistan) and Leeds (YCC against |Derbyshire).  Time for a pot of tea......


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Martin Bellamy
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FD - they’ll have to take my right to be a Yorkshireman from my cold, dead hands. I was literally* born in a council house in Norwich Road, Linthorpe and my birth certificate says Yorkshire on it. 

*My older sister and brother were born in a maternity home in old Nunthorpe village, so I’ve got no idea why I was a home birth. My sister pre-dates the NHS as she was born in May 1947 but my brother was December 1948 in the NHS’ early days. I didn’t come along until 1955 so presumably I benefited from the welfare state. So why a home birth? I guess I should ask my sister, as our parents are no longer around. 


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Ken Smith
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A good first day for Yorkshire, unfortunately some drizzle around midday tomorrow and thunderstorms for Monday and Tuesday. Let’s hope that inclement weather affects the rest of the country as well because winning the Northern group won’t guarantee a place in the final. At the moment Derbyshire head the Northern Group with 44 points and Essex head the Southern Group with 42 points. Somerset head the Central Group with 40 points (the same as Yorkshire) but have already dismissed Warwickshire for 121 and made 80 for 2 in reply so are well placed to add at least another 21 points if the weather is kind to them at Edgbaston. Probably the most Yorkshire can hope for is 15 if the weather forecast proves correct at Headingley and we aren’t top of our group yet. Fingers crossed then.


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Ken Smith
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@martin-bellamy 
Anthony Vickers used to irritate me about Middlesbrough not belonging in Yorkshire. I still have a copy of my mother’s birth certificate born in 1915 in Middlesbrough in the North Riding of Yorkshire. My father, brother and I were registered as being born in Redcar, North Riding of Yorkshire. Teesside like Cleveland are not recognised as Counties just regions. Perhaps AV’s dislike of cricket was the reason for expunging Yorkshire from his mind.


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Selwynoz
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@martin-bellamy

small world. I was born in 1953 and lived in Eastbourne Road and have always been a Yorkshireman. Did you go to Linthorpe Junior school


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Clive Hurren
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Me too, Selwynoz. Born 1953 in Grove Hill. Always and still a Yorkshireman. I absolutely love cricket, which is surely the finest of all sports! I once arrived at Acklam Park after a day at school just in time to see (Sir) Geoffrey Boycott score his century. Happy days. Still follow the Yorkies every season and am desperate for them to win something! 


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Martin Bellamy
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@selwynoz I did go to Linthorpe school and hated every minute of it. I was 5 in 1960 so I guess I would have started there then. My sister and brother went too. Fortunately, we moved to Nunthorpe when I was 6 and loved going to Swan’s Corner Primary. 


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Ken Smith
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Congratulations to Jimmy Anderson on getting to 600 England Test wickets, a phenomenal number for a fast bowler in a Test career of 17 years and 156 days. He may come from Burnley, but I’m not one to bear grudges. He played cricket for his home team in the Lancashire League as a young man and is now arguably the best Burnley player ever be it football or cricket. Surely deserves a knighthood in the New Years Honours List.


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Andy R
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@ken

Yes many congratulations to Jimmy Anderson. A historic feat owing to years of dedication.

Potentially controversial question: where does Jimmy rank amongst the greats of English bowlers and does he actually make the top 10? Without wishing to take anything away from a fantastic career, has he, perhaps like Alastair Cook, benefitted from a long career with many more matches than possibly better players from the past?


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Ken Smith
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Posted by: @andy-r

@ken

Yes many congratulations to Jimmy Anderson. A historic feat owing to years of dedication.

Potentially controversial question: where does Jimmy rank amongst the greats of English bowlers and does he actually make the top 10? Without wishing to take anything away from a fantastic career, has he, perhaps like Alastair Cook, benefitted from a long career with many more matches than possibly better players from the past?

You’re probably correct to raise that question, but Jimmy isn’t really what I’d call a fast bowler, mainly a bowler relying on swing and seam, and in that category arguably only second to Alec Bedser in my lifetime.


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Andy R
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@ken I wasn't aware of Alec Bedser so thanks for that.

Interestingly, if you take away the early part of Jimmy's career, their Test bowling averages are very similar.

Just in case you weren't already aware (though no doubt a seasoned statistician such as yourself will be), there's some records and ratings to look through here: http://howstat.com/cricket/home.asp

Using that site, of the fifteen England bowlers to have taken 200 or more Test wickets, Bedser has the second best average behind Fred Trueman.

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Ken Smith
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Andy R 

I sometimes forget how much younger some folk on this forum are than an old codger like me. Alec Bedser had a twin brother Eric, a batsman and they both were members of the great Surrey team that won the County Championship in seven successive seasons in early 50’s much to the chagrin of myself and most Yorkshiremen although I can’t recall Eric ever playing for England.


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grovehillwallah
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Speaking of Jimmy Anderson......

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=al2vzzmVA1A


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Ken Smith
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With play suspended at The Belfry for golf and the forecast for any play at Headingley for cricket not looking hopeful I thought I’d delve into Yorkshire cricket in the 50s and found an old photograph of the team which on paper should have won the County Championship but didn’t because of England call ups and sometimes the weather, so here is a brief pen picture of 13 of those players:-

LEN HUTTON - Right hand opening batsman

513 appearances and 40,140 runs with batting average of 55.51 also 173 wickets and 401 catches for Yorkshire. Also in 1949 scored 3,429 runs at an average of 68.58 : 79 appearances for England with 6,971 runs including highest score of 364 against Australia in a score of 903 for 7 declared in 1938, total career statistics of 129 centuries, 19 of which were for England.

 

FRANK LOWSON - Right hand opening batsman

15,321 runs with a highest score of 259 not out. Scored 1,792 runs in his first season and 2,152 in his second. Career average of 37.18 : 7 England caps.

HARRY HALLIDAY- Right hand batsman/Off break bowler

8,556 runs including 12 centuries in 182 appearances at an average of 31.80, highest score 144. Took 107 wickets with a best of 6 for 79 runs.

VIC WILSON - Left hand batsman

Cricketer of the year in 1961, scored 21,650 runs at an average of 31.33, highest score 230, brilliant slip fielder with 549 catches. First professional captain of Yorkshire.

TED LESTER - Right hand batsman

Only 10,912 runs but included 25 centuries with highest score of 186. Became scorer for Yorkshire.

WILLIE WATSON - Left hand batsman 

25,670 runs at an average of 39.86, highest score 257, 295 catches :23 Test appearances with a highest score of 116. Also played football for Sunderland and 4 caps for England.

NORMAN YARDLEY - Right hand batsman/Middle-paced seam bowler

Amateur captain of Yorkshire and of England 14 times. 18,173 runs with highest score of 183 not out for Yorkshire at an average of 31.17, and 99 for England at an average of 25.37. Took 279 wickets with a best return of 6 for 39.

BRIAN CLOSE - Left hand batsman/Off break and seam bowler

Almost 35,000 career runs for Yorkshire, Somerset and England with 52 centuries. Highest score 198, took 1,168 wickets and over 800 catches most of them at short leg. Played 22 Test matches for England of which 7 were as Captain. Also played football for Leeds United occasionally.

RAY ILLINGWORTH - Right hand batsman/Off break bowler

787 matches for Yorkshire, Leicestershire and England. 24,184 runs at an average of 23.24. Highest score 113, took 2,072 wickets. Played 61 Test matches 31 as Captain. Took 122 wickets for England.

DON BRENNAN - Wicket keeper

Highest score 67 not out, 2 Test caps for England 

JOHNNY WARDLE - Hard hitting left hand batsman/Left arm spin bowler 

7,333 runs with highest score of 79. Had many variations as a spin bowler including a chinaman. 1,846 wickets with best of 9 for 25 :28 Test appearances with 102 wickets with best of 7 for 36 runs.

FRED TRUEMAN - Hard hitting right hand batsman/Fast bowler 

Scored 3 centuries for Yorkshire, but was noted for his 307 Test wickets in 67 Tests for England at an average of 21.57. Career best of 8 for 31. Finished career bowling off-cutters. Played football occasionally for Lincoln City.

BOB APPLEYARD - Right hand batsman/Right arm pace bowler/ Also Off Spinner

Highest score 63 not out. Took 708 career wickets at an average of 15.48 with a career best of 8 for 76 runs. 9 Test matches for England.

 

/


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Ken Smith
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Apparently racism is rife at Yorkshire’s headquarters at Headingley with Azeem   Rafiq revealing that racism almost drove him to suicide. One club member allegedly saying to him “There’s too many of you lot here, we’ll have to do something about that”. The Headingley crowd always gave Viv Richards a hard time, and things appear not to have changed with some of the committee members either. I find it incredible that the Yorkshire hierarchy have not been aware of what’s going on and suddenly decide a full investigation years later. Shameful, but some Yorkshire folk especially in the Bradford/Leeds area seem to appear to take bluntness too far.

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Ken Smith
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I’m still in cricket mode, and what an amazing match was yesterday’s one day international. Despite scoring 84 runs in the first match Jonny Bairstow looked like a rabbit caught in a car’s headlights in both matches. I don’t think he’s at all comfortable against real pace. However I love watching Adil Rashid bowl with his variation of tricks, but yesterday it was his batting partnership with Tom Curran that rescued England from a hopeless situation of 148 for 8 in 40 overs to at least a more respectable 231 for 9. Even that looked like a losing total when Australia reached 144 for 2 in the 30th over thus requiring a modest 88 runs required with almost 20 overs remaining to win, but Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran bowled magnificently as 4 wickets went down for 3 runs in 20 balls, 3 of them clean bowled. I find there’s something more satisfying in seeing stumps spreadeagled than towering sixes being scored or even goals scored in football as long as it’s England doing it especially against the Aussies in cricket.

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grovehillwallah
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Currently watching Yorkshire vs Lancashire in the 20/20, with the rare sight of Joe Root actually playing for Yorkshire!


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Ken Smith
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England needing another 429 runs to beat India. Double centuries from Joe Root and Ben Stokes over next two days and job done, seems pretty simple to me!!!


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Ken Smith
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There’s been a lot of criticism about the wicket in Chennai for the Second cricket test from English reporters and commentators. I believe a lot of it is sour grapes and I haven’t heard Joe Root complaining that all 20 English dismals  were taken by spinners. He just said that English batsmen must learn to combat such conditions. 

I well remember 31st July 1956 when off spinner Jim Laker took 19 wickets against Australia in the Old Trafford test, 9 for 37 in the first innings and all 10 for 53 in the second innings as England won by an innings and 170 runs. England won the toss in that match and scored 459 whilst Australia scored 84 and following on 205. No complaints from the Aussies, but praise from the reporters and commentators at the time for the fact that all 20 Aussie wickets had fallen to spinners in that match, the other wicket taken by Laker’s Surrey partner Tony Lock whose match figures were 1 wicket for 106 runs. The only criticism was that if Yorkshire’s left arm wrist spinner Johnny Wardle hadn’t lost his place to Lock, Laker wouldn’t have taken 19 wickets. 

So come on you moaning English press, take a leaf out of Joe Root’s sportsmanship and admit that a host country are quite entitled to prepare a wicket to suite their strengths.

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Powmill-Naemore
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@ken

Agreed Ken.

It is often the case in India  that you really need to win the toss and bat first. The wicket tends to progressively favour spin more quickly there, so the first team to bat can have a clear advantage.

No one was complaining after the first test were they?


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Ken Smith
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Well our cricketers have soon come down to earth in Ahmedabad having had India 146-6 in reply to 205 and seemingly still in the match allowed India to reach 365 and have now reached 65-6 and another humiliating defeat.  

Another unrelated piece of news about the highs and lows of cricket though as spinner Akita Dananjaya having performed a hat trick by dismissing Avin Lewis, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran in successive balls in Antigua was smashed for 36 in his next over by the West Indian captain Kieron Pollard who thus became only the 8th person to hit 6 sixes in an over. Jimmy Greaves used to say football was a funny old game, well apparently so is cricket.

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Ken Smith
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England all out now for a paltry 135 and have lost by an innings and 25 runs😢


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Forever Dormo
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Geoffrey Boycott's article in yesterday's Daily Telegraph gives his view - poor rotation/selection policy meaning players dropping in/out and having to go through the quarrantine process at each end (if returning to UK or elsewhere in the meantime before rejoining the "bubble"); priority being given to T20 and 50 overs ODI formats of the game rather than Test Cricket. 

Poor batting, too, and we have to acknowledge India's spinners are much better than ours.  But any pitches that allow games to end in 2 of the 5 days (or allow part-time bowler Joe Root to take 5 for 8 runs on DAY 2) must be regarded as dodgy.  Somerset would have been docked points for that in the County Championship.  But, yes, India were the better team. 

Imagine if you had bought tickets for day 3.  Or if you had bought 10,000 pakhoras and samozas to sell to supporters at the ground concessionary stalls behind the stands.  And the TV company showing, for the first time in AGES, live cricket on terrestrial TV - "Where do we find 3 days' worth of programmes now the game ended on Day 2?".

One thing is certain: India wins the series or England does, and one of them then goes to the inaugural Test Cricket Champtionship Final which has now been fixed to take place at The Aegius Bowl in Southampton this coming summer (it will now be between New Zealand & India).  All at stake.  Had it been a limited overs competition, lets say the T20 or ODI World Cups, is there any chance England would have rotated players, "resting" a few from the Q4 or Semi-Final when there was the chance to win the tournament?   If someone was injured  - yes - but in order to rest someone who is "tired" when there is a Final at stake - NOT A CHANCE.


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Ken Smith
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I’ve spent today watching the cricket on the Yorkshire website and the Tykes have just beaten Northamptonshire by 1 run in an amazing match. Yorkshire were slight favourites at start of play having Northants on 94 for 4 chasing 220 to win, but when the score reached 206 for 9 it started to rain adding to the tension and tea was taken early. When play resumed after an hour Northants edged towards the 220 when former South African test cricketer was caught behind for 33 from 102 balls. That’s 3 times in succession that Yorkshire have won after being behind after the first innings Who says cricket is a dull game?

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Ken Smith
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 I don’t know if this is a cricket record, but the Huntingdonshire club of Buckden 2nd Xl have this week just been bowled all out for 2 runs. However there were mitigating circumstances as the club could only muster a side of 9 players with ages varying from 15 to 50. However the scorecard showed that none of the batsmen scored a run as one of the 2 runs was a wide and the other a bye although the umpire’s decision to award a bye seems to be disputed by one of the batsmen as he is certain that he managed to get a nick on the ball. The match was a 40 overs a side match at Sawtry, and Buckden having won the toss and actually only starting with 8 players decided to insert their opponents called Falcons to avoid postponing the match and disappointing those in attendance. Falcons scored 260 for 6 in their 40 overs and for the last 10 of those overs Buckden had a ninth player available who arrived after completing his shift at work. Buckden’s innings lasted for only 8 overs and 3 balls.

The Buckden secretary printed the scorecard on it’s website with the following quote “We aren’t really a bad side, and it was a close result”. I love the English taste of irony, as it all sounds like a Monty Python quote, except this match really DID take place. It also reminds me about the fictional story in a Monty Python sketch where John Cleese was interviewed about whether he was superstitious about his football team, to which he replied “Well not particularly, but when we were losing 13-0 at half time, I did think that we might lose”.

 

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Ken Smith
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Despite Cas reach the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final and putting in a good performance I’m becoming disillusioned with Super League and now think that cricket is way ahead with its innovations and giving the public what it wants - excitement and bringing in youngsters into a sport as fans and in Yorkshire’s case exciting new players. Harry Brook for example is a future England batter (strange terminology for old duffers like me, but it’s now a game for both sexes and batswomen doesn’t sound right - must get used to what might be construed as sexist remarks today!).

Anyway I digress. Although Yorkshire’s match at Scarborough yesterday was a ‘no result’ it did give opportunities for academy players to star. What an innings from William Luxton to score 68 from batting at number 7 and receiving a standing ovation from a 2,169 crowd including his parents and girl friend. I had a tear in my eye as I watched it on the white rose podcast.  Although being without 9/10 first team players on England or The Hundred duties Yorkshire’s future looks rosy (white rosy in fact) with the likes of Harry Duke, George Hill and Will Fraine. Of course youngsters lack consistency in any sport, but it’s gems like yesterday that encourages me.

As I mentioned I’ve become disillusioned with Rugby League, it’s become too defensively minded and too Australianised for my liking. I’m now enjoying cricket as my favourite sport, in fact I never thought I’d say this, but am actually preferring it to football at the moment. I still remember the 50s when England won the Ashes at the Oval and going to Ayresome Park when almost  every First Division side included an English international. 

Ah, nostalgia! As I’ve often said “It’s wasted on the young”, but maybe a new dawn is coming especially for cricket, and I hope that I’ll see more of it on Sky or in Heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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