Monday, 13 July 2020

Review of the 1st Test v West Indies

"Rally around the West Indies", so the West Indian song goes. The West Indies just by being here rallied around the game of cricket. This was the first game in Covid conditions and despite not being cricket as we know it, it was bloody beautiful. This was an intriguing game of cricket, going down to the final session with both sides in with a chance on the fifth day. Ultimately, it was England, like the Titanic who were sunk after spending time in Southampton. This was a review of the First Test...

The Ageas Bowl...

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Clubbies in the real world....

After spending eight hours or so back with the boys yesterday, I have realised that what is perceived as normal behaviour in a club environment, is a long way distant to what is socially acceptable in the real world. Already my language has deteriorated, almost bordering on Tourette's. Like a Vietnam Veteran in the States, many clubbies find it difficult to adjust back into society, so here are some tips to help them back to normality...

Try to refrain from behaviour like this on a Monday morning...

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Jo Stevens MP interview

Jo Stevens MP is a lifelong cricket fan. As well as being the MP for Cardiff Central she is also the Shadow Minister for the Digital Media, Culture and Sport department (DCMS). We have tried to speak with Oliver Dowden for weeks with regards to the return of amateur cricket and have not had an answer. So we asked the opposition who agreed to speak with The Middle Stump within an hour of us asking. Read on to hear how Jo sympathises with the 700,000 amateur club cricketers in the UK, her worries about the future of grass roots participation and a teenage crush on Viv Richards…

Jo Stevens...Glamorgan fan

Saturday, 13 June 2020

The Scorer

This is a chapter from my third book, The Definitive Guide to Club Cricket. The scorer is an integral part of your team and needs to be looked after. I'm surprised that my editor, a lady called Michelle Tilling who scores for her local side in Gloucestershire, actually didn't give me a good kicking for this chapter and instead took it in good spirits. Read on and see the person who saves the boys from a job that no one really wants to do...

A common sight, post match in cricket clubs...

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

The Waiting Game

Cricket clubs are starting to lose patience. The chasm between those who play at a recreational level and the people running our sport is wider than that of the Montagues and Capulets; however this is down to the coronavirus as opposed to a Verona crisis. The communications from the governing body when it comes to the amateur game has left a lot to be desired. The silence has been deafening in comparison to other sports but there has been plenty when it comes to other aspects of the game that bring in funds. The clubbies are not happy...

The sands of time are running out for club cricket

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Scouting for Cricket

Roy Stride is a man who loves the game of cricket. The lead singer of Scouting for Girls watches, plays and even scores whilst watching re-runs of the 2005 Ashes series. With a string of top ten hits under his belt, we caught up with the musician and discussed his love for the game. Read on here to find out which county he is a member of, what it is like for the band to face Jimmy Anderson's bouncers and having one too many beers in the Long Room at Lord's...

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

The Middle Stump Guide to Coronavirus Jargon

Every day during this pandemic there is a new name or a new acronym that we have to get our heads around. Not many cricketers are bright enough to understand this, not many that I know anyway. They say that blood is thicker than water, some of my club mates are thicker than both. So to help all club cricketers out there, here in plain English, is a guide to help all cricketers bust the jargon that we are hearing from Boris and his chums on a daily basis.

"That's out, err but not out"

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Missing Cricket...

Today is the first day that I have struggled with this lockdown. I am desperately missing real cricket. I've had enough of virtual cricket on social media or these Quentin Quarantino style directors with Tik Tok videos, that fifteen people send you on WhatsApp because non cricketing friends think you will find it hilarious. You still respond with a polite "Haha", even though it was sent to you two weeks ago. I'm bored of drinking at home, no doubt, as are you. So put down your 'Furlough Merlot' and have a read here...

The Furlough Merlot

Monday, 20 April 2020

The Club Cricket Subs Survey

Recently we have run articles on the site, working out what it costs to run a cricket club and revenue coming into the club. One of the main sources of any club's revenue is from the players. Over the weekend I have run a survey on how much it costs an individual to play club cricket. Obviously this doesn't include the post match drinks where I reckon I have probably spent at least £2,000 a season for the last twenty five years (drinks were cheaper before then!). What I could do with 50k now! I digress... This is a survey based on annual subscriptions and match fees and how much clubs are charging in the UK. It threw up some interesting results.

Village cricket

Friday, 17 April 2020

The Return to Cricket Grant Scheme

A month ago I wrote about the impact that Coronavirus could well have on club cricket across the UK. I mentioned that many clubs could go to the wall without the financial assistance of governing bodies due to the loss of revenue from subscriptions and match fees this summer, along with other sources of income. As a chairman of a club in North London, I am well aware that without the roots in place, a plant withers and dies. To their credit three organisations have come forward with aid for the clubs. Sport England, local councils and the ECB. However, with the ECB there is one huge problem...