Coedcae Comprehensive, Llanelli. Doesn’t sound like a cricket hotbed does it? Well it has produced some quality cricketers over the years. Simon Jones, Gareth Rees and even one half of The Middle Stump are all alumni of the West Wales school…
One name that has to be added to that list is Scott Phillips. An 18 year old fast bowler who dreams of making it in the game. The Middle Stump caught up with him after GlamorganAcademy nets.
Our readers thought Kent and Essex would win the LVCC Div 2 title, as the vote was closer than the length of the Dartford Tunnel. Yorkshire came third, whilst our friends in Glamorgan told us they were voting for other counties after the Dragons tough opening start!
With all this wet weather around, they also explained they were unaffected as they only need two days to complete a game in Cardiff. Interestingly, Leicestershire and Derbyshire, two sides who have started well, took just six per cent of the vote each.
Lots of votes, and lots of interest, but the most came from Essex men and those in the Garden of England.
Whether six months away in Australia, a calypso winter/early spring in the Caribbean or a week on the lash somewhere down on the south coast, cricket tours have always been synonymous with one thing, and that is bad behaviour.
As an international cricketer steps on to the tarmac about to board the first class section of a Virgin flight to Kingston, or a club cricketer who stumbles out of a bar into the back of his mates old banger, the phrase “what goes on tour stays on tour” is never far from the mind or lips, roughly translated as, “For gods sake don’t tell the missus, whatever happens.”
Ben Hollioake was an England cricketer, whose life was prematurely taken from him, almost ten years ago to the day. Not only have his parents and family been struggling to cope with such an anniversary, but it now turns out that his parents house, in Perth, Western Australia has been burgled and his England kit stolen.
We have quite a few followers in Australia, so if anyone is offered any kit, memorabilia etc, then we urge you to contact the police straight away. We hope that the cricket community pulls together, like it always does, and let's find either the people, or at least get these priceless memories back for his parents. Keep your eyes open guys!
UPDATE: Within two hours of writing this, some of Ben's kit has been recovered. The thieves obviously read The Middle Stump, which says a lot about our clientele, or they have pooped themselves following the huge response from #cricketfamily on Twitter. Thank you to all who retweeted such as David Bumble Lloyd, James Foster and all of you who played your part. Remember those down under, keep your eyes open for the remaining items. If anyone tries selling a bat, Surrey or England kit, then you know what to do.
"The ball in these early season games, is darting about like a child who has overdosed on Sunny Delight" said the Sunday Telegraph's Steve James, but this weekend proved that low scoring games are often more exciting than ones played on a shirt front.
Our poll regarding who will win Division One in the LVCC was shared between Surrey and Middlesex. Considering their game was tighter than a nun's you know what, when they played at Lord's last week (more to come on that in our County round up later), it is no surprise that they cannot be split.
The Middle Stump's Liam Kenna looks at overseas players in the County Championship and debates whether they are good for the English game or if they are here to pick up some easy pay packets;
There seems to be a lot of debate at the minute regarding overseas players in the county championship. "Too many of them", "Not here for the duration of the season". "Keeping young players out of the side" are just a few arguments from people in and around county cricket.
Viv...an example of an overseas player that put a lot back into his county
The future of cricket; Test matches, ODI's or T20? Guest columnist Joe Mannick gives us his thoughts. A big fan of The Middle Stump, the young man from Oxford Brookes University seems to have adopted our language very quickly!
Nottinghamshire, Surrey and Somerset were the winners as all three Division One games finished with a positive result in the earliest County Championship start in history, whilst in Division Two there were wins for Essex, and outsiders Derbyshire and a Lazarus style win from Leicestershire.
"The IPL is merely chewing gum, compared to the five courser being served over in Colombo", tweeted Telegraph cricket correspondent Derek Pringle, but like it or loath it, the Indian Premier League is back for a fifth instalment.
There has been a lot of debate over the last couple of days regarding the first class status of all six MCC Universities (MCCU’s). Cardiff and Leeds/Bradford were granted first class status for the 2012 season along with Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and Loughborough who obtained first-class status in 2001.
The Middle Stump recently caught up with Surrey and England Lions batsman Tom Maynard for a quick chat. As well as some serious cricket talk, Tom had a chance to settle the score with Glamorgan opener Gareth Rees, who had not been too complimentary when it came to Tom's record with the ladies...