|The Ageas Bowl...|
Monday, 13 July 2020
"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...
Sunday, 12 July 2020
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Friday, 17 April 2020
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...
Monday, 13 April 2020
There have been a lot of posts on social media recently about aspects of cricket at this time of year. Whether that involves videos of people facing their first ball of the season or if it is just my personal thoughts killing time in this empty void of isolation that we find ourselves in, the thoughts of all of us club cricketers are thinking what would we be doing now if it wasn't for this bastard pandemic? But there is one thing that I miss the most about it all and that is the banter. The 'dressing room crap' as you call it, whether that be with the opposition or with your own team mates...
Wednesday, 8 April 2020
The County Championship season was due to start this weekend. With the Covid-19 virus sweeping the world, there is no cricket in the UK until at least May 28th 2020. Here we catch up with Middlesex batsman and wicket keeper John Simpson to see how he and the rest of the Middlesex lads are coping with their pre-season, their fitness, their drills and their wellbeing during the pandemic that is sweeping the globe...
Monday, 6 April 2020
Being a dedicated clubbie comes with its fair share of sacrifices. It starts at around 15 or 16 and ends when you die. Don’t be sad – this is the life that we choose to lead, but it does come with a degree of detachment from the real world...
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
It's fair to say I'm pretty bored right now. As a bloke whose life has revolved around the public house and sport, my 'essential travels' in these troubled times has revolved around searching down the back of the sofa for the remote control. So imagine my delight when I realised that BT Sport were showing highlights of my favourite ever Ashes tour the 86/87 series.My mind would race back to highlights on BBC2 where I would tune into the show after some slapstick Harold Lloyd, which preceded it every night. Under the captaincy of Mike Gatting, memories of those halcyon days were rekindled as England spanked the Aussies. For offering us the likes of Mrs Mangel in Neighbours, we got our own back in the days when the only Aussie Mitchells on offer were Madge and Charlene...
|Our revenge for this crap...|
Friday, 27 March 2020
Cricket players in the days of yonder advertised some bizarre things. With player agents probably not as aware of their client's profile as their modern day counterparts, the adverts below seem to have raised a chuckle. Not sure if this is due to the often awful product they are endorsing, or the general retro feel of the not-so-slick marketing departments of the time. Read on below to see how yesterday's cricketers earned some extra corn...
Tuesday, 24 March 2020
A trip to another club might happen early in your club career, or it could even be your first match. It normally involves a flustered captain trying to marshal the troops as eleven bedraggled souls enter the car park one by one. That is, if the skipper is lucky. The meet time for an away game is often under or over done by a good hour. Sometimes a 5-mile trip will involve a meet at 11.30am for a 1.30pm start, whereas I have known of clubs travelling the distance of the county and meeting at 12.00pm. In my experience, this ends badly...
Friday, 20 March 2020
You're next in. How people cope with this varies from individual to individual. Some sit there, a sea of serenity, others sit there like a Vietnam veteran on the wire. It is a bizarre aspect of cricket and whether you are a professional or bat in the lower order for your village fourth eleven, the same scenario awaits you. Here we look at the various individuals that every club has...
|Waiting to Bat...|
It is with regret that due to the Covid-19 virus sweeping the world at present that we have had to pull the plug on our live stage show. We are working on alternative dates with the players and Somerset CCC at present and hoping to rearrange later in the year.
Tickets will be valid for the later event.
I will be in touch ASAP with an alternative date.
Thanks for your loyal support as always and hoping we can get this back on asap.
I will be in touch ASAP with an alternative date.
Thanks for your loyal support as always and hoping we can get this back on asap.
Monday, 16 March 2020
These are unprecedented times. I realise that there are things way more important than cricket in this world - the death toll in Italy going over the 2000 mark is desperately sad and cricket isn't even on a par with the loss of human life. However, this is a cricket site and I write on cricket. The pandemic that is sweeping the globe looks like it might send a few cricket clubs to the wall. The ECB will have its promise to invest in grass roots cricket severely tested should the impact of this virus be as debilitating and long lasting as the experts think. Read on for where we see problems lying ahead for amateur sports clubs this summer.
|A summer's day...|
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Robert Key has one of the finest cricket brains seen in recent history. One of the best county captains of recent years, he is now utilising his knowledge for Sky Cricket and has become one of the best pundits around. It's not just all erudite stuff though - he could play. You don't play for the amount of time that he did, or score a double ton for England without plenty of ability. Here he catches up with us as he discusses Matt Walker's quiz tactics, Min Patel's gambling habits and how Queen Elizabeth II stopped him from having a fag. Read on for an interview with one of the real characters of English cricket of his generation...
Monday, 27 January 2020
A draw would do. England, fresh from going 2-1 up in PE, came to Jo'Burg to clinch the Basil D'Oliveira Trophy. The scene of Allan Donald tearing in and us being 2-4 brings shivers to the spines of every Englishman who remembers the famous Bull Ring - and we're not talking about where Chris Woakes does his shopping near New Street. The Wanderers isn't the team who plays up the road from his house, in Old Gold and Black either. A quick wicket beckoned but in Wood and Archer, we have the ability to fight fire with fire these days. This is a review of the Fourth Test from Johannesburg...
Monday, 20 January 2020
Many an Englishmen has come across a cape. Many have had the Horn, some remember watching Geoff on the World's Strongest Man, but it was to the Eastern Cape that they ventured on their pilgrimage, to the city of Port Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth may have lost a ginger member of her family from his national duties this week but if England lost Ben Stokes, our ginger talisman, then the country would really have something to worry about. Never mind the Duke of Sussex, our Duke of Cumberland can keep his HRH (Hits Reasonably Hard). With England grabbing their Edward Woodward (the Equaliser) at Cape Town, the series was beautifully poised as they ventured to the Windy City. Would the flag of St. Geroge fly proudly at St. George's Park? Who would go 2-1 up? Or would it be a draw on what is traditionally a flat deck? This is a review of the Test...
|St George's Park, PE|
Tuesday, 7 January 2020
1957. The year of the birth of the cricketing God, David Gower. All things revolve around this date - Bradman's 48 Aussies are now 9BDG and in 63ADG, England won their first Test since the year that our left handed God was born. This was an absolute cracker in Cape Town. The run up to the Test had been all about whether these five day matches should be reduced to four. Jos Buttler had been vocal about it. All I can say is thank Gower, this wasn't. It was a splendid advert for the game and proves that you shouldn't mess around with Mother Cricket. It will bite the administrators on the arse if they mess with the essence of the sport.
|Newlands...one of THE venues of world cricket|
Sunday, 5 January 2020
Every year we do this, normally on New Year's Day. Unfortunately two bottles of a rather drinkable Chilean Malbec got the better of me, so it is a few days late. We look at the youngsters who are about to break onto the scene. Sometimes we get it spectacularly right and look like heroes. Very occasionally. Here we look at those who have caught out eye in 2019 and they are our ones to watch in 2020...Read on. Oh and have a wonderful New Year, Stump fans.
|Rishi Patel... a star in the East|