Captain’s Report Coventry and District Midweek League – 2006

 

2006 was not unlike the previous year. There were some highs and some lows. Overall, it was a season of mid-table mediocrity, and again ended with defeat in the cup by Jaguar-Daimler!

 

In most games we were competitive but in some, comprehensively outplayed. We were in a group of 6 teams all who had similar records and an extra win could have lifted us to 3rd.

 

2006 League Table

 

Pos

Team

P

W

T

A

L

Pts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Bablake Old Boys

11

8

1

1

1

46

2

West Indian Wanderers

11

7

0

1

3

40

3

Pak Shaheen

11

6

0

1

4

36

=

AJK

11

6

0

1

4

36

5

Highway

11

5

0

2

4

33

=

Star

11

5

1

0

5

33

7

Sphinx

11

5

0

1

5

32

=

Warwick University Staff

11

5

0

1

5

32

9

Massey Ferguson

11

4

0

2

5

28

10

JaguarDaimler

11

4

0

1

6

27

11

Bharat Sports

11

3

0

0

8

22

12

Newdigate

11

1

0

1

9

15

 

NB: Coventry Colliery dropped out of the league two or three weeks from the end of the season and their results were annulled.

 

W-5 pts; T-3 pts; A-2 pts; L-1 pt (depending on if you did not scratch)

 

 

 

Highs

Winning at Highway is always a highlight and this year’s victory was no exception. The victory had been set up by Sahil’s 75, which contained two memorable moments. First, he was ‘bounced’ by their female bowler but he then launched the next ball on to the roof of the bowling green 80-90 metres away.

We enjoyed three other close games – Sphinx, Massey Ferguson and Bharat Sports – winning the latter off the last ball.

 

Lows

Our abject batting performance against Pak Shaheen, compounded by letting them off the hook in the field.

Our fielding throughout the season left much room for improvement, but more of that later.

 

The League

This year it increased to 13 teams.

The standard at the top of the league has certainly got better over the last few years, and has probably improved overall. There were concerns about some; Newdigate struggled to get 11 players out regularly and Coventry Colliery resigned before the season ended. This meant that in the final league table all their results were annulled including our win against them.

It will be interesting to see the composition of next year’s league.

Bablake Old Boys were champions again, although one of their defeats was against Coventry Colliery.

AJK, who admittedly stuffed us, have apparently been behaving like a bunch of renegades. For one of their ‘home’ games they just turned up at a ground (Pak Shaheen’s) without booking it, got changed in their cars, put in some stumps and played with no umpires.

It is likely that at the AGM there will be some stringent rules brought in; a £50 bond, for example, as a guarantee that clubs fulfil their obligations. Others could include a 2 points deduction if a club fails to put out an inner circle; sides losing overs if not enough members are present at the start.

 

Availability

This year availability has probably been the best ever in my experience. There was the occasional game when I was struggling to find an 11th man but this was rare as we regularly had a surplus of players. It was the policy to select the best side available, although inevitably the same side played neither in consecutive games nor in any other game. It was also policy to try and get people into the game.

A total of 24 players were used.

I would just like to place on record my gratitude to those who played at short-notice and also to those who didn’t get a regular game but were usually available, all without a word of complaint – hopefully!

 

Organisation

There were a few problems in the administration of fixtures. One completely the fault of the author when away in the States (the first fixture he’s missed in 5 years as captain in the Wednesday League) and had arranged an away game when it was actually at home, it was raining anyway and both teams turned up at different venues …

Then there were the shenanigans over the West Indian Wanderers (see below).

Next year there may be an issue over the availability of pitches both home and away. According to Heather Battersby, who we book our pitches through, on Wednesdays the students, naturally, have priority in May and June. This is complicated further as there are 5 student teams. It will almost certainly mean that we will have to switch venues. This would be okay if other clubs are willing to switch – they usually are – and if they don’t have any other commitments like junior fixtures. More problematic are those teams that don’t have their own grounds – AJK and West Indian Wanderers – and also those that share – Jaguar and Star. Furthermore, the League is keen for, and may insist that all fixtures are played on a Wednesday to make it fair to all teams.

We had wanted to switch our home game against West Indian Wanderers. They said fine but we would have to pay the cost of their ground rental - £50. After many phone calls I had agreed on £35, although rain meant that the game was postponed anyway, and we replayed it at Warwick.

 

The Future

If there is one suggestion that I would make about improving our performance, and perhaps something that could be discussed at the AGM, it would be to introduce fielding practice after every net session.

It has been very frustrating not only personally dropping catches (this report was first drafted before the game against Aberdare!) but also captaining teams that drop them which cost matches. This happened in at least two Wednesday games, Sphinx and Jaguar-Daimler (cup). In addition, our ground fielding, in comparison to most other teams, has been sub-standard.

I would suggest that 30 minutes every Friday at the end of each session i.e. from 7pm, should be sufficient. By this time nets have usually descended into apathy with bowlers too tired to bowl properly and tending to serve up a diet of lob bowling. In return batsmen get little quality practice.

Most people who come to nets rarely bowl during the season and their time may be better spent having some fielding practice.

Players will still drop catches but at least come the start of the season they will have improved their technique and gained some sort of confidence through practice.

No-one is suggesting that overnight we will turn into a team full of Jonty Rhodes, Colin Bland, Clive Lloyd, Roger Harper, Derek Randall, Paul Collingwood etc, etc, but fielding shouldn’t be just considered something you do before you bat or bowl and it may just make the difference in some games. Moreover, rather than going through the motions during the last hour of nets it may even be fun, admittedly not a word that I often use.

Of course, the prime motivation to improve my fielding and catching is to be spared another lecture by Mike Keating on where I went wrong and what I should do to correct it after grassing another chance – and that should be enough motivation for everyone!

 

Midweek League Player of the Season

In Lincoln’esque manner, this is my personal decision although there is no trophy.

My choice is:

for his inspirational leadership qualities, superb organisational ability, man-management skills …

Okay, not him then, it’s Keating.

In addition to his bowling, which has been of a consistently high standard, Mike played two inspirational innings with the bat versus Massey-Ferguson and Jaguar-Daimler, alas both in defeat, something which certainly put the author’s efforts this season to shame.

There are two particular memories I have of Mike’s season, in addition to the sixes he swotted.

First, taking a wicket with the last ball of the game versus Bharat Sports to win the game and second, his somewhat over-the-top celebration when, again taking the last wicket in our easy win over Newdigate – a 12 year old who had played on just dislodging the bail.

We shall miss him on Wednesdays next year in more ways than one.

 

 

 

Averages

 

*(Provisional until collated by Alan)

 

League only

(To qualify for league averages prize batsmen had to have batted in 6 innings and bowlers taken 8 wickets and bowled in 6 matches)

 

Batting

 

Player

M

I

NO

RUNS

Average

HS

50s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Allison

6

5

2

114

38.00

40*

 

Sahil Kulkarni

10

8

0

257

32.13

74

3

Rob Wood

11

9

2

204

29.14

64

2

Richard Lamb

10

9

2

159

22.71

44

 

Ajay Nair

11

7

1

129

21.50

58

1

Kevin Morrell

2

2

1

53

53.00

53*

1

 

 

Bowling

 

Player

M

O

M

Runs

W

Average

E/R

S/R

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Keating

11

44.4

3

221

22

10.05

4.95

12.18

Ajit Nair

11

45

2

241

16

15.06

5.36

16.88

Chris Stride

5

24

0

125

5

25.00

5.21

28.80

Ajay Nair

11

9.3

1

52

5

10.40

5.47

11.40

Tom Day

7

26

1

149

4

37.25

5.73

39.00

Srinivas Gowda

9

51

1

241

6

40.17

7.77

51.00