Musings From The Padded Cell

Summa Camp 4 Kidz!

“I could go to any county committee room if I wanted to see that.”
Fred Trueman on the film Jurassic Park

Invest In School Cricket Or The Game Will Wither

Martin Samuel

So ran the headline in the Daily Mail (13th July) to an article by award-winning Chief Sports Writer Martin Samuel.

He began by quoting English Cricket Board (ECB) Director of Cricket, Andrew Strauss, an Ashes winning captain too in recent years.

“At a time when there are obvious divisions in society, cricket has a great role to play in bringing people together from all sorts of diverse backgrounds and faiths.”

“There is no reason why cricket shouldn’t be the No 1 alternative to football.”

Several decades ago it was but, worryingly, a recent ECB survey found only 2% of primary school kids rated cricket their favourite sport.

Rightly, Samuel questioned this citing that “equipment costs a fortune and so does the playing surface, in man hours.”

Samuel is right re the playing surface but misses the point as clubs often provide most of the kit needed.

He is also wrong to write that the only way school cricket can recover is by local clubs “…financing school cricket teams…donating old kit, donating club volunteers to maintain a wicket…”

Here he implies that over-stretched clubs have an abundance of spare resources; it is a statement from cloud cuckoo land.

The way forward is certainly through stronger alliances with clubs but the kids have to come to the facilities available. Clubs do not have low-loaders available to transport the mowers and roller on request.

Available at a moment’s notice

Where he is bang on is that “kids on ECB schemes who invade the outfield at Test matches to play glorified rounders with a tennis ball are never going to provide the next generation of cricketers. That will take time, money and proper organisation.”

“To truly reach out, the ECB must go back to school.”

But it can only do this in tandem with clubs with the desire and resources available to promote this and not via it’s current focus on certain sectors of society because that simply contradicts their director of cricket.

And can we really expect schools to prioritise any sport, given all the other issues they have to contend with, well documented almost daily?

Cricket bowled itself a googly when it chose to take Sky’s cash all those years ago just when the game was riding high. Since then the governing body has been helpless to arrest the obvious decline in the game’s popularity.

With the new television deal – bringing some cricket back to terrestrial television – not due to start till 2020, the game faces a few more years largely hidden from kids.

As a deliverer of the “glorified rounders” product into schools I have written many times that, whilst better than nothing, we are simply not doing enough to preserve the game for future generations.

Sadly, as dear old Fred implied, most administrators have their heads firmly in the sand.

100 Years Ago

One of the most compelling features of these extracts are the names of the fallen in World War One. Many familiar names and local streets paying the ultimate price.

A Message To You Rudi

Tuna Man has adapted well to our government’s austerity programme; he even appears reluctant to get a haircut and continues to amass a small fortune in his Zuma Bank savings account despite Big Al’s attempts to convert him to his faith – alcoholism.

Although we have helped him master the key local phrase – “It’s my round boys!” we fear we may return him to you not only stinking of canned fish – he was surprised to be told tuna is also sold free of a ring-pull – but looking like a traveller.

His visits to the kitchen sink are also often as brief as those to the wicket and I am sure he thinks the washing up liquid is toxic. If a man can survive on canned tuna and chocolate biscuits then Tuna Man is he.

I have offered him regular produce from the garden but he looks at me as if I were feeding him some illegal substance.

Patch thinks his growing locks make him resemble Cooter Duke from a series I am sure you are old enough to remember – The Dukes Of Hazzard – with riveting plot lines, historical themes, great acting and…Daisy Duke.

The Dukes of Hazzard

Not the original Cooter but spot the resemblance?

I am sure you, like me, grew up with the Dukes but just in case your memory fails you here’s what brightened up any adolescent Saturday teatime in England for years.

Daisy Duke

Be Careful Out There

Lifted from the Facebook page of Jones the Mower…no truer words? Mrs Jones was not available for comment having last been seen attaching a small explosive device to the club mower.

More Blatant Male Chauvinism?

Once again this summer we are running a kids camp at the cricket club. I asked an expert in this field as to how to market this most effectively, our target market being mums, a species I remain largely clueless about and fearful of.

Apparently, mums do not require detail, long words or anything that will cause them to put their skinny latte down. According to my insider it is all about bright colours and words with no more than five letters.

Summa camp 4 kidz?

And this is scientifically proven…allegedly. The colour stimulates the female brain to maximum alertness – four seconds – just enough to decide where to send Bradley and Britney in the process off-loading them on somebody else.

Still, in this sedentary age to see a field full of kids and not an X-Box in sight has to be a good thing.

Places still available just email

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