Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Baptism of fire SECDB

South Essex Cricket District Board - Joe Thompson

Blimey that was tough!
South Essex District Cricket Board U15's Garons Park, Southend
 
Joe got his first chance today to play in the district side and it was a bit of a Baptism of fire. The standard of the cricket was good - very good and I think Joe was a little over-awed with it and nervous. That combined with the fact that he bowled into a very stiff westerly wind he didn't do too well and was quickly taken out of the attack after only two overs. But, he has only just turned 14 in the last 2 weeks and I'm pretty certain that a lot of these boys in this team are probably in their last season this year as U15's and will be moving on?
 
The two opening bowlers who both had Darren Gough physiques were very impressive, one was the captain (back row 3rd from right) and the other the bloke on the far right of the front row. Fast and accurate and very quick, alert, organised and generally exceptionally good players. But, I think that comes partly as a result of being that bit older and therefore more confident and instinctively wanting to compete at a different level. I noticed with my other son as he went from being 14 through to 16, the process of developing across those two years was dramatic with regards to commitment, speed, agility, strength, power and aggression - all of the things required to perform at the level seen in this match today. So, where today for Joe it was all a bit new and over-whelming, although he says he wasn't, I think by next season, he'll be that bit more up for it with a different level of confidence and if he grows anymore (Which he should do) he'll no doubt be on par with the performance some of these lads put in today.
 
 
Although todays game was a loss, one of the positives that came out of it was that Joe's bowling was looked at by the coach and he said that Joe bowls with a slightly angled arm and has suggested that I video his bowling action and get him to look at it. He said that once Joe sees what it is that he's doing he can work to correct it - bowl with a vertical arm and video the bowling action to see if it's been rectified. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

B&PCC v Harlow 4th XI at the Rec Langdon Hills

More to come tomorrow...

It looks as though tomorrows game may include Ben (older son). Weather at the moment isn't looking too clever - raining now (Midday) and is expected to continue raining for the rest of the day. The team as usual looks to be a good bowling unit, but not so good when it comes to the batting. I was hoping that Joe would be able to get to the nets today at Mopsies for some practice, but the rain has put paid to that idea. At least the upshot of the batting situation is that we'll all get the chance to bat!

Looking at XC weather it looks as though the weather is going to improve substantially before the game - rain stops at 04.00 and thereafter there's sunshine and wind so hopefully it'll be ready to play on. The weather's been so dry over the last few weeks that the rain that we've got at the moment will easily be absorbed and will easily dry I reckon by 1pm tomorrow.
 
On arrival at the ground we were met with a new sight, a few our blokes dragging covers off of the pitch. Seems the club has purchased covers for the wicket at Langdon Hills and yesterday during the rain Dave Ayres and his son Anthony had been over there and put the new covers on preventing it from getting totally soaked. On arrival Tim, Liam, Tony and Jamie removed them. In an ideal world Dave could have went over there at about 08.00hrs and removed them allowing the wicket to have a an extra 4 hours drying in the sun (Joking). Joking aside though maybe there should be some kind of shared responsibility for removing the covers as soon as possible or putting them on the wicket as there are a few of us that do live near the ground. But that would involve issues around who has the key to the changing rooms/clubhouse I suppose.
 
Another issue is that this is a massively high risk strategy, what with the Rec being quite secluded there's a good chance that the covers could be nicked, so in a way the sooner someone gets over there in the morning of the match and gets them off and put away, the better the prospects of the wicket drying out and the covers not being nicked. We'll have to see how long they last.
 
Today with the covers not coming off till midday and the sun being out the moisture in the wicket was then drawn from the ground ending up as condensation on the inside not allowing the wicket to dry to the extent that it could have done. Despite this, the difference in comparison to the surrounding wickets was quite marked. Once off though and with an hour to play, what with the Rec's quick drying attributes the covers had done their job.
Good game today although we lost, it was at one point quite a close thing, but they held back their ace card till quite late in the game. Loads of catches not taken, I almost got their 'Ace card' man out in one of the final over, which wouldn't have made any difference apart from a miracle, but it would have been nice to have taken his scalp. We had a fielder out at deep square leg - one of our best catchers and the ball was hit perfectly to him and I thought at last after such a bad performance and everything going against me - the wicket of their best bloke...Unfortunately Liam didn't take the catch - being hit so far it parried out of his hand he then had a second bite at it and fumbled it into his chest, from where it bounced forwards and then the 3rd and final one - into his hands just didn't stick and down it went. A ball after that was then smashed through his Dads hands as he jumped up, but that was a really difficult chance. Earlier though I had a dead cert stumping of the big bad bloke, that even the crowd said was out all day long, our blokes all said it was out, but the umpire begged to differ. In my first spell I had almost two dead cert LBW's one of which was on the toe and the other slightly higher and again nothing doing, so as far as I was concerned I had at least 4 wickets denied through either ropey decisions or the ball not sticking! I guess when it comes down to it, they were all close calls and if in doubt the umpire will err on the side of the batsman.
 
 
Joe bowled well again taking 3 wickets meaning in the overall scheme of things he moves above me in the wicket taking and rightly so considering how bad I bowled in the first spell... This now puts Joe equal 4th with the legendary wrist spinner Frank Farrington.

On the subject of the Joe's figures, looking at the tallies taken from their scorebook, their scorers have mixed up Joe's figures with Liam's suggesting that Joe bowled 12 overs when he only bowled 10 and Liam was credited with 5 overs when he actually bowled 7. They've also got Joe as having gone for 65 runs which is mental, especially as I seem to recall he went for 1 or more maidens by my reckoning! Unfortunately I didn't photograph their scorebook and therefore unable to make full sense of the mistakes. I can't really say much about the situation as the kids that were doing the scoring were obviously learning and when you are learning you do make mistakes, so I'm guessing that we'll just have to live with it although it is a real shame because Joe's average and strike rate was exceptional up to this point. I can now see why bowlers used to get really disgruntled when I was learning to score and made a few mistakes.
John Bedford (right) walks off having scored 90 with the Captain Lee Dutton. At the start of the match we only 10 players and John had come over to watch, but was then told to go and get his kit. He suffered a pulled hamstring in the match and Liam Harms had to run for him. John helped us to get to a score of 240.
Dave Ayres who rarely plays and deals with most of the clubs organising, admin and managing put in a brilliant performance out of no-where. He always sells himself short, but today he turned it on smacking the ball for frequent fours adding 34 to the total equal to Duttons score. Jamie Briton made a solid 29 and new bloke Steve Bonnett made a quick 16.
Big Hitting Dave Ayres (batsman).

Neil on his way out.
Neil Williams makes his way out to the middle for a very brief appearance (Duck). I think he face two balls, the second one that got him facing a spinner - was defended. The ball dropped at his feet still spinning and initially looked to be rolling away (Still spinning) towards the covers well wide of the stumps, but then with the spin started to arc back towards the stumps with Neil still looking at it, watching it heading towards the off-stump. I was looking and thought why's he not kicking it away but then it looked to be trickling so slow it was either (a). not going to quite get there or (b). Maybe it'll hit the stump, but there's no way the bails will move. That's probably what Neil thought as he didn't move and the ball trickled onto the stumps the bail fell off


Left to right - Dave Ayres (Scoring), Tim Brown, Joe Thompson (Bowler) Neil Williams (Comedian).
Jamie Britton at the crease.

Joe Thompson waiting in anticipation to bat
The captain - Lee Dutton
Man down - This bloke dived for a ball and landed on his shoulder hurting himself. I love the way that everyone ignored him, not even his team mates approached him! He was okay in the end as far as I can recall.
Joe batting with John Bedford.




Thursday, July 23, 2015

Knocking in and preparing Kashmir Willow bats


Knocking in and preparing Kashmir Willow bats

None of us can hold a bat, so when we buy bats we either buy second-hand good ones, which are generally quite old off of Ebay or we buy cheapo bats from Sports Direct (Slazenger). Normally we go with the guidance that it's pre-knocked in and just use them till they die and they do okay for us, but I reckon in the longer term this is probably a false economy if you can manage to hit the ball every now and then. With us and our succession of ducks spending more than £25 on a bat is a false economy. This season though I've bought Joe a Slazenger V1200 bat and I remembered that Ben had used a Harrow sized Kashmir V1200 for years and only this winter in the nets hitting a Yorker off of Joe it eventually died and this is an old bat in excess of 10 years and it's been used quite a bit.

Looking at it and wondering why it had lasted so long I wondered if the bat face tape had anything to do with its longevity? I'd also always been puzzled by the fact that being covered in bat-face tape - how did it last this long without being oiled? So some research was done (See below) into knocking bats in and I discovered a few things.

  • Despite the fact that the bat has been pre-knocked in, virtually everyone says that it still needs to be done for a few more hours.
  • Oil the bat 3 times over 3 or 4 days. Oil it and then leave it for 24 hours. Only a small bit of oil is required
  • The edges of the bat are important and so too is the toe and these will need special attention see below.
  • A lot of people smooth off the edges of the bat rubbing another round piece of wood (The handle of a mallet or bat grip cone) run that along the edge and round it off. Then, initially very gently, start to knock the edges in gradually over the first hour.
  • The willow is very soft and you'll see it easily dent as you start to compress it with the knocking in process.
  • It is going take hours and it is going to get on everyone's nerves because it is noisy.
Problems that they don't tell you about...

The Toe Guard - Most cheap bats like ours come with a toe guard. When you start to work on the toe of the bat and remember this is the most vulnerable part of the bat, the rubber toe guard prevents you from knocking it in properly. I made the mistake of knocking in the bat every where except for the toe and then once we'd knocked 97% of the bat in, the first aggressive session in the nets saw the toe of the bat cave in on the corner after mis-hitting the ball right on the toe. Interestingly in my research I found an interesting article about Warsop bats where they basically say that every bat is susceptible to being ruined by a Yorker right on the toe, despite having paid £350 for it and having knocked it in properly!

Once Joe's bat was damaged in this way, I had a look at it and then reflected on how much the edges of the bat had changed in shape through the knocking in process. Thinking about it, I thought - if I was to remove the rubber toe guard and knock the toe in properly would the knocking in process even out the now deformed and caved in toe? 

I removed the toe and knocked in the toe properly - lightly at first and gradually increasing the weight of the blows and luckily once knocked in the shape of the toe evened out and the caved in section was eliminated - luckily the blow from the ball had only compressed the willow and not actually cracked it.
You can see from the image above that once the toe guard had been re-fitted it was now too big for the shape of the knocked in toe. The knocking in process has compressed the willow substantially, so once the toe guard had been glued back into place using super-glue, then used a Stanley knife to cut the excess off making it neat once more.

Cracks in the willow as part of the knocking in process.

Again this hardly gets mentioned and I found the answers on a forum and the Warsop website, the Warsop website sells them as a positive feature of your bat!!! The forum discussed the idea of the bat being defective and whether you could return the bat I'm guessing from the point of whether it meets the fit for purpose consumer laws? On the forum they were undecided, but most of the discussion centred around the idea that the cracks as Warsop suggests are no big deal and that they can be repaired by applying a little bit of super glue and then rubbing down with fine sandpaper. Follow that up with some bat face tape and the edge tape and your bat hopefully will be ready to go!

Linseed Oil use with a bat covered in bat-face tape.

Easy! Before you put the tape on with your new bat (3 coats or more over several days) make sure the oil has dried out. Our whole process took more than 8 days. If the oil is sitting on the surface of the bat wipe the excess away with tissue paper or a cloth. Make sure though that the oil has been absorbed into the bat before applying the tape otherwise it wont adhere to the surface of the bat. Once the tape is on and when it comes to the point where you need to re-oil it, all you do is oil the back of the bat instead of the batting surface. Don't go over the stickers, oil round them and similar with the splice area where the handle connects to the bat. Lay the bat oil side up and flat when waiting for the oil to seep into the Willow.

Storage.

Keep the bat over winter in a garage, shed or out-building somewhere where there is some moisture in the air - not indoors where there is central heating. Similarly don't leave the bat in a car on the parcel shelf where the sun will dry it out.

Having done all that we're hoping this cheap bat will last more than a couple of seasons - hopefully give the old Slazenger 1200 a run for its money?

Bibliography/Sources...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZkIV6jz8h4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrEUC42Vi5I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BffU7Fwx3Qk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_e3AFndzmM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgM8ouMuiJQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=410v5fkvoYI
http://www.handmadebats.co.uk/store/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=9

Net session with Joe at Mopsies (The home of cricket).

The weekend approaches and a home game at the Rec Langdon Hills with just Joe and me. Ben again can't play because now he's finished his studies (GCSE's) he's got himself a part time job and is required to work most Saturdays which is a shame and scuppers any chance that between us we take all 10 wickets in a game!

Joe had his 14 birthday a couple of weeks ago and got a new bat - only a cheap Slazenger Kasmir job, but we've put a lot of work into preparing it ready to be used, knocking it in and oiling it and covering with face tape and fibre glass tape on the edges. In part this was just an attempt to enthuse him with regards to batting because like Ben he'll hide at No.11 and says that he prefers not to bat, but 95% in net situations he bats far better than me and sells himself short. He does the same thing in his age group games.

So far, so good; having spent all the time preparing the bat he's been pretty enthusiastic about putting it to use, so on Wednesday evening (Training night under 15's and adults) we went along with a bucket of balls and a sidearm and had a net all to ourselves and he did quite well and was obviously enthused. This then allowed me to get him again to bat and this morning we got up and went over Mopises with a bucket of balls again and spent an hour and again - obvious improvement and visible increased confidence, which was good to see.
We'll do the same again tomorrow for an hour or so and I'll up the speed with the side arm.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Joe Thompson U15's bowler Basildon & Pitsea CC

Joe Thompson U15's bowler Basildon & Pitsea CC best bowling figures. (SEDCB)

Younger son Joe, has just had some good news, he's been selected to represent the South Essex District based on his recent bowling performances including the 10.4 - 2- 15 - 6 against Belhus in a 4th XI game (Adults).

He'd previously been trialled in the winter but was ill, so his performance at the trial was affected. The bloke who ran the trials was aware of this and said that despite what had happened at the trial, his name was in the frame and that they'd keep an eye on him over this season and he'd be offered games in the summer if he performed well at Basildon.

I don't know how this all happens, I think the club uploads the data on-line and forwards the info to SEDCB . With the Belhus performance one the clubs officials let me know that there's a process of letting Essex Cricket know about it and it's looked at in terms of being 'Performance of the week' or something and if it is, we win tickets to an Essex game. I did that and we're off to see Essex on the 29th playing Warwickshire in a one day game as an award for the performance.
 
He then followed that up with another good performance in the 4's playing against Hornchurch. Taking two key wickets - one bloke LBW that was well set and looking for a long innings and only playing loose balls and another younger bloke - 2nd XI player (Allegedly), who was smacking the ball out of the park for six as and when he wanted to. Joe got them both clean bowled. The 2nd XI player especially was a good wicket - Joe got hit for six off of a good ball and then bowled off-spin, running in off of his seam-up run up, the ball gripped and the bloke missed it completely hitting him in the body. He then followed that up with a leg-cutter on middle and leg that turned and hit the top of off.

 
 
In the following week I then got a call from a bloke at SEDCB saying that Joe's bowling hadn't gone un-noticed and that they had some fixtures for him to represent the South Essex District. Then checking back through my emails Michelle, my wife noticed with the email from Essex County Cricket Club there was an attachment...
 
 
A nice certificate from Essex Cricket commending Joe's 6-fer signed by Alastair Cook England captain and James Foster another Essex player!
 
Back to the district fixtures - he had three games offered, one of which he's not going to be able to make, but the other two he can. So, on Monday 27th he's at Harlow for a 40 over game and then on the Tuesday he's at Garon's Park in Southend which is a splendid venue used by the county teams for matches. Again another 40 over game. What with a game on Saturday as well and the game we're going to watch on 29th at Chelmsford it's going to be a busy cricket week for Joe!
 
This means in the clubs running totals for all wicket takers in adults games Joe is now 12th
 

 All this and he's only just turned 14 on the 9th of July! Well done Joe!
 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Cricket pitches in the South Essex District Cricket Board that offer turn for spin bowlers (work in progress).

I've now played in our 4th XI for 3 years in a couple of leagues and as such, I'm becoming familiar with the wickets and starting to recognise which wickets offer turn for the spin bowler. So this is my current assessment of which wickets offer something for the spin bowler. Most of it is based on recent observations and other information is much older.

Belhus 4th XI wicket, South Ockendon, Essex.
 
 
I found this one to be a good wicket that offered both turn and bounce. The bounce being variable. From my recollection of this year and last year the situation was very similar and this year we played on a wicket that had been used for a kids 20 over game, so there was some wear already on it. My son who bowls off-spin found the same conditions.
 
Langdon Hills Recreation Ground.
Langdon Hills Recreation Ground Wicket
(Looking West towards the 'Tesco End').
This is the wicket from the same direction looking west towards Tesco's.
 
This is my home ground and it's a good un for spin especially if it's a little damp. My preferred end is the Tesco end or the estate end and the slop or the hill means the wicket slopes away a little in the direction of the spin. The other advantage is that the wicket is unusual in that it runs East to West instead of North to South, the consequence being that either side of mid summer in the latter stages of the 2nd innings the ball is almost coming out of the sun if you toss it up with loads of loop.
 
The wicket is very well maintained and dries exceptionally quickly once any rain has stopped. It's on a slight slope and for some reason it's a relatively windy location and the combination of sunshine and the local wind conditions facilitate quick draining and drying. As of July 24th 2015, the club also started to use covers if the weather was wet prior to match days. How this affects the turn off the wicket remains to be seen. Generally over a 52 over game, the wicket holds up quite well and because of the top quality maintenance carried out by the council even in the driest of summers the wicket doesn't crumble as far as I've ever seen in the last 4 or 5 years.
 
Turn off the wicket if spun hard is good, once of the better wickets that I've played on for spinners possibly helped by the slope. The wicket has a slight slope leading up to the popping crease, but not that dramatic. Both ends are similar, but bowling from the Eastern (Playground) end because of the slope might suit finger spinners?
 
Bounce is variable irrespective of the condition of the pitch during the game, overall it's difficult to extract good bounce, but out of nowhere seemingly dependent on the density of the clay in un-specific areas of the wicket the ball will just suddenly bounce loads.
 
Turn potential 8/10 
Bounce 6/10
 
 
 
 

Basildon & Pitsea 4th XI v Belhus 4th XI 4th July

Basildon & Pitsea 4th XI v Belhus 4th XI 4th July

The weather looked as though it was going to be good after a week of really warm weather for the UK in the previous days, some days it was in the 36 - 37 degree centigrade region. But today it was going to be around 25 degrees with wall to wall sunshine.

Still no older son Ben as he was away for the weekend doing his Duke of Edinburgh silver award, walking in the Cotwolds for 3 days. Going into the game both Joe and I had been practicing, Joe was bowling well and I was still figuring out ways to bowl with my Achilles injury still not fully recovered.

Picked up Tim Brown on the way and arrived to hear that we had 11 players on the way. By the time we walked out on to the pitch to field it was evident that we'd probably be playing with just 9 players...

Lee Dutton, John Bedford, Jamie Britton, Tony Harms, Liam Harms, Tim Brown, Steve Bonnett, Joe and I (Thompson's).

Liam opened the bowling from the Birch Crescent end, I imagined that Joe would have then bowled from the Hall Lane end, but Lee threw the ball to me which I don't mind at all and think is a good tactic especially if I've not got an Achilles injury!
I'm now in a situation where I'm more familiar with the pitches that we play on having been the captain last year and this being the 3rd year I've played regularly in the 4th XI and I'm aware of which pitches offer turn off the wicket if you're spinning the ball and this is one of those that I've taken wickets on before and bowled quite well on. The pitch we played on had already been used by a youth team for 20 overs in the morning, so was scuffed up a bit and for me that only helps as a bowler.
Belhus put a couple of kids in first up which was good for us given that we only had nine players and Liam Bowled a good first over with a maiden and then generally bowled really well with his left arm seam up stuff. My bowling was average what with the Achilles injury and for most of the time I was approaching the crease a la' Terry Jenner at the end of his coaching career. I had numerous chances that either didn't go to hand, were dropped or just missed the top of the stumps by millimetres having beaten the bat (top-spinners). Liam had the chance of a second wicket that Joe went after at fine leg - loopy high ball, but would have had to have caught it over his shoulder, he got a hand to it, but wasn't able to keep hold of it. My only wicket was caught by Liam at mid-on - he and his Dad Tony are brilliant catchers in those positions, although Tony didn't quite get to one of mine which looked like it was a dolly in this match!

Some of my wides were ludicrous almost Tufnel-esque in their awfulness. But then interspersed with some half decent balls and some really good balls. Overall though considering the injury and the fact that I've had to adapt my bowling and bowl off a two step approach it went okay.

Then my younger son Joe (13 years old) was thrown the ball and the main event started. He's been practicing quite a bit over on the paddock, so has been grooving his action, he bowls a mixture of finger-spin (Off-breaks) and seam up. Bowling from the Hall Lane end he started this spell with the off-breaks which he bowls off of a fairly long run up and with some pace. In the first two overs he took a wicket for 2 runs including a wicket maiden. But then during the swap over from one bowler to the next the wicket keeper (Jamie Britton) suggested that he bowl seam up instead. 

Joe bowled superbly only giving away the odd run here and there and this is with only 9 players meaning that there were dirty great gaps in the field coupled with players (Including me at the moment what with the Achilles injury) that fall short of being Gibbe-sque or Collingwood-esque. In his first 6 overs he took 4 for 11 runs including a wicket maiden. He bowls an exceptionally good line and length on or just outside of the off-stump. He varies the length, but generally bowls a very good length at a reasonable pace making it very difficult to play the ball aggressively.











Joe leads the team off the pitching having taken 6 wickets for 15 runs, including 2 maidens off of 10.4 overs.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Old Southendians 4th XI v B&PCC 4th XI at Victory Sports Ground, Sutton Road, Southend (Still writing)

Old Southendians 4th XI v B&PCC 4th XI

I'd counted myself out of this game as I'm still being cautious with regards to my Achilles injury. But over the week because Ben and Joe were still playing, I'd been looking to see where the game was set to be played and so was everyone else it seems. No matter where I looked it wasn't clear where the match would be, so this morning once I'd picked up Tim Brown, we headed for the club to see if anyone could clarify the location of the match. We were told Shoebury Park which is near the Garrison ground we played at a couple of weeks ago, but before we left there was a last minute swap around of the team... Harry Davie was promoted up to the 3rds after I was asked to play in the 3rds and I said... no, but if that now leaves the 4's short I'll play in the 4's if I'm put somewhere where I don't have to run around. Lee took the offer. There was still a vacancy in the 4's and Stuart Munday said he'd try and get his son to play and off we all went.
There must have still been some uncertainty with regards the location, because as we all made our way in different cars Lee got a call and the venue was confirmed as being at another venue... The Victory sports ground near Southchurch, on the edge of Southend, so as soon as we all got out of the cars all pretty much arriving at the same time, we were all back in again and heading back the way we came to the Victory Sports Ground...

It turns out that they've not used the Shoebury pitch for two seasons now, so if you want to know where Old Southendians 4th XI pitch is, it's the Victory Sports Ground. Incidentally the 3rd XI were playing there as well on the adjacent pitch. They really need to make this clear on their website, because none of us had a clue where we were going.
 
We all had a butchers at the pitch and it looked a little kinked over the 22 yards, but the surface looked fine. The adjacent pitch which was also prepared looked very ropey, but ours looked fine. Lee won the toss and said we'd have a bowl.
 
We got off to a good start for the first three overs as the batsmen got a look at the bowling and how pitch was playing. The they went for it. The opener was Anthony Joseph and Ben was at the other end - his first bowl since September other than in the nets some weeks ago. As the batsmen settled the over rate went from 1 an over for the first three up to 6 or 7 an over as they smacked us all around the park. I had a feeling the bloke that got to 50 first was going to be good - he was an older bloke... no helmet and wielding a Warsop. The pitch turned out to be hard and true with the ball bouncing loads. This meant Anthony tried some short stuff and each time he did so he was smacked over the legside boundary for 4. The boundaries behind both sets of stumps were really short and fuller balls were bouncing really high. This combined with the dry and short grass meant that there were a load of byes going for 4's.
 
Achilles news...
 
Last nigh Joe and I had a knock about on the paddock and at work I'd been walking around all day feeling pretty much okay. Once in from the paddock where I had tried to run a little I had my foot in an ice bath for 30 minutes, so today when I got up, everything was feeling okay. So I was contemplating having a bowl if Lee asked. Partly spurred on by the desire to maintain a position at the top of this list here (Never seen this before)!
 
 
Having run around a little fielding at Gully, I felt okay to bowl, so when asked I gave it a go, coming off of a 2 or 3 step approach to the crease. It soon became apparent that the wicket as rock hard and as dry as it was didn't offer a lot of turn. I tried a couple of variations, but with the leg and the fact that these blokes were well set I didn't do that well. One bloke, the older of the two top edged a ball, that went wide of Fine Leg high and loopy and my son Ben went after it. He caught up to it and had to catch it coming over his shoulder - always a bit tricky and unfortunately he spilled it. Lee took me off after conceding some fours which I was appreciative of.
 
The good thing though is that sitting here tonight, despite the fact that I fielded a full game almost, bowled 3 overs and ran about a little, my Achilles feels okay, so maybe I'm on the road to recovery? Also I chose to wear my old cricket shoes which have a much lower heel section - from what I've been reading the bit that comes up the back of the Achilles on the shoes can be a problem as well as shoes which don't fit that well? My old shoes felt a whole lot better.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Achilles strain recovery - update

All you need to know about bowling Legspin here

Achilles Strain Week 2

Gutted - we're now heading towards the 2nd weekend where I'm not going to be playing cricket again. I guess the good news though is that things seem okay, but then that's typical it seems of chronic injuries. I'm using the RICE method as much as I can, but it is difficult when I don't feel that bad. I have been walking around without the crutches, but today I used a crutch again just going with the resting aspect and not loading it too much. I'm icing it frequently and have started using a compression bandage as well. I've been able to walk quite normally if I so desire, but that's led to a different sensation further up the leg, like a low level muscle ache at the bottom end of the Soleius. I noticed today also if I walked with a kind of rolling action with the foot - spreading the distribution of the impact of the action, that felt total discomfort free.

One thing that has felt good is my younger son; The one who had his leg snapped clean in half in a RTA who I helped with his physio more than anyone else is now repaying the favour and is massaging my leg where this injury had occurred. The muscles in this leg were really twisted and he's said that after only two relatively short sessions he can feel a massive improvement.

From http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/treating-and-recovering-from-achilles-injury

One good test to determine which structure is causing the injury is to move the tendon through a range of motion, grasp the painful area and move your foot up and down. If the painful area stays in one spot then it is the paratenon; if the painful area moves then it is the tendon. Tendinosis responds well to massage directly on the area, whereas paratendonitis responds better to massage above the injured area, up towards the calf muscles.
Strengthen


One thing that is good, is that I don't think this injury is that bad as I initially thought, the pain that they seem to talk about was gone within 18 hours, if I pinch the Achilles there's no difference between the left or right leg. But having suffered this injury in one of it's more severe forms 12 years ago and having had to walk around in a boot for almost 12 months I'm still inclined to err towards being cautious.

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