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

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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.


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.

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.

All you need to know about bowling Legspin here

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cricket Pavillions Typology

Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.

This is the start of a potential photography project which links to one I've already made a start on and at the moment haven't got very far with, but this project has potentially got a bit of chance of taking off and developing. The basic premise will be that I'm exploring the socio-economics of regions and areas through the recording of the cricket facilities in said localities. It's part inspired by the work of the Dutch photographer Hans Van Der Meers work in the European Fields series of images and the work of the German photographers Bernd and Hiller Becher.

In the coming weeks I'll be shooting pavilions and other structures associated with cricket, primarily the clubhouses or the changing facilities. The initial job is to collate a series of examples using whatever cameras are at hand and the light that is there at the time. If it pans out that I feel there's something about the images that is worth pursuing I'll then have to start considering how I'd then go about the making of the images in a more serious way with a view to stepping the project up a level.

Anyway here's the first two...

 Southend on Sea & EMT's Victorian pavilion at the Garrison ground in Shoebury, Essex.
Basildon Councils 'Langdon Hills Recreation Ground' multi-function building used by Basildon & Pitsea Cricket Club, SRB cricket club and numerous football clubs in the winter.

At this stage I'm using either a digital Nikon compact camera or an old Canon 450D just to get the buildings recorded and just play around with the idea. At the moment I'm liking the uniformity of the composition and the way that both buildings sit within the frame neatly. I know though as I travel around this isn't always going to be the case. We'll just have to see how it develops?

One I know I do want to include at this stage is the one at Lake Meadows in Billericay and also Grays & Chadwells (AKA Thurrock CC). They're both very different.

Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Basildon Council Parks and Gardens Groundsmen - Fantastic job!

Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.
When we travel around Essex playing cricket we see all kinds of standards of pitches and some of them are pretty poor. But in our local area in Basildon the standard of the pitches is pretty good and at our local ground to us at Langdon Hills they do an amazing job. But recently they've done an incredible job on one of the lesser known grounds in the area.

I played on this pitch a couple of years ago and the pitch was okay as I remembered the outfield was dead rough with massive undulations that were tricky to negotiate if you're running whilst looking up in the sky. The actual wicket was average, but nothing to write home about. The whole set up at this pitch 'Holy Cross' was a bit dowdy and downbeat with a team that only played on Sundays, but for some reason, the council has decided that it's going to be used more and our youth games seem to be increasingly played at this venue. It may be that it means they're able to manage the two main pitches at Mopsies and 'The Rec' at Langdon Hills more easily and to improve those by having less games played on them.

So with the sudden increase in games at Holy Cross, they've turned their attention to the wicket there and our U15's played there for the 2nd time this week. What met us when we arrived was an amazing job on the wicket. Check out the images below...

The wicket played well with the seamers getting a nice 'Carry' with good bounce and the spinners got some turn off the wicket as well if they were spinning the ball and again with some nice bounce. An exceptionally good job I thought and so did most of the other that were there that played cricket at a higher standard than I do. So, well done Basildon Councils Ground staff who prepared this for the boys an excellent job!
Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Adil Rashid - England v New Zealand 1st one day match 9th June Edgbaston.

Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.

A brilliant start for the new look England side today. Came in from work turned the tele on and saw 400 runs and just assumed we were chasing 400. Got settled and started watch the game and then realised England were bowling and had scored 400 plus!!!!

Then a few minutes later Adil Rashid is standing at the top of his mark ready to start his spell and what a spell it turns out to be! With the protection of so many runs Rashid was able to settle and looked as though he was completely relaxed and able to go about his work. Later in the interview he acknowledge this saying "I was able to play with a positive mind set and just work on spinning the ball hard". He started with an off-spinner finger spin delivery - stump to stump, but then moved straight on to his leg-breaks. Initially they didn't look that spun hard and it took a couple of overs to settle, but then once he'd taken his first wicket - Kane Williamson caught deep mid - off (Joe Root), he settled and started to bowl really well. His next wicket was Santner caught in the slips by Chris Jordan. 3rd wicket was Henry bowled with Googly and trapped LBW see field below.

This was to Matt Henry who was bowled with a Googly trapped LBW

The classic one was Luke Ronchi who caused England all sorts of problems in the test series batting like a one day batsman. He came out and Rashid hadn't used the Googly for a while, but you just knew Ronchi would give it the biggun, he just had that aura about him that kind of suggested he would smash Rashid back into the England Lions and Yorkshire. I guessed he'd come out and be aggressive right from the outset and sure enough he did, but Adil was one step ahead of him and bowled him clean with a Googly.

The fields for Rashid were interesting...

The commentators mentioned the fact that his Wrong-Un turns more than his leggie. When asked about his variations and at what point he deploys them, he said that it wasn't a case of 'Showing the batsman' the Googly early, it was just a case of bringing it out when needed, but he said you have to be confident that you're going to be able to pull it off, because you need to be seen to be an attacking option and stay on top of the batsman.

It's going to be interesting to see how he goes in the rest of these matches as McCullum is no doubt going to come out hard and I'm pretty certain that like Luke Ronchi had intended to do, they wont want Rashid to be a key part of the England set up, as the more he bowls and the more frequently he's used effectively and he comes away with wickets, the more his confidence will grow. I'm pretty sure New Zealand will target him. It'll be interesting to see how he's used when he hasn't got that same buffer in terms of runs on the board, will he be used in the same way and will he bowl with such confidence?
Statistically he's done well in this game at 5.5 an over and having taken four wickets. Everyone is saying that this is his time, he's 6 years older he made a massive contribution with the bat with the highest number 7 partnership in all one day cricket history at this level. He's also come away with the best Leg-spin figures for an English man in one day history too. Let's hope this is Adils moment and he gets his chance to cement a place in this side for the next 10 years or so.
Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Basildon & Pitsea CC 4th XI v Southend on Sea & EMT cc 6th XI at the Garrison ground

Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.
As usual, right at the last moment blokes were moved around and the team ended up being very different to the one originally selected earlier in the week. This one very heavy on U15's and U13's players.

The ground that we were heading for is one of my favourites in this area - The Garrison ground in Shoebury, Essex. The ground appears to have been there since the 1870's as that's the date the pavilion buildings were constructed. It's big cricket pitch surrounded by some beautiful houses that used to be officers houses along three sides and one side there's a row of modern new buildings. See images below. 

Joe and I picked up Tim Brown and Sam Jones on the way and made our way there via the A13 and the A127 with Stuart Munday and Harry Davie following us. We got there in plenty of time and as we arrived the Blerkoms had arrived just ahead of us. By the time Lee turned up we had 10 players including Under 15's player Andrew Tokley. As our openers made their way on to the pitch we were only 1 bloke down, but they were in the same situation us. I recognised a bloke in the opposition who in the last game I played against him bowled the whole game from one end and took 6-7 wickets, he was there.

The batting didn't go to plan and the 'Good bloke' (R.Long) opened the bowling from the left hand end as seen from the Pavilion. But it wasn't him that took the majority of the wickets. The other bloke with the beard (P.Hall) who was the more wayward took a few, whilst the big wicket taker from the previous game was seen to be more predictable. Despite this wickets fell quickly and cheaply. The ball when struck well along the ground, especially on the further side of the pitch visually slowed down as if rolling across a sticky substance, with balls that you'd expect to go for four being quickly retrieved and restricted to ones on most occasions. All of our key batsmen were one by one marched back to the sheds. The captain Lee Dutton was dropped about 6 times. Charlie Blerkom was caught at Mid off. As he came in he asked 'How the hell did he catch that'?' With his hands for a start was one reply...'But he came forwards and then back again and he still caught it'. Yeah that may have been because the ball was in the air for about 4 minutes, he could have come over the pavilion and said to us all 'Watch this' and still got back to mid off to take it. Charlie unfortunately was out for 0. His Dad Mike, mishit the ball trying to get over the in-field and his ball went more up than along and he was caught in the covers, the bloke having time to run deeper and take the catch. 

It was down to Stuart Munday and new bloke Anthony Joseph to dig us out of the potential hole. For Stuart though, this was the first time he'd picked up a bat since September and he had some concerns about his knees and ankle. Stuart did well, really well, he stayed the rest of the game with little support from the bowlers, but helped them get us into treble figures. Harry Davie made 6 before being bowled by Mirzah, he wasn't happy with that. Joe was out next to face the bowlers. Joe had a good innings, he's normally dismissed within a matter of a few balls and it knocks his confidence making it so that he doesn't want to bat and reinforces the fear of faster bowlers. As he went out he was aware that he'd be facing a fast kid and a slow bowler so he was a little more optimistic. Stuart coaxed him through several overs and although he struck the ball well on a number of occasions, but he didn't get value for his strike of the ball. The grass on the Southern side of the wicket with modern houses was stiff and wiry grass, unlike most grasses and the ball just slowed down and virtually never got to the boundary. This was despite the fact that the boundary had been brought in by several yards around the entire pitch! Joe made 3 runs in the end, but blocked well and hit the ball a number of times and enjoyed it. 

I went out and Stuart said let's get to treble figures and go from there. Once we reached 100 he said that we should just try and hit the ball and rotate the strike rather than be too cautious as I normally am. I wasn't able to be as positive as I'd hoped to be after batting with Joe, but I did bat with far more intent than I usually do and as a result I made a few runs. I was hoping to stand slightly out of the crease and as I had with Joe, but the keeper noticed and he stood up to the stumps and in doing so scuppered my plans. He did the same thing with Stuart and Stuart, looking to play with slightly more aggression moved out of his ground missed the ball and was stumped, so I ended up with a 5 not out. 

Basildon Batting with Lee Dutton at the crease.
 The pitch inspection party - our 'Youth' contingent. Left to right... Andrew Tokely (U15), Charlie Blerkon (U13), Sam Jones (U15), Tim Brown (U16), Joe Thompson (U15) and Harry Davie (U16). 
 The wicket looking towards the Officers accomodation.
 The wicket looking South East.
 My son Joe.
 The Pavilion at The Garrison Cricket Ground Shoebury, Essex.

 Basildons batting scores.
 Bowling figures.
 Southend on Sea and EMT batting scores.

 Joe and me scoring and waiting for our chance to bat.
 Lee Dutton 

The new bloke Anthony Joseph (Adult) opened the bowling and bowled a ball just outside the 'Channel of uncertainty' that obviously looked as though it was going down the off-side as the batsman shouldered arms only for the ball to come in and take the top of his off-stump, a classic well executed off-cutter. It was the exact start we needed trying to defend 104 runs!

Thereafter though he was put off his rhythm by the umpire calling 'No-ball' for stepping too wide on the crease in his run up. A number of '4 wides'  occurred too and what with the limited runs we were trying to protect the combination of no further wickets and leaking runs Lee took him off and I got a bowl. In the meantime Harry Davie after a shaky start tightened his bowling up and bowled superbly for little reward, coming away with the figures below...
I was then brought on at the South Eastern end. I don't know if I was already in state of being injured, but I reckon I was or if I wasn't, it became apparent in the first over or certainly before the end of it. It just felt as though my shoe was digging into the back of my heel (Achilles tendon)... not painful as such, just uncomfortable and nagging to the point where I was aware of it. My first over went for 8 which is on par with last week, but to be honest the fielding was pretty poor, the ball for the most part went through the fielders or past the fielders in such a way that if an old bloke like me, Stuart or Lee were there we'd have dived and made a concerted effort to stop the ball. One of them hit through square leg went through the fielders hands above his head, but he'd left a gaping great hole in his hands as he tried to catch using the Aussie technique. To be honest with the heel it just wasn't happening for me, I wasn't accurate, consistent or spinning the ball anywhere near as well as I was capable of, the whole thing felt like a disaster, but I battled on and took three. The first one was an LBW and it was the batsman that looked well set and with the potential to get them over the line in quick time (M.Robinson). It pitched on leg and came in a smidge and he didn't hit it, no-one else went up for it and to me it was obvious and for a split second I nearly didn't appeal, but then did vocally and the Umpire totally agreed with me and sent the bloke back to the Pavilion...
  The Pavilion at The Garrison Cricket Ground Shoebury, Essex. Potential here for a new photography project... cricket pavilions a la' the Bechers

He wasn't impressed, standing his ground momentarily looking back at the umpire in utter disbelief 'I hit it'! He said, neither I or the umpire heard it or so it and to us it looked as out as out could be. Following that one I then had what looked to me at least two more on the same bloke that the umpire didn't give and this bloke went to hit several fours through the legside (See above re ropey fielding). His mate at the other end was a kid armed with a Warsop... Joe, Ben and I (all bowlers) all say 'Oh look out, now we're in trouble the bloke/kids got a Warsop' as it usually indicates that the batsman takes his batting so seriously that he's invested in an expensive bat and he's now going to give the bowlers a jolly good thrashing! He was gone - out stumped by Mike Blerkom for 2 runs. The following over was horrific as you can see with 8 runs off it with a number of wides and I then said to Lee - 'Give someone else a go'. By this point my son Joe was bowling his off-spin at the other end and had already taken the wicket of the other bloke J.Mohan who'd been scoring runs. 

Lee kept me on, I then got hit for yet another 4 that should have been stopped and the game was lost. The big older bloke who was ruining my figures was still on strike (S.Laflin), but I managed to get him off strike so that the new batsman was facing me (S.Trivett), he'd been watching and listening and despite the fact that it was a wholly lost cause, there was still an outside chance that between Joe and I with our spin bowling the remaining wickets might fall even though they were now drawn. I bowled a Leg Break as best I could given the situation and it came out okay - spinning well straight into Mikes hands outside the off-stump. It was my last ball and I only had two wickets, the bloke looked as though he fancied his chances against the spin, if it was on the stumps it was going to turn, all he had to do was clear his leg and smack the ball through the covers... That's what I wanted him to do, that's what he intended to do. Chances were I wouldn't be able to follow the last ball up with anything as good, I just wasn't bowling that consistently. It needed the Top-Spinner with a bit of a wrong-un in there with it, could I do it... my last ball? Yeah - give it a go... 

This bloke hadn't faced one of these yet, so the chance was he'd play for the turn. The ball went down it was high and loopy up above his eye-level, his eyes lit up, he stepped back and across exposing his stumps waiting for the turn and he was going to smack it through the off-side with a cross bat shot, exactly as I planned... It didn't break to the off at all, with the top spin it bounced and apparently came in a smidge and hit the bails in the middle. My last ball - taking me to 3 wickets! A lovely final ball for me to finish on.

That then brought Joe on to take the rest of the wickets in his over. He needed either a Maiden or a preferably a wicket maiden. He bowled really well and bowled 3 dots and all the fielders played their part for those balls, not letting the ball get through, but eventually with several wickets still in hand and trying to hit the ball hard with a field that was right up, they hit the runs they needed and the game was lost.

Joe's bowling was good, this isn't Ben, this is my younger son Joe who's still only 13, he took a lovely wicket with his off-spin that he was well chuffed about and in the usual Joe style he was really economic too...

As I walked off, my mind then turned to why was I bowling so badly? Was it the soreness along my Achilles? Once inside and then being able to take my spikes off I realised that it was nothing to do with my spikes and that in fact it was my Achilles tendon. I then realised that this might be a re-occurrence of a tear I suffered in my Achilles in 2002, which saw me out of action and wearing a plastic boot for the best part of a year including as I recall having to wear it for months in bed to ensure it repaired in the right position! It then dawned on me that last ball might be the last ball I bowl for another year!

Once home I ice bathed it and then decided it would probably be a good idea to get it checked at the hospital.

 Ice bath no.4
 Crutches on Sunday.
 Writing the blog whilst literally chillin'
Simmonds test pose. Monday 8.45pm

Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.


Just back from the Hospital

Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.

Played today, bowled 6 or 7 overs, but right from the start something felt wrong. It felt as though my spikes weren't fitting well, as though the ankle support bit that runs up the back of the heel for some reason was too high and it was sticking into my Achilles. It just felt sore, but was definitely niggling and making it so that I didn't feel at all relaxed. Coupled with that I was bowling in a situation where I had to bowl tight and take wickets, so the pressure was on. I bowled rubbish a lot of the time, but put it down to the pressure rather than the shoe problem. 

I the end, the game finished and I walked back to the hut increasingly aware of the soreness of my Achilles and as I walked back it dawned on me that I might have done something to it. About 12 years ago I tore it and ended up in a boot for almost a year...

I then started to realise that, this may have been the last game of the season because as I stopped moving around it became increasingly apparent that it was the Achilles tendon. By the time I got in it looked and felt swollen so I got it into a bucket of freezing water and ice and soaked it there for about 15 minutes. This didn't have a lot of impact and I realised that if this was in fact a tear I needed to go to the hospital and this was confirmed by the info on NHS direct

Michelle my wife took me over there and left me there as they all had a party to go to with instructions to ring them if I got out quick. It was three hours before they saw me and the bloke did the Simmonds test and thankfully the diagnosis was for a sprain rather than a tear. 

So I've got crutches and instructions to keep off it for 3-4 days and get it up in the air as much as I can. I asked about ice baths and the bloke said 'Yeah as much as you can'. So I'll be on that 2 -3 times a day as I want to get back in action asap.

Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Another Practice

Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.

Another practice tonight - 1/2 hour, target practice - landing the ball on a small mat and turning it from outside leg onto the stumps. Practiced the variations, they're coming out okay. Getting loads of bounce over at the paddock, can't see that being carried over to proper pitches, if it did I'd be a bit of a handful I reckon! The squad for Saturday has already changed and Joe's now in the game which is good, so looking forward to it and the weather is set to be good cricket weather.

Everything you need to know about bowling Leg Breaks here.

Practice tonight

Had a good practice session tonight, good length and line - hitting single stump easily pitching it legside of it and turning the ball back onto it. The flipper was working well as well as my Googly. The Flipper if I bowl it in a weird cocked position - much like my wrong - wrongun from a few years ago, it doesn't break like a leg break it produces off-spin with back-spin, so skids really low, but probably looks no different to my leg break. In addition of the three Flipper variations I bowl it is the most consistent and accurate, so a little more work with it and I may be able to bring it out in the games?

My only slight worry is a niggle in my knee it took a knock from a ball a couple of weeks ago and hasn't felt quite right since. But I reckon it'll be okay for Saturday.

The team for Saturday is very different this week at the moment, two kids that don't normally play in it - Sam and Abdul, they both bowl and bat a bit. Good to see Stuart Munday back in the 4's. We struggled last year against this team, they had a bloke that bowled at one end for the entire game and he took 8 wickets or something! He had a zig zag long run-up and then bowled dead straight at a spin bowlers pace, but on an apparently difficult length. No-one could get him away and they just all lost their wickets trying to smack the ball as I recall cos it just looked as though it was easy to play, but every ball was a 'You miss I win' ball.

Joe's not been picked, but there's a chance that he'll get a chance, usually someone doesn't show and if they don't he may get in. Older son Ben finishes his exams soon, so in a couple of weekends he may be back in the team? He's currently working on his fitness, but he looks a lot stronger and bulkier than last year and he's only just started, so if it comes together he should bowl well. I reckon that in the longer term Joe's a very good prospect. He's taller than Ben and yet he's only 13, people say that he's got a classical bowling style and he bowls exceptionally well. A couple of nights ago he went for 5 runs off of 4 overs, with 3 maidens including a wicket maiden. By my reckoning he's a better bowler than Ben when Ben was 13. One of the reasons for this is that he's actually interested in bowling and developing his bowling unlike Ben who Just Bowled. Joe was saying tonight that he was aware of the fact that when he was bowling he was doing the Ian Pont thing... "4 tents pegs" 
Joe tries off and leg cutters, dragging the fingers down the back trying to get it to swing, he changes the pace and recently was trying out of the back of the hand slow balls. All of which indicate a completely different attitude to his bowling in comparison to Ben. Ben's just fast and brutal, Joe is more tactical, but his speed will come as he grows and gets stronger, he may end up being fast brutal and clever?

Watching sky last night I was pleased to see that Adil Rashid is in the one day team for England in this series against the Kiwi's. Hopefully we'll get to see him bowl and he's successful and cements a regular slot in the one day side. He's doing exceptionally well recently for Yorkshire as you can see in this screen grab.