Pink balls? It’s not really cricket is it? The first attempt at a Day/Night test in England last week, and I suspect it may turn out to be a collector's item, wouldn’t be surprised it there was never another one. The weather and the light are all against it here. Wonderful in Dubai, or the Caribbean, but Birmingham or Manchester? I’m far from convinced. I am however convinced about the West Indies team. Atrocious. Poor old Andy Roberts was on the telly, a proud man, proud of the ferocious, intimidating and simply superb bowling of him and his colleagues back in the day, but looking sick and clearly ashamed and embarrassed by the efforts of the current squad. I don’t think England are that brilliant, indeed I strongly recommend a wager on the Aussies this winter down under, but the Windies were simply pathetic, and have another couple of tests to play before they can get into the old crash, bang, wallop malarkey where they may do better. It brought back memories of the great West Indies teams though, and the masochistic pleasure of watching the fast bowlers torment the latest chinless wonder from the public schools of England, while Geoff Boycott made sure he spent most of the time up the other end shaking his head. We had Sir Geoff and Ian Botham; they had Holding, Marshall, Ambrose, Lloyd, Richards, Greenidge and the rest. Wasn’t really a fair match was it? A bit like watching England v Germany over the years in football. Quality, planning and organisation versus shambolic selection and haphazard tactics. It is a little known fact that Gordon Greenidge was born in Hampshire and would have been delighted to play for England if it had occurred to the selectors to ask. What a surprise. Happy days.
What about the boys here at Meadow Park? A little run in the FA Cup no less, aided by some friendly fixtures falling our way and home draws. Well, we deserve some luck in the FA’s big competition, we have certainly had very little over the years. And now another home draw against the lads of Liversedge from Cleckheaton in West Yorkshire. Garforth should give us a form line, they are in the same league, and no doubt the manager will have his spies out to watch them as well, but another good afternoon down on the Ryhope meadow in prospect, will the crowd go over the 100 mark? I sincerely hope so, as long as my view isn’t obstructed.
And in the league? Performances very good I think, results maybe not quite living up to that yet, but very early days. We seem to struggle in a few games to turn our obvious superiority into the goals we deserve. No doubt it will come. I wasn’t at the Marske game, but by all accounts, maybe a bit biased but not much, we should have won comfy, and instead manage to lose. Never mind, it ain’t always fair. I think some of our young lads are maturing into real good Northern League First Division players, so it will come right won’t it? Spirit seems good so things bode well, I hope.