2005

What about the wonderful Summer of Cricket when we won The Ashes.

July 21-25 Lord’s Lost

We were on a ship cruising the coast of Ireland. Belfast, Killibegs, Dingle, Cork, Waterford, The Scillies and Dublin. There wasn’t a TV lounge as such, not showing Sky anyway, so it was snatched information only. Enough to get that sinking feeling ‘here we go again.’

Aug 4-8 Edgbaston Won

The Caldon Canal comes of The Trent and Mersey near Stoke. It originally carried raw materials up to the potteries from deepest Staffordshire. Leek and Froghall are the termini. I think Froghall branch was planned to go further.

Aug 11-15 Old Trafford Drawn

Hilton

Aug 25-29 Trent Bridge Won

Helmsley on tour with The Casuals.

Sept 8-12 Brit Oval Drawn

President’s Day

All the tremendouses, amazings and unbelievables have been said several times over by test players struggling to keep their grip on reality. We followed every minute from some out of the way places: luxury cruise liner sailing around Ireland, the heart of Staffordshire and N. Yorkshire. It was the spine that held the summer together. Tense stuff that could have boiled over into naked aggression but never did. McGrath and Warne’s farewell to test cricket. Mine too – grumpy and bad-tempered, more of a disgrace than my batting. I no longer wish to participate in something to which I can no longer contribute. Its no fun when there is not a shred of competence. As Sam Stier said, ‘You looked so uncomfortable’. Never a truer word and of no comfort. Go before you are pushed.

Lost the spring in the heel, the throwing arm and all coordination with bat in hand. It must be a sad and sorry sight. Last year the eyesight, this year the weight bearing. Time to make it official. Worse than Elvaston last year (first team bowler returning from injury came onto bowl at 20 overs just as I’m going in at number six).

When you’ve run out of skill, you need all the help you can get and don’t need your own umpire giving you out. When others clearly have a lot of skill you get a little pissed off when they throw their wickets away or have little enthusiasm for the task – on more than one occasion – everybody has an off day.

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