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The Times They Are A Changing

posted 22 Jun 2013, 02:05 by Mike Madden   [ updated 22 Jun 2013, 02:05 ]
Its been an interesting week, with one saga continuing, another in the offing, and some wide ranging changes brought in by the league. 

One man went to mow
Went to mow a meadow
One man (Rigger) and his dog (KD)
Went to mow a meadow.

Two men went to mow
Went to mow a meadow
Two men (Jonty) One man (Rigger) and his dog (KD)
Went to mow a meadow

Three men went to mow
Went to mow a meadow
Three men (Dale) two men (Jonty) one man (Rigger) and his dog (KD)
Went to mow a meadow

Now, I could go on, but two things stop me. Firstly, thats about it, no one else mows the meadow, and Dale only did it to ensure he had a cut wicket for the weekend. Unfortunately, he cut the newly fertilised one that promises to be nice and unpredictable for  the visit of Hadfield. Secondly, I don't know the current state of the mower as Ive not heard from either the mower man, the man who knows the mower man, or indeed, the man who liaises with the mower man. There have been repairs and there have been breakdowns, both in mechanical and communication terms. I will provide an update when I have it.

Those who take a keen interest in such matters will know that at the start of the season, or shortly afterwards when stuff threatened to hit the fan, I took on the role of Club Welfare Officer. Coddy, the well meaning proprietor of our well known printers Prontaxpriss decided to produce a laminated sign to inform everyone of the appointment. "Child Protection Officer" it said, in shiny bold print. Hmmm, not quite right, so he went away to do it again. Yesterday, a new sign arrived. "Junior Section. Child Welfare Officer" it said. Hmm, different, but equally as incorrect. I have a laminator at home and will print my own, but I wont tell Caddy. Any predictions as to how many attempts it will take for him to get the correct wording?

Assistance at junior matches and practice is dwindling a little, with one or two notable exceptions. Next season we will require a number of positions to be filled, so get your name down early and get used to it!

The league are attempting to rejuvenate junior cricket and to recognise the difficulty some clubs have in fielding junior sides as well as putting out sides on Sundays. My proposals were listed on here some time ago consisting of such gems as...

Hawke Trophy to be optional or neighbouring clubs could put a joint side in
Junior cricket could be joint effort at certain age groups
Under 15s and under 17s should not run concurrently

The league have decided to retain under 11s and under 13s for all clubs, but under 15s and under 17s is to be optional (not sure what this does to the Compstall Cup). My opinion, and not necessarily that of WBCC, is that all age groups should remain compulsory. This is a short term solution that does not encourage teams to make the most of what they have got. If a team has, say 5 under 17s and 6 under 15s, will they scrap under 15s meaning their younger juniors wont get much of a game playing in the older age group?

The Hawke Trophy is to be scrapped in its current form. There is the potential to play this as a 20-20 competition and possibly midweek. But, be warned. It is hard enough to get assistance for junior matches at the moment. If there is then the added excuse of "I cant help with under 17s on Monday as Im playing on Tuesday" will that see more and more responsibility fall on the few junior managers who already do too much?

Finally, bowling restrictions are to be introduced at second team level, to prevent certain clubs from bowling seniors all the way through and allowing juniors to just make up the numbers. Again, with my cynical head on, will the captain continue to play the juniors that he does not trust, or will he encourage older players to play on for longer as he knows he can get a few reliable overs out of them? Often it is best to have a senior bowler holding one end up whilst the juniors alternate at the other end.

Just my two pennerth, and I hope it will stimulate an interesting debate. Please feel free to add comments in the box provided.
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