During a coaching session under my new cricket coach Dr Masud Rahman (who plays for North Canberra Gungahlin), he told me that I am a quality player and should give Turf cricket a try. While I am grateful that for his positive appraisal, I was quite hesitant to embrace the thought of playing cricket on Turf. This was the first time that playing grade cricket on Turf come into my mind.
I had heard facts from other people whom I know and found that its more expensive to play than on synthetic wickets. Furthermore, there was no chance of getting a game let alone getting a fair chance to contribute in a game. These were the reasons why I was hesitant to embrace the notion of playing grade cricket and I’ve explained all of this to Masud.
While he understood my concerns, he thought that the deliveries I have bowled during his sessions would be unplayable on turf. He also believed that the cricket on synthetic wickets was not proper cricket which also structured and organised. Furthermore, he recommended me to join Eastlake or Ginninderra since he believes that they do not have much players and he believes that my skills will be more valued. He didn’t mention North Canberra Gungahlin (they train close to my rented apartment in Harrison) as there were a lot of players which means that opportunities could be scarce. Looking back, I admired Masud’s integrity despite being a North Canberra Gungahlin cricketer because he knows what I’m after.
Nevertheless, I sought opinions from several people whom I knew from cricket. Almost everyone bar my cricket coach from Perth, Luke Wimbridge was in favour of giving it a go. Luke knew of my progress of my all-round game (particularly with the bat) since I sought his help after the 2012/13 season and he was concerned that all my gains would be dissipated. In addition, he believes I have some way to go as a cricketer on synthetic wickets. However, he said there’s no harm in attending a few training session with some grade teams but I shouldn’t whole heartily commit to Turf.
It was a good plan because I was intending to evaluate after the upcoming season and possibly commit to grade cricket. I attended a mid-week pre-season training at Ginninderra which I enjoyed. There was some batting, bowling and fielding drills which were run by the coach at the time, Sam Gaskin. It also provided me an opportunity to meet a few people whom I’ve found to be really friendly no matter what grade they were going to play in, higher or lower. That’s important in a club environment as there shouldn’t be any factions as every should feel welcomed which allowed me to develop some friendships.
I was contemplating of continuing attending the sessions before committing to grade. However the costs of playing grade weren’t that affordable and hence I resigned myself to being a synthetic wicket cricketer for the rest of my life.