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 it’s more expensive to play than on synthetic wickets. Furthermore, there was no chance of getting a game, let alone getting a fair opportunity to contribute to a contest. 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 cricket on synthetic wickets was not proper cricket, which also structured and organized. Furthermore, he recommended me to join Eastlake or Ginninderra since he believes that they do not have many 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 except my cricket coach from Perth, Luke Wimbridge, was in favor 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. Besides, 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 sessions with some grade teams, but I shouldn’t whole heartily commit to Turf.
It was a good plan because I intended 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. Some batting, bowling, and fielding drills 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 everyone should feel welcomed, which allowed me to develop some friendships.
I was contemplating 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.