Preseason about to start, August 13 2017

Talking about Training

So it has been confirmed that Preseason will be starting next week on the 20th of August. The coach, Mick Delaney, had also indicated that we have a couple of more sessions after that on the 27th of August and the 3rd of September. The time to start seems right as we have about 6-8 weeks before the start of the season, which usually has been on the 2nd weekend of October, and these words from Mick last season “The season will be around before you know it,” still rings true in my mind.

I’m hoping through this year’s preseason will be like last year’s in which there will be a gradual build-up of intensity once the basics were mastered. It worked to a certain extent, too, with all grades were in the battle for finals throughout the season (with the top four grades being involved in semis while 5ths just missed out).

Realistically, it would be feasible for me to attend training on the weekends due to work until the season gets underway. Light at the pre-season time usually fades away after 5.30-6, so by the time I turn up, there’s nothing much I can do. I would like to do everything in terms of batting, bowling, and fielding, considering I’m coming all the way from Harrison to attend. Hence my opportunities are best served from October onwards (mostly helped due to the presence of Daylight saving).  So for now, I’m hoping we can work on all three facets of the game on the weekend sessions (if possible) like we did last season when we went to train Indoors at Kaleen a few times.

Don Bradman Cricket 17

My DBC17 persona, for the time being, continues taking wickets for fun. He has taken it’s 200th test wicket in his 17th test and has now taken his 100th ODI wicket in his 30th ODI. Also, he has scored two hundreds. 112 in a Test match for Australia against South Africa batting at 7 in SuperSport Park, Centurion, and 114 not out in a First-class game for Somerset against Leicestershire batting at 8 in Taunton. Some people will not believe it; hence I’ll admit that I’m playing at a comfortable level. After all, PC games are supposed not to be challenging in my view if you’re just looking to relax and have fun.

When I was batting in DBC17, I was pretty much playing my shots according to the fields being set, whether it was a pacer, medium-pacer, or spinner. I would try to hit a boundary if the opportunity presented itself, or I would just tap and run to the other end. It made me think of how I could approach my own real-life batting, considering that I have been told to show intent in scoring.

Fitness work

Since last week, I have been working on the Fitness plan Jock Campbell had set out for me through the BowlFit app. It has been manageable for me so far (particularly weight-training and speed-related work). Still, it can be bloody hard work at times (especially endurance and core-strength training, although I don’t really struggle). I suppose though it was a case of “I tried doing things my own way,” which was at times counter-productive (to an extent I went flat as I went down to 75kg), which was why I was grateful the BowlFit app come out just at the right time.

I’m sure people will tell me why you would need to put in the hard work if you’re just playing 5th grade; you should aim higher. Well, I don’t really have those ambitions to go up the ranks since my priorities have changed. Cricket is just a relaxant for me that I enjoy. I’m not really ambitious, and I wish to do well. That is why I’m putting in the hard work so I can have the license to enjoy it.

The choice in being in 5th grade

I had earlier made the choice of staying in 5ths. I had previously mentioned that I want to balance my cricket and my married life. Playing in the higher grades on an occasional Sunday won’t cut it for me, not just for that reason. I had earlier played cricket on both Saturdays and Sundays in the 2015-16 season. I was playing City & Surburban every Saturday, along with Public Service League and Sunday Socials on alternating Sundays. I had initially done it to see what Sunday cricket was like. I was exhausted from playing cricket all weekend. Not only that, but I was also neglecting domestic duties at home, too, with the cleaning and cooking. If I managed to find the time, though, it feels as if I was being rushed, which does tire me out. I had felt the same way when I continued Sunday cricket last year, and thankfully, I stopped my Sunday commitments unless I didn’t have a game on Saturday.

As I said before, my priorities have changed after marriage, and I need to balance both my cricket, gym with my private life. Giving too much importance to my own leisure is terrible, as is cutting it out entirely is awful too. Neethu understands that I want to continue both cricket and gym for some time until my body can’t cope. However, she also expects me to be prepared to put it aside if she needs me. I reckon I can handle that aspect. I missed a few games to spend time with her last season, although to the detriment of my team. I nearly had missed a match against ANU due to a family emergency the night before only to subside in time for me to play and help win the game.

It’s honestly a lot easier to miss games if you’re just playing in 5ths as it’s only one day cricket only. I don’t see myself in playing just half a 2-day match as I have aspirations of being a dominant, if not decent, all-rounder in which I want to contribute to everything. If I had to play half a game, then just bowling and fielding is okay and not bat but not the other way around.

Anyways, sticking to 5ths is also due to the mutual respect I have not just with Chris Arcella, who’s likely to captain the side but also with the likes of Andrew Loveday and Adam O’Connor. Playing for Archie was the easiest decision I had to make because he has a vision and has excellent man-management skills. He’s already indicated to me how I can contribute and where I should look to improve on. Another reason I also believe in sticking with 5ths is that my time in the higher grades would have passed by. I feel with more youngsters coming through the Tiger ranks, they will have a crack in the higher grades as they represent the future. I am not critical in any way because I believe they need to be hardened by playing higher grades. We already have exposed youngsters to higher grade cricket like Michael Hogan and Dylan Faram, and they’re now not far from our 1st-grade side, which won’t be a surprise should they break into it for the coming season.

So it doesn’t really concern me if I just play 5ths the whole season. For me, if I at least bowl in all the matches I play in (which is very likely under Archie’s captaincy), then I’m at least satisfied. After all, cricket isn’t supposed to be the be-all and end-all. I just want to go and enjoy, and having opportunities, especially with ball-in-hand, will go a long way.

Goals for the season

I am a firm believer in achieving the triple goal of 100 games, 1000 runs, and 100 wickets in grade. So far, according to my MyCricket profile, I have 15 games, 53 runs, and 15 wickets. Basically, I have 85 games, 947 runs, and 85 wickets to go. To achieve that ultimate treble, I would need to play 7-10 games, score 70-100 runs, and take 7-10 wickets across the next 10-15 years. However, I had been told that my goals were kind of low last season.

I personally thought I would like to score at least 10 runs and take 1 wicket every game and so I guess the double of 200 runs and 20 wickets is the ultimate aim, which is achievable. The twin of 150 runs and 15 wickets is also attainable, especially if I miss matches due to the weather and when I’m out of town. It was why I initially thought the double of 100 runs and 10 wickets will just do for me, but now I am encouraged to aim further than that.

I know cricket is supposed to be a team sport, but having your own goals and achieving them can give you the motivation to go and play and help win games for your club. I learned that from reading Sir Richard Hadlee’s autobiography Rhythm and Swing in which he managed the county double of 100 runs and 100 wickets on a couple of occasions, which helped Nottinghamshire to success during his stint from 1978-1987.

Hence I personally believe that a double of 200 runs and 20 wickets can go a long way to help 5th grade into the semi-finals this season, but I need to be ready to be disappointed if it doesn’t go to plan. After all, I should just go out there and enjoy this season, but while being committed to my fitness program via the BowlFit app that I started recently.



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