Back at my old club, Ginninderra, there was another change with Matthew Phelps taking charge as coach. Phelps, the former NSW batsman, took over from Mick Delaney, who had turned the club into a very competitive side, much like Shane Warne did with Hampshire within the early part of this millennium. Mick had been part of the club for the last three years and had quickly turned the fortunes around, which resulted in three trophies: 6th Grade in 2017-18, 5th Grade in 2018-19, and, more importantly, the Douglas Cup in 1st Grade in 2-day cricket in the same season.
With Mick joining Chris Griffin in the Cricket ACT ranks, Matthew immediately has some big boots to fill considering our recent success (especially with the club also being anointed as the Premier Cricket Club of the year). Realistically, it would be too much to expect from the club this year with this change as we need to adapt and gradually understand Matthew’s approach. Unfortunately, I’m not there to do that since I’m more focused on my game elsewhere.
It has been confirmed by MyCricket that I’m indeed a Prince Alfred cricketer, and now I’m awaiting the pre-season to start. I had learned that it will be late August and late September, and it is going to be more skills-based, which is pretty good. It would allow me to maintain my all-round skills but, hopefully, progress a bit more on the fielding.
Even though the opportunity to have a hit (while wearing contact lenses) on the ProBatter was lost due to a malfunctioning system, I still felt confident of my game after a long while. As a result of this confidence, I am targeting a double of 200 runs and 20 wickets as long as I don’t miss too many games due to family commitments, possibly injury, or match abandonments (due to wet or scorching weather). Even if I miss games due to any of these reasons, a double of 150 runs and 15 wickets will suffice this season.
Moreover, it would be nice if I could have at least one game where I trouble the scorers in all aspects. The only time to date I did that was when I captained the Canberra Workers Redbacks to a tight victory against Brewers Best in 4th Grade shortly before making the transition to Turf cricket. I still remember that game. Having won the toss and batted. I opened the batting, scoring 25 and been involved in two fifty run stands. Then, I took a catch to commence our defense of 189 in 45 overs before chipping in with two wickets in the end. Before that, I managed an all-round performance in bat and ball for Riverton Rostrata against Armadale in 6th Grade in 2013-14. I made 39 in two and a half hours of batting that lead a recovery from 3/4 and 7/60 to 148. Then I took two wickets opening the bowling and conceded just 19 runs in 11 overs, but it wasn’t enough to stop Armadale from a 2 wicket victory. So I’m hoping for similar performances this season, depending on the role I might be playing.
Aside from these number specific goals, my target is to play a bit more of 2-day cricket (availability and weather permitting). While the format would suit my game very well (particularly batting), it should also be tailored to my fitness as opposed to 1-day cricket (as past attempts for all-round performances were dented by cramp in the 2nd innings). This is because generally, one week will be batting and the other bowling or fielding. Even if I play one-day cricket, I should be responsibly hydrated enough for the cramping not to occur.