August 28 2019

“Welcome to Prince Alfred,” I thought moments after coping a tennis ball at the back of my head during a warm-up exercise. It was indeed a little unsettling, but that subsided by the time we hit the nets at the Red Center, a recreation and leisure center right next to Prince Alfred College.

After that, there was a significant announcement that the head coach Trent English was to double up as the chairman of selectors. An excellent opportunity to impress with attitude and commitment to all aspects will not do me any harm in terms of getting a game, especially in 2-day cricket. Moreover, he was going to give a bit more focus to Twenty20 as well, which could definitely benefit the longer formats, much like what we had seen on the international stage.

When we went to the nets, everyone who batted (me included) was wearing helmets. Just recently, the ATCA had announced that they were applying the mandatory helmet usage rule enforced by Cricket Australia. I also had found that from Griffo, Cricket ACT was to follow suit. The helmet, though had to be a compliant one (perhaps only because it would also need space for the neck guards to be attached at a later stage). Unanimously, it didn’t sit well with the club, and to make matters worse, it could be likely that the fielding team might have the right to refuse bowling to a helmet-less batter.

There is some validity in the fact that why is it necessary for a competition like the ATCA, which isn’t at the same level as any District Level competition in the nation to enforce such rules. Then again, if we look at things from the other side, it is all about player safety when they get hit. From the administrative perspective, it is all about tragedy prevention (within community cricket in particular).

Anyways, back to the nets session. Having had a month off away from cricket, I was a little rusty. I am still trying to correct the bottom hand so that it doesn’t tightly grip the bat. Nevertheless, there was a sign that the work in the off-season had paid off as my head wasn’t falling over to the off-side while dealing with the ball pitched into my pads.

With the bowling, though, it will continue to remain a work in progress as I had been banging the ball in as opposed to getting it on a length consistently. When I hit the length, edges were being induced. More attention will need to paid to both my release point and my non-bowling arm.

In any event, the cobwebs have started to blow out. There’s one month to go before the season begins to get my routines clicking into gear.

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