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Talking Points - News From This Angle

Randall century on Radlett debut

THE tall right-hander Simon Randall became the first batsman to hit a hundred on league debut for Radlett for 16 years and only the second since the Hertfordshire League was inaugurated in 1974.

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He scored 106 in a rain-hit draw against Slough in the Home Counties League at Cobden Hill last Saturday, emulating Ian Hutchinson, the former Middlesex batsman, who smashed Barnet for 178 on his club debut in 1992 in the days before the Herts League became a feeder to the ECB premier system.

Charlie says : Proud father here. Just as well the excitable West Indies fast bowler Tino Best was not yet available for Slough after a mid-season transfer.

Posted by Charlie
22/07/2008 16:14:32

Batsman paralysed by blow to head

A BATSMAN in Dorset has been partially paralysed after being hit on the head by an apparent beamer while batting.

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Phil Williams, 52, from Ferndown, suffered a fractured skull opening the batting without a helmet for the Wayfarers last weekend and was unable to move the left side of his body in hospital. His son Matthew, a fellow club member, told the BBC: "All I saw was the ball coming in and it was a full toss. I saw the ball hit my dad on the head and he fell on the stumps."

Posted by Charlie
09/07/2008 17:04:31

Warwicks umpiring getting tougher

THE umpires manager of the Warwickshire League is to resign after 18 years at the end of the season, disaffected by increasing bad behaviour by players on the field.

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Jim Hartley said in the Birmingham Mail that the work load of dealing with league discipliniray matters had increased from two or three hours a week to more than 23, much of which, he felt, could be avoided. He said: "I don’t know whether it’s just cricket or society in general, but it seems people have less respect for authority these days.

"All the indiscipline that is taking place is adding more hours to my job as general manager and it’s got to the point where I’ve had enough.

Hartley also umpires in the Warwickshire League and is equally disturbed over the attitude of players."

He added: "As umpires, we’re not perfect and we do make mistakes – but they’re honest mistakes. Yet I’ve been called a cheat and verbally abused. Is it any wonder we’re struggling to recruit umpires? We lost 10 umpires this season. Three went up into the Birmingham League and the rest retired.

"We held our own umpires course during the winter, while John Jameson staged another one at Edgbaston. Yet from the two courses we only managed to recruit three people. If you went around most clubs now and picked out their elder players and asked them if they would go into umpiring, the answer would be minimal. People just won’t do it any more.’’

Hartley recalled a recent incident which highlighted his concern for the sport. During a recent game a batsman blocked a delivery, which was picked up by a close fielder. The batsman then stepped down the pitch to prod down a bump in the wicket and the fielder threw the ball to the wicketkeeper, who ran him out.

Despite the captain being asked three times by the umpire if he was sure he wanted to claim the wicket as it was hardly in the spirit of the game, the dismissal stood.

"It’s a win at all costs attitude these days,’’ commented Hartley, saying that bad behaviour was rife. ‘Much of the problem has stemmed from the fact players don’t walk when they’re out. Alternatively, teams don’t call a batsman back if he’s got a bad decision."

Posted by Charlie
02/07/2008 14:56:13

Hatch End in flames after mob violence

A CRICKET pavilion in north London was torched hours after it was besieged by a teenage mob who chased players with weapons.

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According to a report in the Harrow Observer , the blaze at Shaftesbury Playing Fields in Grimsdyke Road, Hatch End, is believed to be in retaliation to a mass mid-match confrontation that forced the Hatch End game against Old Camdenians CC in Herts League Division Six to be abandoned.

 One Hatch End player, who did not wish to be named, said: "There were lots of youngsters hanging around the park. They were really young - 14 or 15 - and they were drunk. They started to nick the boundary flags and we went over to them because of the disruption. It just escalated. It wasn't a brawl, just pushing and shoving. No one got hurt."

The match was abandoned part way through, but while the cricketers trudged back to the pavilion, the youths gathered friends and, amazingly, parents for a tense showdown. The player said: "Lots of people came down - 50 of them - and they came with lots of weapons: poles, sticks, logs and bricks. They came into the clubhouse causing aggrevation. They threw a couple of cricket balls, but didn't hit anyone because they knew the police were coming."

Graham Wild, a Hatch End CC committee member, added: "There was a group of cricketers trying to defend the clubhouse - it was a siege mentality."

Initially two, and later four, police officers separated the two groups and calmed the situation down. They escorted the last sportsman off the site at 7pm but, according to club officials, chose not to move the teenagers on.

Not much longer than 30 minutes later the pavilion was burning down.

The Hatch End CC player added: "It's the same kids because they didn't leave the park. The firemen are saying the fire started from the inside so the youths must have broken in."

Posted by Charlie
20/06/2008 11:52:12

Mellor banned for 'promoting cricket'

MELLOR have been suspended from the Peak Sports Derbyshire and Cheshire Cricket League for the rest of this season after being accused in an e-mail of "serious offences" involving unregistered players.

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The club is mystified why the league has dealt with them so severely when otherwise the fixtures in question would not have been played and the club might have been faced with fines of hundreds of pounds their funds could not afford.

Mellor's secretary David Lomax said the suspension would mean that around 50 players in the village and surrounds would be unable to play cricket this summer. He said: "When we selected juniors to play in these senior matches, there was no attempt by us to gain advantage from it. If we had wanted to gain advantage we would not have chosen junior boys to play.

"For the Charlesworth match, for instance, we found ourselves a man down and asked a 14 year old boy who lived nearby if he wanted to play. He did not have any impact on the result. The league wants to promote and encourage cricket, but is this the way to do it? We are very disappointed at the suspension.

"We are only a small village and we compete with the lacrosse club for players. Sometimes it can be difficult to raise a team. Now the suspension might make it even more difficult in future. Players might now be lost to the sport.

Last year the club was fined heavily – about £200 – when they were unable to fulfil a match against Dinting because they had been unable to raise a team. They conceded the match to Dinting.

Mike Brown for the Peak Sports Derbyshire and Cheshire League said: "Our rules prohibit the playing of an unregistered player irrespective of age or ability. In this case there were six unregistered players.

"Mellor CC were given an official warning in 2007 and were told that suspension for 2008 would be implemented if there were any further breaches of the league rules. We have tried to assist the club, but so far this season there have been three breaches of league rules and as a result suspension was inevitable. In the circumstances the suspension is not harsh, but appropriate. However, their junior teams have been allowed to carry on playing."

Buxton Advertiser

Posted by Charlie
13/06/2008 10:35:31

Mass brawl ruins Nagamootoo day

THE Staffordshire club Wood Lane, captained by the former West Indies all-rounder Mahendra Nagamootoo, witnessed a brawl involving players and spectators at a Twenty20 tournament at Betley.

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It was reported in The Sentinel newspaper that as many as 20 to 30 people were involved in an incident which followed Wood Lane's four-wicket victory against Betley in the day's final game, though Nagamootoo said he was unaware of the reasons behind it.

Nagamootoo said: "When the game finished I went straight into the dressing room, but when I looked outside I saw a big fight. I couldn't see exactly what was happening or why it was happening, but I could see there were players and spectators involved.

"Afterwards, the captain of Betley came in to me and apologised, and that was the end of it. Everyone was fine afterwards and the players had a beer together."

North Staffs and South Cheshire League chairman Chris Hopkin said he was awaiting the umpires' report on the match before making an official comment, but admitted the recent spate of controversies was unacceptable. He said: "Local cricket doesn't need it - no sport needs it. It has been an extremely disappointing week, and I can only remind players that they have a duty to uphold the spirit of the game. This is spelled out very clearly in our league handbook and all of the players and officials are aware of this.

News of the incident followed the controversial departures of Leek and Checkley professionals Tino Best and Ruchira Perera over alleged abuse of match officials, and the suspension of Checkley's South African paceman Justin Grainger amid allegations he was being paid while an amateur.

Posted by Charlie
13/06/2008 10:26:20

Six means 'out' at Harrogate venue

HARROGATE Council have allowed players use a cricket ground in the town as long as they don't hit sixes.

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This compromise is intended to protect local home owners within range of Harrogate CC's second ground at St George's Road. Batsmen will be deemed dismissed if they break the rule -- not even six and out.

The Council's decision follows from meetings with residents and it forms part of the club's insurance conditions for mandatory £5 million cover. The distance from the wickets to the boundary will be restricted to the smallest distance allowed by the English Cricket Board and the club must erect temporary protective nets 20 metres wide and seven metres high before each game, as recommended by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Harrogate Cricket Club chairman Miles Rawlings said the ruling did not frustrate the players in the third and fourth teams in the Nidderdale League. He said: "As long as everyone knows the rules at the start of the game, you just play to the rules. Most of the neighbours are very supportive of the club, but we have the odd person who complains."

He added: "Very few of the new houses on Hutton Gate and Verity Walk get hit and only a few balls get hit into the gardens of the homes in Leadhall Drive. Most of them just throw the balls straight back, but some of the residents - the ones who have concerns - keep them. We hope the new nets will solve the problem."

Posted by Charlie
24/04/2008 15:27:00

Oulton threatened by Leeds Council

THE future of Oulton CC has been jeopardised by Leeds City Council because, after existing rent-free for 130 years through the goodwill of a Victorian land owner, the club face a charge of £2,000 a year.

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The Calverley family put the Aberford Road ground in trust to benefit local cricket, but the 99-year lease expired and the council have decided to levy rent, adding a £2,000 demand from last year for good measure. The Wetherby League club's chairman Andy Uridge faced having his own personal assets seized after the council chased up the £4,000 through the county court, and there is a real prospect of the club losing their ground.

Uridge said in Yorkshire Evening Post : "This is really about as serious as it gets. Unless we can generate some funding pretty quickly, there is a question mark over this club's future. "It would be a tragedy for Oulton. This cricket club has been in existence since 1878.

Posted by Charlie
20/04/2008 16:14:06

Wraysbury victims of vandalism

WRAYSBURY CC have been hit by vandals at their pavilion with the new season just weeks away. Frustrated trustees at the site on the village green will once again be calling in painters, decorators and builders to repair damage.

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Tom Rooks, chairman and secretary of the Berkshire club, said this was not the first time the pavilion had been a target since it was opened in 1991. Repairs have had to be made almost every year, costing thousands of pounds. This year more than £1,000 will be ploughed into the pavilion to get rid of graffiti, and burns, as well as having to mend seats, doors and railings.

Posted by Charlie
31/03/2008 16:10:53

Village club nets hacked by intruders

A VILLAGE club near Middlesbrough has been left reeling after a huge hole was cut in the netting of their new £18,000 practice facility.

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The Evening Gazette reported that Les Baker, chairman of Wolviston CC, was devastated when he made the discovery at Armstrong Park. “Someone had helped themselves to a portion of the net by hacking away a piece around 24 yards long by six feet high,” he said. “It has left us utterly depressed and lost for words. If it was just vandalism, they would probably have just cut the nets up. I don’t know if it’s for some gardener or fisherman.
“Thankfully we are covered by insurance, but we also had a grass cutter stolen this year, which new would have cost about £20,000. We are only a small club and when something like this happens It really depresses you.”
Cleveland Police are investigating.

Posted by Charlie Randall
07/12/2007 16:26:53
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