Following negotiations, the Council has confirmed all current cricket pitches will be maintained for the 2013 season and discussions will continue with cricket representatives about how to ensure cricket provision is sustained in the future.
Councillor Martin Repton, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture said: “I am delighted that we have been able to find a way to maintain cricket provision across the City and I look forward to working with representatives and cricket clubs to create a strong future for the sport in the City.”
In order to cover the costs of sustaining cricket ground maintenance in 2013, the fees for cricket pitch hire will increase. However these represent only small increases per player per game and will ensure all current provision is maintained.
On Thursday evening Derbyshire’s squad, support staff and supporters attended Herbert House, the home of The Cricket Legends of Barbados; a cricket museum and gallery with bar and restaurant. The event was attended by several Barbadian political figures as well as the British High Commissioner plus the cricketers and staff from the other 5 county sides touring Barbados concurrently, Hampshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and Yorkshire.
The word ‘legend’ is probably – along with ‘great’ – the most overused word in sport. Players with a 5-year ‘career’ at one sporting club are routinely described by some hysterical types as legends, when the players concerned clearly don’t belong in that exalted category.
During a splendid evening of video footage and speeches, two of the finest, fastest and hostile fast bowlers in the history of the game were honoured by the Cricket Legends of Barbados. Unquestionably, individually and as a pair, the two men honoured - Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith - can truly be described as cricketing legends.
Both men spoke about their cricketing careers; Griffith movingly about the issues involving the life-threatening injury to India’s Nari Contractor who he hit on the head with a short-pitched delivery, and the suspicions about his bowling action; while Hall also alluded to his careers after cricket, in politics and in the church.
Other Barbadian cricketing luminaries were also present; Cammie Smith, Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge and Seymour Nurse – and a Derbyshire favourite (although not a Barbadian) from the early 1990s – Ian Bishop – was also an interested spectator.
But the icing on the cake was the presence of the greatest cricketing legend of them all. That’s statement is, of course, disputable; maybe Don Bradman could justifiably stake a claim for that title, but few would argue that Sir Garry Sobers’ is the greatest Test Match all-rounder in history.
Having seen Sobers’ score a century at Ilkeston in 1974 – the first I ever saw in first class cricket – this was the first time I had been in his presence since. They say you should never meet your heroes, but he was quite approachable and happy to pose for a photograph.
The best story of the night, however, came from Cammie Smith. Alluding to the historic tied Test Match at Brisbane in December 1960 between Australia and West Indies, Cammie explained that this match had been his Test debut and that he had been criticised for only scoring 7 and 6 in the two innings. However, he suggested that had he only scored 6 and 6, the Test would not have been tied, and history would not have been made.
Derbyshire’s players mingled with the players from all the other 5 counties and for Karl Krikken there was a chance to catch up with Bishop – by a couple of yards, the fastest bowler he ever kept to (Krik’s words!) – and some of his fellow coaches.
Derbyshire face Warwickshire in their first t20 game of the tour on Saturday at The 3W’s Oval, a ground situated at the entrance of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, Barbados. The ground was used for warm-up games ahead of the 2007 Cricket World Cup and following recent re-development meets ICC standards for international cricket.
The game is scheduled for a 4pm (8pm UK time) start, so will be played under floodlights as darkness is usually complete by about 6.30pm at this time of year.
Friday sees the players back in the nets at North Stars where the emphasis will be on range hitting, quick singles, bowling with real variety and all-action fielding as Derbyshire’s pre-season tour moves into limited overs mode. The players have some free time this morning before travelling to North Stars at 1pm (5pm UK time). Last night, the tour party attended a superb Barbados Cricket Legends function – see photo above – which will be the subject of a full report shortly.
There will be comprehensive updates throughout Saturday’s game via Facebook and Twitter with a full report and action photographs on the website.
Derbyshire will play more t20 cricket on Sunday, but the opponents and venue will only be determined once the outcome of the Warwickshire game is known.
Much as Derbyshire’s new signing, Billy Godleman, had batted throughout the morning session on the first day, so did Northants’ winter capture from Surrey, Matthew Spriegel. The tall left-hander batted cautiously but largely untroubled and way undefeated on 39 at the interval.
Derbyshire opted for their usual new ball pairing of Tim Groenewald and Tony Palladino but it was the change bowlers, however, who captured the first 2 wickets; Peters trapped LBW by Mark Turner and Wakeley chipping a delivery from Ross Whiteley to Tim Groenewald.
Derbyshire used a further 5 bowlers before the lunch interval; Clare, Turner, Whiteley, Wainwright and Burgoyne all bowling short spells in the searing heat.
After just over two hours’ play, the sides went to lunch with Northants on 108-2 from 33 overs.
Following the interval Palladino was straight back into the attack and snared veteran David Dales with an outswinger that Durston pouched at slip before Jon Clare took his first wicket, comprehensively bowling James Middlebrook for 12.
Spriegel moved on to 66 before being trapped in front by Clare who then took his third wicket as Duckett was caught behind by Johnson who had replaced Poynton behind the stumps after lunch.
Just before the tea interval, Wes Durston spun a delivery past the advancing David Willey and Johnson removed the bails to secure Derbyshire’s 7th wicket.
At tea, Northants were 217-7 off 61 overs, with Clare having taken 3-38 from 12 overs.
During the evening session, Groenewald took his first wicket when he trapped de Lange in front of his stumps, and Turner was rewarded for a fiery spell when he clean bowled Sweeney.
When play concluded for the day, Northants were 321-9.
For action shots from Barbados, please check out the photo gallery.
The second and final day of the game against Northamptonshire gets underway at 10am (2pm UK time) today at North Stars and will offer Derbyshire’s bowlers a chance to impress in conditions that once again are scorching hot and at times, quite oppressive.
The importance of Derbyshire’s bowling attack in 2012 cannot be understated by the combined statistics of the front line bowlers each of whom took more than 20 wickets in the season; between them Tim Groenewald (42), Tony Palladino (56), Jon Clare (30), David Wainwright (44) and Wes Durston (22) took 194 wickets at a combined average of 25.82. With useful contributions from Ross Whiteley and Mark Turner, Derbyshire had a strong bowling unit that catered for most conditions throughout their successful Division 2 Championship campaign.
The wicket-keeping duties will shared today by Tom Poynton and Richard Johnson, with Poynton taking the first 45 overs and with Wayne Madsen not playing in this fixture, Wes Durston captains the side.
To ensure the remainder of the Derbyshire squad to play some cricket, the tour organisers have agreed to create two makeshift teams composed of the players not selected in their current games from the other 5 county sides here in Barbados and will play a 40-over game today.
Chesney Hughes made the most of his opportunity by making a fine unbeaten 109 (retired out) against Northamptonshire in the opening fixture of the Barbados tour at North stars. Following the fall of Borrington for 7 and Durston for 9, Hughes made the most of the fast outfield and sunny conditions to score a century in even time with 17 fours and a six.
New signing Billy Godleman had opened the innings with Borrrington and made 37 and gave an indication of his ability to occupy the crease at the top of the order.
While Ross Whiteley was batting alongside Hughes there was the potential for some real fireworks as both players opened their shoulders, but Whiteley fell for 21 and not long afterward Johnson was out for 9.
Hughes retired out at tea and gave Wes Durston an opportunity to bat for the second time in the day and resumed alongside Tom Poynton.
Head Coach Karl Krikken has been keen to ensure that both his wicketkeepers are given as much exposure both behind and in front of the stumps on this tour, although Poynton was considered very unlucky to be given out LBW for 13 to a ball that everyone present – bar the umpire and bowler – was convinced he’d hit with the bat.
Clare was stumped for 2 before Durston made the most of his second innings of the day scoring a sublime 59-ball half century, and along with David Wainwright ensuring that Derbyshire passed the 300-run mark.
Wainwright was bowled shortly afterwards for 13 to leave Derbyshire on 301-9 leaving Burgoyne to partner Durston. Derbyshire closed on 313-9 from 90 overs with Durston unbeaten on 65 and Burgoyne 3 not out.
Thursday will see Derbyshire's bowlers given a workout as Northants will spend the day at the crease.
Don't forget to catch up on the action photographs in our Pre-Season Gallery at www.derbyshireccc.com with more updates and reports here tomorrow and via Facebook and Twitter
As the Derbyshire tour bus passed the Gordon Greenidge Community School on our way to the North Stars Cricket Ground this morning, it offered a reminder of Barbados’ relevance and historic position in the history of cricket.
Barbados has a population of just over a quarter of a million and covers an area of only 166 square miles and it is inconceivable that any other location in the world has ever produced such a remarkable talent pool in any sport.
In fact, imagine a place in England with a similar population – Derby, for example – that covered an area little more than a sixth of the size of Derbyshire; and then imagine this mythical location having produced Ian Botham, Fred Trueman, John Snow, Bob Willis, Geoff Boycott, Graham Gooch, James Anderson, Brian Statham, Frank Tyson, Dennis Compton, Sydney Barnes, David Gower, Jack Hobbs, Tom Graveney, Peter May and WG Grace. As unbelievable as that sounds, some of the most illustrious names in West Indies’ – and world – cricket - Keith Boyce, Sylvester Clarke, Wayne Daniel, Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge, Charlie Griffith, Wes Hall, Desmond Haynes, Vanburn Holder, Conrad Hunt, Malcolm Marshall, Seymour Nurse, Garry Sobers, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes and Frank Worrell were all born on the island of Barbados.
My first experience of a Bajan cricketer was at Ilkeston in 1974 when Garry Sobers, batting for Nottinghamshire, destroyed a more than useful Derbyshire bowling attack which included Hendrick, Ward and Venkat in scoring 130, and in the process secured the Walter Lawrence Trophy for the fastest hundred of the season. It was clear to me – even at a young age – why Sobers was routinely one of those few considered for the title of ‘Greatest Cricketer of All Time’.
In the 1980’s, West Indian fast bowling - plus a handy batting side – ensured they dominated world cricket as every other Test side wilted in the face of consistently fast, hostile and accurate fast bowling. It is unlikely that any Test side has ever selected faster 4-man pace attacks than those who took the field for the Windies between the mid-1970s and the 1990s.
Frighteningly, for any inter-island opposition, at one stage Barbados were able to field a pace attack which included Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Sylvester Clarke and Wayne Daniel.
Marshall was peerless – even in an age when Holding, Roberts and others were in the West Indies side, he was still regarded as the finest paceman of his generation. Daniel was always fast and hostile but was limited to a brief Test career by the quality of his rivals, and his service with Middlesex marks him out as one of the outstanding overseas cricketers ever to play the County game. Joel Garner, standing over 6 feet 8 inches tall, was amazingly accurate as well as effective, as his Test bowling average of just 22 suggests. Sylvester Clarke’s first class career record is outstanding – 942 wickets at just over 19 apiece – but statistics only tell part of the story; he was described by David Gower as the fastest bowler he had ever faced and his menacing angle of attack – wide of the crease, chest on, seemingly aiming at the batsman – wrought havoc with batsmen all around the world. I recall Allan Warner hooking Clarke for 6 into the street at The Oval – and being almost killed by the following delivery.
Greenidge and Desmond Haynes were an imposing pair of opening batsmen, generally giving both Barbados and West Indies excellent starts. Greenidge often seemed to bat better when he was injured – there are numerous stories of him scoring hundreds batting on virtually one leg. Greenidge also played for many seasons at Hampshire and it was a surprise that the south coast county didn’t enjoy more success especially when he played there in tandem with Marshall.
The ‘3 W’s’ – Walcott, Weeks and Worrell – left a cricketing legacy as much to do with how they conducted themselves as for how well they performed. Nonetheless, their collective performances put them on a different level altogether when compared to the other teams: the West Indies middle order averaged 47.99 between 1948 and 1958, while the next-best was Australia at 39.15. The difference between the two teams, in percentage terms, was almost 23, which is remarkable considering some of the other names who were around during that period. Australia had Neil Harvey and Lindsay Hassett; Denis Compton, Peter May and Tom Graveney were all playing for England; while Vijay Hazare and Polly Umrigar scored a fair number of runs for India. Yet collectively they paled before the combined brilliance of Weekes, Walcott and Worrell.
Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith were one of the most famous opening pairs of fast bowlers – dangerous and fast – the latter-named being a regular visitor to the North Stars ground where Derbyshire are based for the current tour.
It’s highly unlikely that Barbados, or any other similar-sized place, will ever again produce such a formidable group of outstanding cricketers. The locals here explain that despite a preponderance of local teams and huge general interest in cricket, youngsters want to spend more time with their computer games or watching English Premier League football. Fidel Edwards, Tino Best and Dwayne Smith are all useful Barbados-born cricketers but pale against their predecessors – time will tell whether or not the conveyor belt of the latter half of the 20th century will resume any time soon.
The players are ready, the weather is excellent, and this morning sees the start of a two-day game between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire at North Stars. After an energy-sapping opening training day that went well beyond the expected 4 hours, the players will get to grips with the side that were thrillingly beaten in the opening game of Derbyshire’s 2012 successful Championship campaign.
Northamptonshire were also the opponents when Wayne Madsen and Tom Poynton added a remarkable 261 for the 9th wicket at Wantage Road in August. No prizes are on offer on this occasion; although several players will be keen to use this game to stake their claim for a place in the side to take on Warwickshire in the opening Division One Championship match at Edgbaston in just a few weeks time.
Head Coach Karl Krikken and his 2nd XI counterpart Andrew Harris have nominated 14 players to participate in this game; Godleman, Borrington, Durston, Hughes, Redfern, Whiteley, Johnson, Poynton, Wainwright, Clare, Burgoyne, Turner, Palladino and Groenewald.
With both ‘keepers selected, Tom Poynton and Richard Johnson will share the duties behind the stumps.
The game was due to start at 10am Barbados time (2pm UK time) although the late arrival of the Northants' team may delay the commencement of play. When the game does get underway, Derbyshire will bat for the whole of the opening day.
Tuesday dawned in Barbados with glorious blue skies and scorching temperatures – a stark contrast to the conditions back in the UK. Derbyshire’s players wouldn’t have had a chance of any outdoor practice at the CountyGround today.
Half the squad took advantage of the close proximity of the beach to the hotel – barely 25 yards from the hotel garden – and enjoyed a pre-breakfast swim; a welcome opportunity to stretch their legs after the long flight on Monday.
As soon as breakfast was over, the squad boarded the coach for the 30 minute drive to the North Stars Cultural and Social Club for 4 hours of training and practice.
Luke Storey, the Strength and Conditioning Coach put the players through their paces for the opening 30 minutes, before the players concentrated on their core cricketing skills.
The North Stars ground is Derbyshire’s base for this tour and their 2-day game starting on Wednesday against Northamptonshire will take place there, as will the 2-day game next week against Nottinghamshire.
The pitches appear to have been well-prepared although the outfield is suffering from the effects of no rain for over three months. Derbyshire will be hoping that the rain stays away for just another week or so to ensure their practice isn’t hampered.
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