Don Bradman Cricket 17: Career Heading North!

IMG_2972

Yes I designed that bat and yes it looks great doesn’t it? Thank you very much!

After nearly a decade on the T20 club circuit, the call finally came. Yorkshire County Cricket Club selected the Leeds captain Paul Morris in their County Championship side. No messing about with the pyjama stuff for me. They sent me straight in at the deep end without any armbands to take on Australian pace ace Mitchell Starc.

IMG_2968

Always happy to provide free promotion to my friends at UNICEF.

I made my way to 8 runs on my First Class debut before Starkers came onto bowl. Three deliveries later I was back in the pavilion. After safely negating his first two deliveries via solid defensive shots, I then pushed at the third, got a nick and the ball flew (And I mean flew!) to third slip.

IMG_2970

Wouldn’t wanna get sunburnt!

I went onto dismiss Pakistan Test batsman Umar Akmal in Leicestershire’s second innings, my maiden First Class wicket.

IMG_2971

Day One pre lunch strike rate: 170.0. Let that sink in for a minute!

Derbyshire didn’t have Mitchell Starc and so I promptly made hay against their attack. Having registered only four half-centuries in ten years on the club scene, I smacked 61 before lunch on the first morning of my second professional outing but was disappointed to be out in the last over of the session. I’d arrived signed, sealed and delivered as a First Class cricketer then promptly got out to the last ball of the day for a duck in the second innings!

After a quiet third match, I batted really well against former England Test spinner James Tredwell and co. in making 48 against Kent but again was out to the very last ball before an interval, in this case lunch. I did however settle things after a wobble in our second innings by striking a composed 33 not out in partnership with skipper Gary Ballance.

I hope to get a call-up to the one-day (List A) side soon. If my international ambitions are to be realised then I really need to make headway at domestic level pronto.

It’s been a long hard slog on the club scene for the last decade and though I’ve been sincerely honoured to represent and captain the city of Leeds, to have finally played First Class cricket for my home county of Yorkshire has fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition and to have made a small contribution to the team so far provides me with great pride. I still have work to do to cement my place at this level and to have a fulfilling career as well as chasing international ambitions but I’d like to take this opportunity to put on record my gratitude to all that have supported me in my career thus far. Many thanks to you all.

Paul Morris

Leeds and Yorkshire Cricket

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket 2017

IMG_2955

I’ve selected my team for this year with, once again, the ever reliable Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick as my captain hence the team moniker Roderick Brotherhood.

Tom Fell (Post cancer) and Aneurin Donald (A full season under his belt) are both capable of having productive seasons with the bat. Riki Wessels is destructive in one-day cricket but I might need an injury or two for him to get regular game time in the County Championship. Steven Croft, though listed as a batsman should chip in with the ball as well. On the flip side of that, at least three of my bowlers, Keith Barker, Jofra Archer and Ollie Rayner should make decent contributions with the bat and could all make a case for being considered all-rounders. It’s these sort of players (multi discipline/format) that you need to get into your team though first and foremost they need to be productive in their primary discipline. James Weighell could sneak under the radar though somebody seems to have being playing with his Wikipedia page…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Weighell

Ravi Bopara is a must in the all-rounder slot and Brett D’Oliveira made great strides with the bat last year and contributes with his spin-bowling.

I’ve intentionally picked a team of players that I expect to have uninterrupted county seasons. I haven’t picked temporary overseas players or players that are around the England squad. Only Ollie Rayner would currently be considered close to the national side but even he is probably some way down the pecking order.

If you wanna play then I’ve provided the link to the website below…

http://fantasycricket.telegraph.co.uk

But be warned, you might need to remortgage your house to do so, entry starts at £8.00 per team!

There is at least a ‘whopping’ £3,000.00 prize for the overall winner, I’m off to spend it already… !

P.S. I’ve helped my daughter select a team and my wife has selected one as well, so if I don’t provide many updates you’ll know that I’m in third place!

If You Build it, He Will Come!

IMG_2134aaa

Why aren’t there any great cricket films?

I can’t stand baseball but would gladly watch Field of Dreams every year or two. I could even handle some ice hockey in the form of The Mighty Ducks but if Wondrous Oblivion is the best of cricket that ‘they’ can come up with then we’re struggling. Moneyball was worth watching and Million Dollar Arm wasn’t bad but it’s still more baseball than cricket. Hell, even that Luke Perry film about Bull Riding (8 Seconds) wasn’t bad!

There’s clearly a lot of Bollywood cricket films around so my apologies if there’s some great ones. My focus is on movies in the English language.

Surely the story of a cricketer working his way up from his back garden to international cricket, falling in love, captaining England to Ashes victory, being tempted into some spot-fixing etc, could be a great recipe for some build ’em up ‘n’ knock ’em down movie drama. Alternatively, a cricket fan hearing voices in his head telling him to construct a cricket pitch in his garden or somebody doing community service being forced to coach a perennial wooden spooners cricket team (Where am I getting these ideas?!) would be destined to be big bashes (Smashes) at the box office!

Openers Only!

IMG_2940

This article is about something I hate. It’s about something that I detest seeing when playing village cricket and came to my attention again whilst reading Roy Morgan’s Real International Cricket…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/roy-morgan-real-international-cricket-book-review/

This article is about those players that open the batting and the bowling… in the same match!

I find it so rude that a player would accept doing it, particularly at amateur level. You’ve got eleven guys or probably some guys and boys, or gals and girls even, they’ve all paid to play but it’s a one-man show. Players should be presented with opportunity and responsibility, it’s no good hiding them.

Every year we receive a survey from the ECB asking us why participation in our game is declining?

Maybe it’s because the players who are filling in for those that have already abandoned the sport are left to bat at number eleven and not bowl. I play in the Nidderdale League and the Harrogate and District Evening League. The following would be my suggestions for some rule changes:

  1. No player shall open both the batting and the bowling. A player may open the batting and bowl from the third over or alternatively they may bat at three and open the bowling.
  2. Any player scheduled to bat at numbers nine, ten or eleven must bowl at least one over. (Specific leniencies would be put in place for weather affected matches as well as those that don’t go the distance)
  3. In the Nidderdale League we play 45-overs per side with a bowler allowed a maximum of 12 overs. Either play 50 overs with a ten over cap or if playing 45 overs then have a nine over cap. This would initially level the playing field whilst at the same time developing players and making competition stronger in the long term. A necessity to use five not just four bowlers would also help rule 2, i.e; kids not making up the numbers just to field and losing interest in playing cricket altogether.

Of course there are those players that turn up every week under the impression that they have a divine right to bowl 12 overs. These players wouldn’t vote to stop that and neither would their clubs. The club sides want their best players to have as much opportunity as possible to help them win but surely it’d be better to get more players involved and by involved, I mean involved. Otherwise teams will continue to fold, we’ll end up playing seven players per side in a small league with small divisions and be playing against the same teams every few weeks.

I am not a very good cricketer but even if I was the main man at a club, I’d like to think that I’d have enough about me to channel Meat Loaf and say “I would do anything for you skip, but I won’t do that, no I won’t do that”.

All Broom but no Handle!

img_2124

It’s been a while since Neil Broom got a mention here at Silly Point. The New Zealand bat gained some airtime when he ditched a county contract to answer a recall to his nation’s limited overs side and promptly topped the run charts with 228 over the three-match series against Bangladesh. This included a maiden international hundred (109 not out in Nelson) followed by a run-a-ball 97, also in Horatio’s city.

Broom did register a score of 73 against Australia but in the absence of Ross Taylor, greeted the Test world off the back of a ODI series against South Africa that brought him scores of 2, 2 and 0, so it probably didn’t come as a surprise to many when he lasted only four runless deliveries against the same opposition in the second Test in Wellington, Rabada-de Kock the combination responsible for his downfall. For those of you missing our old favourite…

img_1813

… here’s an International Duck Watch special just for you, courteousy of Neil Broom!

L.B. Wilson

IMG_2933

What’s that saying about buses?

L.B. hadn’t been out of the house for months before this week but not content with scrambling up fallen trees and stalking deer a few days ago, little Leo summited Great Whernside today, even though he couldn’t see five feet in front of him and was nearly camouflaged in his cricket whites!

He saw yet more deer, wild ones this time, a mouse, a barn owl and some high altitude (2,310 ft) residing frogs, complete with spawn.

He also did what any sane visitor to Kettlewell does… dined on some Kettle Crisps!