Saturday, May 30, 2009

If the Pears win we riot

The Bears finally got their T20 campaign on track with a convincing win over the local rivals. I listened to the game on BBC WM, could not attend unfortunately though due to a twist of fate i actually had to spend the afternoon in the Edgbaston area for work and then had to leave the area not long before the game started. Fate can be a sadist sometimes.

It seems like a big crowd (10,000 according to Brian) though so i probably wouldn't have enjoyed that, being anti-social.

Barker impressed with his bowling again, the lad is going to be a future star.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lancashire the Twenty20 team to beat

Last season’s Twenty20 cup was dominated by teams from the South Division. The three qualifiers from that group, Middlesex, Kent and Essex went on to make the semi finals, with the Crusaders going on to be crowned champions.

However, the name is not all that has changed at Middlesex this time around. Now known as the Panthers, the holders have lost some key personnel, with Tim Murtagh, Owais Shah, Eoin Morgan, Dirk Nannes and Murali Kartik missing out on large portions of this year’s tournament.

Essex have also been weakened thanks to the international call-ups of James Foster, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate and Graham Napier, whilst Kent are lacking the energy and sharpness that characterised their limited overs performances last term.

That is not to say the South Division is weak – Sussex are always hard to beat, whilst Surrey are rapidly improving and Hampshire, Friends Provident trophy semi finalists, are a team to look out for.
However, the favourites are surely Lancashire. Quarter finalists last year, when they missed out on a finals day place thanks to a sparkling Dawid Malan century, they look to be a formidable limited overs outfit.

New coach Peter Moores has got the under-achieving red roses playing with confidence and in Francois du Plessis, a key man in their run to the Friends Provident semi finals, they could have the batsman of the tournament. With regards to Twenty20 betting, he scores quickly without taking risks and is a good bet to be the tournament top runscorer.

Zander de Bruyn is another South African in good form and his talented Somerset team are the team to beat in the Midlands/Wales/West Division.

Gloucestershire and Warwickshire have made slow starts, but I expect them to both be soon in the qualification picture. Both have shown enough form in the Friends Provident trophy to suggest they have something to offer in this format and their squads will not be affected by ICC World Twenty20 call-ups.

The Bears are particularly strong in the batting department, with Neil Carter, Jim Troughton, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott forming one of the strongest top orders around.

Written by Philip Oliver

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

AD staying put?

Brian Halford reports on his blog that Alan Donald has been unsuccessful with his application to become head coach of the Eagles. As in the South African team not the rock band obviously. Though AD in charge of The Eagles band would certainly be surreal.

So i guess AD is staying put at least for now.

T20 waning? Time for customer service!

Advance ticket sales for this year's T20 have been sluggish, yesterday Lords' was around half-full for their first match of the year. Not a bad crowd but when you consider it was the Middlesex-Surrey local derby on a hot sunny bank holiday Monday it seems the crowd was a bit disappointing. Not that the ground made things any easier as the ridiculous mess with tickets as recounted in the Cricinfo article.

Customer service at so many cricket grounds is ridiculously bad. Obviously the clubs have not quite cottoned on to the fact that these customers want to give the club money. Therefore why try and piss them off as much as you can? In these tough economic times money is getting tighter and people want value for money and to be treated with respect. Cricket needs to tighten up it's customer care and service especially with attracting new fans. Someone coming to a T20 game for their first ever cricket match and who is messed about might never come again. And of course he/she will tell far more people about why he/she won't be coming again than a happy fan will tell people why they are!

There apparently were problems getting into the ground for the ODI between England and the Windies at Edgbaston today (according to TMS, though some said they got in fine). Volume appears to be a problem for Warwickshire. When there are county championship games and the volume of fans is slightly lower i find there are no problems with getting into the ground and the gate staff are friendly and polite.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Squad for first T20 match

The Twenty20 Cup returns tomorrow and the Bears play Northamptonshire away. The squad for this game has been announced :

Neil Carter, Jonathan Trott, Jim Troughton, Tony Frost, Ian Westwood, Richard Johnson, Ant Botha, Keith Barker, Steffan Piolet, Jimmy Anyon, Boyd Rankin, Chris Woakes and Jeetan Patel.

Tim Ambrose, who suffered a thigh strain injury in the FPT defeat against Kent, is aiming to be fit for the first home game on Friday.

Ant Botha seems the most cowboy in the squad, cool.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

5 days until T20

Currently its 5 days and 21 hours until the first T20 game for the Bears according to the counter on the special site for the Bears T20 campaign, though actually as the first game is on Monday away to Northamptonshire i make that 2 days so i suspect they mean the first home game. This year's T20 season seems to have crept up on us rather lost in the IPL/pre-Ashes hype.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

That is cricket!

The Bears fell just short in their final FPT qualifying match against Kent, rain stopped play with the scores level on Duckworth-Lewis and a tie was not enough to put them through ahead of Middlesex. That is cricket though, in the rain had started a minute or so earlier or later it may have been a different story. Its amazing how a game that can last all day (or even up to 5 days) can often turn on one split second or one minute. That is why the game is so fantastic though, even if you lose!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Warks 2nd XI vs Middlesex 2nd XI

I'm not sure if this is a SEC (Second Eleven Championship) match or not but day 1 (yesterday) was totally washed out of the game at Knowle & Dorridge CC. I was in Knowle this morning so i thought why not watch an hour or so of play? Middlesex were batting. Its the first time i've been to this nice little ground and it was a gorgeous morning, i have now gained my usual red lobster face! Some more pics are here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rikki Clarke injured

Rikki Clarke has injured his hand. He could be out for 6 weeks which is a blow for the club and for Rikki who faced down the boo boys earlier in the season to fight back and show some form. Lets wish Rikki a speedy recovery.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bears on TV

The Kent vs Warwickshire FPT match on Wednesday will be televised on Sky, thus the start time will be 10:45 not midday.

I was planning on watching the 2nds but if its raining (and the forecast isn't that promising) then at least i have a fall back!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The protesters will fight on

Yesterday Warwickshire were finally granted planning permission for their much needed redevelopment though apparently the final decision is with the minister Hazel Blears. Protesters against the development say they will appeal directly to the minister. The battle goes on. But lets hope this declaration that the "battle goes on" is as empty as when Admiral Karl Dönitz said it in the last days of WW2 after he had succeeded Hitler as leader of the Third Reich (and the Reich basically consisted of a thin strip of land between massive allied armies).

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Today is the big day, Planning Day. Lets hope the club gets the planning permission to redevelop the ground and retain international cricket at Edgbaston where cricket has been played for a long long time (and this chap has seen much of it) but the fight has become personal. Though at least there is a plan B now even if it is rather problematical.

Come on put this dump out of it's misery! Anyway planning meeting begins at 11am. Fingers crossed.

Update 11:49
From the Warks twitter:
Warwickshire's plans are approved at a meeting of the B'ham Planning Dept.

Update 11:53
The Official website have confirmed it. Obviously had the press release ready (and no doubt one for if the decision went wrong).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sent to Coventry?

The planning committee will reconsider Warwickshire's planning application for it's ground redevelopment on Thursday but this time there is a genuine fall-back option... in Coventry. Coventry council have offered a new home to the club next to the Ricoh Arena as part of their on-going £9 billion redevelopment. Its a good option to be honest even though as a Brummie is pains me to say so, the club wouldn't be saddled with debt, the new ground would have much better transport links and actually would be physically in Warwickshire County again.

Whether Edgbaston could be retained as a secondary venue for domestic cricket only is unknown. The CEO says no but but that may be part of his bluster to try and get the planning go-ahead. There is a lot invested in Edgbaston including the indoor cricket centre so it wouldn't be a slam-dunk to just sell the ground if they did move international games to Coventry.

Of course if Edgbaston was sold one wonders what would be built in it's place. Something nice and quiet like a 24/7 Tesco perhaps?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Warwickshire vs Middlesex FPT

Warwickshire restricted Middlesex Panthers (whatever) to 165, not bad effort by them in the end as they were 1-2 and 13-3 at various stages. Warks currently on 80-1.

Flickr photoset is here, to be honest my pictures taken in the lower pavilion were much better, i should have moved there earlier.

Squad for FPT vs Middlesex

The squad for today's FPT against Middlesex is the same as had lost to Kent on Sunday (so a squid then maybe?) Be along later hopefully, and take some pics too!

Westwood (c), Carter, Trott, Bell, Troughton, Clarke, Ambrose, Botha, Barker, Woakes, Patel, Rankin, Piolet

Friday, May 8, 2009

Headline fun

Graham Onions must be like manna from heaven for newspaper headline writers :
Guardian : Onions brings tears to Windies' eyes
Telegraph : Onions slices West Indies
Express : Onions tears through West Indies
Mail : Onions off to a sizzler
Cricinfo : Onions makes Windies weep
No more! Swann is also a gift to headline writers, i can't wait until there is some sort of incident or scandal involving curry so we can have "SWANN VESTA".

Meanwhile returning to the flat-track that is Edgabaston Yorkshire declared on 600-8 and in reply at stumps Warks were 81-1.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Poonia named in Scotland T20 squad

Navdeep Poonia has been named in the Scotland squad for the World Twenty 20 starting next month (its amazing how fast the season is getting underaway isn't it? May 6th and the first test match already!)

Meanwhile Yorkshire are 124-2 in the latest CC game at Edgbaston. MP Vaughan has gone already out to Woakes who can do no wrong at the moment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Squad for CC game against Yorkshire

The next CC game starts tomorrow against Yorkshire (hopefully will still be play by Saturday!) The squad announced :

Ian Westwood (*)
Tony Frost
Ian Bell
Jonathan Trott
Jim Troughton
Tim Ambrose (+)
Rikki Clarke
Ant Botha
Jeetan Patel
Neil Carter
Chris Woakes
Boyd Rankin

Sadly it has been confirmed Darren Maddy is out for the rest of the season.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Westwood returns, Warks vs Scotland FPT

After the bad news of Maddy's injury the Bears needed a bit of a tonic and they got one today with the return of captain Ian Westwood from injury. Carter also returned to the side further bolstered by the return of Ian Bell and Jon Trott from England Lions duty. Scotland made 182ao in their innings at Edgbaston.

The Bears romped home after a blitzkreig by Carts to win by 7 wickets.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Maddy could be out for the rest of the season

Darren Maddy has suffered a knee injury during training this morning. If the injury is, as suspected, cruciate ligament damage then that could be his season over. Richard Johnson will take his place in the squad for Sunday's game.

Andy Miller has also suffered an injury and will be out for weeks. Its a bit tough for the team at the moment! Though on a more positive note Ian Bell has been picked in the squad for the ODIs against the West Indies which follows the tests.

Chris Woakes crushes Windies top order

He is a future star you know? Well we Bear fans know but now the rest of the cricket public should start taking notice. Who am i talking about? Chris Woakes who took 4-26 to leave the Windies tottering on 76-4 on the end of a rain affected first day of the game between England Lions and the West Indies.

In fact it was a big Warwickshire effort as 2 of Woakes' wickets were caught by Tim Ambrose and one of the others by Ian Bell.