So my first post, is actually something I wrote about a year ago, and it has been sat doing nothing, so here it is!
A week in the life of a club cricket captain.
Most people will give up reading this, and the rest will probably think it is stupid, but perhaps some of you might read this, and it might change your mind-set when you turn up and have a nice game of cricket on a Saturday.
As a bit of background, I am a 3rd team captain, on Saturday we run 3 teams, all playing League cricket. The club has its weekly selection meeting on a Monday night starting at 8pm and that is where it all begins for the week in the life of a captain.
Monday 8PM: The selection committee had 33 players available, this is a good week. As usual, we all set about moving the right players into the right team, attempting to have 3 balanced teams that were also competitive and gave every player the best chance of being involved as possible. Sounds easy?
Monday 8:30PM: A text comes through, a player is unavailable, and we now have 32 players for 33 spaces.
Monday 10PM: Selection finishes, 32 players sorted for Saturday and 9 for Sunday.
Tuesday: A night off! I went and played social midweek cricket for a staff team, scored 8 runs, had fun, went home.
Wednesday 6PM: Club training night, I get the text I wanted, my 11th man is sorted, and he can keep wicket, even better, 7 bowlers, one keeper, 3 batsmen, perfect. I leave the club about 8:30 that night, back with 11 players, and ready to go for the weekend.
Thursday AM: Receive 2 messages, both players no longer available through injury and illness, back down to 9 players.
Thursday 6PM: I head down to the club, start work trying to find 2 more players, I still have 7 bowlers. There is a junior player available who is a bowler, he won’t get a bowl in that team, I can’t pick him.
Thursday 8:30PM: Home time, I watched some junior cricket, I have tried lots of potential players, by this point I have spoken to 28 players this week, all unavailable. We still have 9.
Thursday 9PM: A player!! We are up to 10, I need a beer.
Friday: Weather forecast isn’t great, I need to drive 30 minutes to our home ground to put the cover on.
If every player I had spoken to this week was available, we could run 5 teams on a Saturday, and still have to leave players out. If you believe it or not, I am lucky, there are 4 or 5 “clubmen” that we have available most weeks, and they will play if I need them. These guys are the heart and soul of a cricket club, and they do anything. Countless times, I haven’t selected one of these on a Monday, then given them a call Friday and they play to help out the club. They aren’t world beaters but they would never see a team short, this is the kind of player I want to be and I fully admire for everything they do for a club, but they are so often not noticed or appreciated by players, who just see them turn up every now and again.
TLDR: Playing cricket is brilliant, organising cricket is a nightmare. Appreciate your captains, and your club mates, make yourself available as much as possible, and you will be appreciated, needed, wanted and respected.
Oh and Saturday: We played, we won by 5 wickets, I hit the winning runs (9* thanks very much) stealing the glory from a 66* and 4-fer for the same guy. Not really, I think he got the glory, I just went back to another Monday selection meeting……