Earlier in 2012
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2012 Diary

A Ramble on Women's Cricket
 - with diversions -

This diary will be updated erratically throughout the year.

2012 Page 6 :  Previous Page 5
As both the ICC T20 World Cup and England's summer fade into history, I am left contemplating the good, the bad and ... well the other thing too.
To get rid of 'the other' thing first, you have already heard my opinions on the new County structure, and the way the weather has shown weaknesses in the format or rules and I guess it will remain much the same for a second summer although I am anxious to see if some of the rough edges have been knocked off it when the new regulations are released.
Some of what I, as somewhat old-fashioned as far as cricket is concerned, consider 'bad' about the sport continues and often goes unremarked. One point that did rear its head, however, was the apparently sharp words that the umpires had with Quintyne during the West Indies/Australia semi-final of the T20 World Cup. It appeared to concern the player indicating to the batsman she was out. As the Sky commentators remarked at the time, they were somewhat surprised at this and felt it was unjustified. I have to agree with them for the sake of consistency. Quintyne is young and reasonably new to international cricket and she will have seen this behaviour, probably several times in every innings she has fielded in. I see it regularly in women's county cricket in the UK, and I suspect it's commonplace elsewhere too.
I would have had no problem with the umpires' remarks if they had been consistent, but just watch any innings on TV you care to, and you will see bowlers lifting a single finger aloft when a batsman is dismissed. They will even do so having clean bowled them, as if there might be some doubt about it! I am more than disappointed at this practice which has become so commonplace over the last few years. As a bowler it is not your job to make decisions on the field of play; that's the umpires. Let him do his job and you do yours. I feel it smacks of unsportsmanlike conduct and has no place in this sport.
Rant over, there was much to like in this English summer when the weather finally relented a little. Firstly I had the chance to watch and photograph four international sides - an abundance of riches! It was especially pleasing to see an up-and-coming Pakistan on these shores again.

[Nain Abidi  Don Miles]
Nain Abidi cuts square during a match against the England Academy in 2012

Their confidence must be even higher after a recent T20 win over India. They have obviously progressed incredibly in the last few years and I suspect their talent is not exhausted yet. I feel their players have more to give and if the PCB continues or, better still, expands their support, then they will be a side to reckon with in the future.
Also it was pleasing to see Ireland play an international match here. Watching them it was obvious that it's not just in the top three or four countries that the standard in this sport has risen.

[Cecelia Joyce  Don Miles]
Ireland opener Cecelia Joyce looks for the boundary in the international against England, 2012

It amazes me that from so few clubs they manage to produce cricketers of such a high standard. As a photographer can I also praise the individual who thought of adding player numbers to the trousers (see Cecilia's "44" above)? It makes it so much easier later identifying players when the face is partly hidden or, on a sunny day, in deep shadow. I am sure the scorers feel the same.
And then it was the West Indies and the promise that Taylor and Dottin brought with them. For a while it appeared the independent spectator, hoping for something along the Chris Gale lines, was to be disappointed but at Arundel we had more than a glimpse of what the biggest hitter in the business can do. While I am always hoping for an England win, I can't deny the adrenaline rush a knock like that induces, even in a watcher who prefers the 50-over format.

[Deandra Dottin  Don Miles]
Deandra Dottin in action at Northampton

In the end I felt the West Indies deserved their win. They played exciting cricket and the rest of the side seemed to pick up on Dottin's remarkable knock. It was one day I left the camera behind as the problem with always carrying one is that you  get a very small view of the game, small in the sense of a narrow angle. The whole picture is only really apparent from a comfortable seat! It was perhaps the best choice of game in that regard, although I regret not being able to peruse my shots of that knock.
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