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A Ramble on Women's Cricket
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The England domestic season is now at an end. Sussex has won the play-off for the Division One Championship having finished top of the League before the play-offs commenced, and beating the team placed second, Yorkshire in the play-off. Some strangeness in the results of play-offs in other divisions compared with the performance of those teams during the season have left a number of teams smarting. See for instance...
The only comment I would make is that having tried this for one year it's time to take stock and see what changes should be made for 2014. I can suggest a few...
I am sure there are other ways to go about this too.
An article I came to late... As many of you will know women's cricket is not a PC sport but it seems many men have been quite unable to get their heads around that idea however often they are told. Try this for a note from a fine writer on how too many men view the women's game.
An English Under-19 team has found its way to South Africa and its tour will include matches against both Sri Lanka and South Africa; a real chance for some youngsters to try their skills against exciting teams. At Sussex we are pleased to have three players in this squad and one player who, very sensibly, made her way to Berkshire rather than wait for Sarah Taylor to retire!
However I am a little puzzled at the team selection, not that any in that list don't deserve their chance. I had heard of a phenomenon known as "collective amnesia" but not come across it before. It would seem it struck at the moment the team was picked. I suspect I don't even have to tell you, if you are a regular reader of this ramble, who somehow mysteriously missed out. Not only did she score more runs for Sussex in one form of the game or another, than any other player (England players included) but took a number of wickets and proved herself one of the best fielders in the side. And while I haven't checked, if you want to start counting '6s', I am not sure anyone in England would come close. I have long debated whether Stafanie Taylor's 6 at Drumoyne in the 2009 World Cup or Maria Fahey's against England at Taunton a few years ago are the biggest hits I've seen from a woman. Late this season I was left wondering, had a tree not interfered, just how far a six from this girl's bat might have gone. It cleared the boundary fence, which was a good 10-12 feet high, at least twice as high again.
That she is dedicated to the sport no one can doubt. At a recent tournament which involved the team being away for the weekend a team meal had been arranged on the first evening. When she was chided about "not doing her hair" as we left the hotel she replied she had been in the gym and thus hadn't had the time! And that followed playing a 45-over match that day. I don't have the slightest doubt her time will come, but as far as England Age-Group teams are concerned, I feel it should already have arrived.
The England team left today for the Caribbean. It should be an interesting series and I look forward to following them very shortly. This means, of course, that this site will lay dormant for a few weeks but I hope to return with a selection of pictures from the various series involving England.
To follow the matches you can rely on Cricket Archive to include the scorecards. Try the "Current Series" list on the right of their home page. More direct links are given on my home page. I apologise for the break in service but no doubt you will realise everything goes on hold if there is cricket to be watched!
During my trip away the ICC and ECB scorer Marion Collin passes a landmark in terms of anniversaries of her birth. I cannot exaggerate the amount of work she does for the sport! All the stats you see on this site come from her keyboard and she checks, and supplies corrections, to those on Cricket Archive and CricInfo's sites if required. This covers all official international cricket between the top 10 countries, tournaments like the World Cup Qualifiers, all England's County Cricket and I've no doubt much more. Next time you watch a TV broadcast and wonder who supplied all that info you can see at the bottom of your screen on the player's previous stats - well now you know! How she fits it all in I have no idea...
The sport owes Marion a great debt, and I can only wish her a 'Happy Birthday' and stress the high regard I have for the effort and painstaking attention to detail that she pays to the task. Just take a look at the list on this page, chose any of the links and realise all this is the work of one woman. Dedication is too small a word for it, but I think the English language has no better.
Before I make a few comments with regard to my recent trip to the Caribbean, there is one matter I feel I must comment on. As you may have read elsewhere Holly Colvin has decided to take an indefinite break from the sport.
As I continually remind all who care to listen I have followed this sport now for around twenty years. In that time I have not seen a more successful left-arm orthodox bowler. Indeed, I have found myself wondering whether, with the possible exception of Neetu David, I have seen a better slow bowler of any type. As England's youngest ever player at the age of 15 Holly immediately showed she was not out of her depth, and she has continued throughout her England and Sussex career to simply be the best. There is now a huge hole in the national and county sides not likely to be filled any time soon.
Some say you should retire (although in this case I hope temporarily) at the top and Holly has managed that in some style, her best ever international figures in what may be her last ODI, bowling as well, if not better, than she has ever done.
In one way she has suffered from playing for such successful sides, for she has all the potential to be a top all-rounder, but batting so low in the order, especially in international games, has always meant a few-over slog and no chance to build an innings; that is if she made it to the crease at all!
I am also disappointed that I will not have the opportunity to watch her next season as a captain. Appointed for Sussex last year she missed most of the County season with a broken thumb. Had she continued I think we might have seen one of the best cricket brains around showing what she could do.
I am sure her country and county will miss her. I certainly will!
I hope that we may see her again in England colours before too long.
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