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Taking up the game after 15 years away

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Post by Guest Tue 4 Jun 2013 - 14:36

Hi guys

I've organised a cricket match between my workplace and the local park, which will take place next Friday. It's been 10 years since my work played a game, and no-one who's playing has played for 15 years plus.

It got me to thinking about how much I used to love playing, and getting a bat back in my hand this week has made me think about getting back into the game.

Does anyone here have any tips on things I should do before getting in contact with a local club? One local club has an 8th XI, so I was planning on doing whatever I need to do to get back in nick then email them to see if I can give it a go.

My wife will probably hate me...

Thanks in advance for your advice Taking up the game after 15 years away 3559488474

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Post by hodge Tue 4 Jun 2013 - 22:00

an 8th XI Shocked

My main thing would just be not to expect too much too soon tbh

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Tue 4 Jun 2013 - 22:02

Vital to take an ice bath after practice sessions and matches.... Very Happy

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Post by gboycottnut Tue 4 Jun 2013 - 22:12

Use this piece of advice from the great South African Left Hander Graeme Pollock :- "Cricket is a see the Ball hit the Ball game!"

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 4 Jun 2013 - 22:41

Azzy - for friendly games at this sort of level, don't worry immediately about the cricket. Any worthwhile club will welcome you with open arms if you bring honesty (ie don't overstate your ability or understate your time away from the game), enthusiasm and reliability (see my comments about poor Tom Jewell on the "Surrey v Essex Eagles CB40" thread).

Good luck and enjoy!

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Post by Mike Selig Tue 4 Jun 2013 - 23:55

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:Vital to take an ice bath after practice sessions and matches.... Very Happy

... or if truth be told a couple of cold beers usually does the trick?

My main advice is fairly simple: don't beat yourself up over not being as good as you used to be, and go out there and have fun.

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Post by Shelsey93 Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 8:33

All I would say is think carefully about which club to join... if at all possible join one where you're going to get a game and where the people seem quite friendly. Keep an open mind about the possibility of trying somewhere else if you don't like them after the first couple of net sessions. (I've never known an 8th XI before, so they must be a pretty massive club!).

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Post by Stella Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 9:09

Agree with Mike. Just enjoy it and make the most of it. And like Shelsey says, make sure you're not carrying the drinks.
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Post by Guest Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 9:13

Getting to play is the main concern, if I have to try 3/4 different clubs then I'll have to do that. I've yet to broach the subject with the wife, but after 4 and a half years of marriage it's finally dawned on her that I'm never allowed to do anything outside of the house, so I'm thinking a game of cricket every other weekend for 4 months a year isn't too much Smile

I only gave the game up because I got banned at school; when I was at university I was offered a place on one of Montreal's cricket teams, with a full-time job at the clubhouse and accommodation thrown in, but I was in my last three months of uni with all those exams and I just couldn't bring myself to take such a big gamble. Now many years on, I think I'm finally mature enough to handle the odd game. I think.

Problem for me is that I don't like drinking, so I'd be the guy sat in the bar after the game drinking diet coke Laugh

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Post by Stella Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 9:18

Having a few Stella's after the game was part of the fun for me Ale
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Post by jimbohammers Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 11:15

Bit similar to me Az, i played a lot of cricket at school, but after 6 or 7 years i never got round to joining a team even though i really enjoyed playing. Ive finally contacted the local team and they have invitied me to go to the practice session. Im pretty nervous as im not sure what kind of ability they are at and if i will embarrass myself Headscratch

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Post by Mike Selig Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 11:56

The key is really to find a team of like-minded and similar ability players. I find nowadays that I don't enjoy playing competitively anymore, because with all my coaching commitments I don't train at all myself so that when I play I know I'm not as good as I should be (and was when I was training seriously) and beat myself up over it. But when I play for a more friendly/social side I have a great time, because everybody's just there for fun and there are quite a few in a similar situation to mine.

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Post by Guest Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:00

I just want to find a team that doesn't mind some slightly overweight, hasn't played in 15 years guy coming along, getting a game and having a laugh. I don't want the hassle of mid-week training sessions or anything.

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Post by Stella Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:05

I would think most village teams have a few overweight oldies in their teams, especially the stiffs, and especially an 8th XI.
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Post by Guest Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:12

My dream is to dominate the 8th XI division and get promoted to the 7th XI Laugh

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Post by Stella Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:15

I gave up when I kept getting 'promoted' to the first XI from the 2nd XI, when they were short, as I was a good fielder but not great with bat and ball, at least for their team.

This meant I batted at 11 and didn't bowl, which is no fun.
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Post by Guest Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:19

I'd rather play for the worst team in the world, and play, than just field all day for England in the Ashes. That would be boring as hell.

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Post by Stella Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:23

It's funny, that was the reason I gave up when I was 16 as well. Like you say, what's the point in playing?

I'm married as well and wouldn't dare ask the wife to play, but if I did then I would make sure it was for a team where I could either bat or bowl, and have a few Stella's.
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Post by Guest Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:27

My wife is starting to feel guilty that I never do anything, so I organised this work game to see how it'd go down. So far, so good. I've got some money coming to me in the summer so if I give her a couple of grand to spend on clothes she may relent Laugh

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Post by kingraf Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:32

I hadnt played cricket for eight months until this weekend. Got myself in, scored 30-odd and then got out playing a Reverse scoop (my bowling though, was a proper dogs breakfast). The key is just to enjoy yourself, dont expect much. And dont try shots that require constant practise!!
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Post by Guest Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:34

One problem I have is that I was never taught how to play a forward defensive, so all my shots off the front foot are attacking. Backwards defensive is okay, but I never learned the technique required to play a forward defensive without getting trapped lbw every single ball.

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Post by Stella Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:37

Big stride then that should cut out the LBW's. Also, use the bat Very Happy
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Post by kingraf Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:43

Also, use the bat - laughing

Just take a big forward lunge and keep the bat straight, and hand soft.
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Post by Guest Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:43

I never thought of the bat Laugh

I'm 6'3" so a big stride isn't a problem. May have to practice before this match next week!

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Post by kingraf Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:47

I never felt comfortable doing that, though. I just kept my head still and played with soft hands. I hold the bat pretty high, so big strides equalled a loss of control on my shots.
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Post by Guest Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 12:50

What about taking a step forward, anyone try that? I think it feels more natural to me (I'm practising in my office right now).

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Post by alfie Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 13:14

In my experience most clubs have difficulty in filling their lowest team , if not every week then at least quite often ( certainly I have spent a few Friday nights on the phone trying to raise eleven players for the following day !) So I reckon if you present as keen and reliable you are likely to be welcomed with open arms regardless of whether you display exceptional form in the nets as soon as you arrive.
Take it easy to start with...you've been away from the game a fair while but it will come back to you soon enough , and as long as you're having a go I am sure your team mates will not expect miracles overnight.
And if this club has eight teams they will certainly have a coach or a senior player or two who if you ask them will be happy to teach you a basic defensive technique : in which perhaps being out for a few years may be a good thing - you won't have to "unlearn" any bad habits !

Above all , have fun. Good luck thumbsup

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Post by Guest Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 13:17

Once this game next week is out of the way, I'm going to sit the wife down and have a heart to heart. We married in 2009 and apart from my right as a husband, I've never asked her for anything. So I reckon she'll be receptive.

Thanks for all your advice - lots of it, all valuable! I might send a pre-emptive email to the club I was looking at to see what the lie of the land is.

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Post by kingraf Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 13:29

Haz, I suppose it is more natural, but I can do it, personally, unless Im facing a spinner, in which case Im so impotent I feel I might as well Plant my front foot and Hit hard
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 13:32

Mike Selig wrote:The key is really to find a team of like-minded and similar ability players. I find nowadays that I don't enjoy playing competitively anymore, because with all my coaching commitments I don't train at all myself so that when I play I know I'm not as good as I should be (and was when I was training seriously) and beat myself up over it. But when I play for a more friendly/social side I have a great time, because everybody's just there for fun and there are quite a few in a similar situation to mine.

In my late 20s I dropped from the club 2nds (I used to get the odd 1st-team appearance when people like Astle, MacMillan & the Papps brothers were off on international or first class duty) to the 3rds as my job was making it hard to get to training. I had a season captaining at team of 18yos in the 3rds, and hated it, so it was a welcome relief when I was offered a Presidents grade (you're allowed 2 players under 35 in a playing XI) berth the following season. No training and matches were/are 40 overs each so starting at 1pm instead of 11am on Saturdays. And the old codgers had some great stories in the clubrooms after.
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Post by Mike Selig Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 13:39

Warning - boring coaching points on the way, please feel free to skip entirely.

There is no particular reason why big strides should cut out LBWs unless the umpires are poor. Even the tallest man's biggest stride will only get him 3 or so meters from the stumps, which shouldn't introduce that much doubt. A ball which hits you on the roll after a big stride forward would have gone over the stumps regardless of the big stride. But I realise a lot of umpires aren't all that good, so...

Regardless, I'm not a big fan of a big stride against pace or medium-pace. If you watch the top players bat, they are a bit more upright against the pace bowlers and generally take smaller strides, which allows them to keep their balance, which is one of the key components of batting. Taking a bigger stride against spin is OK provided you start from a slightly more crouched position (so easier to get that stride in, which allows you to keep your balance throughout), because there are genuine benefits - negating the spin being the obvious one.

I'm interested in Azzy's comment on fielding for England in the ashes. I'm the exact opposite: I would rather be 12th man for France than play for any club side. Then again I've always enjoyed fielding, but for me the pleasure is being involved in such a high level team. Whilst I appreciate that batting 11 and not bowling can be dull, and there shouldn't be any need for it in the social game, when you get more competitive and particularly when you get towards the high performance side, I'm not shocked by people even being 12th man for 5 consecutive matches if that suits the team - you earn your stripes, and if you deserve to bat/bowl higher/sooner/more than you will, but there's no room for sentiment there. Brett Lee (when he was 12th man with Bichel playing ahead of him) used to always say his goal was to be the best 12th man, because he knew that whilst he was 12th man, one injury or loss of form to any of the seamers would mean he'd be next in line.

Anyway, I've strayed somewhat off-topic.

The key as I said is to find a team which suits your needs.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 13:41

Sounds simple Azzy but my only batting advice is to keep your concentration and eye on the ball.

I usually get out when I stop concentrating. Train the mind Azzy
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Post by Stella Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 13:47

Mike Selig wrote:Warning - boring coaching points on the way, please feel free to skip entirely.

There is no particular reason why big strides should cut out LBWs unless the umpires are poor. Even the tallest man's biggest stride will only get him 3 or so meters from the stumps, which shouldn't introduce that much doubt. A ball which hits you on the roll after a big stride forward would have gone over the stumps regardless of the big stride. But I realise a lot of umpires aren't all that good, so...

Regardless, I'm not a big fan of a big stride against pace or medium-pace. If you watch the top players bat, they are a bit more upright against the pace bowlers and generally take smaller strides, which allows them to keep their balance, which is one of the key components of batting. Taking a bigger stride against spin is OK provided you start from a slightly more crouched position (so easier to get that stride in, which allows you to keep your balance throughout), because there are genuine benefits - negating the spin being the obvious one.

I'm interested in Azzy's comment on fielding for England in the ashes. I'm the exact opposite: I would rather be 12th man for France than play for any club side. Then again I've always enjoyed fielding, but for me the pleasure is being involved in such a high level team. Whilst I appreciate that batting 11 and not bowling can be dull, and there shouldn't be any need for it in the social game, when you get more competitive and particularly when you get towards the high performance side, I'm not shocked by people even being 12th man for 5 consecutive matches if that suits the team - you earn your stripes, and if you deserve to bat/bowl higher/sooner/more than you will, but there's no room for sentiment there. Brett Lee (when he was 12th man with Bichel playing ahead of him) used to always say his goal was to be the best 12th man, because he knew that whilst he was 12th man, one injury or loss of form to any of the seamers would mean he'd be next in line.

Anyway, I've strayed somewhat off-topic.

The key as I said is to find a team which suits your needs.

Yeah, I agree when you get to a good standard and you are there on merit but not for a local village side, who are never going to pick you on merit.
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Post by kingraf Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 13:59

Good advice on the concentration bit. I usually get out when Ive run a quick two, and in my exhaustion play a stupid shot immediately afterward (damn my unfitness).
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Post by Guest Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 14:02

I have good concentration, I've made a 93 break in snooker and used to play that to a good standard. It's the decision making that I'm not used to, AARRRRGHHHHH a quick ball, what do I do, BOOM! bowled around my legs. That will take a while to come back I reckon.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 5 Jun 2013 - 14:02

Azzy Mahmood wrote:I have good concentration, I've made a 93 break in snooker and used to play that to a good standard. It's the decision making that I'm not used to, AARRRRGHHHHH a quick ball, what do I do, BOOM! bowled around my legs. That will take a while to come back I reckon.

Defend the good balls, smash the bad ones. Simples
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Post by gboycottnut Sun 9 Jun 2013 - 23:53

Use a cheap motorcycle crash helmet when batting if you don't want to spend too much money on buying a specialist cricket helmet. And make a pair of batting gloves of of cardboard with sellotape being used to hold the cardboard onto each glove finger.

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Post by Stella Mon 10 Jun 2013 - 8:25

gboycottnut wrote:Use a cheap motorcycle crash helmet when batting if you don't want to spend too much money on buying a specialist cricket helmet. And make a pair of batting gloves of of cardboard with sellotape being used to hold the cardboard onto each glove finger.

Erm
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Post by Guest Mon 10 Jun 2013 - 15:56

Well we had out first practice today, I got my first practice bat in many years too. Probably spent about 30mins at the crease in total, was bowled twice, swung and missed a LOT, hit a few decent leg glances, one glorious sweep, and one slog six. All in all much better than expected!

My bowling was pretty decent too, I got plenty of bounce and I reckon 1 in every 6 balls was a proper bouncer. Couldn't find the yorker though, will have to work on that in our final practice session this Wednesday. I was surprised that I was the fastest bowler of the 6 who turned up, I guess with my height it did add to the pace a bit.

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Post by Guest Sat 15 Jun 2013 - 20:01

Well my work game was yesterday - I took 2-13 off my 4 overs (would have had 4-13 but LBWs weren't being called), then made 5 off of some terrible bowling (wides weren't being called), before getting frustrated and charging down the wicket only to miss and see my off stump clipped Sad

I felt great, called the field placements, bowled great with surprising pace. Really enjoyed it.

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Post by Guest Tue 6 Aug 2013 - 10:18

I've organised a second game for 14 September in Greenwich Park. A proper 40 over game too Taking up the game after 15 years away 3559488474

Now to get a couple of practice sessions in, find some players for my team, and plan the sandwiches...

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Post by Biltong Tue 6 Aug 2013 - 10:25

I never played cricket at school, and was introduced to cricket for the first time when I was 24.

I didn't know much about the laws of cricket, just that you bowled from one end of the crease to the other, you may not bend your elbow, and you could either bowl fast or slow with spin if anything.

Form the batting point of view I knew you could get bowled and caught.

So my introduction was rather hilarious, when a buddy of mine invited me to their work team who had joined a social league, the captain asked me what type of delivery I bowled (I had figured out I am not fast the previous afternoon in the back garden when I tried to bowl) and said slow left arm.

My first delivery was a no ball, I didn't know what it meant, anyway I ended up with 2/14 of 5 overs, and that was me set as our spin bowler.

Anyway what I am trying to get to, no matter your skill level, perhaps a good idea after so long out of the game is to find out if there is a social league in your area, then you could make up your own team if you find enough blokes willing, alternatively join an existing team.

We used to play at schools grounds most often, and it worked out well for us.
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Post by sodhat Tue 6 Aug 2013 - 10:27

I can play! I haven't played since school though. And I wasn't great back then either...

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Post by Stella Tue 6 Aug 2013 - 10:30

I'd love a game but don't think my body can take it. And I'm terrible at sandwiches.
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Post by Biltong Tue 6 Aug 2013 - 10:30

After I stopped playing competitive club rugby, I joined a social league (golden oldie) rugby league as well, it was the most fun I ever had on the rugby field, it wasn't as serious, you could come off if you were tired (well you weren't as fit then either), so social sport is often more fun, you could use it to get back into the game and especially if you are still young find a club there after.
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Post by Guest Tue 6 Aug 2013 - 10:56

My main problem is my wife. She just won't let me do anything. And I can't really justify leaving her just so I can play cricket Laugh

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