Tag Archives: Glammy

Twenty20 Vision

A colleague of mine asked me on Thursday if I still did my blog. “Oh yes” I declared, before realising the last piece I’d written was in late April. It does not say a great deal for the events in May, where Glamorgan continued to find wins as elusive as Lord Lucan. Yeah, even now, digging up the old Lord Lucan gags.

I don’t really like hyperbole and rash predictions, but things are DEFINITELY on an upward curve. The annual trip up north to Colwyn Bay yielded the first win of the season against Durham, and now the Friends Life t20 is underway and things suddenly appear a lot brighter.

Which is more than can be said for the weather.

The crashbangwallop format will no doubt be dominated by the usual suspects in the hunt for a place at Finals Day. If we concede that Somerset will be turning up to the SWALEC to claim their silver medals, there’s three spots left and I’m of the belief that Glamorgan could nab one of ’em.

And I’m not just founding this belief on blind loyalty. There are people – proper, real people – out there who believe Glammy are in with a shout, describing their prospects in hallowed terms such as “worth a punt”, “alright” and “Chelsea won the Champions League, didn’t they”.

The rain prevented a result at Northants, which was a frustrating start to what is going to be a glorious Friends Life t20 tournament for Glamorgan. Sunday is the day when we’ll finally (or perhaps not, weather) see whether my 35/1 punt on the Dragons is a worthy investment. Or as useful as a bailout to the Greeks.

So. Yes. Glamorgan are capable of doing something special this season. And I’m going to stick my head out of the parapet and insist that the Dragons will appear at finals day. And not as ball boys, before anyone gets cheeky. I believe it. And I am sure that, one day, someone else might do too…

The Only Way Is Up

The only way is up for Glamorgan. We could split hairs and admit that, actually, the Dragons aren’t bottom of the table in the embryonic stages of the campaign. But based on three results alone, Things Can Only Get Better – and if you can’t hear D:Ream playing at the back of your mind right now, you’re not trying…

The margins of defeat have been 52 runs, 130 runs and two wickets in that order. It’s tempting to jump in with an ill-conceived rant when things aren’t going well, but you can end up looking stupid. Just ask Tottenham fans when the gap between them and Arsenal was 10 points in their favour not so long ago.

But enough about football. It’s the cricket season, right?

A recurring theme so far this season for Glamorgan has been the inability to put runs on the board. Marcus North is currently the most anticipated Welsh arrival since Brunel brought the railway to town. And I’m pretty sure no-one was saying that as Australia came to the SWALEC Stadium for the 1st Ashes Test in 2009.

With a first-class average of more than 40, these are runs that Glammy are quite desperate to get their hands on. I am probably not alone in hoping that when he does file into the ranks, it will be like a shot in the arm for the Dragons’ batting. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he kick-started the UK economy while at it…

Of course, North probably isn’t the Saviour of all things Glamorgan as he is just one man, but his delayed arrival – for entirely understandable reasons – and the decision by Alviro Petersen not to return this year left the Dragons in a little bit of a pickle and evidently more so in the batting department than anywhere else.

Glamorgan’s six opening stands have accounted for a combined total of 112 runs so far this season. Take out the 59-run partnership in the second digs at home to Derbyshire, and you don’t need to be an Einsteiny-type chap to see how the total  falls short of Ben Wright’s second innings individual score against Hampshire.

However, it is that second innings against Hampshire that offers that hope. I’d quantify it if I could put my finger on it. Perhaps it’s an unconditional thing; an indictment of how a love of sport can impel you to think irrationally; positively; triumphantly – even when the stats conspire to paint the gloomiest of pictures.

That first win is out there for Glamorgan. It’s just about finding it now…

Anticipation

County Cricket

County cricket: Somewhere only we know...

Well, here we go again. It is almost time for another, as fantastic-as-it-always-is County season. It seems long ago, and conversely, not-that-long-ago since a pink ball was being pinged about amid Canterbury twilight as both Kent and Glammy ushered out the 2011 season. Now its time for 2012 to steal the show.

I won’t lie to you. I can’t say with any great conviction that I know the format for the season ahead. Last I heard, David Morgan had recommended there be a 39th game in the United Arab Emirates. Did I hear that right? Or am I again confused with cricket’s boorish underling that keeps us from freezing on winter nights?

This week’s weather has been lovely. It is, however, the conditions I would like to bottle and save in reserve for the inevitable rainy days that are coming our way in the next few months. Why aren’t they out there playing now when we have such fine weather? Remember that when the game versus the Unicorns is washed out.

I’ll also remember it if, in a week’s time, I’m left sitting atop the Warner Stand at Lord’s peering out of the bar to see a deluge of water and a palette of grey. But it is part of the English cricket summer; we don’t just tolerate it because it is going to happen; we embrace the prospect (sometimes) of being consigned to the bar.

So is making silly bets about whether Jim Allenby will outscore Gareth Berg.

For Glamorgan, the pre-season has been delightful in its ratio of wins to failures. The cautious person in me hopes that it isn’t emptying the reserve before the real stuff has even started, but the optimist thinks that Matthew Mott has got his feet well and truly under the table after a full off-season behind him.

It’s also the #yearofthedragon.

The moment when the anticipation really starts to impress upon you is when the Glamorgan squad is announced for the annual MCC University Match in Oxford. It’s coincidentally the moment that you start wistfully looking out the window in an attempt to work out how many working days you can sacrifice for the cause…

Cricket doesn’t have one of those buzz terms to signify the start of something. It’s not a kick-off, a starting pistol or anything like that. But once the first Duke clips the top of the bails (or smashes all three stumps 10 yards towards the keeper), it will have started. As it has and as it always will be. Marvellous.