David Wigley: Commentary and Cricket

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This week there is no 1st team cricket at all. The Northants Steelbacks last night qualified for a home quarter final tie against Hampshire in the Twenty20 Cup. I went to the ground to do some local radio commentary and do a quick circuit around the hospitality boxes, before I snuck up to the committee room where there was a little relief from the sun, but unfortunately not from the suffocating humidity. (It feels the same today – I suspect thunderstorms are on the horizon). It was a comfortable win in the final group stage against my former club Worcestershire. They looked pretty dapper in their 2009 twenty20 kit, although I suspect the totally black outfit was less comfortable to wear in the 30 degree heat compared to the more retro maroon and gold of the Steelbacks.

With the absence of 1st team cricket for a few days, I think the squad is split in what it has decided to do individually, on consultation of the coach of course. I think a couple of the foreign contingency are taking advantage of being a couple of hour’s flight from Europe’s sights whilst the others may just rest up for two or three days before maybe getting back into training towards the end of the week.

Some players, myself included, are going to use the opportunity to get some red-ball practice in with the 2nd XI, who are down in Hove, playing against Sussex. In the second XI this season, the fixtures are grouped so that you play a 3 day game, and a 1 day game all in the same trip, to minimise travel. Because of this, a few of the more senior players will be playing one of the two games. Personally, I will be travelling down after the 1 day game, to play in the 3 day game. If Sussex also have a mini-break then you often find that other senior players might turn out against you, which makes for a really good contest, and good practice before the next County Championship game against Derbyshire which starts the following week.

My trips down to Sussex mean one thing – fish and chips! Well, they mean more than just that, but when you go down to Brighton, you can guarantee there will be a flat pitch, a short boundary on one side, good practice facilities and fish and chips! All in all, it’s a nice trip to go on, and the 2nd team coach, David Ripley will probably enjoy the company of players that are born on the same side of 1990 as him!

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