New season-same old complaints
We've had a good start to the season with our first game against Essex commencing on the 23-26th April. It's ironic that after a wonderfully dry March and April the first significant rainfall came during the first top class match of the season, and subsequently we lost a couple of the days play. There was a great climax to the game with Essex requiring one run off the last six balls, but they failed and we witnessed the first drawn game at Edgbaston for many years.
We then hosted the first Sunday match against Yorkshire, the day was overcast and a biting wind made sure you sheltered somewhere warm, but the wicket had plenty of pace in it and unfortunately Yorkshire took the most from its liveliness. In hindsight I wish that I'd kept the wicket back for one of the four day games, because it performed so well, but enough said about hindsight!
The closeness of the four-day game and then the Sunday game meant covering the one-day wicket with a mat for protection. The players
Prior to the start of the season I managed to get down a 25% Nitrogen slow release fertiliser. Because it was so dry the fertiliser just sat on the surface, so we had to get the travelling sprinklers out and water the outfield. Fortunately the rain over the last two weeks has helped and the grass looks tremendous now.
I wanted to feed the square as well with a 16% Nitrogen feed, it was losing its colour and was in need of a pick-me-up. The club though were keen to make sure that no play was lost due to rain, so with the full square cover going on, I couldn't put on the fertiliser and risk disease starting under the rain cover.
Now that we have played our second four-day Championship game against Sussex, I intend to fertilise the square tonight and then water it in thoroughly. With the next match on Sunday 18th May, I should have a few days to dry out the square, and do the final preparations. I hope to give the boys a day off on Saturday because they have now worked five on the trot, so once prepared I will spray the square with a preventative fungicide, sheet up and leave it until Sunday morning.
The games are coming at us thick and fast, and in fact the next weekend that we can look at having time off will be at the end of June, it must be payback time for those easier winter months!
Still it's all good fun, new season and we've already had the usual complaints from the players, maybe you may recognise some of these. It's too quick, It's too slow, It's turning too much, It's not turning enough, It's seaming too much, the balls not coming onto the bat, the ball's bouncing too high, the practice wickets are too slow, fast, green, the outfield needs to be shorter to get the ball to the boundary, needs to be longer to hold up the ball and so it goes on.
Best of luck for the season lads!