Thursday, 5 June 2014

On Flintoff watch at Arundel

Lancashire getting tonked here in Arundel by Leicestershire - Second XI Twenty20 finals day with 'the big man' Andrew Flintoff in action. Jordan Clarke has just been hit for six but Flintoff is bowling well - just bowled Michael Thornely.

He isn't being overly active in the field but he's keeping up with the kids. It was funny hearing the crowd clap sedately when it was announced he was coming onto bowl. Suspect it might be a bit different tomorrow night if he plays at Old Trafford.

Mark Chilton, Second XI coach was very emphatic about the 'if' when I spoke to him. We will have to see how he comes through today he said when I asked. But if Lancs beat Leics in this first semi final, will they risk playing him in the final?

Forty overs might be overegging the pudding. He needs to play cricket, Chilton said.We'll see how he goes.

His team arrived at Arundel in a coach, apart from Fred who drove in in his BMW and was asked at the gate if he was member or player. That reflects the charm of this place.

Oh my god
. Fielding at mid on, he has just let one go through. Very apologetic to bowler but that was a bad fumble.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Matt Prior hungry and ready to play for England

Matt Prior is hungry and ready to play for England, says his coach Mark Robinson a day before the England team for the first Test match against Sri Lanka starting on June 12.

Robbo came into the press box at Hove to while away some time as he waited to be interviewed by BBC's Kevin Howell. So what did everyone think, he asked assembled journos. Would Prior get the nod?

General consensus was that Prior was short of time in the middle both with the bat and gloves and his keeping in this match against Notts had been a bit ropey.

This is a difficult ground to keep at because sometimes the ball comes through and other times it doesn't he said and Chris Read hadn't exactly covered himself in glory.

Ideally he would have had more time in the ring, Robbo conceded but he was ready mentally and hungry. He was also unlikely to break down once he started, he added.

We questioned him on how he could be so confident and he said he had been working especially hard this past week and had passed all sorts of tests set by Bruce French, the England keeping coach and by diving around the wicket.

He might be up against a move to change the guard, removing tired old England players (our words) with fresh young ones (ie Jos Buttler). Peter Moores might be a fan of changing the guard we felt but Robbo wasn't sure. It was a strong promo for Prior but we pointed out that we weren't the ones who needed convincing!! We'll see what happens tomorrow?