I have got great offer recently as Russ Degnan invited me to join him for his Associate & Affiliate podcast he regularly produces at Idle Summers and for which he deserves much credit. I gladly accepted looking forward to new experience.
I had listened to some of his podcasts in the past and talking about cricket looked like an easy thing to do. Conversation about a subject I love but I dont have much chance to talk about where I live, simple.
Though I knew roughly what we were going to talk about I was bloody nervous going “on air.” Various diversion activities of my son and our cat in the living room did not help me feel less nervous either. I also thought how to approach the introduction of a small ICC affiliate nation’s cricket, to be honest or to talk up things a bit? Then Skype connection Melbourne – Prague was established and I entered the realm of podcasts with Russ and Andrew Nixon.
The podcast failed to record due to technical issues. I admit I was rather happy because I thought I did not do well. After some scheduling issues between Czech Republic and Australia we got to the second attempt. I expected to be a bit more relaxed but I was as nervous as before. By the time we ended chatting I was tired, sweaty and my throat parched. I was frank in answering the questions without trying to ruffle someone’s feathers.
Having listened to the outcome I must say I do not like my spoken English one bit. This skill has deteriorated since my university days and needs to be improved along with my footwork and batting against spin.
On the other hand I got nice feedback from quite a few people. It is nice to learn many fans of the game take interest in cricket beyond the test level. I was pleasantly surprised by thumbs up I got from various twitteratti too.
Great thanks to Russ for providing the opportunity to inform fans about local cricket, our cricket union Czech cricket and my club Prague Cricket Club.

So if you want to know how corrupted bowlers got one guy from the middle of Europe interested in cricket here is the link:


precious minutes at the crease

Here are six figures a – f which show how much time per season one can spent being a batsman. When one is an enthusiastic cricket noob in a beautiful country in the heart of Europe.

“a” stands for number of minutes with the bat in the nets per one training session
“b” stands for number of minutes with the bat in the nets per month
“c” stands for number of minutes with the bat in the nets per season according to the official training schedule
“d” is an estimated number of minutes spent ingame facing the ball this season
“e” is an estimated number of minutes spent with the bat in the nets apart from the official training schedule
“f” is the total time in minutes spent with the bat this season

a, b, c
We practise in nets once a week. My club is the most populous one so each player gets 12 minutes with the bat per session. There is one session per week hence four sessions in a month. The season lasts from April to September which makes it 24 sessions per season. That is 288 minutes or 4.8 hours.
I do not take rained-off sessions or not being available into consideration. “C” is a general figure, the ideal highest number anybody in my club can get.

There are around 20 matches per season on our fixture list with approximately 3 matches per month. I played in 10 (not sure atm and lazy to dig the data up) and I honestly think my time at the striker’s end didnt exceed half an hour. That is 30 minutes or 0.5 hour.
This is obviously an individual figure and Cpt.Duck departs early. Some of my teammates’ “d” figure is naturally many times higher than mine.

Being a noob I want to practise more often than scheduled. I and my teammates (their numbers ranging from 1 to 5) couple of extra nets this season. Gave me two hours of batting I would say. Thats 120 minutes or 2 hours.
Individual figure again. Not everyone one in my club is keen on extra practice. Given the average age and work/family commitments its quite difficult to gather the guys. But anything extra is a big plus imo.

This is the total figure. The time I have spent batting during the official training sessions, in the matches and during extra nets this season.
a = 12
b = a x 4 = 48
c = b x 6 = 288
d = 30
e = 120
f = c + d + e
f = 288 + 30 + 120 = 438
The total time is 438 minutes which is 7.3 hours.

I had attended nets regularly and I had been available for 90% of the matches which resulted in about seven hours of batting. Lucky to get so much time facing a ball or terribly insufficient amount of time for a beginner? What do you think?

our cricket ground

Českomoravský kriketový svaz (ČMKS aka Czech cricket union) have managed to develop a ground which is officially a turf pitch ground. It was funded by ICC as a part of the affiliate nations development program. Located in the northern outskirt of Prague it is basically agricultural land turned sporting field. The inaugural match took place in April 2012. It is the first sports facility in the whole country dedicated only to cricket which makes it the only cricket ground as well. Local clubs cannot afford to have one built and had shared a municipal grass field to play the game in the past (shared with pedestrians, bikers and dogs too on weekends).

Obviously it is a great thing for Czech cricket however the first season has brought a few problems. Not so unexpected ones some may say. To set up and maintain a turf pitch ground in a remote area in a country where off-season lasts six months? And where cricket is absolutely minor sport without money? That is an adventure, gentlemen.
ČMKS lacks money, expertise and given the location even practical means (no water source, no roller) to keep the ground in playable condition. At least for now. Perhaps it could be noted that the process of choosing the right location and whether to have turf or artificial pitch was not the most transparent one. Our fellow cricketers in Germany and Austria do have AstroTurf pitches and it is always a pleasure to play there. This year’s 40-over league final was played in Dresden.
Season is over and the new one begins in April 2013. We are eagerly awaiting spring to see how long hibernation will treat our ground.
Ceratinly easy to cricticise. People niggle but it is a huge step forward for local cricket. I have played some intense cricket here this year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I daresay I was not alone. The ducks, the run-outs, sun tan and air traffic from nearby airport. A noob’s perception of things may vary from senior player’s of course. A local’s perception may vary from expat’s too.
Being into cricket in central Europe requires patience. Having played only my second season so far I have plenty left…I try not to look at pictures of people playing our level of cricket in South Africa or Australia too often 🙂