May has been a busy month with something on almost every weekend…
On the Pitch…
Mixed fortunes all round in the middle; The 1st XI faced off against arch rivals Wombats down at a very windy Fuji….and got a bit blown away. Another Catch of the Century, this time in Vicky’s elongated mitt, and 4 wickets for Viv couldn’t stop the rot and we lost by over 100 runs.
Better news at Tanuma though where Paddy’s were dispatched despite the 1st XI not playing at their best. Prashant was in good form though making 99 backed up by PG with a half century.
The Super 2nds gave the Selectors some headaches for their match against the Tigers. 20 players were available for this game and the 12 finally picked included two female debutantes Kurumi and Madoka. Welcome aboard. We took a beating but positive signs were all round. The 2nds go marching on.
It was a festival of cricket down at Sammu as all 4 teams rolled up with their associated posses of wives, husbands, children and Koji! Good to see him back in Japan for a holiday. Unfortunately we couldn’t welcome him back with a win against the Rising Stars but it was a good match played in a good spirit with plenty of friendly banter as Sumon, Murad and Sayeed bhais were playing for the Stars.
Big thanks go out to Dave L, CT (twice), Mairaj, Takady and Molloy for taking care of May’s umpiring duties. Thanks also to the players who volunteered their time but were not yet required.
Off the pitch…
We had a useful and well attended training session at Akai Farm earlier in the month. If you’ve never been I can fully recommend it. Practicing with the hard ball off decent run ups, as well as the bowling machine, will surely start paying dividends soon. Even my own batting, often a source of acute embarrassment, has improved as a result. I hit a text book cover drive at Sammu, possibly my first ever. Poor Dave was in shock.
One word of warning though. If it gets windy out there then the nets can fall over. They are heavy, believe me. Plans are underway to fix them to the deck more firmly.
Akaihost have confirmed they will join the Sharks as a major sponsor this year and their logo is now up on the site. Many thanks to them for their support and a warm welcome from all the Sharks.
Along with our main sponsor Dr Wheatgrass, we are building a decent financial base to enable the club to run more smoothly and promote cricket in the Chiba region. After careful consideration the Management Committee are looking at using the funds in these areas:
1. Making travel/training shirts (with the team name and sponsors logo).
2. Subsidizing youth players fees.
3. Paying for training fees at Akai farm.
4. Subsidizing transport fees for Sharks attending JCA Meetings.
5. Developing the Sammu ground to a hard, fixed pitch venue.
May has been another literary feast of reports. Many thanks to PG, Rui, Big Nick and Doogs for their reportage. Fine Art aficionados have also been treated to PG’s glorious artwork; stripped down, expressionist masterpieces deconstructing the dynamism and kinetic vigour of athletic youth. More of that please.
Ins and Outs…
The Sharks welcome Kurumi and Mahesh to the club. Kurumi is well known to many Sharks as an experienced, quality JCL player and National Team member. Mahesh is a restaurateur based in Kawasaki. Both are very handy players.
and au revoir to: Gaurav and Shakriya
The evolution of Paddy Foley’s continues. Their 1st XI seems to have lost its sizeable Sri Lankan player base and replaced it with Pakistani KCL Legends – Kamran is captaining that team and has veterans Ashiq (ex-Shark) and Noman in the mix.
Tokyo Wombats have a bright and shiny new website (here) up that looks a bit…well ……Sharky. I’ve been assured that the similarity is coincidental. Anyway, as the Wombats are only other club that writes decent reports, it is well worth a visit.
The East Kanto Sunrisers played their first games under Murad’s managerial eye. The Japan Premier League side features no fewer than 7 Japan Cup Sharks PG, Viv, Nav, Doogs, Marcus, Kav, Rui but it sounds like they had a tricky time.
According to CT, after a weekend of trials under the experienced eye of Australian super coach Cam Tradell in late March, 2 squads of 20 were selected for the Japan national training squad. Selection policy now focuses on Japanese nationals and players who have played junior cricket in Japan. This means that unfortunately Prashant, a national side veteran, was no longer eligible, but the Sharks have a strong representation with Rui , Muneeb, Takady, Tommy, Marcus and Waki named in the men’s squad. Kurumi and Madoka were named in the ladies squad. Well done all and commiserations to PK. Keep your best stuff for the Sharks!
CT also reports that The U-15 My-Ys have started the season strongly with solid wins against Tigers and Tsukuba. The U-19s start their campaign this month with matches against Tokai and Uenomiya. Both teams finished 2nd in the national competition last year and have been training hard at Akai Farm, so lets hope they can go one better this year.
The Sharks are doing their level best to give Japan’s declining birth rate a boost. The Musgrave-Takedas and the Sanchetis both welcomed baby girls into the world this month. Many congratulations to you and your families from the whole team.
Last month I mentioned that we might be getting our first ever Test Match playing Shark in the person of Waddington Mwayenga, from Zimbabwe. Unfortunately a few personal things cropped up and he’s not coming to Japan anymore. Nevermind. The 2nd XI will continue without him.
You may recall that this year all players are supposed to register with the JCA and pay their registration fee (2000Y) to them directly. This system seemed to have been completely forgotten until my recent enquiries bore fruit today. Apparently the system will be going live in the next couple of weeks and players will have a choice of paying at a conbini or by credit card. Given that some players have already left the country we hope that the Nepal branch of the JCA is at full speed and ready to chase up and accept payments.
Finally, on arrival at the beautiful Sammu ground in the morning there is often a white rabbit at the gate to greet you. An escaped pet no doubt. If he could speak he would surely be saying, bowl straight and play forward as the temporary Flicx pitch has been causing havoc with its low bounce. Men In Blue are hurting the most after being skittled for 22 against Tsukuba!!!!!
And beware of the automatic door to the Sammu clubhouse that closes at 5:00pm sharp, as one Shark on umpire on debut recently found out the hard way.
That’s all for now Sharks. Best of luck in June.