The Management Committee are privy to some interesting bits and pieces of info/gossip which might be of interest to other club members so from this season I’ll be sending out a monthly digest of what has been going on in Chiba Sharks Land and Japanese cricket (that we hear about) so that everyone is kept up to date with what is happening both on and off the pitch. April is always action packed so this’ll be a bit of a long one.
On the Pitch…
It was a pretty good month for the Chiba Sharks in the middle. The 1st XI were on top form from the opening minute, beating MAX, Sano and Wyverns in succession helped by an early season ton from skipper Doogs and the trusty arm of PG. There were some tight games but the 1st’s proved themselves a tight outfit. Good job gents.
The Super 2nds continued where they left off last season with a tidy dispatching of the Wyverns but then got into some old, bad habits losing somewhat clumsily to Adore, despite a dream debut from Samoa ace Gina (50+ and 3 wkts) Even in defeat though, the spirit around the 2s is quality. The younger players are making the step up well and the older ones are well….. very punctual.
Down at surprisingly pretty Sammu, if we are all honest, I think we expected an easy ride in the Japan Cup this year. The reality has been a bit different. We had to tough it out against a handy looking MIB side and we were then given a lesson in T20 batting by Tsukuba. Time to knuckle down there Sharks and grind out some results.
Big thanks go out to Sankar for joining me in taking care of April’s umpiring duties.
Off the pitch…
The Chiba Sharks main sponsor, Dr. Wheatgrass, has offered again to be our chief sponsor this term with a much more generous and significant level of support than before. This kind of financial input will help us become much more active and inclusive as a social cricket club and we are extremely grateful for this kind of backing. Stay tuned for where this funding will be used.
In addition, Adit‘s new company, Akaihost, are also keen to sponsor the Sharks this season. More details will follow but again we are very grateful to have such interest in supporting what we do.
The Action Sports Stadium in Kashiwa, lovingly known as the ASS, has gone out of business. Luckily, for training, the Sharks have moved their attention away from the ASS this season and moved to Ishimoto san’s Akai Farm (no pun available at this time).
For those unfamiliar with Ishimoto san, she is basically the Mother Theresa of cricket in Chiba. She organises, voluntarily, youth teams and competitions, promotes the game anywhere and everywhere, and builds training facilities in the middle of rural Chiba. The Sharks are determined to support her wherever we can.
There is no word regarding the fate of the Winter League, held annually in the ASS, but I’ll let you know if anything crops up.
As you probably know, the ground at Tanuma has now become the Sano International Cricket Ground, courtesy of some excellent training nets, new bogs and a lovely sign. Speaking to JCA head honcho Alex though, there are serious plans afoot for a new pavilion (with bar, Dave, with bar), a seating grandstand, an extension of the ground and possibly two playable turf wickets all within our lifetime. Exciting times up in deepest, darkest Tochigi.
We’ve been treated a series of top notch reports. Many thanks to PG, Doogs, KB, Asala, Terry and Molloy. Chief Reporter Scott is always looking for new writing talent so let him know if you are interested in having a go.
Ins and Outs…
A warm welcome to: Gina, Big Nick, Gaurav, Kav, Terry, Manish, Muneeb, Limo, Madoka, Rubal and Krishna
and au revoir to: Gaurav and Sharkriya
Sano pair Goka (emerging spinner and dogged mid order youngster) and Raheel (very handy spinner and gun bat) have quit Sano and joined Wyverns instead. Wombats veteran Jarrad Shearer seems to have rejoined them after a year out. Annual talk of the imminent demise of Paddy Foleys may have to go on hold as Uddika has basically taken charge of their 2nd XI as Captain and general sorter out of stuff. He’s a well respected, quality fellow and has changed the whole air of the PF 2s. Just what they need these days. Sule is still overseeing operations at the club and we wish him well.
Ex-Shark Karthik is now opening bat for the Tigers. He seems very happy there (but still can’t pick up an inswinging yorker 😉 so say hello if you see him. Speaking of the Tigers, Sankar and I can report they have a new extraordinarily gifted fielder who goes under the nickname Jonty. Young bloke with a headband. Be warned, if you play a ball out anywhere near him the call is is “No”.
The Japan Premier League will be contested by the cream of the local Japan Cup groups. We have put forward the names of several Sharks to represent this team which will be called the East Kanto Sunrisers (because the the sun rises in the East). East Kanto is also famous for growing peanuts which makes me think that Dave L should have pushed his East Kanto Nut Busters a bit harder. It’s catchy.
The Sharks are flirting with players of International quality these days. We’ve got a fair number of players involved with the Japan National Side – Doogs, Takady, Yosuke, Tommy, Ryo, Takady, Prashant. We’ve even got the Captain of the Samoa Women’s side, Regina Lilii and what a fine player she is.
We are working to get our first ever Test Match playing Shark in the person of Waddington Mwayenga, a Zimbabwean player, helping out in Japan with Cricket Victoria. He’s claimed the wickets of Ganguly and Ponting and could join the Sharks while he’s here (on block membership) for a few games and training sessions. Depending on KB’s mood he could also be the awesomest 12th man we’ve ever had. Nothing concrete yet so stay tuned.
That’s all for now Sharks. Best of luck in May.