Manager’s Monthly Missive – May 2017

Hello Sharks and Supporters,

May is normally pretty hectic but this year things seem even more so than normal. There’s a real sense that cricket is going somewhere in this country now with more teams, more competitions, more youth involvement and more ground development. Well, how did the Sharks do in this maelstrom of activity?

On the Pitch…
The 1st XI suffered two narrow losses in May on the SICG turf pitch. These were the first ever Sharks JCL matches played on turf so something new there. Skipper Doogs reports the most notable performer in those matches was Rui Matsumura opening the bowling. 2/10 off 5 against Sano then 2/6 off 5 (including four straight maidens) against Wyverns. The show down against Wombats on June 10th looms as a crucial match.

The 2nd XI got back to winning ways with a clinical display against Alphas Q’s, running out winners by 6 wickets. KB played a very low key role in the victory by taking 5 wickets for 12 runs.

The Japan Cup side learned the benefits of using two scorebooks by only using one against Rising Stars in a messy 1 run loss, with scoring errors seemingly deciding the outcome of this tightest of games. The Japan Cup side also mixed it up with a few Stars to play a friendly vs Tokyo Falcons. I think they lost.

Many thanks to our May umpires: Me, Dave L, KB again and Sankar. CT also kept himself busy umpiring some JPL matches.

Off the pitch…
Welcome back to Big Nick who returned from his honeymoon eager to take over most of the responsibilities for the Website so you may notice a few changes as he stamps his mark on it.

Erstwhile Sharks all-rounder Charles Steinhardt emailed to say he might be in Japan in July for a brief stint. If so, we are hoping he’ll rejoin for a spell and bring chaos to a ground near you.

Nagoya CC have been in touch about playing some friendly matches vs the Sharks but with our schedule as packed as it is, we’ve had to turn them down for the moment. Perhaps we can get something together in the off-season.

Thanks to our report writers in May: Terry and Limo. The Wyverns and Rising Stars reports are still on the presses.

Ins and Outs…
There are no new players in the in-tray but Jay will be out of action till July. In his first match at Sano1 he came off second best in an argument with a molehill and broke his glasses. Then in his second match, a friendly at Sammu, he fractured a finger and is under doctor’s orders to rest it for 6 weeks! That’s just bad luck. Get well soon buddy.

Other Teams…
It seems that some teams are already struggling to turn out full 2nd XI sides. Just this weekend an 8 man Sano 2nds side pulled off an upset by beating the big hitting Paddy’s 2s…who had 9.

Max 2nd XI put out just 9 (10 including Chula, who was ineligible) for a spanking from the Sharks too. I suppose we should pat ourselves on the back a bit as we can consistently put out full 11 and 12 man sides. This depth of the squad is only made possible because our players are willing to play as 12th man or sit out if the situation demands it. Good stuff Sharks! It all counts.

No such worries for the high flying Wyverns. Their 1st XI has already won more games this season than it did in the whole of 2016 to leave them top of the pile. New recruit Bebe Miyaji and Raheel Kano seem to be spinning the wins out for them. It’s good to see the Wyverns flourishing again.

In the JPL, the East Kanto Sunrisers lost their matches against South Kanto Superkings but saw some good batting from Marcus, Muneeb, Nav and Takady. Marcus was also in imperious form behind the stumps by all accounts.

Madoka played in all 6 of Japan’s matches in the Women’s World T20 East Asia Pacific Qualifier in Sano over golden week. Unfortunately Japan could only manage one win but great experience for Madoka.

Anything else…
It’s all happening in North Kanto! KCL side, Samurai C.C. christened Japan’s newest cricket ground against Iwaki Gurukas on a Flicx pitch at Ashikaga, Tochigi.

A little more significant perhaps is the news that the Government of Japan has decided to pump ¥400 Million!!!! into Sano City for the development of cricket. This is a major step forward for the great game in Japan. Expect to start seeing significant changes at the Tanuma ground in the near future. Talk on the grapevine is two grounds with a mix of turf and artificial wickets and full training facilities (and a water tap at Sano River Grounds! I’m joking of course…).

The Japan Cup committee has announced this rule change: “If any team informs about the unavailability by two weeks prior notice, then the team will be exempted for the minus 2 points.” And next in Chris Thurgate’s series of ICC rule changes. .. Law 32. Caught.

“A batsman will be caught out off a helmet worn by a fielder. As the rule stands now, a batsman can not be caught from a ball that touches the helmet worn by a fielder.”

This will change which means that the ball that Asala wore while fielding at short leg against Wyverns recently will still be a catch. On the subject of Asala, Dhugal notes that he set a fine example on upholding the spirit of cricket against Wyverns. The Sharks looked like we were cruising to an unlikely victory after he had put on a 50 run partnership with Rui. There was an appeal for a catch at short leg which was given not out but Asala walked anyway, knowing that it had touched his bat. It was recognized by the opposition that we probably would have won if he had stood his ground and a couple of them commented on how much respect they had for Asala for his actions.

Good to see the Sharks are playing cricket the right way.

That’s all for May Sharks,


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