Well, it’s cold here right now. I’m at home in England, on the couch about to pack and drive to Bristol for the start of tomorrows Championship match vs Gloucestershire.
I’ve been over here for two weeks now after a few extra days back in NZ waiting on my passport to come back with a Visa entry stamp in it to come and play for Leicestershire.
I must, again, thank the good guys at Post Haste for helping me out a whole heap. My passport had to go to Canberra, Australia, to get the Visa. I knew that as soon as it came back into NZ on its way back to me the ‘track and trace’ number that I could watch on line would be activated. So as soon as it landed and was in the Post Haste system, I was on to them to get it to me ASAP. The last week I was back in NZ I was never far from a computer so that I could check to see if it had got back to Auckland on its way back to me in Wellington. I had been also changing my flights, almost every day, hoping the passport would turn up. So, at 3.45pm, a couple of Tuesdays ago, I saw, online, my passport had reached Auckland. If I was to get out that day I would need to; a) somehow pick it up in Auckland as it wasn’t going to make it to Wellington in time; b) change my flight and hope that there was a seat available. So that was one nervous, stressful and in the end a successful afternoon. Flights changed, that was the easy bit. Picking up the passport that was going to take some magic, and somehow the planets aligned and it worked out! Again, Post Haste, Jimmy Sales, Phil and the others who helped out, an massive thank you from me and of course my wife.
So, I’m here now and have played three one day matches and one Championship match for Leicestershire. The schedule is pretty tight and time off between games isn’t as much as we would get at home in our domestic season.
We haven’t had a great start to the season with our first win only coming yesterday against Ireland in the Friends Provident Series. So far I haven’t really succeeded as I would have hope to in the competition. I had two weeks off in NZ before getting here and really enjoyed doing very little and letting the body have its rest. I am a bowler that bowls best when I’ve been bowling and bowling. So I was in a catch 22 position. I needed the rest but I also needed to keep bowling to hit the ground running here. I was hopeful that I could get into the grove over here after a couple of trainings and find my form quickly. I haven’t unfortunately and last week’s Championship match at South Gate vs Middlesex was not my best showing, at all.
Yesterday was better, the action is almost back to where it should be, and the adjustment of lengths to bowl on slower and lower pitches has been the tougher part. Coming from a Test series on some good Test pitches to County cricket on early season low and slow decks has been a little frustrating. But that’s what I have to do my job on and I have to get on and do my job, learn, adjust and get some wickets for the team.
So far the weather has been pretty good; although, as I said, it’s rather cold today and has been quite wet. The decision to take the IPL to South Africa looks to be a good one, apart from the early few games that were rain affected and the weather here, in the UK, was outstanding. I’ve been trying to keep up with the results and how the NZ boys have been going, but as I don’t have the channel they are being played on I don’t get to watch much of the footage. So it’s cricinfo for the match reports and live scorecards. It’s a tight competition and some upsets have been played out right the way through. I’m looking forward to catching up with the guys once they get over here for the T20 World Cup to hear how this one has been.
Right then, time to pack the bags, pick up a couple of the lads and get on the road to Bristol. I’ll be back in a couple of days times with another update.
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