Knees, November and The Big Bash

November is my least favourite month of the year. I’m glad it is over, good riddance for another 11 months. I’m pretty certain that if we decided to get rid of one of the months of the year we could bin November and hardly anyone would notice.

This November doubly so. Confirmed on Tuesday that my left knee, which has soldiered on manfully since major surgery in the early 2000s has given up the uneven struggle of trying to transport me. 

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Season Review 2018 – Part 1

Spoiler alert. This was, yet again a season that promised much and fell just short. Somerset, perennial bridesmaids finished second in the County Championship and made it to T20 finals day but went out in the semi-final. But the season will probably be defined by the penultimate home game against Lancashire which ended with defeat within two days and resulted in much scrutiny (again) by the pitch inspectors.

While Somerset escaped sanction and walked away with another =slap on thew wrists many felt that the ECB’s failure to inspect pitches with similar truncated finishes where seam bowling dominated is an inconsistency that remains to be explained.

With some foresight, 18 wickets having fallen to seamers on Day 1 of the Yorkshire game, the excellent George Dobell writing on Crickinfo said, “it will not have gone unnoticed from some Somerset supporters that, if the same number of wickets had fallen in a day to spin bowling, their pitches would have come under scrutiny once again.”  Dobell went on to add, “You wonder though whether the ECB might not be wise to encourage Somerset to maintain their policy of preparing spin-friendly surfaces with a view to the tours of Sri Lanka and the Caribbean that loom for England next winter.” 

Wow!

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Ramses

“If you ever find yourself near Ramses, Get down on your knees,” Pharaoh Story, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat,

First Published by The Anfield Wrap, November 14, 2018

Liverpool Supporters may well be feeling that, after a start to the Premier League season that has seen them concede only 5 goals a little prayer of thanks is in order to our new goalkeeper. Alison Ramses Becker has certainly become a significant part of Liverpool’s much improved defence in 2018.

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Happy Birthday Dad

Could there have been a better time and place to be growing up if you were a cricket-mad kid than Somerset in the seventies? Could I have been luckier to have shared all my formative life experiences with my Dad? His passing left a huge void in my life in so many ways but I feel it most at the end of any day’s play for Somerset.

Thanks to Steve Jennings and the wonderful people at The Incider I’ve found that writing about Somerset cricket has helped to a certain extent fill that gap.

Today would have been his 89th birthday so I wanted to write something for him. So I’ve been mulling over his favourite Somerset players of all time (with a bit of poetic licence) and have come up with the following XI.

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Fabinho

There was a moment at Anfield on Wednesday evening when something very rare happened when a player in red became a personal favourite in a way that transcends all normality. I suspect I wasn’t alone in making such a connection but for a fleeting second the 53,023 others present were irrelevant to my enjoyment of the evening. It was, extatically just me, Fabinho Tavares and that delicious scooped pass over the ailing Red Star defence making a very personal connection.

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The Least Favoured Best Team Ever?

The nearest my baseball cap collection gets to the World Series line up is this Brooklyn Dodgers cap

The Boston Red Sox have reached the World Series and I can honestly say I’ve not enjoyed saying that as much since 2004 – but that’s a long story for another day.
At the start of the 2018 post-season Boston was one of 8 teams vying for the World Series title and who, by virtue of their record had the advantage of playing the key games of each round at home. But despite this, a poll among baseball writers rated the Red Sox seventh out of the eight teams left.

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First Man

As a child of the sixties my formative years and some of my earliest childhood memories were of the NASA Apollo missions to the moon. In subsequent years I have read as widely as possible to bolster my childhood memories and consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable about the subject. 

So the release of First Man last week was a cause of much excitement and anticipation which was fulfilled last evening. And I wasn’t disappointed.

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Baseball for The Cricket Fan

Let’s face it the first couple of weeks of October are torture for all cricket fans. The memories of the season just ended are still close enough to be fresh and for us to realise what we are missing while the new season is so far distant as to be practically invisible.

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Liverpool's Dream

The Love of the Lilliputians

I’ve held off writing anything about last weekend’s Giant Spectacular because I am still trying to process my thoughts and emotions.

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