Saturday, 29 February 2020

Meeting 11 March 2020 - John Barclay

An acclaimed schoolboy cricketer, John Barclay made his Sussex debut in 1970, aged just sixteen. Two years later John joined the county as a promising all-rounder, going on to captain the side from 1981 to 1986. After retirement he managed the England team on two major overseas tours and became Director of Cricket and Coaching for the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation, encouraging young people from less advantaged backgrounds to play and enjoy the game. To date, more than 200,000 youngsters have benefited from the scheme. John Barclay is President of the English Schools Cricket Association, President of the Cricket Society, and in 2009/10 served as President of the MCC. He is also the author of three books: The Appeal of the Championship, Lost in the Long Grass and his personal favourite, Life Beyond The Airing Cupboard - winner of the MCC and Cricket Society Book of the Year award. 

Don't miss one of cricket's most distinguished and entertaining speakers!

Also available - signed copies of Life Beyond The Airing Cupboard.

New paperback edition, just £10.

Everyone welcome - no dress code, no formalities, just a great evening talking cricket

£15 a year / £5 a meeting

**NEW MEMBER OFFER** 
  • join now for 2020/21 to enjoy free Emerald Headingley East Stand/Long Room access at YCCC matches in 2020 (normal charge - £5 a day)
  • 2020/21 speakers will include Paul Farbrace, Adam Lyth, Luke Sutton, Vic Marks
Venue: Brewery Bar, King William IV, Hallgate, Cottingham HU16 4BD, 7.45pm 

Map: here 

Raffle: top prizes monthly - including 3 pairs of YCCC match ticket vouchers 

E: ercsoc@gmail.com / T: 01482 861848

PROGRAMME 2019/20
2019
 
9 October: Nathan Leamon; England performance analyst, CricViz founder, author of The Test 
13 November: Derek Pringle; ex England & Essex CCC all-rounder + AGM 7.15pm [report] 
11 December: Steve Kirby; ex Yorkshire CCC bowler, MCC Head Coach; now Derbyshire CCC Assistant Coach [report] 
2020
8 January: Richard Pyrah, Yorkshire CCC; ex all-rounder, now Assistant Coach [report]
12 February: Jonathan Doidge, BBC Radio Leeds Cricket Correspondent; Yorkshire CCC ball-by-ball commentator 
11 March: John Barclay, ex Sussex CCC opener & captain; MCC President 2009/10; President, Cricket Society & English Schools Cricket Association; Director of Cricket & Coaching, Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation

Rich Pyrah, January 2020

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Match report: Jonathan Doidge, 12 Feb 2020

Jonathan Doidge, February 2020
Well, I was disappointed. Most emphatically not in our speaker – certainly not. But with Valentine's day in the offing, where were the strewn confetti hearts, long-stemmed roses in wineglasses, or Cupids hanging from the ceiling? Maybe Christmas set my expectations too high?

But to our speaker – Mr Jonathan Doidge. A man equally at home talking over by over about Yorkshire CCC, interviewing Grimsby Town footballers on the fly ('Do you like wearing shorts?'), assessing the going at Cheltenham (it dries up by the final day, apparently), or even throwing in a quick impression – think David Coleman, Eddie Waring or Bill McLaren. In short, a man imbued with sporting history, knowledge and enthusiasm. Getting lost at Ripon races aged just two was the experience that got him hooked. And, it must also be mentioned, a world champion and Olympic organiser to boot. Although to put these last two feats in context, the Olympics in question featured his brothers and friends in his home street in Horsforth, near Leeds, while the Subbuteo World Cup took place in the early 1970s with those same brothers as the opposition. 

It is this depth and breadth that enables him to hold the attention such that during one story I was convinced that everyone was holding their breath so focused were they on the raconteur.

Jonathan touched lightly on his own history: proud of his Horsforth roots, young cricketer for Pudsey St Lawrence, and survivor of near-expulsion from school for leaving early to watch the Cheltenham Gold cup on TV! In the late 90s, advised to pursue his media ambitions by Sid and Irene Waddell, Jonathan took redundancy from the financial services sector to gain a first-class degree in Media and Sport at Leeds Trinity. Working for Sky, and later as a freelance, Jonathan commentated on Yorkshire CCC for BBC Radio Leeds, called Test matches, World Cups and T20 World Championships – sometimes through the night – alongside Dave 'Cally' Callaghan and Yorkshire's Ashley Metcalfe, and worked as Radio Yorkshire's cricket reporter – all while broadcasting and writing on football, rugby league, racing and other sports. Cally's untimely death in 2018 was followed by a season of change in the BBC commentary box, but for 2019 Jonathan was offered the role on a permanent basis.

Naturally, Jonathan's style is his own but he also differs from Cally in other ways. Firstly, he's happy using social media, tweeting regular updates and opinions, as well as a short video preview before the start of each day's play. He also tries hard to remember to mute his mobile phone, so avoiding those regular interruptions from local radio stations calling (not always on schedule) for their score update. Overall he hopes his audience will enjoy his approach to commentary. 

Jonathan Doidge, February 2020
Jonathan always enjoys interviewing players – especially those who can draw on their experience and reveal something of their true personality. Some players are naturals: Tom Kohler-Cadmore, for example, can easily fill five minutes of airtime in answering a single question! Others are more reluctant interviewees, poor Adam Lyth suffering a moment of pure panic at Scarbados during a switch-over of commentators. The fearless opener would much rather have faced the fastest Michael Holding over than endure twelve long seconds alone in front of the microphone. Jonathan also reckons that much of the vitriol aimed at Andrew Gale (especially on Twitter) is completely undeserved. Indeed he holds Galey in high regard as a man who usually answers questions thoughtfully and honestly even when events are not going his way.

As for YCCC's 2019 season, Jonathan views it overall as a disappointment – definitely under-performing in white ball cricket, while deserving of a higher place than fifth in the Championship . Third place, he felt, would have better reflected their true performance, hampered as they were by two untimely bouts of rain at Headingley. The portents for 2020 are encouraging, however, with some excellent signings and the likely availability of Bairstow and Root for a substantial number of matches. The transition period is over: 'Ambition' is the new watchword.

David Willey, the club's new T20 captain, has taken the winter off to work on his game. He also seems likely to play more red-ball cricket, perhaps sharing the workload with fast bowler Matthew Fisher. After his omission from last year's England World Cup-winning squad, Willey admits that fell out of love with cricket, but this talented all-rounder is now fully committed to his future with Yorkshire. With Dawid Malan, Nicholas Pooran, Adam Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore in the side, the coming short-form matches should be interesting.

Commenting on Duanne Olivier, Jonathan conceded that 'Big D' had experienced some difficulty in adapting to English conditions following his move from South Africa and, after a couple of excellent performances early on, only really started to hit his straps in late season. But Duanne's performance against Kent at Headingley showed that he really is a 'nasty fasty'; if he can stay on top of his game for two-thirds of the time, he'll trouble a lot of county batsmen.

Adil Rashid is never far from a Yorkshire supporter's thoughts, and here we learned that player and club are ‘in talks'and ‘trying to find an answer'– successfully as it turned out, with a white-ball contract signed for 2020. But by Adil's own wishes, we may well have seen the last of him with a red ball in hand. To compensate comes the arrival of Indian Test star Ravi Ashwin. Mick Cadmore, then working with Worcestershire CCC, described Ravi arriving at the New Road nets to bowl a sequence of off-break, off-break, leg-break with no discernible change in run-up, action or release – giving a whole new definition to the term ‘wizard’. Messrs Cadmore and Doidge agreed that Ravi is a player of a completely different class, who will pose real problems to opposing batsmen. None will have a clue what he's about to let fly!
 
Jonathan Doidge, February 2020
Our chairman was confined to the audience while convalescing from a recent operation, so his question was more line-and-length than googly. What, he mused, was Jonny Bairstow's future? Jonathan, too, can only conjecture. Bairstow was certainly hurt by his omission from the Test team and the squad for Sri Lanka, and presuming England ratify Joe Root's availability for Yorkshire, then Bairstow will also be able to play. But that raises the question of who will keep wicket: Bairstow or (Jonny) Tattersall? If Bairstow wants to regain the England gloves, Jonathan assumes that Yorkshire would want to give him the chance – however unfair on Tattersall, who is learning as he goes and doing a sterling job.

Jonathan also emphasised how tough it is to interview sportspeople who are playing badly. As a professional journalist – even one who plays the sport – you're acutely aware of not approaching the class of your interviewee – but your job is to ask the difficult questions. He's pleased that his professionalism, and theirs, meant no Yorkshire player responded negatively to any critique he made last season. In the end his role is to put the question, leaving the interviewee to decide whether or not to answer.

Jonathan's final advice was a very down-to-earth 'be true to yourself'. And, of course, he closed by reminding his audience to catch every over of Yorkshire's 2020 season with BBC Radio's ball-by-ball commentary. Offering the vote of thanks, Maggie Sumner congratulated Jonathan on the feats of memory that underpin his easy command of so many different sports and offered our very best wishes for the summer to come.

And as a final aside, I must now leave the PA system alone. The microphone and money wizard in our midst had set it up perfectly in advance of the meeting. Unless, of course, I misunderstood events before my arrival, and it was actually the BBC Radio Leeds man who had performed the miracle?

[Reporter: Cathy Rennison] 

Next meeting: Wednesday 11 March, 7.45pm - John Barclay; ex Sussex CCC captain; MCC President 2009/2010 

Everyone welcome - no dress code, no formalities, just a great evening talking cricket

£15 a year / £5 a meeting 
 
**NEW MEMBER OFFER** Join now for 2020/21 to enjoy free premium access (normal charge - £5 a day) to the Emerald Headingley East Stand / Long Room at YCCC matches in 2020.

Venue: Brewery Bar, King William IV, Hallgate, Cottingham HU16 4BD, 7.45pm 

Map: here 

Raffle: top prizes monthly - including 3 pairs of YCCC match ticket vouchers 

E: ercsoc@gmail.com / T: 01482 861848

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Meeting 12 February 2020 - Jonathan Doidge

Appointed cricket correspondent of BBC Radio Leeds in autumn 2018 in succession to the late Dave Callaghan, Jonathan Doidge has found his dream job as ball-by-ball commentator on all Yorkshire CCC matches. Join Jonathan to review his first season behind the mike, assess the county's prospects for 2020, and to learn more about this talented sports broadcaster.

Read more about Jonathan here - http://www.jonathandoidge.com/

Everyone welcome - no dress code, no formalities, just a great evening talking cricket

£15 a year / £5 a meeting

**Join now: 'February/March Special' - £10**

Member benefits: enjoy free premium access to Emerald Headingley's East Stand / Long Room at YCCC matches in 2020 (normal charge - £5 a day)

Venue: Brewery Bar, King William IV, Hallgate, Cottingham HU16 4BD, 7.45pm 

Map: here 

Raffle: top prizes monthly - including 3 pairs of YCCC match ticket vouchers 

E: ercsoc@gmail.com / T: 01482 861848

PROGRAMME 2019/20
2019
 
9 October: Nathan Leamon; England performance analyst, CricViz founder, author of The Test
13 November: Derek Pringle; ex England & Essex CCC all-rounder + AGM 7.15pm [report]
11 December: Steve Kirby; ex Yorkshire CCC bowler, MCC Head Coach; now Derbyshire CCC Assistant Coach [report] 
2020
8 January: Richard Pyrah, Yorkshire CCC; ex all-rounder, now Assistant Coach [report]
12 February: Jonathan Doidge, BBC Radio Leeds Cricket Correspondent; Yorkshire CCC ball-by-ball commentator 
11 March: John Barclay, ex Sussex CCC opener & captain; MCC President 2009/10; President, Cricket Society & English Schools Cricket Association; Director of Cricket & Coaching, Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation

Rich Pyrah, January 2020

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Match report: Rich Pyrah, 8 Jan 2020


Rich Pyrah, January 2020
It's a no-risk bet that if you hadn't met Rich Pyrah before tonight, within two minutes you found yourself drawn to him. It's his natural balance of personal modesty, a warm heart and a 'look-you-in-the-eye-and-tell-it-like-it-is' style. When your parents meet over a cricket tea, and your granddad and dad play for the club you also join at an early age, you grow up in cricket - as did Rich. His mates spring from that background too: Tim (Bresnan), Andy (Gale) and John (Sadler). But Rich received no favours from Tim’s dad Ray: two overs of outswing, an inswinger and a warning 'don’t get out LBW'. Ignored, of course, when Rich duly planted his leg between ball and wicket.

Progress from Ossett CC to the YCCC 1st team (red and white ball) seemed 'natural' to him, although he confessed that he was a player who had to work hard to survive at the highest level. When not in the 1st XI, he often led, mentored and informally coached the Seconds - and in doing so found his real vocation. He ended his playing career, aged just 32, after back-to-back Championship wins in 2014 and 2015, and immediately joined the club's coaching staff. Dizzy (Head Coach, Jason Gillespie) quickly sent him to the Big Bash - first with Adelaide Strikers and latterly Melbourne Renegades, where he worked with ex England bowling guru David Saker and (in his own words) 'fell in love' with coaching bowlers. On his return to the UK, the Yorkshire Diamonds presented a very different challenge - a mix of international players and complete amateurs stretching his coaching skills to the limit. Today his role as YCCC Bowling Coach is a wide one, working across 1st and 2nd teams and the Academy, as well as keeping an eye out for those who are younger still.

As a coach Rich prefers not to pigeon-hole players, aiming instead to develop their natural style and equip them with all the skills needed to become red, white or multi-format players as they choose. Even unorthodox actions are accommodated - sticking to his guns has certainly worked for one James Anderson. Although discouraged by some coaches for fear of injury, Rich also likes his bowlers to learn by providing pre-match net practice at Headingley and observing how the top players prepare. Some counties discourage this for fear of injury, but Rich supports it wholeheartedly. 

Rich's playing career of course generated its own tales. As a promising teenager with Ossett, Rich - alongside John Sadler (now Assistant Head Coach with Northants CCC) - was lucky enough to dine with Sachin Tendulkar, a close friend of Ossett's overseas star Sammy Dighe. Sammy invited the two star-struck youngsters to meet the great man in the Tavern at Lords and over two hours of cricket chat Sachin never once removed his sunglasses. Super cool, thought Rich.

Rich Pyrah, January 2020
In 2011, with the score at 47-7, Rich arrived - willow in hand - to face a rampant Lancashire attack. Knowing Tim Bresnan had been released from Test duty but was still a couple of hours away (what a game is cricket), Rich decided to 'play some shots' - to such good effect that he and Siddy (Ryan Sidebottom) put on 160 before last man Tim made his belated appearance. And in 2014 he took the catch that won the Championship - no fast-moving reflex effort (far preferable) but a ball arriving so slowly that he had plenty of time to ponder the implications: 'Don’t drop it, don’t drop it' was his only thought. These moments of victory are clearly perilous in the extreme, as Steve Kirby recounted last month. This time it was the Pyrah sunglasses that bore the brunt of the assault, smashed to bits in a collision with a jubilant Jonny Bairstow, but the win was extra special because so many close friends were involved. As the leading bowler on the day, Sid walked off with a stump and ball - but presented both to Rich for his 2015 benefit year.

Our esteemed chairman is always keen to establish that a batsman is frightened of certain bowlers, but Rich would admit to no such thing. Indeed he enjoyed facing the great - for example, Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan and James Anderson - and the quick. Making his first-class debut in 2004, he encountered a fearsome spell from Simon Jones tearing down the slope at a damp Colywn Bay. Rich was hit on the head, but nevertheless scored a doughty 25* off 78 balls.

Training has changed greatly since Rich's arrival on the scene two decades ago. No fast bowler then would have fielded like Matthew Fisher today, with an agility that is both expected and practiced. To enable these feats of athleticism, batsmen concentrate in training on hand speed and strength, while bowlers focus on core strength and stabilisation. Rich uses stats and video analysis but feels that as yet no-one has quite got the balance right. Some players can and do use this information; others find it meaningless or unhelpful. Understanding the player is more important than adopting any one coaching method. 

Academy players to watch out for in the coming season(s) include Eddy Booth, James Mukherjee, Harry Quarmby and Sam Wisniewski, and Rich believes that the controversial Hundred will benefit Yorkshire's younger players as they will be given the chance to play in the absence of more senior men. He accepts that a young side will inevitably be inconsistent but argues it is something that coaches must manage. Commenting on two current players, Rich reckons that Gary Ballance may play again for England but, given his previous history, would do so only if the circumstances were right. Meanwhile Matthew Fisher has talent and raw pace aplenty - clocking speeds of 85mph even as a 16-year-old - but the coming season is likely to be the first time his physical development matches his ability. Careful management is aiming to give Matthew the stamina needed to bowl repeated spells over a long career, rather than reach his mid-30s with the body of a 40-year-old, like a certain county colleague! One good season with the White Rose though and it may not be too long before England come knocking ...

Overall, Yorkshire's bowling attack remains a work in progress after the loss of key men like Sidebottom, Brooks and Plunkett. Captain Steve Patterson provides stability and consistency, while South African Duane 'Big D' Olivier is still adapting to British conditions and pitches after a life-changing decision to leave his home country. In 2020 Big D will join the squad for the final two months of pre-season preparations, including matches in Mumbai.

On the current hot topic - how to get Steve Smith out - Rich michievously suggested consulting a statistician ... Alternatively, New Zealand's recent success getting him caught in the leg trap might suggest another answer. Or there's Dizzy Gillespie's mantra, applicable to any bowler facing any batsman: 'hit the top of off stump as often as you can.'
 
Rich Pyrah, January 2020
Another hardy perennial beloved by our chairman is this: 'Would you rather win the Ashes or the World Cup?' No hesitation. 'Both,' replied Rich, before adding that England had to prioritise the World Cup in 2019, never having won it before, but now was the time to invest in the next Ashes series. Identifying fast bowlers - potential and actual - and wrapping them in cotton wool from now until then would be Rich's recipe for success, and one he expects England to follow.

Red ball spinners are hard to develop in this country when the county game is played in early spring and late summer - at 5°C in Leeds, the ball will seam around, and wickets will fall. Rich welcomes the abandonment of the ‘no toss’ rule for 2020: Headingley is too flat to secure a result except when slightly under-prepared, which has allowed away teams to come and bowl first to great advantage.

YCCC Board member Katherine Mathew thanked Rich for a hugely enjoyable evening, highlighting memories of his two Championship win - an experience we hope might be repeated as a coach in 2020! As an aside, our high-tech financial wizard got the new PA system up and running with the help of (a) an instruction manual and (b) a pint. So new phrases to learn include: 'mic 1 is live', 'it’s over to mic 2 now', and - memorably - 'Mary had a little lamb'. Happy days. And finally a thought for the next meeting just before Valentine’s Day: given the pub’s tinsel retention policy, and the addition of a strategically placed suit of armour, what new - er - ‘decoration’ can we expect?

[Reporter: Cathy Rennison] 

Next meeting: Wednesday 12 February 2020, 7.45pm - Jonathan Doidge, BBC Radio Leeds Cricket Correspondent, Yorkshire CCC match commentator

Everyone welcome - no dress code, no formalities, just a great evening talking cricket

£15 a year / £5 a meeting 

Venue: Brewery Bar, King William IV, Hallgate, Cottingham HU16 4BD, 7.45pm 

Map: here 

Raffle: top prizes monthly - including 3 pairs of YCCC match ticket vouchers 

E: ercsoc@gmail.com / T: 01482 861848

Friday, 3 January 2020

Meeting 8 January 2020 - Richard Pyrah

Greet the New Year with Yorkshire CCC player and coach Richard Pyrah, celebrating twenty years with the club in April 2020 after first signing as a sixteen-year-old. On retirement in 2015, the Dewsbury-born all-rounder immediately joined the club's coaching staff and in 2017 was appointed Bowling Coach, working with players at all levels from 1st XI to Academy. Qualified to ECB Level 4, Richard has coached in women's cricket with Yorkshire Diamonds, in the Big Bash with Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Renegades, and in 2020 will take charge of the 1st-team squad while Andrew Gale is seconded to the Northern Superchargers in the The Hundred competion.

Everyone welcome - no dress code, no formalities, just a great evening talking cricket

£15 a year / £5 a meeting 

Venue: Brewery Bar, King William IV, Hallgate, Cottingham HU16 4BD, 7.45pm 

Map: here 

Raffle: top prizes monthly - including 3 pairs of YCCC match ticket vouchers 

E: ercsoc@gmail.com / T: 01482 861848

PROGRAMME 2019/20
2019
 
9 October: Nathan Leamon; England performance analyst, CricViz founder, author of The Test
13 November: Derek Pringle; ex England & Essex CCC all-rounder + AGM 7.15pm [report]
11 December: Steve Kirby; ex Yorkshire CCC bowler, MCC Head Coach; now Derbyshire CCC Assistant Coach [report] 
2020
8 January: Richard Pyrah, Yorkshire CCC; ex all-rounder, now Assistant Coach 
12 February: Jonathan Doidge, BBC Radio; Yorkshire CCC ball-by-ball commentator 
11 March: John Barclay, ex Sussex CCC opener & captain; MCC President 2009/10; President, Cricket Society & English Schools Cricket Association; Director of Cricket & Coaching, Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation

Steve Kirby - December 2019