A Bryan and a Brian made me think in the last match.
First of all, Whaley came over between overs and asked if Bryan S could have a bowl. The thought that he might want to have a bowl had totally eluded me, and of course he came on and took a wicket.
Then, as we were struggling through the 90s, I caught sight of Brian A, who had arrived late and shouted over to ask if he wanted to pad up. I’d almost forgotten that he was there. He helped steer us to the magic three figures.
Both those little incidents smack of poor man-management, and made me think. In trying to improve enough to start to run teams close, I’d been in danger of losing sight of one of the ideals we had when we set the Cavaliers up: that if you want to play, you play. And ‘play’ doesn’t mean chase a ball around an outfield for 30 overs, then bat at 11.
It’s quite a simple equation; people come to our games because they want to be involved, and if they aren’t, they’ll become bored and start to wonder why they bother.
One solution I’ve come up with is to have more clearly-defined roles for everyone in the team, so they have a better idea of what to expect during the game. So if you’re in the side primarily as a bowler, you’ll bat down the order but will expect to bowl a good allocation of overs. If you’re a batsman, you’ll bat higher up but perhaps only get the odd one or two overs, if any at all.
This sounds fairly sensible to me. Of course, if you’re bowling and get carted around, you’ll still get taken off for someone else, and if you bat badly you’ll still get out. There has to be a little meritocracy left in the equation. By the same token, there’s no reason why James or Jonathan can’t make runs down the order, and if Charles or I come on to bowl for an over and do well we might get one or two more. The important point is that everyone who plays will have a role to play and an opportunity to express themselves and have fun.
Based on this idea, our batting line-up for Sunday would look like this:
- Bryan Alway
- Karl (wk)
- Brian Stones
- Ben Stones
Bowling-wise, Si, Jonathan, Ben and Kev would bowl five or six overs apiece, Brian Stones four or five, and Chip and I would fill in with just one or two as necessary. Karl is lower down the order because he keeps. If the batting goes badly, the lads at the bottom of the order will still get a solid crack, and if the bowlers are leaking runs the part-timers at the top will still get a bowl. But at least everyone has a chance to come in and play a good game doing the stuff they’re best at.
What do you guys think?