Liam Dugdale who is currently playing cricket in Australia sent his thoughts on his time down under:
"I flew out in October, with Etihad Airways, who were having a shocker due to flights being canceled here, there and everywhere. This worked in my favor however as I managed to bag extra leg room, free of charge!
The first flight was ok, a couple of films, and I was sat next to a ‘gold member passenger.’ So he was pretty important apparently! A 3 hour stop in Abu Dabi airport before a 14 hour flight and again with extra leg room. This flight wasn’t as fun, simply because I was sat next to a new born baby who was crying, for 14 hours! Eventually I landed safe in Melbourne, ready to move in with a stranger!
Playing for Blackburn CC (The Burners) The lads at the club are all spot on, very welcoming and easy to get on with! The synthetic pitch (AstroTurf) is a lot different to playing on grass!
Training nights, are the same, Tuesday and Thursdays. 4 bowlers to a net, 1 batsmen. Any spare people will do some kind of fielding drill (it’s no MSD drill where you’re being screamed at every 20 seconds though!). On a Thursday after nets, all the players go into the bar, have a cooked meal and the 4 teams are read out to the players, at selection night. Something which encourages the lads to get to training and always stay for a beer after.
Ive met a lot of people who obviously know Clem, Ollie Hill, Matthew Goodall (Flaps) and Dan Gaunt’. Some even know ‘that Gun player who came over with Ollie and played a practice game, Hucky! The president of the club, Mark Paterson, is one of the best blokes you’ll meet and has only extremely positive things to say about Netherfield as a club.
I’m playing in the 2nd team, opening the batting and have dipped my toe in taking the keeping gloves also! Bowling leg-spin on an artificial is not easy. So I’ve jacked that in! I didn’t start great, scoring 1, 29 and 12 in my first 3 knocks.
Came to round 4 we were playing Heatherdale, The Feathers. A big rivalry between the clubs. We were knocking up and Jay the 2nd team captain shouts ‘we are batting, Pom, you’re opening today mate’. 30 degrees, sweating after over 1! To cut a long story short, this innings turned out to be my maiden 100 in senior cricket scoring 105, getting out in over 52! I walked off thinking ‘Yes I’ve got a higher score than my dad, I’m happy!’ Turns out his is 106* so I better get another!
Over all I am thoroughly enjoying my cricket here in Australia and I am looking forward to coming back, and playing a full season, and getting amongst it next year!
I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a boozed filled New year! All the best,
Updated 08:29 - 24 Dec 2018 by Richard Edmondson