Waverley CC player critiques - 2006
IP has once more compiled a player critique for prominent members of the Waverley squad. Serving a similar purpose to MC's critically acclaimed Waverley School of Cricket, it is designed to give our players an overview of their performance in the 2006 season and help them improve as cricketers.
Stuart Webb - Captain (Jerzy, Stewy)
Finally let loose to run amok with the Captaincy this year, Stuart set about establishing himself as Saturday Skipper and was prepared to mix things up as he ensured he stamped his own trait onto the team. Always prepared to make changes from the status quo, at times it seemed to us as if Stuart was trying to do too much himself in isolation, as if he felt it a sign of weakness to ask advice of the other players.
A learning year as Captain, Stuart's main difficulty was the appalling team selection problem week in, week out as fixtures were either called off or he was left to lead some of the weakest sides ever fielded by Waverley which left him with very little bowling, batting or even fit fielders at times.
With the bat, Stuart had a very mixed year, moving himself from his regular opening slot he bounced up and down the order all season with mixed results. His first well deserved, and long overdue, century and another score in the 90's stood out from the remainder of his scores where he got a start then was out just as better things seemed on the cards. Positioning himself in his command position of mid off, Stuart's usually sharp fielding took a slight dip at times, as if he seemed distracted by the burden of Captaincy, but he stilled pulled off enough stops and held enough fine catches to be thought of as one of our more reliable fielders.
Most likely to say: "I can't believe I got out then, I was well set."
Least likely to say: "I like the look of this end, I'll come on for a few overs."
Adrian Day - Vice Captain (Moggy, The Crooked Billet)
Voted in as Stuart's lieutenant after a record four individuals were nominated for the V-C slot, Adrian carried on pretty much as he left off in 2005 with another solid all round performance.
With the bat, his Boycottesque style, even down to the cap, at times had few fans on the boundary, but they are usually the ones that have already thrown their wickets away. Adrian has a text book technique and takes the view that 20 fine, hand crafted runs scored the traditional way with proper shots is more worthy than a quick fire 35 scores with these new fangled modern slogging shots. His own worst critic with the bat, no-one still dares make eye contact with him after he is dismissed and the changing room is soon vacated to avoid flying kit.
His patented "wobbly eggs' still take wickets, although this year he seemed to be "taking wickets at the other end' - a classic case being a fine spell of unrewarded bowling at Horsley & Send delivered with the hangover from hell.
One of the "less heavy' Waverley men, Adrian is a reliable and agile fielder and his long barrier is just as text book as his batting style.
Most likely to say: "Typical. I toil away all afternoon for nothing. He comes on at the other end and picks up my wickets."
Least likely to say: "You bat through the innings, I fancy having a go at this spinner."
Simon Brewer - (Chimo, The Boy, King Viv)
Last year's Skipper reduced to the ranks and Simon appeared to relish in freedom it gave him. With the bat he was as destructive as ever and demonstrated why he had been voted Player of the Year for last season racking up runs for fun including two hundreds. It was a shame therefore that he fell just short of the magical 1000 for the season, but he has youth on his side and there will be many more chances for him to achieve that goal.
Often thought of as our wicket keeper, Simon was cut loose from the stumps to boost our ailing bowling attack and his pace and movement accounted for several wickets and he even found time to pick up a hat trick along the way.
In his normal position behind the stumps, Simon pulled off a range of successful stops against some of our more wayward bowling and added to his impressive total of stumpings again this season. Always lively in field, he is usually heard shouting out encouragement to the bowler and weary fielders.
Most likely to say: "Fetch that!"
Least likely to say: "I'll just pad out these last few overs to make sure of the draw."
James Wright - (Jim Jam, Wig Wag Ram Jam Ram-A-Lam-A-Ding-Dong, Jimus Jamus, Jimothy, JJ)
Proud owner of the most nicknames in the team, Jim Jam had a break through season with the bat this year. His wait for a fifty was similar to waiting for a bus - you wait for ages for the first one to turn up, then a load all come along at once. With a batting style almost as aggressive as Simon's, we can only wonder how many runs he would have racked up if we had not lost him for half the season through appendicitis.
His prowess with the bat meant he was rarely called onto bowl, but when he was his action showed some signs of recovery which bodes well for the future.
A lively and alert fielder, Jim Jam has yet to master the art of taking a catch without hurling himself on the floor afterwards, but he holds most things that come his way and with a strong arm he is a real asset to the side. One can only wonder what effect University will have on him with long evenings of cheap booze, pot noodles and raging hormones. However, the chances of him having enough spare cash to buy some white underwear remains slim.
Most likely to say: "I'm gonna get some at Uni, oh yes. I guarantee it!"
Least likely to say: "I'll have a few overs to play myself in."
Peter Brewer - (PB, Mr B)
Our master strategist, Peter will usually start to work on his plans for getting the opposition out some time on Friday evening (the week before) the game. Once again, Peter seemed to get us the breakthrough we needed when batsman were looking set. Always one to try out plans to out fox the batsman, Peter is at times more cunning than a fox appointed Professor of Cunning at Cambridge.
One of our most senior players, Peter is always willing to pass on advice to the younger players and is always a useful think tank for any Captain. With the bat, Peter bounced up and down the order from opener to number 11, but, wherever he batted, he could be relied upon not to throw his wicket away and bat according to the state of the game.
Nagging injuries continue to plague Peter who no doubt would welcome a deep heat and knee support sponsor, but he is still a sharp close in fielder as picking up his 200th catch for Waverley this year demonstrates.
Most likely to say: "Heads up [insert fielder's name] this one's coming to you."
Least likely to say: "Leave the field as it is, I'll just sling it down and see what happens."
Herbert Scarth - (Herb, The Herbinator, Big Grumpy Quick)
Our Big Grumpy Quick had another successful season and again piled up the numbers in the wickets column. Herb's pace has not change over the years, but batsmen still think they can charge him, and many live to regret it. With one of the most economical actions ever, Herb looks like he can run in and bowl all day.
A regular feature at the tail of our innings, Herb still insists on using a bat that should be in a museum, but he can still hit the ball hard, even if it does mean he drops souvenir pieces of his aging willow on grounds across Hampshire and Surrey.
Another walking text book of cricket, many could learn a thing or two from Herb, particularly if they offer him a pint of finest real ale.
Most likely to say: "Go on son, start walking."
Least likely to say: "Turn and go, I want at least two!"
Ian Pointer - (Pedal Bin, IP, Pedalo, PB23)
Pathetic would be the most accurate description of Ian's batting performances throughout the season. After starting off with successfully completing his hat trick of ducks, Ian finally managed his first run of the season via an edge through the slips. In a desperate attempt to turn his form around, he bought new pads and a bat as if somehow that would make a difference. It didn't and he managed three scores of double figures all season, the highest of which was against the buffet bowling of the Good Olde Boys. Rightly dropped down the order in his final games, it is highly unlikely he will be near the top of the batting order for a while.
As much as his batting declined, his bowling did improve slightly. Although not called upon to bowl regularly until halfway through the season, Ian returned career best figures at Epsom (a four-for) and his most economical return (eight overs for 22) at Odiham. Sticking with his left arm round the wicket style, he managed to get the odd delivery to turn and even tried to develop his "wrong-un' with a few deliveries out of the back of his hand - it was hard to decide who was more surprised, the batsman or our keeper.
An expanding waistline and advancing years has slowed Ian down this year and the once slight of foot fielder spent much of his time on the boundary on ball retrieval rather than ball stopping duties but he managed to hold on to the few catches that came his way. Still throws like a girl.
Most likely to say: "Look at this I've bought - as used by Ashes Heroes!"
Least likely to say: "Of course I'm thrilled with my first century."
Adam Carmichael - (AC, The Bandit)
Adam's bowling has continued to improve and picking up his first two "five-fors' was just reward for his efforts. Turning his "cocked limp wrist' more than previous years, his bowling became a main stay of many matches this year and more wickets are likely to come in the future. If there is a criticism of his bowling, it is that Adam seems to lose heart too quickly if he has a bad over. Following on from an expensive over, you can almost see the resigned look as he runs in thinking "I'm going to get carted around again".
His batting has also improved, although maybe not as much as his bowling, but it was pleasing to see that the "reserve pull' did not make an appearance this year and his execution of the sweep is text book.
A fast and useful fielder, he still occasionally 'sticks his foot out and hopes' if it looks like he may have to dive to stop the ball.
Most likely to say: "That's 21 wickets so far this season, how many have you got?"
Least likely to say: "Actually, Marcus may well be better than me."
Marcus Carmichael - (MC, Baby Comical)
The youngest of our players and our hope for the future, Marcus had another year of developing. His batting in particular had improved, being more aggressive, although his boundless enthusiasm and cheerful outlook still suffers similar self loathing decline to Jerzy when he returns a low score.
Seemingly endless energy in field has Marcus flying all over the ground and it is a shame an otherwise excellent fielder occasionally suffers from the same "stick-out-a-foot-and-hope' disease his brother does.
When donning the White Coat Marcus is a man to be feared throughout the Waverley side as many have fallen to his lightning quick "finger of doom'.
Most likely to say: "That's out!"
Least likely to say: "I think that was missing leg, and a bit high. Not out."
Anthony Harland - (The Guv'nor, Guv)
Waverley's living legend Tony played his 1500th innings in the course of the year, making headlines news in the Farnham Hearld in the process. A pleasure to have in the side, it is somehow comforting to look across the changing room to see Tony emerge from a cloud of pipe smoke.
Still taking wickets in his 54th season, it was Tony's batting that stood out this year, making the late cut his trademark stroke. A remarkable unbeaten 19 over stand at Odiham showed the youngsters in the side how not to give your wicket away. It is always a joy to stand at the non strikers end as the young opposition bowlers get more and more frustrated as what the think will be an easy wicket continues to show them the maker's name. "Legend" sums him up perfectly.
Most likely to say: "Now, where did I put my pipe?"
Least likely to say: "Come on Herb, there's three there, push hard!"