THE story of four wicketkeepers is the main news this week.
Keeper number one is Gareth Roderick, first choice for the county but out injured. Keeper number two is Geraint Jones of Kent and England, on loan to Gloucestershire for a month but back home suffering problems with a retina.
This means the promising Cameron Herring, number three, will play against Glamorgan. He is delighted to be playing against his native county. The captains toss, Gloucestershire will bat so Cameron can relax. He had a busy evening at The Aegas Rose Bowl the previous evening and looks forward to watching the home team batsmen score heavily. Then disaster strikes. The warm-up is just finishing when he breaks a finger, and heads for hospital.
With the team declared and the toss made Cameron should still be part of the team, but will be unable to keep wicket. Who will do so?
Realising the problem Glamorgan say a fresh keeper can play. Good for them, but who will it be? We now come to wicketkeeper number four, 17-years-old and from Marshfield. Patrick Greisharber is his name and he was discovered by Jack Russell at the age of 12. He was preparing to play for Downend when he got the call to come to the County Ground.
The story does not end there. Patrick has to be registered with the ECB but with a Test match being played at Headingley is anyone minding the shop at Lord’s?
Fortunately Lizzie Allen, the unsung heroine of the County Cricket Department, ensures everything is done properly and keeper number four makes his debut. There is no prospect of keepers one, two and three playing in the next three weeks so Adam Rouse, a former England under-19 international, has signed on a one-month trial.
The cricket at Bristol at the moment is far from a balanced contest between bat and ball. Bat is dominating to a far too great extent.
Pitch inspectors stalk the land, reporting imperfect pitches, and as a result groundsmen live in fear. Why are they necessary? Most of us would welcome a return to more sporting wickets.
A brief note about the T20 Blast game v Hampshire. News of a distant and now irrelevant contest on the other side of the world dominates the sports pages. Could anyone find a report of the game?
David Allen received a fine send off last week. Tributes were properly paid to a fine family man and great cricketer.
As we all assembled I selected a team from those present. In batting order it reads: John Jameson, Alan Oakman, Hamish Marshall, M J K Smith, Peter Graves, Roy Swetman, Alex Gidman, John Bracewell, J K Lever, John Snow and Fred Rumsey.
All but two are full internationals. Cricket on that sunny Thornbury day did David proud, just as he had done with the game itself.