Wednesday, May 25, 2011

RIP "The Spin Doctor" Terry Jenner

Former Australian Test cricketer, and mentor to Shane Warne, Terry Jenner passed away today at home in Adelaide, aged 66. Terry Jenner became best known as Shane Warne’s spin mentor, but he was a successful bowler in his own right, playing nine Tests in the 1970s.
As a legspinner, Jenner was happy throwing the ball up and spinning it hard, and his best series came in the West Indies in Australia’s 2-0 victory in 1973. His Test-high 5 for 90 arrived in Trinidad, taking his series haul to 13 wickets, when he led the squad’s spin attack of Kerry O’Keeffe and John Watkins. There were only three more games in a baggy green for Jenner, and his career ended in 1975 with 34 Test victims – and eight appearances as 12th man.

Born in Perth in 1944, he represented Western Australia but moved to South Australia four summers after his debut, having been stuck behind Tony Lock, England’s slow left-arm spinner. He enjoyed the conditions and extra responsibility in Adelaide and after a couple of seasons was called for the tour of New Zealand.

Terry Jenner in his playing days His first Test came in the series opener of England’s 1970-71 visit, and he collected the wickets of John Edrich and Geoff Boycott in the drawn affair. His most famous involvement in that Test series came when, batting at No.9, he was hit in the head by a John Snow bouncer. The incident resulted in Ray Illingworth taking his side off the ground following an angry response from the SCG crowd.

Jenner, who played a single one-day international, finished his first-class career with South Australia, where he formed a strong partnership with offspinner Ashley Mallett.

After winning three Sheffield Shield trophies, he stepped down in 1976 with 389 first-class wickets at an average of 32.18. His tally included 14 five-wicket hauls, and he once recorded 10 wickets in a game.The only Australian Test cricketer to be jailed – he spent two years inside for embezzlement – Jenner credited his time coaching Warne for turning his life around.

Jenner started coaching Warne during the legspinner’s brief stint at the Academy in the early 1990s, and was on hand regularly during Warne’s record-breaking Test career to refine his action. The success he had with Warne opened up many avenues, including being an ABC commentator. His roaring voice, telling young spinners to “give it a rip”, was heard across Australia.
He suffered a massive heart attack while coaching in England in April 2010 and never fully regained his health.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Friday Night Lights

It has been sometime since I was last up at the Rose Bowl, that being the Monday bank holiday post Royal parties which turned into a blustery afternoon sheltering myself in the members bar watching Hants put on a score fit for a Sunday social.

With a long week put behind me it was with a good mood to dash out the door for the bus that was late enough to inflect at least 1 pint in the pub next door. The ground itself was clearly lacking those that figured Sky TV was the way forward out of the Southern breeze and this put a dampener on proceedings to only see a scattered collect of supporters, none of this was helped by the fact that Northamptonshire had also rested Chaminda Vass, the upside was that young Danny Briggs was returned by the English Lions last minute to be involved.

Despite the cool prevailing wind that now seems to be a constant up at the Rose Bowl, and grabbing my dinner of which a bowl of chips and pint seemed satisfying, it dawned on me that as the sun kissed the far side of the ground (opposite to the members) why the grandstand was placed where it is? Considering all the evening cricket played sitting in the members is a never a warm prospect as the shadows grow longer.

Hampshire isn’t exactly helping the crowds though the gates; showing early signs of a bank holiday style collapse before James Vince took control with a well made and durable 58; Liam Dawson did pitch in with a plucky 41 but the finishing total of 200.

Hampshire toiled at best with the bowling of Dimi and Jones, the later making a bee-line in a flurry of boucers, quicker balls over a 89mph (and the collective stadium waiting for him break in half) With an early wicket to Dimi having Newton caught-and-bowled for 23, yet this was the end of the fun as Niall O’Brien punished the Hants bowlers with his superbly hit 121 which included 10 fours and 3 sixes that sparked some life from even the home fans.

Little went right for the Hampshire attack although Mascarenhas, back after almost a year out with an ankle injury, looked well in the flesh and his bowling while not having any fruits for the labor, didn’t look labored and let’s hope he’s back for the rest of the year. But there was nothing he could do to stop O'Brien.

I must admit to being one of the few that snuck out the backdoor of the ground with 10 overs remaining, knowing the match was on Sky I figured a cheap beer from the fridge at home and consoling from my wife might make it better. It only made it warmer; the result was another one of those games where you could see it wasn’t enough; a theme is starting to form with Hampshire lets hope we can change the storey in a couple of weeks as we begin to defend the T20 Trophy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Derby; What a Sh*thole


It's been sometime since I got myself back in front of the keyboard for an extended period of time having spent the Royal Wedding treking the countryside north of the Hampshire county lines.

Before my title brings a raft of death threats from those of the middle lands of the England, it is in relation to a storey I was told, and have been re-told many a time by a group of Derbyshire’s finest in regards to Dennis Lillie stepping out of the changing rooms at the County Ground for the first time, on a grey over cast summers day, looking to the sky and remarking on his feelings of the place.

More amusing is the shock I had when I too was given the opportunity on a holiday with my wife to escape off for a couple of hours leaving her in the female version of day-care call Westfield, so as to escape to the County Ground just within arms length. As my friend Dave flashed his media pass and we came in from the side of the ground to see Middlesex looking to finish off Derbyshire’s 1st innings. The mood at the ground on a bright balmy Good Friday was of a casualness I had not seen on my travels to Lords or the Rose Bowl, deck chairs, camping chairs, blankets and packed lunches was the norm as mad dogs and Englishmen were baking themselves in the midday sun.

As I made my way around past the old scoreboard now media block, which my initial thought was of a toilet block only to notice a toilet does sit beneath it. The miss-matched stands show clearly where the old square was rotated and now leaves plenty of room at each end for picnic chairs and dogs to roam leisurely. The members pavilion a 2 storey old style club house that resembles a school class-room block from the 80’s houses a raft a old photos.

The Clubhouse
After a few quick beers to calm the raging thirst from my walk I settled to discussing cricket with a Derbyshire member, our mood turned towards the strength of the championship and its importance regardless of those that are in attendance. In doing so I noticed that to my left seemed a very new building compared to the redbrick's I have seen and went to investigate, it was here I found the beginning of change at Derbyshire County. A brand new indoor facilities with conference rooms and indoor training nets, along with a club shop and plenty of seating out the front.

With this discovery I found my large lunch and beer consumption over taking my urge to stay awake, and like most people post lunch I settled down for a small kip, only being mildly interrupted by that familiar crack of leather on willow from time to time, followed by a polite applause. On waking up from a the usual day-dream of scoring winning runs for Australia in the Ashes I made my way back up the pavilion to again sit with further friends and family of Dave and watch as the sun moved across the ground and the discussion lead to the change of the square, the removal of the old stables and that famous Dennis Lillie quote.

A rush of blood from Chris Rodgers denied him a 50 against his old club on return with just 20 minutes to play, an announcement rings around the ground of free entry on Saturday and again the shadows grow longer as the pints get emptier. Making my way around the ground to the car I spot a few who may of had a few too many in the sun and a dog that looks as bored as many of the wives sitting next to pink bellied men.

Bottom left; a couple of resting bodies.
Whatever Dennis did or didn't see here I'm unsure as this seems like the perfect meeting place. Where the beauty in the ground is in the holder and of those they share the meeting with. Minus the chrome fittings and corporate boxes, large over baring media centre and flash hospitality rooms sits a perfect little ground for all its collection of people to sit and bask in cricket which ever way you like it.

Finding time to talk to the ground staff.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Images From The Green. No.1

A monthly image taken from my travels around cricket grounds. This months image is from the early start of April, and was taken by my wife Selina at Broadhalfpenny Down.

The season’s first wicket, by Selina Reid