Quick singles

QUICK Singles is happy to report our visiting Canterbury Colts enjoyed the hospitality of the Clarence Valley cricketing fraternity, on and off the field, last week.

They partied just as hard as they played, taking part, or should I say control, of the karaoke sing- ing at one nightspot in particular.

nTHE only downside of the evening was a small scuffle when one of the local revellers forgot his manners and assaulted a visitor.

Although an ugly incident in itself that did not reflect well on the perpetrator, the cricketers took it in their stride and it provided plenty of amusement as they pored over their papers in the morning.

nIT seems that homing pigeons and cricketing Kiwis share a talent ? the ability to find their way back home, or at least to their lodgings.

One pair, somewhat disoriented by what they had been drinking, traipsed back through the streets of South Grafton, and miraculously found the home where they were staying.

They even surprised themselves the next morning when they real- ised what they had done.

nDESPITE the ease of their win over the CRCA, the Kiwi manager, Barry Townrow, was in awe of some of the young talent that took the field against them.

He predicted big things for young Matt Hartmann, who made 36 and Brendan Purser who scored 23. He also liked the look of Rohan Hackett, before he was injured.

Young Hartmann also rated his knock as a highlight of his short career.

"They swung the ball both ways," he said when asked about the quality of the opposition.

nOVER-40s cricket gets back into full swing this Sunday at Sawtell, with all four teams playing together at Richardson Park.

It is the first of two carnivalstyle games for the cricketing seniors which will enable all the players to get together for the all-important social aspect of the game.

It should not be forgotten that all the player fees and profits from Over-40s cricket goes to cancer research.

nFOR readers interested in the fate of the East and Brothers clubs, docked points for failing to cover wickets before Christmas, the CRCA has postponed last Thursday's meeting for a week to allow delegates time to return from holidays.

nTHE news that CRCA and LCCA cricket officials are pushing ahead with plans to create a new, combined cricket competition should be good news for all involved in the game.

The head honchos of both organisations, Bruce Baxter in Grafton and Kevin Styles down river, believe they have created a model for a new competition with the outrageously successful Under-16 competition.

This competition, administered jointly by the two associations, has created growth in the sport in an age group that traditionally loses players.

Both officials acknowledge that for a similar seniors competition to succeed it needs to set up an administration with equal repre- sentation from both areas.

nIN Grafton there are plans to refurbish the Monday night competition by creating a Super 8s concept.

Instead of restricting competition to the local clubs, the idea is for local organisations to enter teams.

Quick Singles applauds this idea and wonders if elements of Twenty20 cricket, which kicked off successfully in Australia last week, could be incorporated into a new format.

nQUICK Singles was pleased to read during the week that cricket is enjoying a resurgence in the Caribbean, but in an unlikely place.

It seems the baseball-obsessed island of Cuba, under the regime of Fidel Castro, is staging a cricket revolution.

The Cuban newspaper The Tribuna de la Habana reports that the sport was growing in popularity with more than 500 players in Havana and others taking it up out in the provinces.

The paper said that young Cubans used to playing baseball in the streets had little difficulty in switching to cricket.

Although delighted with news, Quick Singles wonders if the report is an attempt by the Cuban regime to make some capital out of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, to be held in the West Indies.

nIF anyone had forgotten what a powerful juggernaut Australian cricket has become, last weekend's in- ternational one-day games should jog their memories.

Missing some of the giants of the game in Hayden, Warne, Gillespie and Gilchrist made no difference as they crushed first the West Indies and then Pakistan.

Thrust in as an opener, Michael Clarke was awesome with a display of attacking batting that, although different in style to Gilchrist, was just as effective.

In Black and White

LAST week ING Cup umpire Darren Goodger asked: You are umpiring a two-day match. It is coming to the end of day one where the close of play is set at 6pm. The batting team loses their ninth wicket and advise you that their number 11 is feeling too ill to bat. Explain what action you and your colleague would take if this happened at 5.45pm.

The answer is: You should together explain that the innings is ended because there is time left in the day for a new batsman to come in. However, since the ill batsman cannot do so, the innings is closed. After a 10 minutes interval, the next innings would start at 5.55pm.

For next week Darren asks: Determined to get an outright result, a captain, on winning the toss, immediately forfeits his first innings. The opposing captain does the same. All this happens before play commences. Are these actions permitted? If so, why?

In Black and White is brought to you with the compliments of the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association, local contact Paul McErlean 66423815.

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