The Light Roller: Take your eye of the ball for a fortnight and you'll miss more than you bargained for

Diary of a cricket obsessive

There may be a lot of cricket being played, but it leads to plenty of choice for the fans

With the Roller having been invalided out of action - and then on holiday at a Rollers Convention - over the last couple of weeks, a heck of a lot has happened.

The T20 Blast has got underway, with Freddie Flintoff nearly the star attraction; the Championship is starting to shake down; England and Sri Lanka played out an interesting series of ODIs with barely a capacity crowd in sight; and in Kingston, Jamaica, home of fast bowling greats including Courtney Walsh and Michael Holding, West Indies spinners Suleiman Benn and Shane Shillingford shared 98 overs and six wickets in the first innings of their ongoing test against New Zealand.

It will be an interminable matter of debate as to whether there is too much cricket being played. From the point of view of us fans, it is undeniable that if you take your eye off the ball for even a couple of weeks, there is an awful lot to miss.

 

With the sun out, will England’s Ali be the star turn at Lord’s?

You may have spotted that the sun is shining.  It is due to shine all week.  And England are going into a test match at Lord's without a frontline spin bowler. 

There has been nothing in the Championship matches at the venue this season to encourage spinners.  In Middlesex's game against Lancashire a month ago, England Lions Ollie Rayner and Simon Kerrigan managed one wicket between them in 32 overs.  The last time Lord's hosted a test in June was also the last time Sri Lanka were in town: Rangana Herath and Graham Swann took eight of the thirty wickets to fall in a high-scoring draw. 

Presumably, the strip is not going to be left to bake all week. But in any event, Moeen Ali's bowling promise ought not to be overlooked.  He does, after all, have well over a hundred first class wickets at an average of around 40.  In the last two seasons of the Championship he has 35 wickets at 32.8, which bears comparison with other 'proper' bowlers.  In the absence of a standout performance from mainline spinners so far during this domestic seasons, Ali has a chance to stake a real claim.  It is a chance he fully deserves.

 

Carberry's criticism of the old regime doesn't increase his chances under the new

Michael Carberry has had a bit of a tough time of it. He made a reasonable fist of things in Australia, while never looking quite like a long-term test match player. He has had a couple of goes in the short-form stuff against the Sri Lankans without getting a long run. He remains a prolific scorer in county cricket.

Yet his omission from England's test squad came as a surprise to pretty much nobody, apart from perhaps himself. He has previously expressed himself disappointed at the way he has been handled by management and described himself in April as having, throughout his England career, been given a “shorter rope” than others.

It has not been suggested that Carberry had anything other than a tip-top attitude to playing and training during the Ashes. He is undoubtedly a very good player. But the facts are, he has not proved himself at international level and time is not on his side. In press interviews he often seems quite cross. And while he may have reason to feel irked, criticising the old regime is not a positive way to impress the new one.  Nor, unfortunately, was getting a golden duck against Worcestershire on Monday.

 

Bring in Championship flexi-tickets to incentivise attendance for distant fans

As we hit mid-June, the Championship reaches its halfway point and I have to accept the fact that have - by failing to practice what I preach - not made the most of it.

A trip to the Oval in May was all too brief; a day at the Lord's test on Saturday is highly anticipated. But that's a paltry return. What it demonstrates is the degree to which counties have to battle to secure regular attendances. There are plenty of cricket nuts around but there are also a great many interests and imperatives to compete for their time.

There have been some good innovations in recent times. Is it time for the ECB to consider offering a centrally-sold flexi-ticket, which allows fans entry to perhaps five days of Championship cricket per year at any venue (fees to be recouped by whichever counties are visited). For those of us who do not live close to a particular ground or who are not strongly affiliated to a particular county, it could provide the incentive to more actively seek out matches to attend.

Twitter: @willjgore

News
people
Sport
Yaya Sanogo celebrates scoring the opening goal with Arsenal's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
champions leagueLive: All the latest from the Emirates and Bulgaria, where Liverpool face Ludogorets
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning