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

scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape