Thumbs up in fight against fractures

Cricket Diary

Some conundrums are destined not to have solutions. Keeping the head on a pint of beer as it goes down the glass is one, though it is only slightly more vexatious than the problem of how to prevent batsmen from having fingers broken.

Research into both is ceaseless and unsuccessful. As foamless ales continue to be quaffed, so batsmen's digits still line up for fracturing. Nine players from seven counties so far this season have been rapped on the knuckles - in the literal sense that is.

Four are missing from the present round of Championship matches with finger injuries caused when batting. At least one other, wishing to remain anonymous in case the enemy starts aiming for the weak spot, is playing on with a break.

Those absent, in alphabetical order, rather than ranked by severity of injury, are: Jimmy Daley (Durham), Richard Harden (Somerset), Martyn Moxon (Yorkshire) and Robin Smith (Hampshire). Daley and Moxon, in particular, have been this way more often than they would like.

Harden, 30, who is in his benefit year, last broke a finger eight years ago and adopted the philosophical attitude of those confronted with an occupational hazard.

"It's annoying because I'd just got some runs in the Sunday League and felt I was getting back into some form," he said. "Now I've got the problem of trying to get back in the side again. But at least it should only stop me from playing for a fortnight. When it happened in 1988 it was more depressing because I was fighting for a contract then."

Like others, Harden takes preventative measures. He coats his gloves in a protective, pliable plastic known as polyform. If it gets chipped, he simply replaces it and he is convinced it has saved him from breaks before. But not this time. The ball hit his uncoated right index finger.

Other batsmen wear a plastic sleeve inside their gloves. It did not prevent 22-year-old Daley getting his third fracture in a year. Nothing is proof against a break, probably nothing ever will be, but the quest continues.

A new type of glove, designed and backed by a leading batsman (who is not prone to breakages), will be launched shortly. It may provide the final answer, but by the end of next week you can be sure that this week's quartet will not be alone in thinking that batting is all fingers and thumbs.

IF THE National Cricket Membership Scheme eventually has a voice similar to that of the Football Supporters' Association, it will be both respected and feared. So far it is neither, though the Test and County Cricket Board will doubtless not have been thrilled to hear about the organisation's official launch in London on Thursday.

The NCMS wants to be watchdog, pressure group and part of the establishment. Its immediate aim is to sign up as many members as the smallest county (Derbyshire with 3,250) and thence claim equal rights with a seat on the board. Failing that (and they probably will fail) it intends to lobby for the status quo or change as its members see fit.

Its co-ordinator, Richard Hill, said: "All the counties should have asked their members for an opinion when it was decided to change the first day of Championship matches to a Wednesday. They didn't. It's probably too late but we haven't entirely given up on that one yet."

More than 1,000 responses to the NCMS questionnaire have been received, another 3,000 are being sought so a party line can be developed on such issues as overseas players, a divisional championship and the number of knockout competitions. The NCMS, staying nicely afloat thanks to a couple of sizeable private donations, expects answers by August. From its members, that is, not the TCCB.

THE world champions, Sri Lanka (remember them), arrive in Britain today for two exhibition matches. Their presence may also lend weight to the campaign to get them more than one Test match against England in this country between now and 2005. The solitary contest is scheduled for 1998.

Ivan Corea, editor of Sri Lanka Today, and 100 MPs who have signed an early-day motion think this is unfair. The TCCB will not be moved mostly because, as its spokesman Richard Little said, the schedules cannot be moved.

"We have a problem with so many Test-playing nations now. Sri Lanka were very worthy world champions and have made great strides in Tests, but you are talking about two different types of cricket."

This hardly helps Sri Lanka to take even greater strides. Would it not be possible, as the former Sri Lankan captain Anura Tennekoon has suggested, to compromise by playing four Tests instead of five against South Africa in 1998 and then two against Sri Lanka?

AS THE almost runless Sherwin Campbell emerged from the nets the other day, a Durham member placed his arm round the West Indian's shoulders. "Divvent fret, bonny lad," muttered the consoling voice to an uncomprehending Campbell, "yer bound to be cahd. Aa've been here all me life and a'hm frozzen."

One-man stand

At last Ian Salisbury, who figures in many fantasy England teams in the hope he may soon reappear in the real one, has returned. The injured back which kept the Sussex leg spinner out until the rain-sodden fixture against Middlesex was not, however, caused by bowling. "It was to do with posture," he said. "The way I stand and the way I walk were both important factors." Deportment lessons at Lucy Clayton may yet be the answer to the prayers of cricketing romantics.

Suggested Topics
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

EYFS, KS1, KS2 Teachers

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to be part ...

class teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: a small rural school, is ...

Year 1 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: They want their school to ...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work in ...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star