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Ok, so the Christmas turkey has long since bitten the dust and January is here, heralding a land of opportunity.
Have you thought about your 2016? What do you want it to look like? Any projects, ambitions or changes to life or are you the sort of person that contentedly wings it?
Well, both professionally and personally, it promises to be an action-packed and really exciting year for Cricket Yorkshire and in case you’re curious, here’s why:
Time to play cricket again.
No excuses on this one. I haven’t played cricket for a couple of seasons now and missed it terribly.
As I get older and less able to touch my knees – let alone my toes – it’s strange that the siren call to put on the cricket whites has been ever louder – but there you go.
I’m going to do a whole raft of things I haven’t done in some time that cricketers will relate to. Starting off with attend indoor nets where bowlers will reel off chronic no-balls on a surface more like Perth.
In flickering, uncertain indoor light, my spring-back stumps will get such a going-over when practice begins in February that I might start bringing WD40 to nets.
That debut session – and let’s be candid, probably the next six weeks thereafter – will lead to total body muscular pain that hurts absolutely everywhere.
To anyone who is misinformed enough to assume cricket is akin to a sporting version of standing around, interrupted by tea breaks…perhaps they can explain why the next few days produce the kind of immersive, mass cellular strike that introduces you to screaming muscles groups and fibres you never knew existed.
Not that this is putting me off one bit, mind. It’s all part of what we all do although shares in deep heat and tubigrip are about to skyrocket so cash in while you can.
Well, there’s no going back. I’ve said I’m playing for my club’s newly-formed third eleven in a gigantic bottom division of the Craven League and to prove I’m serious, I’ve gone and ordered a cable-knit sweater. Well, if you’re going to do something properly…
Publish a debut cricket novel
Due out this summer, this as-yet-untitled cricketing travelogue is a journey around the 2015 season. It will shine a light on the recreational game and introduce you to teams, clubs, grounds and leagues from Skipton to Scarborough and Bradford to Bolton Abbey.
Sure, there’s debate about the grassroots game but I also chirp a lot about trains, cake, signposts and the scattered villages, towns and cities that were each home for an afternoon of cricket last year.
If you want an insight into the staggering breadth of cricket played in Yorkshire or like the idea of a pottering expedition celebrating the people and places that are at the heart of Yorkshire cricket then this paperback could be for you.
Researching and writing a cricket book has taken a year, alongside running Cricket Yorkshire and life as a freelance journalist. I now have a cast-iron respect for every other author out there but am chuffed with the strange idea that my little book will be available in bookshops halfway through the year.
Make CricketYorkshire.com even better
Running your own business, you get to wear a lot of hats. Sometimes those hats are swapped and sometimes they’re just plonked on top of existing hats so the tea faculty, IT guy, advertising sales department, editor, writer, marketing team and social media crew are just a few in any given week.
Here’s a snapshot of what CricketYorkshire.com will offer in 2016:
- Recreational cricket in Yorkshire up front and centre stage – this is what Cricket Yorkshire is and always will be there to champion. Finding the stories you won’t read anywhere else and telling them well.
- Yorkshire County Cricket Club will still feature on the website but with a selection of interviews and again, we’ll be talking to players, staff and management that get less coverage.
- New articles always published every Tuesday and Friday – so you know where you are and when to visit.
All things Yorkshire CCC and England will still be discussed on Cricket Yorkshire’s social media channels every day – so if you’re not already connected on Twitter (@cricketyorks) or Cricket Yorkshire’s Facebook page, please do like/follow us there.
The drive to improve this website and ultimately increase its readership every year (the visitor numbers increased 30% in 2015) never really stops.
I’m a technology tinkerer and always butchering code, exploring wordpress plugins, analysing Google Analytics data or thinking about ways to improve how Mr Google thinks about Cricket Yorkshire.
To that end, there will be tweaks to how the site looks and performs but nothing so drastic that you won’t recognise the place: more of a new sofa and the biscuit tin refilled.
ALWAYS WELCOME YOUR FEEDBACK AND HOPE YOU’LL CONNECT ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK IN 2016…
If you have any feedback on the website – stories, how the site works, functionality you’d like – just get in touch: [email protected].
Here’s to an amazing 2016 for both of us and I look forward to seeing you on the site again.
The best way to keep up to date is to subscribe to the Cricket Yorkshire Newsletter with competitions, articles and inside nuggets on life at Cricket Yorkshire.
**COMING SOON – NEXT ARTICLE….Look out for Cricket Yorkshire’s 2016 calendar highlights to guide you through the year so you don’t miss the very best bits.