Recent weeks have seen very little except battles against rain. The First XI have had two matches called off. The 2nds have managed a game but lost a tight chase against top of the table. There has been no Sunday, senior T20 or junior cricket for what seems like a month.
Frankly, it's depressing. The Firsts have completed one game in the last five.
We continue to train twice a week come rain or shine. It's mostly rain, but the indoor nets save us every time. Numbers have dwindled: This is understandable considering the lack of chance to play or train outside. From a training viewpoint this is is fine because there are two nets here, so any more than 10 is a tight squeeze.
I have also felt the lethargy. Training feels like "going through the motions", with people putting in work at nets - and even coming up with new fielding drills when the rain stops - yet the thought looms large that it will simply be grim on Saturday and no one will play.
One highlight has been a fielding drill for 5-7 players that is highly realistic and the players seem to enjoy it.
I stand with a bat by a stump and a player feeds a ball to cut or back foot drive. 2-3 players field in the covers and try to stop it and throw down the stumps at the other end. The others back up and return. After 10 tries the teams swap, and most hits win.
I like the realism, and the fact I can hit it hard at fielders, or drop in into space. The forces players to anticipate much more than usual drills where one skill is practiced.
Alongside this drill, we have come up with some crackers this year. I am sure not original drills, but I am loving the creativity of the players.
Also, the hardcore of guys who train are putting in some serious work. We have a couple of bowlers who are striving for better accuracy and will bowl at cones on the outfield for hours between showers. At least four batsmen have put in some good technical and tactical work under the constraints of using the machine indoors.
Yet, without the challenge of games, we feel down. In season training is supposed to be about review of the previous game and prep for the next game. This feels more like the off season with so few games in the last month. If we had known we had a block without matches we could have planned something better, but they say it's the hope that kills you!
Let's focus on finishing the season with sun and wins.