by Ian Gason
Schizophrenic weather in Tokyo is not unusual at this time of year, and it seems that the snow on the first day of training is set to become a Wombats’ tradition. At least the bats are finally out, dates are fixed, and the season is under way.
Sadly we bid farewell to our Okachimachi training ground. Two of us braved blizzard like conditions recently in a failed attempt to start practise, and were greeted by the site of bobcats, mud and blokes in hard-hats where our ‘nets’ used to be. Can’t have kids running around kicking a ball in a park it seems. Looks like we will instead get another dime-a-dozen dirt, 2 swings & Obasans type park.
We welcome a few new members to the side for ’05. A fiery quick with red hair? Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Let’s see if the comparisons between Jarod and NIKKA end there or if they extend to the Wombat Wagon too! A few Kiwis about this year, though only Reggie was brave enough to show up after the Black Caps pisspoor First Test effort. Whiskas, Walshie?? Come on, let’s have ya!
As I write, the Chiang Mai Sixes is less than a week away. TWCC have drawn a tough group, which includes 2004’s runners up and Bowl runners up, as well as a team that defeated them both in the rounds. Still, as the Wombats say, there is more to playing cricket than just playing cricket. Expect that to ring true in CM!
A big day is planned down in Fuji for the inaugral Hardys Wine Company Tokyo Ashes. The Poms are fired up. Andy King has done a McGrath, says he is targetting Jarrad (and his middle stump). Let’s see if he can match his words with action. A BBQ is planned, plus there will be a generous opportunity to sample the wares of our sponsor Hardys after the game. Everyone involved wants to see this grow into an annual fixture with all the rivalry and Australia England clash warrants.
While a squad of us are in Thailand, it will be the boys in Tokyo enjoying the cherries, as The Goanans and The Wombats get together for HANAMI 2005, Shinjuku Gyoen, April 3rd. Lunchtime onwards. Bring the missus and the monsters too. This is a good chance to get to know our new members (like NIKKA last year) as well as Goannas old and new.
Little Richard bids farewell to Tokyo at The Hobgoblin Roppongi Friday 18th. Typical Tugga planning, that is the night before our first game! Expect to see a few pillows and coffees in the kit bags that day!
Moves afoot in Wombat-land to secure a big name as our Number One Ticket Holder. Stay tuned. And yes, we will have member’s tickets for all paid up members this year. This’ll earn you a Y100 discount at The Clubhouse on all aussie beers. Pop in pay Pete a visit.
New web-wombat Papa Steve has been hard at work. Updated ground info, profile photos, and Quote Of The Week. Have a look around.
Last but not least, Golden Thong. Nominations from Chiang Mai WILL count. Already some good pre-season warm-ups from our past winners. Chuck losing the car keys in the snow, and Zulu’s human battering ram efforts at the Clubhouse. Will we see back to back GT, and even a Double Gold from Jones? Or will Burkey pull one out of his hat and take the out the footwear? Watch this space!