The season is yet to “officially” begin, but the Wombats have already put in some quality pre-season drinking, ah, I mean training. We’ve had 2 net sessions, one at Shinagawa and the other at Goi, where a total of about 15 Wombats turned out. We’ve also had a very good hit out against the Shizuoka Kytes in Shizuoka. Pleasingly, 3 blokes made runs with Rhino and Doc both getting amongst it with quality 50s; their first 50s for the club! As importantly was the way they got their runs with good, aggressive stroke play. Unfortunately one Jurassic creature was too slow as usual and not as many players got a hit as we would have liked. The bowling was likewise pleasing with the Wombats bowling out the Kytes with some overs to spare. Importantly, a new talent in the form of Atul was uncovered and he was amongst it with 2 wickets – the first being an absolute pearler to castle the batsman and the second removed danger man Russell, up all the way from Kobe to scout for this year’s Kobe Challenge match.
The Pidge also had no cobwebs from his 2 year layoff and bowled an outstanding spell with the new ball. A record at Shizuoka in terms of economy we were told by statistician Robert and undoubtedly will feature in Captain Chuck’s match report. One selfish show pony bowler in particular didn’t get a full run with the ball, although he did knock over the tail. So a few players are still underdone, but another practice game this Sunday – against the Dragons at Fuji that will feature a special guest in the form of an African warrior – will give more guys a chance to have a bat and a bowl. It’s also worth noting that Captain Chuck made a very perceptive comment on the days play,”All those players that have been to training made runs or took wickets.” Can’t argue with that. Rocket science and all that…
The schedule has now been released and our ever-diligent Webmaster has updated the fixtures section of the Web site. As most of you blokes can’t read above a third grade-level, let alone have the patience to look at the fixtures, I thought I would flesh-out the highlights of it.
Chiang Mai Sixes: First Week of April
Yeah, I know only a few of us are going but that’s the point of listing it! If yer not going for the 20th Anniversary edition, you only have yourself to blame! As for stories, the golden rule of tours will be strictly enforced this year so “what goes on tour, stays on tour!”
First game: April 15
Not only is it our first game of the season, it’s a grand final replay! I have no doubt that they will come at us hard to avenge the grand final loss to us last year. So it should be a HUGE game.
Wombats Vs Millennium: May 19
They’ve really turned into our bogey term. It’s a game that the Skip has ear-marked as a must win. This game has also been scheduled on a Saturday, a day we traditionally struggle to get an 11 together, let alone our best side. One Alex Miyaji, their opening bowler and someone I work closely with in the national team, knows this fact and works for the JCA. Did he have a hand in it? Reggie will be screaming conspiracy! Should add extra spice to the clash.
Hardy’s Kobe Challenge: May 27/28
Can’t get any bigger than last year you say? You squat to piss, as one Black Nikka drinking croweater native likes to say. In fact he is in the process of ordering a trophy worthy of the stature of this event as we speak. More importantly, we will also be playing our first EVER day/night fixture! Want to make Wommies history? Well, you better be there, hadn’t you?
Hardy’s Tokyo Ashes: TBA
I’m going to look to schedule the game some time in June or July seeing as we have an almost 2 month break during this period. Regardless of when we play it, it should be a great day. We are looking in to hiring a big bus and getting some spectators down for the day. As is usual for Ashes clashes, there’ll be plenty of food and drink on offer.
Pacific Cup: TBA
Not sure when it will be played, but with the season finishing earlier this year, hopefully it won’t be played in December again!
As great (and even not so great) AFL coaches say, “We’re taking it one week at a time” so we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. However, there’’s no denying that the finals are why we all play the game (that, and the van rides) so its definitely our major goal of the season to defend our inaugural J1C crown.
Its shaping up to be an awesome year! Let’s hope it’s the Year of the Wombat!