David Lloyd blogs on his lockdown fears, Darren Gough’s MBE and 10-over-a-side cricket

Bumble blog’s on his lockdown fears, reminisces about the sawdust-sliding days of 10-over-a-side games and applauds Darren Gough’s MBE…

I’m devastated that we seem to be heading towards another lockdown.

It seems inevitable for Lancashire and Greater Manchester – we’re just waiting for the next statement. Personally, I do think there should be a national lockdown.

My biggest problem is that at 73 I’m the wrong age and time’s marching on. This isn’t going away and I’m not getting any younger!

The medical science and the stats suggest that anyone at my age is vulnerable, which is why I didn’t do Finals Day. I knew I wouldn’t have been comfortable; it was a non-starter.

I watched it, of course, once the rain relented. I thought that Surrey would win it but Nottinghamshire had a very strong team and it was very interesting that Michael Atherton called them out for the number of imports in their side.

My team, Lancashire, have a good side but right in the middle it’s apparent that there’s no firepower. It’s a different story if you add an explosive player like Jos Buttler in there, or Glenn Maxwell as we would have had in normal circumstances.

The rain-shortened matches took me back to the John Player League in the late 1960s when, if the game was rained off, it was cancelled.

You would then play a 10-over game which went ahead even if the ground may not be fit for play – that was written into the regulations.

It meant you got a result. Having played in those games, let me tell you they were great fun. People were sliding about all over the place on a surface that was full of sawdust to soak up the moisture.

That might just be worth considering in this present day. ‘Get on with the game’. That’s what we did.

The bars used to empty when people heard there was going to be a 10-over game.

The player mindset isn’t ‘oh, I’m sliding about all over the place’; rather, the players have to buy into it and think ‘it isn’t fit, but we’re going to get a result’.

There was a great line from the Essex captain back in the day, Keith Fletcher, who said ‘it ain’t fit but we won’t get any points sat in here’.

I’ve largely been spending my time on football, golf and horse-racing.

I’ve managed to have a game of golf – you don’t touch anything that doesn’t belong to you, of course, but you are outdoors and you can practice in isolation. Not that practising seems to help much!

‘Project Big Picture’ is just a power-heist by the so-called top six; the EFL needs a massive bailout from the Premier League, which might happen, but hopefully not in the form that has been suggested and put forward.

I’ve been watching National League North games on iFollow – although unfortunately, there was one game, against Farsley Celtic, where the stream froze completely which was a real shame for them – and Accrington in League One on live streams.

We feel, at Accrington, that we’ve got the best squad that we’ve ever had; inevitably we’ve got a lot of loan players, including a couple from Chelsea, but we’ve got them for the season.

So we’re in a good place and have a big match on Saturday when we play Ipswich away – they’re right at the top just now.

I’m not sure I ever quite envisaged the letters MBE appearing after Darren Gough’s name but he was a quite outstanding bowler for England and a terrific lad too, and now he’s got some deserved recognition.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=8TkYnH6ULyA%3Ffeature%3Doembed

He’s an excellent broadcaster now too, of course, and he knows bowling inside-out.

I know that England have tapped into that knowledge on occasion and they would benefit from using him long-term, but he’s doing other things.

He was a wonderful bowler for a captain; you’d never worry about Darren. You’d never think ‘how has he got out of bed?’ or ‘is he ok at this end or that end?’ He’d do his level best any time, any place.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson are England’s best combination, obviously, but Gough and Andy Caddick in their prime were also a very potent pair.

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