Despite the conditions trying to tell us otherwise, it is actually spring and that can only mean one thing… the Kent Ramblas are about to embark on their fourth season!
First up, a big pat on the back for the hard-working board for their continued efforts to ensure we have fixtures and a place to play.
They, of course, are profiled below with the rest of our squad – this year featuring a couple of new faces. So, in alphabetical order, let us begin…
One of our growing number of dads, Bense is likely to take a step back to concentrate on the challenges of fatherhood. Hopefully, he’ll get less bruises this way. His chirping from behind the stumps – and excellent glove work – will be missed, but we hope to see him in the Ramblas colours on occasion.
Having returned from injury towards the end of last season, his nippy bowling provided a welcome alternative for the captain. If injuries permit, we could see him regularly among the wickets in 2013.
Club treasurer. Vice-captain. 20:20 captain. Batsman. Coop fulfils those roles and more for the Ramblas and does so with the gusto of a lion eating a zebra. Is looking to make an impression with the bat this year after something of a fallow 2012. To go along with his impressions of Vanilla Ice in the field.
Now safely ensconced on the right side of the river, Ian’s journeys to and from the Ramblas games should be a lot less arduous (though given the ‘service’ of Southern Rail, this is not a foregone conclusion). As measly with the ball as our next Rambla is with his purse strings, Ian can always be relied on to test the batsmen and if you’re only as good as your last performance, then his batting should be something special this year!
The aforementioned miser, Stitch has the uncanny knack of getting a wicket with a bad ball – a great trait to have. Equally adept with bat and ball, he is another who will hope to notch up a few more runs this season, while the rest of the Ramblas will, no doubt, be hoping for a repeat performance of some of the best on-field tantrums we’ve seen.
Having smited the Ramblas bowling for a combined score of 21298* (not out) over three innings, Sam made the decision to join the ranks of the Ramblas last year. An accomplished keeper (and bowler), Sam’s nous will undoubtedly prove invaluable, while his powerful batting is a joy to behold when in full flow. So much so, we can forgive him being an estate agent…
(* that’s a rough estimate)
The second of our newcomers, Ash was part of the first ever Ramblas win and has already murdered a couple of bowling attacks whilst donning a Ramblas shirt. Also a very handy bowler, Ash’s extra experience (on the pitch and, especially, in the bar) comes as a further boon.
Another of the Ramblas’ Dad Club (I’ve just made that up, deal with it), Jon’s transition from wicket-keeper to boundary rope racer was seamless. Indeed, that insistence to ‘get a move on’ translates to his batting, with barely a sighter faced before going on the attack.
There’s not much Mark can’t do (apart from hold his drink, maybe…) and last year he added variety to an already menacing pace and accuracy in his bowling. Allied to that, there were also some fantastic performances with the willow to set him up as our truly outstanding all-rounder.
Opera-singing, dancefloor-clearing Geoff is the joker in the pack, never knowingly taking anything seriously. Just ask his workplace… Generated some serious turn last year as our sole spinner, he also formed some excellent lower order partnerships with the bat.
A former winner of ‘Clubman of the year’, Ruth’s teas are fast becoming folklore on the cricket grapevine. She was the sole preparer at times last year and her efforts certainly don’t go unappreciated by the team. And the visitors.
Now a father of two, Felipe has more on his plate than Geoff at a buffet. There’ll be plenty hoping that he manages to find time for a game or two this season, with his left-arm deliveries offering variety to the attack. Will surely not be asking for middle stump this year, though…
The lesser-spotted Scoates is still a force to be reckoned with when chucking a ball in from the deep and is due a big score. Alas, for the sake of him, us and the middle of the wicket, he is now permanently barred from bowling.
El Capitan and opener, Jonny’s careful accumulation of runs has improved year on year and he looks set to provide the foundation for the rest of the batsmen do their thing (such as that is, at times.). Alongside his strong batting, he has also overcome early yips to offer a safe pair of hands in the field.
If, as earlier mentioned, you are only as good as your last game, then Laurie and the rest of us are in a bit of trouble. Namely because that would mean his bloodstream remains 71.2% alcohol… That aside, a fantastic century partnership last season cemented his stock (sorry) as one of our leading batters and he’s also made the position of point his own.
It was a case of one step forward, two steps back for the team’s quizmaster, who became as adept at bowling at the death as he did dropping catches. Potential highlight of last season was a 10-over sulk following one of a string of dropped catches.
Unfortunately for us, he’s spending more time locking up crooks than knocking down stumps, but he will forever be a part of Ramblas heritage and – if he’s interested (I don’t know, has anyone asked?!) – he’ll be a useful bowling addition to the side.