Sandy Strang: Young pioneers invaluable register
ERIC Young, up-and-coming Scottish umpire, is a man of many talents. The former Clydesdale, West, Poloc and GHK all-rounder has impressed many observers of late with some impressively authoritative displays in the white coat, but pioneering Young has just made another less-heralded contribution to the Scottish game. In his role as IT boffin he has developed a superb, web-based online player registration system currently being piloted in the Western Union.
The Union, in common with many feeder leagues, has become increasingly bedeviled by a plethora of dubious cross-club player appearances. Not any more. The day of the ineligible 'ringer' is numbered. With Eric's user-friendly system club officials themselves upload player data, incorporating name, date of birth, registration number and photo-id, to a central database which, password-protected, can be accessed at any time by up to three nominees per club. There is no extra admin burden on players. Team captains merely exchange team lines at the start of each match, and any queries arising can be taken up later via the database. Overburdened administrators will thus be released from much of the tedious burden of lengthy processes of disciplinary action and appeal against unregistered players.
Coincidentally the new process has also unearthed some intriguing stats about the current crop of participants – the average player age in the Union is a ripe 31. The likelihood is that the novel Young Registration System will be rolled out to other feeder leagues for 2011 – and possibly adopted by the SNCL too.
Falkland hit 150 not out
FALKLAND CC's campaign in Division 1 – the highest level at which the Fife club have ever competed – may have begun disappointingly with Saturday's resounding home defeat to Heriot's – but don't expect the Fifers to be too downcast. Nothing will be allowed to get in the way of the season-long party which the club are presently hosting to mark a magnificent 150 years in the game.
They've already enjoyed an April tour to Cyprus, and the showpiece event is still to come – a Festival of the Three Falklands cricket week starting on 19 July. The Falkland Islands team, comprising civilian and military personnel based on the South Atlantic island, and already accredited with affiliate ICC membership – they played their first full international against Chile in 2004 – will compete alongside a strong English village team from Falkland, Berkshire, and of course the host club. The week will culminate in a match against a Scottish President's XI on Friday, 23 July.
Beautifully appointed Scroggie Park – is there a finer sight in Scotland than the view from the top of East Lomond Hill looking down on the tiny white cricketing figures running around the field? – has witnessed plenty memorable moments over one-and-a-half centuries. It promises to be yet another marvellous Falkland summer.
Happy to see Bailey back
GOOD luck, George Bailey. The prolific Tasmanian batsman and astute captain will again don Saltires blue for Scotland's Pro40 campaign. He's the latest in a long and historically problematic line of hired hands whose contribution to the tartan cause has been pretty mixed. Indian Test superstar Rahul Dravid was arguably the best of the bunch, posting 600 runs in 12 outings in 2003. Pakistan's charismatic Yasir Arafat also made his useful mark too in 29 games in 2004/5, and Stenny's South African Jonathan Beukes averaged a decent 35 in 15 shots in 2005. But the history books are littered with the names of big-name casualties who didn't deliver in a Scotland jersey, most notably Clive Rice, Desmond Haynes, Floyd Reifer and the late, great Malcolm Marshall.
Bailey, however, comes with a very promising pedigree. In 2007 he notched nearly 300 runs for Scotland to complement his 765 SNCL runs for Grange at a stupendous 95.62 including three tons. He's also been in magnificent form down under, captaining the Tasmanian Tigers to the one-day state title, averaging 60 himself – and getting the call to join the Aussie squad as a replacement for Michael Clarke in the recent Chappell-Hadlee series.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West