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Saturday, 30 May 2015

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TYNEDALE Cricket Club's overseas professional, Akash Fotedar, arrived from Perth in Australia working as a sports journalist.


Having majored in journalism and professional writing, he went on to work as a cricket writer for Cricket Central, a sports reporter for The Armchair Selector and a football writer for Bound For Glory News.
He headed to Prior's Flat in the summer with a big reputation as a fast bowler after finishing fourth in the national final of Australia’s Top Gun Fast Bowling Competition and playing more than 70 games of WACA cricket for Willetton and, more latterly, Perth Cricket Club.
Each month until the end of the 2014 season, Fotedar will write an online blog for the Hexham Courant, chronicling his experiences playing cricket in the Tyne Valley.

FINALLY, the English ‘summer’ has arrived!

After the first part of my stint as the overseas pro at Tynedale CC was heavily rain affected, I had my doubts over whether I would get to play much cricket this northern summer. Luckily, the weather seems to have turned the corner and allowed us to play some good cricket.

We have just ticked over the halfway point of the league season and it’s been great to play in a team that is winning regularly and currently sitting top of the table with it all to play for in the second half of the summer.

Despite a couple of disappointing cup losses, we remain involved in the business end of a few other Twenty20 cup competitions. There is a lot of midweek cricket in the North-East- something which has been a big adjustment from the weekend only cricket I’m used to back home.

This is my second stint playing league cricket in the United Kingdom, as last year I played for Follifoot CC in the Airedale and Wharfedale Senior Cricket League in Yorkshire, and it has been very enjoyable and competitive so far.

Growing up playing my cricket in Perth, Western Australia, the difference in conditions was a shock to the system, even if I had experience of the English game from last year!

Fresh off the plane in April, we had a friendly match against  Hexham Leazes to kick off our season on my second day here. Before the match began, I was busy scurrying around the dressing room seeing if any of my new teammates would lend me some warm clothing!

The day didn’t get much better, or warmer, when I went out to bowl on a pudding and went wicketless in my first game.

Luckily, things have improved since then. Both in the weather, and the quality of decks we have played on.

The pitch at Tynedale, which is the best ground in the league from what I’ve seen so far, has dried out nicely into a good batting wicket that our exciting batting line-up won’t complain about.

Some of the grounds we have played at have been eye-opening and very unique. I almost laughed when I saw Leadgate CC had one ‘short end’ and one long straight boundary. Fielding at third man, I was effectively a slightly deeper third slip and ready for an edge to fly with Dicky Darling charging in down the hill!

My favourite away ground so far has definitely been Alnmouth and Lesbury CC, right on the coast, and almost an hour’s drive north-east of Hexham. The newcomers to the league have a very picturesque cricket ground with good facilities and pitch that had some pace and bounce despite the rain we encountered that day.

The first half of the season at Tynedale has been fantastic, and with the season shaping up as a good one there are exciting times ahead for our young squad. Hopefully there will be some silverware to enjoy come the end of September.