Steven Croft's Lancashire cricket column: Southport match unlike anything I'd experienced

Lancashire have a nine-day break between first XI fixtures
Lancashire have a nine-day break between first XI fixtures

I haven’t really experienced anything like what happened at Southport this week.

Playing for Lancashire Seconds against Yorkshire, the game was called off on the second morning (Wednesday) over concerns about the pitch.
It was a shame because me and a lot of the other guys wanted to get plenty of cricket in, and it’s usually a nice wicket to play on with a bit of spin.
With us having quite a few days off between first-team games, it would have been good to get some preparation in for what hopefully will be a return to the side against Worcester at New Road next Wednesday.
We were playing on a brand new wicket and this was the first time anyone had played on it, so it was a bit of a shock when it started going up and down on day one.
There were quite a lot of cracks on the pitch, and after the weather we’ve had the whole square was dry.
That didn’t do it any favours really, which you don’t usually say.
You certainly don’t usually complain about too much sun in England!
The pitch wasn’t really to blame for any of the wickets that fell on the first day as we bowled them out for 75, but some of the balls did misbehave and there were a few lucky misses.
At least they were hitting gloves and missing lads rather than hurting people.
Everyone wanted to play, and while it was a tough decision for the umpires it was probably the right one.
It wasn’t worth the risk when we’d seen a few balls go up and down. The ones that go up can go through your helmet and you haven’t got time to get out of the way.
I at least got a little bit of time in the middle.
I made 38 when we got the chance to bat and felt pretty good out there.
It wasn’t the easiest wicket to bat on obviously but I felt good at the crease and would have liked to have extended my innings.
I’d also got a few overs in down at Lytham the weekend before, which was important having not really played for the last few weeks.
We’ve got the all clear to play club cricket again this weekend as Lancs haven’t got a game until Wednesday.
It should hopefully be a good game against Northern, who are top of the Liverpool Competition.
There are eight days between Lancashire first-team games and that’s quite a big gap really, especially considering the second-team game was called off as well.
It’s not ideal but it’s one of those little windows in the season when you can get a bit of family time in or just recharge the batteries. You don’t get too many spells like that.
When you do get a bit of time off there are a few gym sessions to do on your own.
We got called into the gym on Thursday morning after the game was called off and I must admit I’d rather be playing!
It’s just maintenance stuff during the summer – it’s the winter sessions that can be quite brutal! But during the season it’s just about keeping ticking over.
During a break you also get little bits of stuff on the opposition to look through in your own time.
Sometimes it’s good to get away from the lads.
As much as we all get on really well, it’s nice to have a bit of a break because for most of the summer we’re on top of each other on a coach or in a changing room.
When you come back everyone’s just that little bit fresher.
Off the field I had a really good afternoon with David Lloyd for my testimonial last week. I really enjoyed it.
Bumble was on top form as usual and everyone gave really good feedback from the event.
The committee worked really hard on it and it was a relief when it all came together.
I’m obviously concentrating on my cricket but little things need to be approved and cleared, and for me it’s nice to have that personal touch with people who are coming to the event.
That was first big event of my testimonial year and next we’ve got the T20 game at Lytham on July 4.
I’ve also sorted a darts event at Old Trafford on July 14 after the T20 Blast game against Derbyshire.
John Gwynne has agreed to MC, and we’ve got former world champions Bob Anderson and Dennis Priestley playing.
It will be my team against an all-stars team, which should be fun.
Things are really coming together and it should be an exciting year.