The 30th edition of the First-Class Counties Second XI Annual came through my letter box yesterday, a gloriously sunny day in the Lower Ure Valley, and the yellow edged booklet is another sign that the season is not far away. Meticulously edited by Yorkshire II and England Under 19 scorer, Howard Clayton, the slim book is essential for all who follow Second XI cricket.
Sad therefore that in the fixtures section there are still several matches listed to be played at TBC. Derbyshire are the worst culprits in this respect: for at least ten of their fixtures no definite venue is shown. Turn to the club's website for more up to date information and you will be disappointed, TBC is again the ground of choice. I had an email from Tony Hutton earlier in the week who has been in touch with The Peakites on this issue and their response is that it is the responsibility of the newly appointed coaching team and that they have not got round to it yet. As they are currently enjoying a jolly in Abu Dhabi playing a two day friendly against Worcestershire I doubt if things will change in the near future. .
Lest you think Derbyshire are alone in the naughty corner Gloucestershire have several matches in this category, go to their website click on second XI and there are last season's fixtures. Brilliant.
Peter Davies has also emailed me this week to announce that the 9th Annual Pennine Cricket is to be held at Golcar CC on Saturday March 29th from 10;00am to 3:00 pm, 'schedule of speakers to follow. Readers may remember that last year's conference had to be postponed because of heavy snow. Looks as though Peter might have more luck this time.
Finally a phone call to The Riverside yesterday revealed that Durham IIs friendly with Scotland at the end of April will be played at The Racecourse, the home of Durham University CC. Agreed that this is not the most welcoming of grounds on a cold or wet day but it commands splendid views of three institutions of correction, the cathedral, the castle and the prison and can be reached by a riverside walk from the town. For those who like a sharpener before lunch it is just a few minutes from the excellent Dun Cow. The match is scheduled to last three days and begins on April 28th.