Blog

Travelling worldwide to bring you the latest on the England Cricket team

Blog

English Cricket – England vs West Indies 1st ODI – 3rd March 2017

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in english cricket | 0 comments

English Cricket – England vs West Indies 1st ODI – 3rd March 2017

English Cricket vs West Indies Cricket 1st ODI in Antigua 3rd March 2017 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium

Watching the English Cricket team play against the West Indies Cricket team is an adventure that I have always wanted to experience. A huge thank you has to go out to my laptop cricket lifestyle and my digital business for making another dream come true.

What is the West Indies? > Courtesy of Wikipedia… The West Indies, or Caribbean Basin, is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean in the Caribbean, that includes the island countries and surrounding waters of three major archipelagoes: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles and the Lucayan Archipelago.

It could also be described as the stuff of legends, pirates, sun, sugar cane, rum and of course cricket.


English Cricket – The Journey Over to the West Indies

First stop on this English Cricket tour was to arrive at the Grantley Arms International Airport on the island of Barbados and get a connecting flight to the island of Antigua and Barbuda to head out to the Sir Vivian Richards cricket ground, which was built in 2007 for the ICC World Cup.

england west indies cricket series arriving in antigua

England Cricket Antigua

I travelled with a friend of mine, Steve Jones, to enjoy the cricket and enjoy the sunny Caribbean.

Away we fly saying goodbye to spring time in England as we go off and chase the sun.

After a long flight from Gatwick, London, we eventually arrived in Barbados to get our connecting flight to Antigua.

No pirates, lol, but I did hope that English Cricket has arrived to plunder the West Indies. So, welcome to Antigua for the 1st one day international cricket match in the series.

england west indies cricket series sir viv richards antiguaSir Vivian Richards

This game was played at the Sir Viv Richards cricket ground so let’s make a mention of Sir Viv Richards, a native of Antigua.

Who can forget Vivian Richards a legend of West Indies international cricket (thank heavens he has retired) and a bane of the life of many an English cricket player and fan.

His tall and nonchalant figure out in the middle with the signature gum chewing and red cap. His booming sixes to the cheers of the West Indians and the groans of the opposition bowlers and fans alike. Surely, one of the greatest cricket batsman to ever play world cricket.

Enough nostalgia off to the game!


The England Cricket Tour vs West Indies 2017 – Documentary


English Cricket – The Game Itself

Here Is What We Did See!

After a solid breakfast, all excited I stormed out the door in my England cricket shirt. A sunny enjoyable day at the cricket awaits! To be met at the door with a stiff breeze and RAIN!, bugger. Welcome to sunny Antigua Mark. Nevertheless off to the cricket, this fickle weather will change. We have a English cricket ODI to attend and there is no stopping us. Although, I hope this breeze is not blowing an ill wind for English cricket today.

What friendly people we have met in Antigua. I thought I was a die hard fan, these guys are passionate lads. They know their cricket. Like a moth to the flame we all converge on the Sir Vivian Richards cricket ground. The Barmy Army lads, English cricket fans and the friendly though exuberant West Indian supporters. Smiles and banter waiting for the breeze to blow the rain away.

Getting into the stadium ticket in hand an easy job. Friendly security as well. I think they secretly all want the job to sneak a peak at the cricket. The covers are still down but it appears the rain has left the building. The groundsmen are scurrying around, some chaps have the covers lifted and it looks like they are trying to fly a kite. Awesome Antigua your breeze does just the job, the game gets going, thank you.

Here we go captains in the middle and the toss. West Indies win the toss and choose to bowl. So batten down the hatches here we go!


The English Cricket Innings.

Jason Roy and Sam Billings are the opening pair. They stride out to the centre to a roar from the fans. The West Indies are on the pitch to loud acclaim and a band playing. The wicket is a bit sticky. What a slow start, its not test match cricket lads you only have 50 overs.

We are 16 for no loss after 5 overs, the fifth over being a maiden. Don’t you just love cricket. The only time you can bowl a maiden over and not be charged.

Disaster Roy gone lbw for 13 although Billings is getting the hang of the pitch. Come on Joe Root you can do this. Boom Root gone for four to Gabriel clean bowled the man is on fire. Shades of English Cricket in South Africa are starting to loom large.

Captain Morgan steps up to the crease. Billings and Morgan steady the ship and off we go. Some notable performances by the English batsmen, Billings (52), Morgan (107), Stokes (55) and Ali (31) not out and a healthy 20 extras. This left us with a respectable 296 for 6 taking the slow start into consideration.

Note needs to be made that this Century by Eoin Morgan was his fifth as captain and it is the new record beating the 4 match 100’s of Cook and Strauss as captains. Well done lad.

We met someone named Pete who is a widower and after his retirement lives his dream of following the English cricket team around the world. I am so grateful for my Laptop Cricket Lifestyle because I don’t have to wait for my retirement to be able to follow my dream.

You will be able to listen to Pete’s commentary on the game at around 1.30 minutes into the video above where I am holding a champagne glass.

The break, and off to find lunch and refreshment. I’m a chicken when it comes to the famous jerk chicken. Mention chilli and I break out into a sweat. So none of that famous delicacy for me. We had a really nice beans and rice for lunch sitting on communal benches under the Antiguan sun. Some cool refreshment to wash down the lunch and back to the cricket for this English cricket fan, Mark Ford


The West Indies Cricket Innings.

West Indies need 297 to win. It is not a walk in the park England. We need to be sharp and get the bowling and fielding spot on lads. Brathwaite and Lewis stride out to much jubilation to launch the West Indian opening attack. Finn and Woakes open the bowling.

A brisk start by the West Indians in comparison to the English cricket first innings. At the end of 9 overs the West Indies are 36 for no loss and starting to look comfortable. Then boom Lewis caught off Woakes in the tenth over and Brathwaite caught off Plunket in the eleventh. This fan has perked up.

Powell taken cheaply for 1 run caught off Plunket’s bowling. Hope (31), Mohammed (72), Carter (52) steadied the ship but after they were gone the balance of the batsmen went relatively cheaply.

Nurse (21) in the tail providing some resistance. Nurse went out LBW to Chris Woakes of English cricket fame. Woakes and Plunkett with 4 wickets each cuased the major damage. The result the West Indies all out for 251 off 47 overs and 2 balls. We won the match by 45 runs. A great start 1 – 0 up in the series.

See the full match report here.


england west indies cricket series sir viv richards cricket ground antigua robert key with mark fordTo cap the day out at the cricket. I met Robert Key. The most awesome part posing for a selfie with me. You can’t beat that. Back again on the fifth of March for ODI 2.

Be warned lads the English cricket machine is warmed up and ready to go! 


england west indies cricket series sir viv richards cricket ground antigua a hot day with the barmy army

 

Mark Ford > markscrickettours.com

Sharing the Laptop Cricket Lifestyle with all cricket fans worldwide.

> Visit the West Indies Cricket Tours Page <

> Visit the West Indies Cricket Tours Video Page <


Mark’s Cricket Tours – English Cricket – Top





Laptop Cricket Lifestyle

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in Laptop Cricket Lifestyle | 0 comments

Laptop Cricket Lifestyle

Laptop Cricket Lifestyle While Following The English Cricket Team Around South Africa

The laptop cricket lifestyle continues, off to the airport into a jet WHOOSH. Off I go to watch the English Cricket team play against South Africa in their ODI and 2020 cricket series.

Who am I? Mark Ford is an ex solicitor in the Magistrates Courts in the United Kingdom. Gone for a month, this English cricket fan! How can I disappear into the blue yonder and spend a month indulging my passion for cricket? Easy I live a Laptop Cricket Lifestyle owning a global internet business working with a team of friends and business colleagues.

My laptop cricket lifestyle allows me the freedom to indulge my passion for the game of cricket and allows me to afford the luxury of travelling to many destinations around the world.

Wherever I open my Laptop that is where my business is.

THIS GIVES ME FREEDOM, not just hoping a boss will grant me leave to go and indulge my passion for a month. No 9 to 5 slog for me, no rush hour, no commute and definitely no same four walls. I can choose where my office is every day, my working hours and even better when I am not at work I am still working! A Laptop Cricket Lifestyle for me I say. You will have noticed in my following the South African Cricket tour in person that there was a break between matches well what did I do? Well here we go!

A Laptop Cricket Lifestyle – Arriving In South Africa To Continue Mark Ford’s Cricket Tours

With a screech of tyres on the runway we are here. South Africa a new destination for me but the English cricket team have been playing here since the 1800’s. So off to enjoy the fruits of my laptop cricket lifestyle.

I’m here to watch the cricket matches and do business in between how brilliant is that? Well, what did I get to see? Lots! Having spare time between the matches enabled me to explore the country a bit. I must admit what a lovely place with sunny skies and the people are very friendly. Being a member of the ‘jet set society’ I got to see a large part of the country, a big thank you to the English Cricket team.

My travels led me the length and breadth of the country, although I didn’t get to see the west coast and the middle of the country too much. From Port Elizabeth to Centurion, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. I must admit I did not get to spend a huge amount of time in the first three cities as the matches were ‘in and out’ and off to the next venue. But with me being a mentor in the Six Figure Mentors, a community of like minded individuals all with their own internet businesses and mentoring people to start their own businesses, I had friends already formed in South Africa through my laptop lifestyle who gave me some incredible advice and shared their incredible hospitality with me. This hospitality I was to find as a trademark of my whole South African tour.

So, from being taken to dinner in Johannesburg to going on safari in South Africa I was really spoilt on my tour of the English vs South Africa cricket series. It would all never have been possible if I had not chosen a laptop cricket lifestyle!

What I got to see!

Cape Town was really the first city I got to see as such with a 5 day break. I think the name that is synonymous with South Africa is Nelson Mandela, this immediately comes to mind. Now when Mr Mandela was incarcerated all those years ago as a political prisoner on an island called Robben Island(Robben from dutch meaning seal) just off Cape Town(its about a forty minute trip by boat). I was privileged to tour the Island and see the cell he was held in. An incredible experience. But Cape Town is also a cosmopolitan society and has an incredible history and some amazing tourist attractions. It is the home to the South African parliament. Two oceans(the Indian and Atlantic)  meet at Cape point on the penisular. The huge and imposing Table Mountain in who’s shadow the city lives and thrives with a cable car that takes you to the top of the mountain and opens up some incredible vistas before you. Don’t forget the famous castle as well. Cape Town is a harbour city colonised by first the dutch in 1652 and in a tussle between Holland and England changing hands a few times until it became firmly British. But enough of the history. I have included a video below of some of my Cape Town experiences for you (I apologise for some sound problems the breeze wasn’t my friend, but a picture paints a thousand words).

Thank you Cape Town for your hospitality and the business I did while in town. A beautiful city and I can say with certainty “I will be back”.

The after tour holiday.

laptop cricket lifestyle off to durban South AfricaAfter the 2020 matches in Cape Town and Johannesburg I took another four days off to visit fellow Six Figure Mentor member Dalene (whom I mentor) and her husband John in Durban KwaZulu Natal. The English cricket team did not play any odi matches on the tour but they had played test match cricket there. The Laptop cricket Lifestyle coming to the fore and allowing me this FREEDOM to see another beautiful part of the country. I thought after the whirlwind travels around South Africa this would be a nice break for me, but that was only a thought! I got to fly another Mango lads! Durban on the East coast of South Africa another thriving harbour town, with the Indian Ocean forming its one border (this a lot warmer than the Atlantic).

My Durban Safari

Africa home to some incredible wildlife, the big 5 Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino. Little did I expect that when I landed at King Shaka International airport that this English cricket fan would hit the ground running. So whisked off into a car and we’re off into the wild blue yonder. It turns out I’m off on Safari our destination the Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve(don’t ask me to pronounce this i’m still battling) in Northern KwaZulu Natal. We drove past miles and miles of Sugar cane on the way as sugar production is huge in this part of the country.

Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve

After a 2 hour trip we arrive at the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and just through the gate we see a herd of impala(buck) and in the dry riverbed too far to take a picture a Lioness lying in the sand. Unfortunately there was a drought and the land was very dry. Off to the camp and we see Elephant and Rhino as well as Wildebeest(a GNU) and zebra and other small game. I must admit I am extremely privileged as I got to see 4 of the big 5 the only thing I missed was the Leopard and that i’m told is a huge privilege because many people take quite a few trips to see the big 5.

So into camp the car mobbed by local terrorists(no not human, but monkeys-Vervet monkeys). We settle in and I have my first ‘Braaivleis’ (BBQ) and am introduced to PAP(pronounced pup) a maize meal porridge served with a tomato and onion gravy. So after much joviality and seeing a full grown hyena walk through the camp at night its off to bed.  Up we get at 4 am and we’re off again on a game drive into the bush with a Ranger what an awesome experience, but please don’t do this too often I’m not a morning person! I was amazed to see the road work crew held up by an ELEPHANT! You guessed it.

Back to Durban

Back on the road again off to Durban to see the sights. What a large city, John a rugby man drags me off to see Kings park the rugby stadium and then briskly whips me road the corner to see Moses Mabhide Stadium which was built for the World cup soccer in 2010. Onwards we go and suddenly there it is Sahara Kingsmead cricket stadium the highlight of a died in the wool English cricket fan, why because we won the test match there! Also there is that hidden call of the hallowed turf, that magnet that draws any cricket fan to it with an irresistible force. From here off to the Yacht basin and on to dinner in the harbour. Past the City hall a stunning sandstone structure, not allowed to go to the natural history museum as I quote, “you have had enough of the ‘wild life,’ Mark.

Some history and a scenic trip

John also with a malt licence asks about the beer and ‘lager is lager is lager’ is my answer. So dragged out of bed the next morning and we off again, this time inland to Pietermaritzburg to meet another Six Figure Mentor member and then into the Kwazulu Natal midlands. A surprise for me! I had mentioned Robben island and had been impressed with the story of Nelson Mandela so we take a left turn at a town called Howick and after a bit of a country road meander the Nelson Mandela capture site and museum. Oh what a surprise. The museum is actually across the road from Where Nelson Mandela was captured. The spot where the ‘black pimpernel'(as he had been dubbed by the media) looks just like a bus stop or little laybye. What an inspiration to walk through the museum and see the history of this great man.

What a surpise

Surprise number 2 into the car and we turn right back onto the country roads and meander towards a small town called Nottingham road(hopefully no sheriff!). Along the road we take a left turn and joy of joys a sign ‘Nottingham Road Brewing Company’ what is this? At the end of the driveway BEER HEAVEN! Ale,Porter, India Pale ale, Stout and Bitter, REAL BEER. Needless to say we had to have some refreshment to wash all the dust down from our long travels! Then we are off again to find ‘Biltong’, What is this creature does it bite? Not at all turns out to be the equivalent of ‘jerky’ but not as dry and very tasty.  Home James.

A bit more of the local culture

mark ford having a bunny chow durban kwazulu natal markscrickettours.com

The famous or infamous Bunny Chow

Last day in Durban, no rest for the wicked off we go again for the morning. Taken to a Safari park in Botha’s hill to see some crocodiles and other reptiles and to be shown a traditional Zulu village and learn about the Zulu culture with some Zulu dancing as well. An interesting and informative morning thank you one and all. Back home to pack and one last look into some South African culture.

Kwazulu Natal is famous for a food known as ‘THE BUNNY CHOW’ and this was to be my last lunch. I was asked if I like curry and said I like a curry. So off John disappeared to re-appear with the Bunny Chow. This strange beast being a curry(mutton for me) in a hollowed out quarter loaf of bread. This is the smaller size they also come in half and whole! The curry I must admit was a bit hot for me(this one was considered mild) but what an incredible tour of Durban and immersion in the culture this trip was for me.

So thank you Durban and South Africa but all good things must come to and end. But for your entertainment I have included a compilation video of my tour of Durban.

I live the laptop cricket lifetsyle and you can to. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the laptop cricket lifestyle it can be the Laptop your dream here) lifestyle. If this is you, your passion crying out for release from the prison you feel tied to, then sign up here for my free newsletter or if you want to connect on skype book here.

Looking forward to meeting you and helping you reach the dreams you desire.

england west indies cricket series sir viv richards cricket ground antigua a hot day with the barmy army

 

Mark Ford at markscrickettours.com

Sharing the Laptop Cricket Lifestyle with all cricket fans worldwide.

Mark’s Cricket Tours – Laptop Cricket Lifestyle – Top of Page

2020 Cricket Series South Africa VS English Cricket 2016

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in 2020 Cricket, english cricket, Laptop Cricket Lifestyle, South Africa Cricket | 0 comments

2020 Cricket Series South Africa VS English Cricket 2016

The T20 cricket series England V South Africa 2016.

Back in the saddle again after a five day break the 2020 cricket series starts. Still in Cape Town meeting the friendly and hospitable South Africans. In this post I am going to cover the two 2020 cricket matches. During the five day break having taken time tor recuperate from the 5th one day cricket match and living the laptop cricket lifestyle. So the laptop cricket lifestyle allowed me to settle down and carry on with my business. I have the freedom to conduct my business wherever I have an internet connection. That aside back to the cricket.

The first 2020 cricket match Newlands, Cape Town 2016.

Back down the scenic walk under the oaks to Newlands under the looming dark shadow of Table mountain. It is a night game and the clouds look a bit ominous so we might get a bit of rain later. Hope we win the toss and get to choose what we will do. Walking to the stadium I am greeted by friendly smiles and happy faces from the supporters on all sides even though I am wearing my English cricket shirt and clearly am the opposition. Well here we are again Newlands my old friend. After a good rest and the voodoo of the fifth ODI behind us. Hopefully the Kryptonite has upped and moved on and the cricket Gods are once again English.

2020 Cricket the festive close your eyes and belt the ball out the park game. A game that has taken the world by storm, started in India and brought to the world amongst much criticism like Kerry Packer received for the ODI format. So fasten your seat belts (no the seats do not have them), for some fast paced action lads. So from the huddle in the middle it emerges that the cricket Gods have given South Africa the toss and they are going to chase again.

The English Cricket Innings.

Roy and Hales stride confidently to the pitch and take guard. Lights, camera, action Abbott the bowler ready to unleash the fury of South African cricket. Down comes the umpires arm and in steams Abbott like a tearaway train. Roy tips him away for 1 run, oh dear are we here for a 2020 cricket match or test match cricket? Hales up and a crack and a four yes lad 2020 cricket action comes to the fore, the fire works light up for the boundary perhaps the voodoo has left. End of the first over 10 for no loss. English cricket machine firing on all cylinders. Keep this up lads and 200 plus on the scoreboard. Who is English cricket’s maintenance engineer? Because the wheels weren’t greased properly and we started to slow down drastically. I mean I could see those Kryptonite crystals Growing. Last ball of the innings and where are we 134 for 8 at an average of 6.7 per over. Great run rate that for ODI cricket not so charming for 2020 cricket. But again we have a number on the board South Africa cricket has still to get that.

The South Africa Cricket Innings.

Amla and de Villiers open for South Africa. Willey to open the bowling, NOT an auspicious start a wayward ball edged off the pads by Amla and gone for four byes. Tighten up lad we don’t have a lot of runs to play with. Second ball and Crack that spine tingling ball on the willow four no one was going to stop that one. Definitely something in the water here. South Africa 11 for no loss at the end of the first over, not looking too auspicious. Well done to the English cricket maintenance engineer for tinkering with the bowlers they are doing a good job. Well done to Stokes for bowling a maiden wicket in the sixth over (Amla gone for 22). I’m getting excited. Join in with the Barmy army we will chant the victory. Oops I spoke to soon as the Kryptonite crystals were disappearing and we were now down to the wire. South Africa Facing the last ball and needing 1 run to draw and 2 to win. Topley to bowl Morris facing, i’m seriously thinking bowl the infamous underarm lad as Lillee did and we have this game in the bag. Uncharitable thoughts please forgive me. Topley bowls Morris slaps him away to the outfield a clean field and WHAT they’re coming back for the second. Topley misses the return, there must have been a small Kryptonite crystal lying around and  that was the problem. If we had caught the ball and knocked the bales off a draw. Morris safely home for two.  South Africa win 135 for 7. South Africa Cricket 1 – 0 up in the two match series Wanderers here we come.

full match report.

The second 2020 cricket match Wanderers, Johannesburg 2016.

english cricket vs south africa cricket the wanderers 2016Off again to Johannesburg and the Wanderers for the last 2020 cricket match. So the last game in the English cricket tour looms large. No time to muck about in a plane off to to the highveld again out the plane to the bed and breakfast.Time to settle for a meal and bed then next morning off to the cricket. The heat is on lads, we won the test match series and then lost the ODI series and now we are 1 – 0 down in the 2020 cricket series. Come on lads time to pull the rabbit out the hat. Let’s at least win this one and make this English cricket fan a happy man. So here we go again settled in to the stands and an  air of expectancy hangs over the grounds for both the English and South Africa cricket fan.

South Africa won the toss and once again chose to chase our total.

English Cricket innings.

Not much to say. A bright start followed by a dismal collapse through the middle some silly run outs and a whole lot of batsmen out for 1 could have been worse, they could have been ducks. A close eyes and slug attitude which just didn’t work. Too slick a machine lads, so many misfires. We stuttered to a score of 171 all out of 19 overs a 4 balls.

South African innings.

de Villiers and Amla opened the batting. Frankly we weren’t there de Villiers gone for 71 but what a solid base he and Amla built. No more wickets and Amla(69 not out) and du Plessis(22 not out) steered the South African team to a comfortable 9 wicket vistory in 14 overs and 4 balls. Well done to the South Africa cricket team winning the 2020 cricket series 2 – 0.

Full match report.

And so on that sad note I wrap up the Cricket tour of South Africa. Time to Pack away the supporters kit and drown my sorrows for English Cricket at the moment. Still an ardent fan though but lads we have got to fight back. We all know in life as in cricket get back up and fight on. Thank you to South Africa for your hospitality and friendly disposition until we meet again.

Looking forward to sharing my next tour with you and I know it will end on a better note.

england west indies cricket series sir viv richards cricket ground antigua a hot day with the barmy army

 

Mark Ford at markscrickettours.com

Sharing the Laptop Cricket Lifestyle with all cricket fans worldwide.

markscrickettours.com – 2020 Cricket Series South Africa VS English Cricket 2016 – Top of page

5th ODI South Africa V England Newlands Feb 14, 2016

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in english cricket, One Day International, South Africa Cricket | 0 comments

5th ODI South Africa V England Newlands Feb 14, 2016

English cricket wanes at the 5th odi at Newlands Cape Town

English cricket at Newlands cricket ground in Cape Town during the 5th odi. Hopefully the lads have put the 4th odi and the altitude behind them. Cape Town a metropolis nestling under the shadow of Table Mountain famous for its tablecloth of cloud, home to Newlands cricket stadiumA beautiful city with the seat of parliament, friendly people and the infamous Robben island, the prison island that housed Nelson Mandela. The only city I have been to with very narrow tree lined streets and a sunny ‘no rush’ disposition. So into this city I arrived with high hopes for the last of the one day games in the cricket series. I mean South Africa cricket had pulled the rabbit out the hat and drawn the five match cricket one day international series 2 – 2. So it was down to the wire for English cricket.

The venue.

england south africa cricket odi newlands cape townPPC Newlands what a stunning venue I don’t think that there are many grounds that can hold a candle to this venue. Snuggled at the base of Table mountain and overlooked by Devil’s peak the ground is set in an idyllic setting. Another venerable ground in South Africa.

Being built in 1888. The walk to Newlands is down a narrow street overhung with oak trees, what more romantic setting could one want for Valentine’s day. A victory for English cricket! that would round everything off nicely. So once more into the fray chaps! Walking to thee Cricket ground the fans mix and there is an air of bonhomie and joviality.  South Africa cricket definitely have their tails up and the fans are just as excited.

So into the grounds seated amid this boisterous crowd. The ever present band doing duty and the crowd in general in high spirits. The usual huddle umpire and captains and again South Africa win the toss and elect to field. At the rate we are losing the toss I am convinced that coin has two heads or tails. But enough of the sulks with the toss let’s get on with the game.

English Cricket Innings.

Roy and Hales stride out to the middle carrying the hopes of English cricket fans with them come on lads don’t stumble now. A bit of a turning pitch but the lads seem to be holding steady. Oh no disaster struck Roy gone LBW to Tahir in the fifth over for 8. The start of the slump. Apart form Hales who dug in for a well played 112 and Root(27) and Stokes(29) it was a dismal performance by the English cricket team. I mean with the fourth highest score being scored by that man EXTRAS(23) I think no more need be said about our batting performance. I think if the England cricket team were Superman and they were flying over Newlands they would tumble from the sky as it appears that this cricket ground is the same as Krypotonite to Superman. The end result England all out for 236 after 45 overs, a really bad day at the office. Alex Hales well done lad a shining light amongst the destruction. That young man Rabada to the fore again leading the bowling attack and taking three wickets along with Tahir and Wiese.

After that bad performance I definitely need to bolster my spirits with a spirit, but since I am only licensed for malt I need to find one. To add insult to injury the pub is called the Springbok pub after the national rugby side. How depressing is that. But like rugby we have a second half. We’ve put a score up now they have to get that score. So back off to the stands.

The South African Innings.

Amla And de kock opening the South Africa cricket innings again. Come on lads tight bowling the order of the day. Yes the first breakthrough de Kock gone for 4 here we go, perhaps the Kryptonite myth is not true.  du Plessis(0), Rossouw(4) and Behardien(13) gone cheaply but Amla dug in for a steady 59. Then non other than de Villiers steps out and the Kryptonite is a thought no longer. de Villiers(101 not out) and Wiese(41 not out) carried the day.  South Africa get the win their final score 237 for 5 off 44 overs.

Full match report.

So English cricket snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Indeed this was a strange game where in both overs that fellow EXTRAS was the fourth highest score in both innings. However a sad day for all English cricket fans from leading the series 2 – 0 we lost the series 3 -2. However I note that Amla’s words were true the South African had to play three test matches back to back. All credit to South Africa Cricket and brilliant leadership of your side de Villiers.

So with the wind out of my sails I leave Newlands an unhappy Valentine jilted at the oval. Seriously thinking to swap my English cricket shirt with a South african supporter but no we are made of sterner stuff.  Off to see the sights and live the laptop cricket lifestyle. A five day break will do everyone good and then we are back at it in the 2020 cricket. See you again at Newlands.

england west indies cricket series sir viv richards cricket ground antigua a hot day with the barmy army

 

Mark Ford at markscrickettours.com

Sharing the Laptop Cricket Lifestyle with all cricket fans worldwide.

Mark’s Cricket Tours – 5th ODI South Africa V England Newlands Feb 14, 2016 – Top of Page

 

4th ODI England South Africa Bidvest Wanderers 2016

Posted by on Feb 13, 2016 in english cricket, One Day International, Pink Drive, South Africa Cricket | 0 comments

4th ODI England South Africa Bidvest Wanderers 2016

The straw that broke the back of the 4th odi.

Kagiso Rabada the hero of the fourth odi. The proverbial straw that broke our 4th odi series dream at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Although truth be told Chris Morris didn’t help either. I am jumping the gun a little here. having spent a day recuperating from what happened during the 3rd odi at Supersport park I then settled and got ready to see England and South Africa cricket do battle in the 4th odi at the Wanderers Stadium.

Bidvest Wanderers cricket stadium.

The Wanderers a venerable old gentleman of the South African cricket scene. The stadium was first built in 1896 and was the scene of the first test match between the England cricket team and a South African Cricket team. Which English cricket won, but remember back then this was test match cricket. The stadium was not at its present location but closer to the ‘centre’ of Town. In 1946 it was demolished and a railway station was built on the old stadium grounds.

For 10 years the Wanderers as we know it was in limbo and cricket being relegated to being played at Ellis park a rugby stadium. In 1956 the new Wanderers stadium was built in its present location. It is a lovely stadium that is in the middle of a rather cosmopolitan area of the city. The one boundary has a row of flats running behind the stands and my exact thoughts on seeing this,” a cricket fan’s delight.” Imagine being able to sit on your balcony and watch live cricket whenever a match is happening. Enough now let’s move onto the match.

South Africa cricket in PINK!

south africa cricket odi pink driveBefore I get on though I would like to say a big Hats off to the South Africa cricket players and the South African cricket board. They have a day where a charitable organisation known as the pink drive create awareness of and for Breast cancer. This fourth One day International was that annual drive day. To commemorate this drive and for the awareness it creates the whole South African cricket squad wear and play in pink. Well done South Africa cricket in your efforts.

After the customary huddle on the pitch South Africa won the toss and elected to field. A rather strange descision, but in hindsight a wise one. It seems that South Africa seem to enjoy the challenge of the chase.

The English Cricket innings

We got off to a rocky start with Jason Roy going for 6 off the bowling of Rabada. Little did we know at the time that this was just the tip of the iceberg. Things however seem to settle with Hales And Root steadying the ship with a respectable 50 and 109 respectively. But then the rot set in and our middle order collapsed. The pink clad South Africa cricket lads were on fire and with some good bowling were able to get Morgan(2), Stokes(2), Buttler(1) and Ali(4) the wickets being shared by Tahir and Abbott. Woakes(33) and Rashid(39) put up some resistance in the tail but Young Rabada came back to take both wickets as well as Broad(6) who had been brought back into the English cricket team to counter de Kock. So this young bowler Rabada was definitely the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons. He returned figures of 4 for 45 off 9 overs and 5 balls. I must also mention the spinner Tahir who also returned figures of 3 for 46 off 10 overs. However watch out for young Rabada who at 19 has an impressive career ahead of him. The end result we were all out for 262 after 47 overs and 5 balls. Not a very auspicious day at the office for English cricket at all. But not all is doom and gloom in this incredible game of cricket. Because if we had trouble then the South Africans would too.

The South African Cricket Innings

Welcome back Broad lad. The idea seemed to be to bring him back to put the brakes on the South African opening bowlers and the start how brilliant taking Amla’s wicket on the fourth ball of the first innings. Here we go lads couldn’t ask for a better start. Unfortunately that was Broad’s shining moment. de Kock lost his wicket at 27 to Stokes but the middle order were restricted to low 30’s and then the other thorn in the English cricket team’s side raised his head. That was Chris Morris he proceeded to pound our bowlers a bit and scored a hard and fast 62 off 38 balls to level the score. Rashid the man to bowl him ends up. Then to add insult to injury in comes Tahir who clobbers Rashid on his next delivery for four to win the game. South Africa’s final score 266 for 9. They win by 1 wicket and Level the series 2 – 2. So all is left to play for in Cape Town.

Full match report.

the barmy army england vs south africa 2016Ford Mark Ford attention. By the left quick march left, left, left, right, left. Halt! What’s going on? I am the new official recruit in the Barmy army. Sing lad Sing you have a huge amount of learning to do. The barmy army a staunch unit of solid English cricket supporters.

It was quite fitting to join this band of brothers at the Wanderers since this is a charitable band who donate money to needy charities in the United Kingdom. So attention you new recruit and hurry up and get up to speed on the songs and chants, otherwise plenty of chores to be found for you!

Well done South Africa cricket and your dedication to the pink drive you fought back brilliantly. But Cape Town is where it all happens next. Watch out for the English Cricket machine!

england west indies cricket series sir viv richards cricket ground antigua a hot day with the barmy army

 

Mark Ford at markscrickettours.com

Sharing the Laptop Cricket Lifestyle with all cricket fans worldwide.

Mark’s Cricket Tours – 4th ODI England South Africa Bidvest Wanderers 2016 – Top of Page

 

3rd ODI England v South Africa Supersport Park Centurion 2016

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in english cricket, Laptop Cricket Lifestyle, One Day International, South Africa Cricket | 0 comments

Supersport Park Centurion a sad day for English Cricket fans

england south africa cricket supersport park centurionThe third odi  looms with English cricket on a high. Off we go to Centurion in Gauteng province in what is know as the highveld(pronounced highfelt got that from a friendly South African Thank you). We left the ‘windy city’, Port Elizabeth behind and travelled inland to watch the third odi at Centurion. Shock of shock they stuck me a bright orange aircraft, with the airline being called Mango. So who else can tell me they have flown a Mango? Getting over the shock of flying in a gaudy aircraft, we settled into the heart of Gauteng.

 

Having arrived on the seventh of february in the afternoon, off I went and got settled into the bed and breakfast. So I woke the next day and because of the Laptop cricket Lifestyle I lead. I set up my office for the day in the shade of a huge spreading tree in a beautiful garden with the birds flitting around and singing their merry little songs. So here I am at ease working at my best doing what I love. I have just completed my blog on the second one day cricket match in Port Elizabeth and have had some awesome mentoring sessions and cleared my email and other business backlog. Decks are cleared under this beautiful sunny African sky for tomorrow, because tomorrow we are at Centurion to watch my beloved England cricket team with their two nil lead give the South African cricket team a thorough lesson in the game of cricket and consolidate their 2-0 lead in the one day international cricket series into an unassailable 3 -0 lead.

Off to Centurion.

When I booked to come out and watch the one day cricket series, I spoke to Fellow Six figure Mentor member Dalene McIntosh who lives in South Africa and is one of the students I mentor. I had booked into this incredibly beautiful Bed and breakfast conveniently situated between the Wanderers stadium and Supersport Park so I was strategically placed to use the train to get to both venues. Unfortunately my plans went a bit awry.

england south africa cricket third odi supersport park centurionSo as advised TAXI. So kitted out once again in my England cricket shirt( I have a couple and had washed them too!) and ready to show the the flag again. This English cricket supporter was off to Centurion, glad I took that taxi the driver was so helpful and friendly. We arrived at what is a relatively young oval in terms of South African cricket. However the highveld is not as picturesque as St Georges and although it stands in a large park it is more grassland and housing and offices surrounding it( a bit closer to the English grounds). But nevertheless we are here for the cricket and the sun was out in full force making for another great day for cricket.

Again a great crowd attending the match a lot of South African supporters around this lone English cricket fan, but what a great bunch of individuals. Although they were behind in the series 2 – 0 they were a friendly and hospitable people. Again the huddle on the pitch umpire and captains and hallelujah we won the toss and chose to bat. This to be my first day night game in South Africa.

English cricket innings

South Africa trot out onto the pitch to loud cheers from some very vocal supporters. There they come the England opening batsmen Jason Roy and Alex Hales. COME ON LADS. Its a batting wicket rather flat and I am seeing not much movement off the seam. The first over we are off to a slow start with one run and a wide, just getting our eye in. Remember the secret weapon of South Africa cricket ALTITUDE! They are going to get a little more bounce lads.

Disaster strikes in the Sixth over Roy run out for 20, on a slightly mistimed short and bad call for two. Briliant fielding by the South Africans(grr!), Morkel sent in a brilliant return over the wicket and de Kock smartly removed the bails. It was close however, oh for a longer fingertip or a longer bat and you would have made it. After six overs an awesome run rate however of 6 per over. Alex Hales dug in with Joe root and continued a steady innings but the run rate had slowed. On 65 Hales miss hit a shortish ball from Rabada and was caught on the boundary by Morkel. no problem Buttler next and after Port Elizabeth firing on all cylinders, not, to be gone caught first ball, bugger.

Morgan and Hales have dug in and are steady in the business but another blow Morgan gone for eight. The South african crowd roar with delight at the performance of the South Africa cricket team. The Barmy army singing and chants have been drowned out at this stage and the South African’s tails are definitely up. Alas and alack after digging in and steadily steering the ship Joe Root run out on 125 stuck in the middle gabbing with Stokes. Another run out to miss communication bugger and double bugger.  Although the English cricket side steadied and put up a reasonable performance to finish on a respectable 318 for eight.

Dinner lads and a Lager of course! Back to the game. We’ve set the score now you get it.

South Africa Cricket innings.

Amla and de Kock the opening batsmen for South Africa in this one day cricket match good Amla didn’t do to well at St georges maybe we get an early breakthrough and we are off. This wasn’t the case third ball in the first over CRACK Willey struck for a Four and again on the last ball of the over. This was sending more than tingles down my spine. Amla facing Topley poking around at the Ball and CRACK on the fourth ball for a four. No chaps this is not cricket especially with the South African fans roaring and waving those little cards with 4 on them. But needless to say the South Africa cricket side seemed to be firing on all cylinders and both the openers set the South African side up with centuries each. de Kock with 135 and Amla with 127. After de Kock went caught by Root of Rashid’s bowling and Wiese went cheaply for 7 bowled by Ali I thought well maybe just maybe but du Plessis came in and scored a steady 33 to help South Africa to victory although we did get Amla caught by Buttler off Jordan’s bowling. The final score 319 for 3 off 46 overs and two balls. Winning the third odi match by 7 wickets.

Full match report.

South Africa cricket had pulled one back but we still lead the series 2 – 1. Well played South Africa but we will see you at the Wanderers and we will have our turn I’m sure.

england west indies cricket series sir viv richards cricket ground antigua a hot day with the barmy army

 

Mark Ford at markscrickettours.com

Sharing the Laptop Cricket Lifestyle with all cricket fans worldwide.

markscrickettours.com – 3rd ODI England v South Africa Supersport Park Centurion 2016 – Top of Page

 

South Africa VS England One Day Cricket Port Elizabeth 2nd ODI

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in english cricket, One Day International, South Africa Cricket | 0 comments

South Africa VS England One Day Cricket Port Elizabeth 2nd ODI

The Second Cricket ODI, St George’s Park Port Elizabeth 6 February 2016.

I kicked off the first of my cricket tours by starting at the second one day cricket matches in the five match series in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. “Welcome to the Windy City” the radio announcer said and that was no lie, with a fine breeze blowing in from the sea, enough to get the white horses galloping under sunny skies. I was later to find out from my South African Friends that Port Elizabeth has earned the name because it seems there is always a breeze blowing in the city. To the breeze blowing in the trees outside I thought, “So starts my cricket tours adventure!”

However no time to wax lyrical, on with my England Cricket shirt and the rest of the supporters kit and off to breakfast. No one to be in doubt that I am an ardent English cricket fan. Why you may ask did I not come out to South Africa to watch the England Test match cricket, well its simple the test matches happened over Christmas and January and I wanted to spend time with the family and had some Business commitments with the Six Figure Mentors to honour. But I had cleared the decks for the One day cricket series and the two 2020 cricket matches to follow. Breakfast done off to St George’s Park.

The Venue Second one day international cricket match

england south africa cricket st georges park port elizabeth

The approaches to St George’s

St George’s a brilliant venue, set in a park like atmosphere surrounded by not so green grass(there was a drought on) and the most beautiful trees. It was such a nice walk through the park to get to this magnificent oval, one of the oldest in South Africa.

Here’s hoping that the cricket is going to be as magnificent as the setting. Arriving at the entrance I stuck out like a sore thumb as I had arrived with a crowd of South African supporters, but I must admit like the majority of South Africans I met they were the most polite and friendly bunch. Although here I was the ‘enemy” they treated me well considering that England were coming here with a 1-0 lead in the one day cricket series.

So into the oval we walked South African and English cricket fan united in the love of cricket. I must admit that I was intrigued to see a pile of fans at the oval in football jerseys. What a lively crowd of fans in that stadium and I was to discover that fact wherever I watched cricket in South Africa. So I found my seat and was fortunate to be mixed with some local fans and English cricket fans. Now for a day of some great cricket come on England you beauties!

The usual huddle round the middle captains and umpire and South Africa won the toss and chose to bat. Thank heavens for the breeze to keep us cool under these sunny skies. Although we can’t always win the toss. In any case huddle sorted field cleared for action. Here they come trotting out onto the pitch, THE ENGLAND CRICKET TEAM, come on Morgan, Stokes and the lads.

To a loud roar here they come the South African openers Amla and de Kock. The batsmen take up their guard and we are ready. Oops after the first ball I can see this is a slow pitch and that’s not good as it will get slower as the day progresses. So do we start to get nervous now or wait?

South Africa Cricket Innings.

Boom England strikes Topley gets his man, first wicket that of Amla clean bowled. The English fans roar the South Africans groan, but a knowledgeable crowd applauds a good ball. Game on in this one day cricket match. The slow pitch takes its toll, with de Kock falling cheaply for 22 lbw to Stokes. But as they say ‘it’s  not over till the fat lady sings’ and South Africa steadied the ship. That man AB de Villiers suddenly out of nowhere finding form after a poor batting patch ( three ducks in the last test match innings and an 8 in the first one day international cricket match). He was eventually stopped at 73 caught by Jordan off Stokes’ bowling. But between du plessis(46), de Villiers(73) and Duminy(47) South Africa was starting to build a solid innings. Well done to Rashid and Ali who dug in well and with some very tight bowling put the throttle firmly in place through the middle overs. So after 50 overs South Africa’s score was 262 for 7 now for our turn.

Lunch time, so off I go in search of much needed nourishment both solid and liquid. Be warned servings in South Africa are LARGE. I looked around and a friendly local advised me to try a ‘boerewors’ roll(don’t ask how to pronounce it i’m English) but it translates as farmers sausage. So I thought, ‘when in Rome’ and got one of those, really tasty with fried onions and a tomato relish(not Sauce). As to refreshment being English beer is needed, I was faced again with a wide choice and started with what seems the most popular a lager called Castle. So for my first lunch at a South Africa Cricket oval this English cricket fan had a farmer’s sausage and drank a Castle! However, with the sincerest apologies it is not like a good English beer.

England Cricket Team Innings

england south africa cricket odi st georges park port elizabethReplete after lunch, back to my seat and the ever boisterous crowd. Here they come the England openers Roy and Hales striding out to take guard. Well let’s see lads get a good start. Oh bugger, a wicket Roy gone for 14 cleaned bowled by Abbott. Is that slow pitch coming back to bite us?  Yes I think so, we’ve lost reasonably cheaply Root(38), Morgan(29) and Stokes(0, definitely a better day with the ball lad). Thank heavens for Hale dug in there and steadily doing the business.  But the star Jos Buttler striding in and finding his form straight away. May well be after his huge signing to the IPL(Indian premier league). Another wicket Hales gone for 99. But all is not lost for this English Cricket fan because Buttler is belting the South African attack all over the park and Ali is providing a solid backup to Buttler. Suddenly these lads are bringing the game back for us in a hurry. Here we stand starting over 47 and all we need is 8 runs to win. In storms Morkel to Ali first ball Crack! a brilliant four. Morkel turns and comes in again Crack another brilliant four! Ali you did it lad thank you. England 263 for 5 off 46 overs and two balls, We win by 5 wickets.

Full match report

A Boisterous Crowd.

I have to talk about the crowd in my first live one day cricket match in South Africa. Remember being an English cricket fan and having mainly watched cricket in England, yes with the barmy army livening things up with their chants and singing it was an eye opener to attend the match at St George’s and other venues in South Africa. The South Africans I have found are a jovial and happy crowd and this extends to those attending cricket matches. The crowd was a lively one, to the extent that there was a band in the crowd making music. They played well and were very lively throughout the day no matter the outcome of the match( although I must admit they were livelier when they won, more later on.) Earlier I mentioned some supporters arriving in football jersey’s at the stadium. They were a lively bunch and sang and stomped their way through the match. It was incredible to me to watch how the crowd became fully immersed in the game no matter who you were or where you came from. For your amazing hospitality I am really grateful.

So at the end of this the Second one day international cricket match our tails are up with a 2-0 lead in the series. Onwards and upwards England.

Living the Laptop Cricket Lifestyle has allowed me the first experience of living my dream of following the England cricket team in their matches around the world.

Next stop Supersport Park, Centurion for the third One day International cricket match.

england west indies cricket series sir viv richards cricket ground antigua a hot day with the barmy army

 

Mark Ford at markscrickettours.com

Sharing the Laptop Cricket Lifestyle with all cricket fans worldwide.

Mark’s Cricket Tours – South Africa VS England One Day Cricket Port Elizabeth 2nd ODI Top of Page

 

 

Welcome

Posted by on Jan 10, 2016 in Ashes Cricket, english cricket, Introduction, Laptop Cricket Lifestyle | 0 comments

Welcome to Marks Cricket Tours Website

england west indies cricket series sir viv richards cricket ground antigua a hot day with the barmy army

Mark Ford

My name is Mark Ford an English cricket fan, who gets to travel the world watching the English cricket team playing around the world. I am a qualified solicitor who after a 29 yer career in the Law Courts, decided to quit law and follow my passions. I am the owner of a global internet business and this has allowed me the freedom to live a laptop cricket lifestyle.

I quit the law in the year 2006 and my first cricket adventure was to travel ‘down under'(Australia to most) and watch the fifth Ashes cricket test match in Sydney in 2007. However a dark day for English cricket as we lost that match and the ashes cricket series five nil.

The highlight for me however was to have the privilege of meeting the Legendary Ian Botham as well as Phil Tufnel. As well as watching, I hate to admit it, four of some really great Australian players in their last game before retirement. These were Justin Langer, Damien Martyn, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Shane Warne was to be named by Wisden cricket as one of the 5 greatest cricketers of the twentieth century. However this was a brief taste of things to come and I had to put my passion aside for a short while to start building my global internet business.

The inspiration for this website.

melbourne cricket ground - the ashes cricket

Melbourne Cricket Ground

The idea and inspiration for creating this website started in, yes you guessed it! Australia. Not however while I was in Sydney watching the Ashes cricket, but while I was on business in Melbourne Australia. Yes my business had grown and being an internet business entrepreneur I now was in the position where I could afford to get around the world. As a died in the wool English cricket fan and quite frankly any cricket fan, Melbourne holds a major attraction! The Melbourne Cricket Ground or MCG.

I had a free day while I was in Melbourne so first item of business was to get to see the hallowed turf of the MCG. Unfortunately while I was in Australia there were no cricket test matches or odi’s on the go so I went to an empty MCG. Whilst sitting in a lofty perch under sunny Australian Skies the thought struck me. Here I am running a successful business free from the 9 to 5 drudge, not having to rely on a boss allowing me time off work to go and watch a cricket match and as my own boss, having the freedom to work when and where I chose.

The proverbial light bulb went off! Why not share this with everyone, because everyone can choose to live this Laptop Cricket Lifestyle, or whatever Laptop Lifestyle you choose.

Why choose a Laptop Cricket Lifestyle?

The simple answer FREEDOM!

After a 29 year legal career working in the Magistrates Courts in the United Kingdom, I know what it feels like to be tied to a desk and work the 9 to 5 earning enough to survive on but not to live on. However as a lawyer reinvented, I became an entrepreneur. Owning a global internet business I have freed myself from the constraints of conventional business. I am a successful Home business Lifestyle coach and mentor over two hundred people looking to gain the freedom and reach the dreams they have.

As an English cricket fan I am now in a position to indulge my passion and follow the England cricket team around the world and in England. The most awesome thing for me is to be able to share this with you and to be able to help you to be in the same position as I am in.

Why Cricket?

I am a cricket fan. There is nothing more brilliant than the crack of the leather against the willow from a perfect cover drive or straight drive. It sends shivers down your spine. But the real point here is that this is my passion it may or may not necessarily be yours. Having your own global internet business will, I can assure you, give you the freedom to follow your passions no matter what that may be.

So to all you cricket fans especially English cricket fans join me on my journey.

Wishing you all the best in the future and looking forward to meeting you at any given cricket match in any given country.

england west indies cricket series sir viv richards cricket ground antigua a hot day with the barmy army

 

Mark Ford at markscrickettours.com

Sharing the Laptop Cricket Lifestyle with all cricket fans worldwide.

Mark Ford – Welcome – Top Of Page