Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Cricketing Diary 2007/08 - Part 11

The incoming batsman was only wearing one pad, and no gloves. He looked like a hick from the sticks, but these guys can be deceptive sometimes. He appeared fairly strong, so I pushed the field back a bit. The batsmen had crossed off the last ball of the over. Really, it is a shame that Dodge clearly doesn’t care enough about the game, as he should have known it was the last ball and therefore not run in order to retain the strike. It is this type of mistake that I pride myself on not making – paying attention to the game and knowing where the ball is at all times is a major key to my success.

My first delivery from Stanley’s end was much better. No runs and very nearly a wicket. The batsman played and missed, and Prof made a late save down the leg-side to stop any byes. I don’t know why bowlers don’t get as much credit for beating the batsman down the leg-side as they do for outside the off-stump. The batsman missed it, didn’t they? Perhaps my celebration at the play-and-miss was bit over the top though – I just know that I will feel the affects of that cartwheel tomorrow. The batsman asked the umpire why it wasn’t called a wide – cheeky bugger. It pitched on the concrete, I don’t know what else he wanted.

The rest of the over was fairly uneventful – no wickets and no significant runs (three fours and a six). It was spoiled by Dodge’s antics though. The non-striker has no role to play when the bowler and batsman ‘exchange pleasantries’, and he didn’t need to become involved in our chat. Threatening to hit me with his Vampire bat was clearly way over the top, and I will be reporting him to the committee. His precise words were “If you call my playing partner a 'stupid monkey' again, my precious will suck the blood from your nose”. Once again though, Dodge had become distracted from the task at hand, and by limiting his partner to boundaries, I had cleverly kept Dodge off strike.

As it was a 40 over a side match, I unfortunately had to take myself off at this point. Each bowler is limited to a maximum of eight overs, and I had now bowled five of my overs. I decided that I would need to keep the best bowler (i.e. me) with a few overs left for the end of the innings. I had a quick chat with Prof, and I think that he agreed with my suggestion that I should take over as the wicket-keeper now that I couldn’t bowl anymore. He sort of grunted when I brought it up, so I assume that he thought the same as me – it was just common sense really as I am clearly more use to the side than he was in such a vital position. We exchanged pads and gloves (I called for my own box of course – there is nothing worse than borrowing a pre-used warm and sweaty protector from someone with questionable personal hygiene).


Homer said...

Graeme Smith's secret diaries meet Billy Birmingham!!!

Soulberry said...

You trigger off many forgotten memories, Stuart!

This time it is those pre-warmed abdominals and team spirit.

We didn't have more than three in the kit bag and weren't rich enough to possess our own back then. One went for the keeper or was used by the next in the batting order while two were at work. The fellow out ceded his to the next man in.

This about my college team and cricket wasn't a popular sport to play there. It was the most popular to watch and talk about but not many had the inclination to play. Therefore the equipment provided by the college was rather limited nad covered the bare essentials.

Our opener was a left handed strokemaker (who was also our opening bowler and who had the image of Viv Richards penned in on his collecge bag). He was the best player in the college but had this problem with a fungus those days. Now he's healed and is a highly successful and effective cardio-thoracic surgeon...but I digress from the point.

He came in, strangely done in by an innocuous one, and was in a bit of temper. His hand dived in and flung out the abdominal towards me as I was padding up. I wasn't going to touch it and behaved as if I hadn't noticed. The idea was to wash it quickly before use hwen no one else was watching. I sidled over to the bucket of water.

To my discomfort, King too walked over and reached in before I could and reached in for the one glass we had. We used to drink the water without our lips touching the glass so that everyone could have a go without having to waste that one bucket of precious water in cleaning, but King just put it to his lips and drank...then he dunked the unwashed glass into the bucket.

Now something snapped inside me...conditioned as I was with a possibly fungal guard and all the knowledge of diseases we had just begun to imbibe at the commencement of our future careers. I made it known to him that this was a touch arrogant of him.

King turned to me ( a good friend he still is) and said, "I noticed you not touching that guard. Fair enough. But when it comes to water, you haven't a clue to what a team is about. If you cannot share a measly germ you aren't likely to stand by the team's side when it wants you most." Or words to that effect.

I never imagined he had noticed my ignoring the guard, but the spirit of his short speech left me impressed. We've shared bottles since...

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