Well, it turns out that I am rubbish at cricket.
Perhaps that’s not altogether unexpected as it’s about 30 years since I last played, but it’s still hard to have the truth so brutally revealed to you.
Actually, I’m going to blame my son for all of this. He started going to the kids’ sessions at the local cricket club and it was great fun to take him and then sit in the sun with a pint in hand watching them all play. After the sessions he would want to have some more practice so I would bowl for him a bit. As I was doing that I was giving him tips and hints about his batting, or advising him about his bowling technique. And to be honest I sounded like I knew what I was talking about (or at least I did to me).
Time to put my money where my mouth was. I went to the adult nets session and didn’t disgrace myself, so I put myself forward for selection.
It turns out that on the actual cricket pitch things are a bit different.
I’ve now played two matches and the stats don’t make great reading:
– Matches lost – 2
– Over bowled – 0
– Catches dropped – 2 (although 1 was genuinely only a half chance at best)
– Fielding errors – 2 (at least)
– Balls faced – 7 (in two innings!)
– Runs scored – 0
– Pulled muscles – 2
It’s the kind of stats that light up Wisden.
In the first match I thought I fielded ok. I dropped a good chance for a catch in the deep, and also had a very hard chance that I was just pleased to get a hand to. But other than that I ran about quite well and made what I felt were a few decent stops in the field.
When it came to batting I hit my first ball straight to the square leg fielder, but it was a good contact. But then in the next over I got over excited and pushed an easy catch back to the bowler. I wasn’t too disappointed as I could rationalise it as being a bit rusty – but at least I hit the ball cleanly and can [kind of] do it.
The second match was awful though. In the very first over in the field I chased a ball to the boundary and within about five paces I felt two muscles go – the very top of my thing on my right leg and my gluteus in my left leg – or if you’re not an expert in anatomy, my bum muscle! I spent the next few hours hobbling round the field trying to do the best I possibly could, which wasn’t very good at all.
Then when it came to batting I faced three balls. The first I confidently left to the off side. The second I confidently left to the on side. The third I swung at, missed completely and ended up being stumped! I didn’t even hit a single bloody ball!
Absolutely rubbish. And now that’s it for about seven weeks as swimming stuff, holidays and childcare take over.
Having said all of that, I might be rubbish, but I loved it. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and at times I would pinch myself that I was actually a part of a ‘picture postcard’ scene. So if they’ll have me back I think I’ll give it another go in a few weeks time.