Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The batsman I want to be

Every so often you play a village team and a man comes out to bat.

I can picture him rather well. He is somewhere in his 40s. He has a droopy moustache, and he's wearing the club kit. Probably all wrong. His thigh guard is usually on the outside of his whites. One of the buckles on his pads is undone. He's probably - but not always - wearing trainers. Occasionally he's wearing pumps. Very occasionally, black ones.

He's only turning out because the captain begged him.

He says hello to the wicket keeper, asks for middle - he knows you're supposed to do that - and scratches his guard.

He will score between 0 and 10 runs - usually closer to the former - with a series of ungainly swipes, most of which won't connect with the ball. He won't play a defensive shot, because he doesn't know how to. In his head, it's probably a bit like one of those tailend blokes he saw on the telly - Sam Finn or Greg Swann or something - but who knows how it looks? Who cares? Bosh!

He'll have walked out with a smile on his face, and when he's out - almost always bowled - he'll leave with one too.

First game on Saturday. I might get 0. I might get 20. I might get 50. The statistics suggest it's very unlikely, but I might get 100. Who knows? Hence, the nerves are already jangling.

Why do this, year after year? Do I actually enjoy this sodding game? One thing's for sure: I certainly don't enjoy it as much as that man.