I don’t like cricket…
It has not been a great start to the season. The weather has made it difficult for all clubs to get their grounds in order (and for those of us without an artificial strip, multiply these difficulties significantly), and this has forced us (and we are not alone) to push some scheduled games back. This is already leading to some fixture congestion; we have four teams out next weekend and I know that we are going to struggle to find the 44 required personnel.
We will work our behinds off and use up domestic brownie points, and I have to trust that we get there, like we always seem to. Our perfect storm must be looming, but we haven’t given a walkover in at least six years and this is a source of pride for us. The prospect of scrabbling around does not fill me with joy, and I would encourage anyone who is not involved in the actual running of a club to consider how much work goes on behind the scenes to keep things ticking over. It’s far more involved that you know.
We have had mower problems too. A lot of sports clubs in our area have been burgled in the last year, and we have been broken into twice. The oxygen-wasters who do this make a paltry amount from what they steal. In the last break-in, these Neanderthals tried to drive our ride-on through a fence (ignoring various gaps they could have used). They broke the fence, wrote off the ride-on and left the pavilion sliding door knackered beyond repair. And how much did they profit from this symphony of idiocy? Not a single cent.
We are lucky enough to be in receipt of a sports capital grant. The new square mower arrived last week, and I guarantee that all travelling teams will see a significant improvement in our pitch. Never have I taken so much interest in grass cutting! A couple of our committee have become mildly obsessed already with cutting the square. I worry that if we had CCTV, we might find after-dark footage of them writhing around on the pitch wearing nothing but a jock strap. Grass porn. Who knew?
A new ride on and a container arrive tomorrow (in theory) and to top it off, we have managed to squeeze in a bit of cricket! It’s nearly June, and the season is finally underway for all teams.
Our thirds played the first game yesterday, against Mullingar 3s. It was a muggy day (the feted sunshine didn’t really happen down here, but fortunately, neither did the flash flooding!), and we started in earnest just after 1.
I have the fortunate position of being on-field captain (although others are welcome to step in), as our actual captain, Michael Dick, suffered a nasty injury pre-season. He is recovering well, I am delighted to say, but he is unlikely to don his whites until 2019. This means I have the best of both worlds – I get to tell people what to do during games, and the rest of the captain duties (the onerous ones!) are in Mr Dick’s very capable hands. I may put out a contract to have him kneecapped next March.
Mullingar had two late drop-outs (I am sure we all feel their pain), but made the long trip with nine, for which they have our respect and thanks. They got off to a flyer, but we reeled them back in with some pretty tidy fielding, and we chased down the total (after the inevitable wobble) with five wickets to spare. It would have been much closer if they had numbered eleven, I am sure.
It wasn’t a vintage game, but it was just what the doctor ordered. Our visitors were a warm, friendly and sociable bunch. There were no fractious moments, and all decisions were respected without the slightest grumble of dissent. There was plenty of on-field chatter (which I am not crazy about, but we do it as much as anyone), but it never came close to crossing a line. It was friendly from the outset, and still remained fiercely competitive. Would that it was always thus.
Seven of our players had a combined age of 350, whereas the other four barely make 60 between them. What other sport facilitates such a spread? And everyone contributed positively, from the twelve-year-old who took a big hit at extra cover to stop a certain four to the fifty-five-year-old who didn’t concede a single bye behind the stumps.
After the clear up, post-game, a few of us just hung around and discussed the day, admired the pitch and were unnecessarily rude to each other. Is that a man thing, or an Irish one?
What a lovely day.
So no, I don’t like cricket…ah, you know the rest.