Saturday, November 24, 2007

Age, and Why it Fucks You.

Today, in a fit of mindless optimism with no hope of success whatsoever, I played cricket.

Actually it wasn't completely my idea. I was roped in by a guy I know through work as his team was a few players short and they were desperate for a few ring-ins. The fact he called me shows how desperate they were. You see I haven't actually played the game in about 12 years.

There was a time, when I was youthful and supple, when I played regularly and was actually quite good at it. I played rep' grade at high school and then a bit of club cricket when I was at University. But then a busy lifestyle (and a few broken wrists) saw me pretty much give the game away.

Until today.

I can quite honestly say that I am not the cricketer I was 12 years ago. In fact I suck .... majorly. Warming up I thought I'd bowl a few balls. The first ball was a full toss that flew over the stumps and nearly decapitated the wicketkeeper. No worries thinks I, that's just a loosener, the next one will be better.

It wasn't. It was a half tracker that turned into a wormburner and cracked the poor keeper on the shins.

It was at this point it was decided that fielding was where I was going to spend my time. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I used to be a wicketkeeper for fear I'd bollix that up too - actually given the 7 broken wrists and the now very dodgy knee there was no way in hell I was going near the gloves. It would have been a medical misadventure in the making.

Anyway the fielding wasn't a total disaster. I only made one real flub. You know the one. It's where you go to field the ball and it scoots between your legs and off to the boundary leaving you stranded like a cast sheep. Things were actually going pretty well after that, I made a few saves and didn't have deal with any steepling outfield catches (for which I was truly thankful).

Then things turned to custard a little bit. I was jogging in to collect a gentle block. I bent down, picked up, turned, and POW went my knee, Buggeration. So there I ma hobbling like cripple, desperately trying to knock the ligament back to where it was supposed to be, and all the while my erstwhile team-mates are shaking their heads wondering which tit had landed them with the hospital case player.

The rest of the innings was spent limping manfully in areas where I fervently hoped no running or any cricket like activity might occur.

Thank God for deep mid-wicket when the pitch is low and slow!

Now I'd hoped to shine with my batting prowess. And, given my performance in the field, I could have only improved. But alas it was not to be. Being the substitute I was relegated to number 11 in the batting order and our 9th wicket partnership was broken on the last ball of the match leaving muggins here all padded up with no place to go.

For the record we lost. Comfortably.

And how do I feel after attempting to revisit my cricketing youth?

Well, kind of like this.

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