It had been too long, more than an year in fact.
Living in Singapore did not allow me with too much access to people who loved the great sport so it was great anticipation that I made my way home for the Holidays.
The flyslip scored a prestigious invite for a cricket session and we were all set for some grueling ‘lane cricket’. Not to be confused with ‘lame cricket’- the kind that England play. The venue was a tar road where the neighbors, rickshaw drivers and little boys all had a little shindig on Sunday evenings.
Match 1 of 3
We won the toss and duly decided to bat to make use of the better tar pitch conditions and the fading light.I batted at the pivotal no3 spot in a 5 man team. My captain handed me the dirty job and I loved it.
One might think that not having picked up a bat in over a year might hinder my progression in such the crucial opening match, and that it would have been good idea to get some to throw some balls at me, which I didn’t.
Hindsight is always 2020.
So I took up position as umpire while my team batted, we got off a good start. But soon I was called into action. The juices were flowing. My team needed me and I was not about to fail them. I practiced a few ‘air shots’. Took guard and nodded that I was ready to receive the ball. The bowler ran in, it was a good ball, I planted the front foot and defended it with ease, Over done.
The next ball I faced was by a Wily off spinner, Spin had always been my weakness so I was eager to get the feel of him before I belted him for a straight 6. Straight 6’s or 4’s were the only available boundary options,unless you hit one over the keeper, as any hit into the neighbouring houses meant you walked the lone road back to the pavilion or the roadside pavement.
The spinner shuffled in, it was a good ball coming in on my leg stump, but I knew how to tackle it, the front foot went out as if on instinct, the bat came through for an on drive, but just as I was about to make contact, my bottom hand came off, I was beaten in flight, fuck, the bat hit air, I missed the ball, and was soundly bowled.
We racked up 18 in our 4 overs and defended it with pride.
I bowled well and picked up a wicket.
The game went to the wire and in the end our team held its nerves to inch home and to claim our deserved prize – getting to bat first in the next game.
Await the report on Match 2 tomorrow.