I knew that somewhere in the garage I’d find my cricket kit. The faded green thing has survived the last 20 odd years of disuse, although when I found it it seemed like a wholly inadequate piece of gear compared to the luxury items Boy1.0 and Boy2.0 use to carry around their full selection of gear. Boy2.0 has two sets of wicketkeeping gloves – he’s a spinner, for crying out loud.
I remember when I was their age, only the rich kids had their own pads. If you were lucky, you carried your own bat and box to the game, and used the team kit for all other items. You hoped that the two batsmen in weren’t your size, or else padding up was a rather depressing exercise. As for helmets, the Test stars were only just wearing the early prototypes when I was a kid.
My pathetic collection of gear made a sorry display on the garage floor. The pads were OK – I got them 3 years ago after Boy1.0 first hit my fragile left knee with a vicious inswinging compo ball during a net session. The gloves were shedding bits of black plastic from their internal thumb guards the last time I used them, so they’d have to be replaced. No helmet – that needs fixing. Shoes – doubt these will be up to it after all this time.
Then, there’s the bat.
Still looking good after all this time, the legendary SS Jumbo feels impossibly heavy to my out-of-condition wrists. All it needs is a new grip, and there’s no way I’m buying myself a new one – the cricketing budget this year already has to stretch to the promised new bat for Boy1.0 now that he’s graduating to playing with the men in the Grade competition.
Lurking at the bottom of the kit was a relic from the past. Back in 1989 the season’s draw was published in hard copy for the whole season, and the 1989/90 draw there where I left it in my kit. I wish I was in as good nick as this old booklet. I’ll have to put it somewhere safe.
So, the shopping list: batting gloves, helmet, new grip.
Read the next entry in Dad’s Cricket Comeback Diary here
This work of fiction © Dave Cornford