It is still raining, so there opportunities to get out of a run or a net session have been limited. This is a worry with the first game of the season just days away. At least my bruises have settled down, and the knee is showing no ill effects from the tap it got in the nets a few weeks ago.
I’ve been thinking a lot about various teams I’ve played for, and past glories. Not that I think I’m going to return to them, but just reliving great memories and the characters I played with.
My greatest moment on field came at the end of a long year of floggings. It was in the mid 80s, and I was living in Perth. The summer had been unrelentingly hot and dry. The grounds were covered in desperate hard grass, and the houses that surrounded them seemed to be squatting down low to be as far away from the sun as possible. We often resorted to wearing wet handkerchiefs around our necks and rolling a few blocks of ice into them at the frequent drinks breaks.
The team had finally got into a decent position and stayed there, with our experienced spin attack breaking through and finishing off the other team cheaply in their second dig. So, on the second day and with plenty of time, we were chasing 89 in the second dig to win and claim our only outright of the year. I opened the batting as usual, and the team were soon 2 for 9, with the long suffering Captain tearing out what little of his hair was remaining, stalking the boundary with the pads on. I don’t think he could have coped if we’d been rolled again – he hadn’t wanted the captaincy in the first place, let alone the record that we’d delivered to him.
I was batting with a guy I didn’t know very well, as he’d been hovering between the grades a little. We started slowly and then managed to eat away at the target, slowly and steadily. After we got past the half way mark, the Captain managed to sit down between bringing us drinks. There were no flashy fours, no big sixes. I made it to 33 no (my highest score) and hit the winning run – an unspectacular single to cover – to complete an unbeaten partnership of 80 for the third wicket. The trusty Shaw & Shrewsberry – my first bat – did the job.
And so we finished the season with an 8 wicket triumph. You’d have thought we had won the World Cup the way the team carried on, and then back at the club rooms afterwards.
It’s nearly 30 years ago. I wonder what all those guys are doing now.
Read the next entry in Dad’s Cricket Diary here.
This work of fiction © Dave Cornford