I thought that I’d retired from playing cricket. I haven’t attended pre-season nets, not that doing so has ever helped me in the past! I thought that my second ball duck early last season, clean bowled by a man who must’ve been at least 80, would forever remain my ungracious exit from the village game. I genuinely haven’t scored a run in nearly two years and was ready to flog my attic residing kit at the first car boot sale of the year on sunday… but, with the start of the club cricket campaign just a few days away, I received a text: “Fancy a game of cricket Saturday?… only play 40 overs now so should be done by 6pm at latest”. I ummed and ahhed for a while but the temptation was too strong. If the past few hundred innings are anything to go by then a duck is highly likely, a single figure score is quite likely, a score in the teens is a possibility and anything from twenty to forty-odd is optimistic but has been known to happen. Despite the severe duck risk, it’s that elusive half-century that tempts me back out onto the field. That and the remote (And I mean remote!) possibility that I might get a bowl. The closest I came to a half-ton was 47, when I opened the batting and was last man out to the first ball of the 44th over. That was way back in 2009! I did finish 40 not out in a T20 match in 2016, a match-winning innings but not a fifty.
So here it goes. The forecast isn’t great. There’s plenty of rain about so if we do take to the field then it’ll likely be the bowlers who are provided with some assistance. I’m making excuses already!