Monday, July 03, 2006

That's just not cricket

With the grinding inevitabiility of an England penalty shoot-out defeat, I donned my whites for my first cricket match of the season - a friendly against a team called the Battersea Ironsides in Earlsfield. Despite their name sadly, at least for someone of such limited talent as myself, none of them were in a wheelchair like the great Raymond Burr*.
In the week I had seen that temperatures were set to soar to the low 30s. This is hot and not being of natural élan I feared for my own well-being. My fears looked to be realised when our captain lost the toss and we were invited to field in tropical conditions. The first over sees me running down to an extremely deep long-on. I am not sure who did the boundary but it went on for ever. If the maginot line had been like this the history of the world may have been much different. And then to compound it the b*stard did exactly the same shot next over and off I went again.
Blissfully drinks arrived and, not so blissfully, I got the call to come on next over. Well where do we start? I feel figures of 3-0-25-0 don't fairly reflect the facts. I should have gone for quite a few more. Well gradually, I began to find my feet (metaphorically, in reality they had always been at the bottom of my legs - connected via the ankles) and the fielding became passable bordering on athletic if not quite to Jonty Rhodes standards. Inevitably, one came dawdling down to me bobbled every way but loose made me look like a tart as the ball went over my outstretched hand for four. This happened twice.
The prolonged agony is finally over and a very well deserved tea is enjoyed by all. Our innings starts and with my beloved on her way to watch I decided to go do a bit of umpiring - to get it out of the way so as to spend some quality time with the good lady. Anyway, if there's is any part of my game that is good, it is my umpiring - why not treat the girlfriend to the best aspect of my game. Coming from an opinion that any batsman has got to be stone-cold, plumb in front with both leg and off stump visible to be given out (nicks, whether imaginary or not, notwithstanding). Duly three big appeals come in and three appeals are duly turned down. On the third appeal, a rather boisterous and frankly strange looking boy appealed to the extent that he got down on one knee (no, really) and wheeled around on his heels, hand raised imploring me to give it out. I responded with a big smile and bigger "NOT OUT" call. To be fair, it was going down leg; being unfair I refused to explain myself. Might as well piss them off a bit.
So all is going well. I see my beloved has turned up and in a couple of overs I'll give the umpires coat to some other optically challenged incompetent/liar/batsman who's already out and then it happened. Oh no! How could I have been so f*cking stupid. I am wearing boxers and it is humanly impossible to wear a box in boxers. Oh my god. Not only am I a bloody hopeless bat, but my nuts are literally on the line.
What to do? Hoisting the boxers up, just does not work. I am f*cked.
I decide to tell my girlfriend, who upon realising the possible impact laughs a bit. Sort of indulging me whilst thinking what a plum I am. To save my bacon (and balls) she has a spare pair. And yes off I shuffle shedding my boxers for ladies pants. So there I am sitting with my girlfriend about to go in to bat, getting as nervous as ever (I struggle with nerves and also that only I am truly aware of my total lack of competence with the willow) and also knowing I am wearing my girlfriend's knickers. Finally, it's my time. I take up guard. Middle. And promptly play around a straight ball first up losing my middle stump.
So let's run through this. Fielding was ok but tiring, bowling was very poor, weather boiling, umpiring actually impeccable, choice of underwear ridiculous, batting lamentable. So that's one hell of a Sunday. Partial cross-dressing, an achy body today (hamstrings, shoulder and left hip) and having to play £8 for the honour.

* Apparently Ironside was commissioned after Perry Mason to keep Raymond Burr about but by putting him in a wheelchair the intention was to stop him mincing around. I am not sure if this is true or urban myth, but it really should be true.

Wearing your partner's pants - at last you have something in common with Beckham!

BTW, I saw a Perry Mason on Hallmark Channel yesterday WITHOUT Perry Mason in it!

How is that possible? Isn't that against the Trades Description Act or something?
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