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Can you believe some teams are actually playing at the moment? In March! We had an Australian over at our club in the late 90's and his first game, played in April was played in 5-6 degrees centigrade. As he stood miserably at slip, thinking "What the fuck have I got myself into here?", I asked him if he'd ever played cricket in such chilly conditions. He replied "Mate, I've never even played rugby in weather this cold!"
Anyway, my point is, Middlesex and Kent played the other day at Beckenham and it is getting silly. Apparently the County season starts properly on April 5th and a quarter of the season in the County Championship will be played by early May. Football has been eating into the cricket seasons for years, but exacting your revenge is not the answer. A sharp slip catch in May can sting the old fingers, let alone March!
Is this the future?
I have played in April in snow before, and let me tell you that getting one in the box off a little, nibbly seamer that nips one back into you is no fun whatsoever! Actually getting hit in the box is no fun whenever!
Why is it that when someone does get one in the box, that everyone in the whole ground thinks it is so funny, apart from the poor sod who actually gets hit? First you get the thud, then a two second delay where you think you have actually got away with it, before a feeling, which is a cross between wanting to have torrential diarrhoea and wanting to be sick, takes over. Meanwhile as you are going through this, everyone on the ground is pissing themselves laughing, umpires included.
An inside edge into the side of the kneecap, a drive into the ankle bone, and a top edge into the mouth all hurt a bit, but let me tell you, getting hit under the box, when it pushes everything northwards, is the worst experience a cricketer can go through!
One of the coaches at our club, always gets the youngsters to wear one, by telling an anecdote from the 70's - a time in club cricket, where men were men, and helmets were unheard of. Only nancy boys like Mike Brearley with that thing that went under his cap, wore protection. Our coach was playing in a game where this bloke wasn't wearing a box, and got hit in the venerable region. After a ten minute delay he carried on, only to be hit in the same place two balls later - an apt length of time, seeing as that's the part of his persona that was damaged - and he still wasn't wearing a box!
Anyway, unlike the cricketers of Kent and Middlesex, I am going to get my kit out of the attic, go for my first pre season net, and definitely check my box is in my kit, unlike that poor bloke from the 70's, who no doubt is still singing soprano to this day!