Friday, 20 March 2020

Waiting to Bat

You're next in. How people cope with this varies from individual to individual. Some sit there, a sea of serenity, others sit there like a Vietnam veteran on the wire. It is a bizarre aspect of cricket and whether you are a professional or bat in the lower order for your village fourth eleven, the same scenario awaits you. Here we look at the various individuals that every club has...

Waiting to Bat...
The Smoker - buy shares in Benson and Hedges if this man is next in, as he will get through a packet in half an hour. Possibly two if the opposition have a quick bowler in their ranks. An experienced campaigner will always smoke their team mate's fags, as leaving yours when you go out to bat leaves you at the mercy of the kids in your team who will happily smoke your 'tabs' whilst you are smoking the cover drives to the boundary.

The Chainsmoker...

The Nail Biter - sits there in silence, chewing his nails. Doesn't say a lot as his fingers are constantly in his mouth. The chances of him washing his hands after he has batted are minimal, whereupon the said individual will happily go and finger the sandwiches all over the plates at the tea interval, especially if there is some decent grub on offer. Coronavirus? A super spreader after the super spread.

The Practice Man (part one) - this man plays air shots all over the place. Looks beautiful without a ball involved with a lovely high elbow and head over the imaginary 'nut'. He even practices the air shot leave outside the off stump (yes, you know him) before going out to the middle and having a horrendous hoik within his first few deliveries and trudging back to the hutch with his middle pole bent back.

The Practice Man (part two) - a cricket pitch is a huge playing area. Even around the boundaries your club no doubt has plenty of land to practice on, or lo and behold, even a net facility. This matters not to this individual, who insists on having throw downs in the vicinity of the elderly people watching, often smashing one into the the shins of an octagenarian or holding up play as he whacks a drive onto the square.

The non watcher - doesn't watch, doesn't care, this person will back his own ability over what is happening out in the middle. He often uses waiting to bat as a chance to have forty winks. This is until he takes guard a few inches outside of his crease, not having realised that the keeper is 'mustard', taking everything down the leg side and whipping the bails off in a nanosecond. This chap is known as 'The Saint' as he has 'St' next his name in the scorebook regularly.

The Non Watcher...

The Walker - not necessarily an honest individual who departs the crease when he feathers one through to the keeper, as they are rare to find. This person will walk circuits of the ground when it is his time to bat. Despite being close to getting timed out as he leaves his bat and gloves over the other side of the ground, he still insists on lapping the boundary, running across the square like a madman to the pavilion at the fall of a wicket. This man can often cause confusion when a wicket is taken amongst the fielding side, as they search the pavilion for the new man coming in, only to see that he has appeared from behind them.

The Panicker - he bats four and often just puts on a box and a thigh pad whilst the openers are in, only to pad up at the fall of the first wicket. It is when number three is out first ball and he is still searching for the keys in the dressing room that he suddenly breaks into sweats and convulsions. The advent of velcro pad straps has been a godsend for this indivdual.

The Abluter - often a number three, this man will need a toilet break, most often when the opposition have a quick West Indian in their ranks who has a over familiar relationship with the short ball. No doubt before the Abluter has even pulled his pants down, the cry of 'Owzat' and a cheer can be heard from his cubicle in the pavilion. This can lead to either a hurried wiping (not something I'd recommend with the poor quality medicated izal on offer at most village clubs), or the Panicker panicking even more as he needs to go in above him. Think this doesn't happen in the county game? It did a few years ago and both individuals concerned had played for England.

The Scorer - bats eleven and offers to go and do the scoring as your team doesn't have one. This bloke is forgotten about until your team are nine wickets down and he is still sat in the scoreboard in his shorts. It is then that blind panic happens as the skipper sends someone over who takes their time in getting to the box, whilst number eleven is trying his best to do a dot by dot analysis of the batsman, pad up, get his whites on and do everything else. A sudden onset of Tourette's syndrome has been known to occur in this scenario. The fostering of team harmony can often disappear too.

The Opener (part one) - wolfs his tea down in thirty seconds and his padded up and ready to bat whilst the opposition are still having their tea.

The Opener (part two) - this man will wait and have tea making the interval last a good forty minutes. The opposition are out on the square and ready to bowl, with his team mate (Opener part one) waiting for him. Before he goes out there, he will finish his tea, roll up a fag and smoke it whilst sitting around without a care in the world. This person is responsible for bad light and games finishing at 8.45pm.

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