Last year I came back to cricket after an injury enforced gap of somewhere over 15 years. When I stopped I had got fed up with the game , or rather with myself but took it out on the game, after a few years of trying to play around some seriously iffy shoulders. Inspired by a combination of the kids' enthusiasm, my wife's promptings (now regretted) and my mid-life crisis I got the various ops done and body parts mended , and plucked up the courage to play again.
Haven't enjoyed a summer as much since I was , oh about 10.
I'll talk a bit on this blog about why another time- though I can probably save a lot of future typing effort by saying now that the combination of very low expectations and the fact that being on the pitch in a proper grown up game at all was a brucie bonus, pretty much nails the main reasons. For the moment though I wanted to give you my 4 main conclusions from the summer :
1 cricket is epic. I played a lot of golf for most of those 15 years and indeed before then , and it's a great game, but cricket...I mean to say..wow..as Mark Nicholas would say,
2 for all the talk of revolutions at the highest levels, village/ club cricket is almost literally the same as it was when I stopped in the mid 90s . I felt like I had just nipped out to the loo and re-joined the same game as I was playing in when I stopped. In fact, there is only one difference mi noticed all summer and I will leave you to guess what that is for another time,
3 modern bats are vastly overrated- I suspect I may come back to this one another time also,
4 see 1 above. It is though,isn't it?
Another thing I fell back in love with was cricket literature, which I will devote a fair chunk of time to talking about on here. I always felt a bit apologetic reading it when I wasn't playing , which is patently absurd but I suspect not unusual. I never really engaged with golf books- most of which ignore any clear water and head straight for either the Scylla of didactic-ness or the Charybdis of whimsy....indulge me...is "didactic-ness"a word..? Whatever....anyway as I was saying, I do think that ,epic as the game is, the literary culture around it contributes at least as much to its self -evident superiority over everything else, and I will inflict my book chat on you on this blog.
I was a bit nervous about coming back and making a fool of myself on the field. Astonishingly I didn't. I was even more nervous about starting this as a complete novice to blogging. Intimidated even. But of course, as someone who grew up in the 80s ,I know there's nothing remotely intimidating about modern cricket. What was I scared of? I mean there's as much chance of this going wrong as someone suddenly taking over test cricket by bowling super fast short stuff and frightening teams into collapsing. Like that happens any more...