A few weeks ago, my erudite colleague Paul suggested that playing indoor cricket might be fun, and so after much back and forth and an incredible amount of management prowess, he managed to shore up a team, and get us entered and registered in the competition. I was unable to play on the first week, owing to having bought Bill Bailey tickets previously.
And so it came to pass that Monday, March 5th 2007 was my maiden appearance in the sporting arena of competitive mens' indoor cricket.
As we hurried towards the venue it occurred to me that the last time I'd played indoor cricket was around 1998ish, when Spiro, A-Bomb & I had taken the Glen Osmond Scouts there for an end-of-term breakup, and a number of facts suddenly became apparent.
Firstly, my up-til-now firm grip on the rules of indoor cricket became more of a vague awareness of the differences between the playing fields involved – i.e. one's outdoors, the other's indoors. It had never once crossed my mind that we may not have been playing official sanctioned rules that night, and that there was in fact possibly a little more to it than hitting the back wall on the full was a 6 and you only had to run half way.
Secondly, I was considerably fitter back in those days.
As we navigated the subterranean caverns of capatalism that make up Canary Wharf, my pulse started to race – whether this is because of the excitement of my debut cricketing performance, or just cos we were running, I'm not sure.
In the end the game was loads of fun even if we did concede possibly one of the most one-sided thrashings in the history of cricket. Our enthusiasm for the game was unrivalled, however this didn't appear to make up for our lack of skill – at least not in the scoreline. But we possibly had the best fun an indoor cricket team's ever had, so that makes us the real winners, doesn't it… Actually it felt like one of the opening scenes out of Dodgeball, only we didn't have a hot blonde chick to be our little black duck saviour thing. And I suspect that I wasn't Steve the Pirate, either.
Bowling-wise, I managed to take 2 wickets in my 2 overs, which I feel far overarches the 29 or so runs I conceded. Bowling is a natural and intuitive fluid movement for many Australians; almost as if they were born to play. I suspect my style looked more like a dugong on a skateboard. My propensity to bowl shocking wides was reduced dramatically by bowling over the wicket instead of around it – apparently bad form in the game, but it seemed fair to give the bloke somthing to hit, after all.
Brett & I managed a batting partnership of -8 – though I wound up with a positive personal total out of it, I suspect some of his outs were results of my shabby calls, so we'll call it a draw there. Thankfully the lower order batsmen brought our total above the hard deck and we were spared the ignominy of finding out whether we had to do a lap of the court with our pants down for a negative score.
Richie, Paul and Abid managed to really haul our game back up by its bootlaces – Paul actually managed to crack one through to the back wall and hit the smiley face sign, earning himself 3 free beers in the process.
Can't wait til the next game !!
(For those who can't follow the link to the scorecard, the final total was 212 – 7. So we *almost* had them for a minute there…)