It Says Six in the Score Book!

Posted on September 10, 2012

One thing I have always wanted to do before I die, is hit a cricket ball over a boundary rope for six runs. It is something that I tried several times for various teams throughout my twenties and again, since my mid thirties, for clubs such as Oakley, Dummer, Ashford Hill and any other outfit I have managed to ponce a game off. The main reason that I have failed to realise this particular dream stems from the fact that I am not very good at cricket, although my Sunday average of nine this season, suggests a negligible upward curve or perhaps we should say slope, courtesy of £500 spent on lessons at Dummer Cricket Centre last winter.

So, imagine my delight when on Sunday 9th September 2012, my day of destiny finally arrived at the sun soaked ground of St Mary Bourne Cricket Club. Coming in to bat at number four with sixty runs still required for victory, I took my stance and faced up to my first delivery from a flame haired young lady who at the tender age of ten, was a pretty good bowler, straight and on a good length. I could almost smell the sense of anticipated joy from my team mates at the prospect of this young lady bowling me out, so I dead batted the first five deliveries with sweat streaming down my face at the prospect of impending humiliation.

Then, the moment, arrived, ball number six, a wayward waist high long hop allowed me to pivot rather ungraciously and launch my assault. Now, you must understand that when I hit cricket ball, the resulting noise sounds like a click, a thack or a clack…Not this one though, this was a THOCK… The sort of noise decent cricketers associate with a properly timed shot. I watched in amazement as the ball sailed in to the trees, before I checked back to see the umpires index fingers on each hand pointing to the sky to indicate a maximum score of six. I had done it, I had finally scored a six! I punched the air with delight, momentarily forgetting that my victim was yet to start secondary school and it was only when I got some cursory remarks from the opposition that I realised I should have perhaps kept my emotions more in check.

Graceful: Stoically fending off a fiery ten year old girl yesterday (Bruce Lethaby photography)

I accepted the wicket keeper’s view that I was in fact, a bit of a cunt, but his mood soon mellowed when I explained that I had waited near on forty five years of my life for that moment. I also took the girl to one side and explained the situation and she actually seemed quite glad that she had helped make this pathetic individual die happy. The funny thing was that out of all the bowlers I faced, she was arguably the best, thoughtful and accurate, whilst many of her male colleagues were faster but wayward and a lot easier to hit. When you are playing against a kid, you are torn between not being to hard on them whilst making sure you don’t open yourself up to years of vicious piss taking from everyone witnessing the event by getting clean bowled. The fact that my brother was there with his camera whilst my dad sat  nearby salivating at the prospect of disaster, only heightened the tension. If I am honest, I would have rather faced Curtley Ambrose, as facing a ten year old is a total lose, lose situation.

I finished the game with an unbeaten season high score of 27 not out and it soon dawned on me that I was only 23 runs short of a first ever 50 against bowling that was pretty much there for the taking. It is highly unlikely that such an opportunity will ever come my way again, so on an afternoon when we won and I recorded a first ever six, was still tinged with disappointment and that sums up cricket as a game. No matter what level you are, there is always something that could have made your day that much better, it is little wonder there is such a high depression and suicide rate in the game.

Next week is the last game of the season at home to Whiteditch, a team full of imbeciles like me, so maybe…just maybe…


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