It’s that time of year again. Wisden and the Playfair Cricket Annual are in the shops, sports journalists are arguing about whether the universities deserve to have first-class status in this day and age, there’s a row going on at the MCC, the County Championship is under way and all over the country men of varying cricketing abilities are unpacking their kit from wherever they left it back in September and starting to get a bit excited. Until they realise that the elastic on the trousers has gone, the bat’s knackered, there’s a hole in the shirt and the whole lot smells and needs to go in the wash.
I only started playing cricket again last season after a hiatus of several years, and I really enjoyed it. I even took a few wickets with my off-spin. My training regime (club nets on Sunday evenings from January onwards) was cruelly interrupted by serious injury (I fell off my bike when I hit an icy patch – nothing broken, but my God it hurt). On the plus side, I have a new pair of whites (reduced to £9:99 in Sports Direct) and a new long-sleeved jumper (£6 in a local charity shop, an absolute steal). Once I get the hems on the whites sorted, I’m ready to go! Our first game is this Saturday.
That’s the plan anyway. The first game was meant to be last Saturday (I couldn’t make it as I was in Italy) but it got rained off. Looking at the long-range forecast, there’s every chance that this week’s game will go the same way.
Let the summer commence (weather permitting)!