A Days Cricket

Joe had barrowed Sprags cricket kit, in the pavilion Joe strapped the cricket pads on, somehow they seemed to be on the wrong legs, in a way I suppose they were on the wrongs legs they were on Joes legs, who had never played cricket before. I still had my cricket kit from my days in the schools first eleven, the kit seemed to have shrunk somehow in the bag.

Riding our tandem to Diddyhopping, where we were playing the local cricket eleven, I tried to explain the rudiments of cricket to Joe.

Joe had been under the impression that cricket was a small insect that hopped about in long grass. I had to be careful about expressions like silly mid on, as this started Joe laughing and caused the bicycle to wobble alarmingly about the road.

" Come on." said Joe walking out of the pavilion and swinging his cricket bat in a dangerous fashion around the top of his head. " Before it rains."

I walked slowly out of the pavilion trying to liook like a true cricketer, it was very bright outside after the smoke filled gloom of the pavilion, it was a lovely day. It was the kind of day you used to hear your grandfather saying you don't get any more, there was not a cloud in the sky and a skylark was singing overhead. I wandered slowly to the centre of the field and stood for a moment listening to the birds and savouring the moment of such a wonderful day.

There was a shout from someone near the other wicket asking if I had quite finished daydreaming as he would like to bowl a little bit. It was a very deep voice and quite broke my quiet meditation. What, who, where? I said suddenly realising there were other people about.

The bowler standing at the other wicket wittily suggested that as I had come out there with pads on holding a cricket bat he had assumed I just might be wanting to play a little cricket.

" Yes of course, ready when you are." I called gripped my bat in that very professional way you see great players use. I then tapped the end of my bat against the ground the way I had seen test cricketers do. I never did understand why they did that. I looked up ready to send the first ball for a six, or even perhaps a seven.

My mistake was looking up. At first I thought everyone was playing a joke on me and they had quietly pushed a steamroller up and parked it by the opposite wicket. Steamrollers however do not rub a cricket ball up and down on their trousers.

Blocking out half the sky at the other end was, well, King Kong in a white jumper, it was the biggest thing I ever seen not holding a banana. One thought suddenly started running around inside my head, that thing is going to throw a hard leather ball at me.

" Shouldn't one of us be at the other end? " said Joe.

Short Story Series - Abridged from the book - The Tatty Nickers Tony on the Moon