Things cricket fans should look out for at Christmas.
You’re back home for Christmas and spending some quality time with your dad. Your old man loves his cricket, and he also loves a good pun. The Candy Kane Williamson gag he makes is funny enough, and Warren Heggnog is a nice throwback. But when he brings out his Dhammika Prasadvent calendar, that’s when you start to worry.
Next he’s singing you his “Gilchristmas Carols”. You half expected Jacques Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and you have a little chuckle at Oh Kohli Night, but then it gets a little out of hand: Santner Baby, Hark the Herald Yuvraj Singh, All I Want for Christmas is Younus. He is really clutching at straws with God Rest Ye Merry Jenny Gunn. No wonder your mum has already polished off a whole bottle of gin. What have you done to deserve this pun-ishment?
YOUR OWN BOXING DAY TEST
Watching the start of the Boxing Day Test is one of your favourite Christmas traditions, but it’s always a battle to make it through to 11:30pm. By 2pm, you’ve eaten your annual quota of sprouts, assembled a Lego Millennium Falcon and helped your six-year-old cousin get to grips with her Bluetooth-enabled Furby.
Before you settle down to watch the players take the field at the MCG, you and your sofa have already been through a lot. You’ve experienced the emotional rollercoaster of Finding Nemo, marvelled at the majesty of Frozen (don’t act like you don’t lose your mind at the mere notion of the snow glowing white on the mountain tonight) and watched Doctor Who save the world from a family-friendly intergalactic menace. You make it through to the start of the match, but you’re fading fast. You nod off just as Warner takes guard and wake up midway through the afternoon session to the not-so-soothing tones of Warnie on comms. He’s talking about pizza again…
DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS
You’ve played the first half of your season in Adelaide and are about to experience your first Aussie Christmas. It’s far too warm to wear your Christmas jumper and there’s no chance of any snow. It’s not your first hot Christmas, but you’d rather forget the family holiday to Lanzarote when you were 15. Auntie Jane got food poisoning from a dodgy lobster, your dad got a weird rash after a camel spat in his face, and that girl you met by the pool never friended you on MySpace like she said she would. “WHAT HAPPENED, BECKY? WE WERE MEANT TO BE!” You try to make things feel more familiar by watching some of your favourite Christmas films but can’t escape the fact that you’re sat in a vest and board shorts watching The Grinch while it’s 27 degrees outside. Whoville, Mount Crumpit and the festivities of the Whobilation have never seemed so far away.
SHOP ‘TIL YOU’RE DROPPED
You’ve been dreading this for weeks, but it’s finally time to go Christmas shopping with your other half. Ten minutes in, you’re bored out of your mind. In a quest to entertain yourself, you start shadow batting with a roll of wrapping paper. You’re getting some funny looks but you don’t care. In your head you’re playing a blinder. It’s almost as if the fielders aren’t there… The square-cut you unleash in the home appliances section is the best shot you’ve played all year and the cheeky paddle-sweep down the toiletries aisle to bring up your fifty is exquisite. You’re the finest batsman John Lewis has ever seen – the upmarket department store, not the ex-England medium-pacer.