Our secret diarist has come crashing back down to earth after a stellar start to the season, and has started to question his own place in the side.
It had to go wrong at some point.
Five wins out of five and top of the league in mid-June? You’d have to say it had been a dream start. Minds had dared to tiptoe towards thoughts of tables, titles and unbeaten seasons.
Sure, we’d won a couple of tight ones, hadn’t really put up a big score and had been dug out by the tail more than once, but we know how to win, right?
We’re away at the affectionately known ‘dog s*** park’, with the wind swirling and the threat of rain constant, on a pitch capable of producing head-high bouncers from a driveable length.
Let’s just say if your mate had committed the cardinal sin of arranging a wedding for a summer Saturday, you wouldn’t mind if he’d chosen this weekend. (Although a total washout would be even better; rather a rain-ruined wedding than a completed match missed).
The oppo did well to get to 175, even better to bowl us out for 80-odd. Defeat! A few umpiring decisions didn’t go our way but ultimately – imagine this – they won because they played cricket better than we did.
So, now it really starts. Time for a bit of captaincy: lifting the team from a low ebb, restoring confidence, raising morale, reaffirming the core #principles of our #team #environment…
Or, because this is club cricket, considering a token change to the batting order, and wondering how we’re going to cope without X, Y and Z – each of whom have had the temerity to have booked bloody holidays.
My own form is improving – with a couple of good starts in the locker – but a proper match-winning score still eludes me.
Captaincy – when all the more painful parts are done with – is fundamentally fun: you get more out of your day and feel relevant to the match at every stage regardless of any statistical contribution. From that point of view (and only from that point of view) you get the best value for your subs of anyone in the team.
But can captaincy ever really match the joy of batting? That one day a summer where the sun’s out and the pitch is true, when you get in and stay in and feel in control and make it count – can anything ever really get near that?
Here speaks a man who could do with a few runs. The team’s doing well (up till last week) and I’m very happy about it, blah blah blah. But at what point does arranging teams, sorting lifts, setting up teas and waving your arms around a bit cease to be enough to keep your place in the side?
Well, because this is club cricket, never, really. See you next month…