The Club Cricketer:
Batting or Wedding?

Comment and Analysis | 9th June 2010

I have never liked the feeling I was missing out, a trait I am told I picked up from an early age, but it seems to have been a theme of the cricket season so far for a number of different reasons.

From the six weeks of the league season thus far I have only managed to cross the boundary rope on three occasions.

The weather has only accounted for one of the games; old age has taken its toll with the others!

As I edge towards the big 3-0 work and weddings are on the rise; with more to come throughout the course of the summer and heavy rain in the air I am expecting more games to bite the dust.

I remember my days as the youngster in the team and the disbelief that older members of the side had to work or attend a wedding during the cricket season – was that not what the winters were for?

Did their friends not realise we had a big league game the week of their wedding?  Would an evening invite not suffice?

And work???  At the weekend??  Seriously!!

Our young opening batsman looked bemused as I met him on a walk round the boundary on Saturday.

He asked inquisitively, “How come you are not playing this weekend?”

"I have already been wrapped across the knuckles for looking at the scores as we were waiting for the bride to appear at a recent wedding."

My reply, with a poor excuse of having to work, was met with a face of total disbelief - that is old age for you.

I wasn’t missed and the said young opener had already dominated the bowling attack to put us into a winning position against Long Eaton.

Hassan Azad was making his debut for Plumtree, joining this season from Nottinghamshire CCC Academy, from what I have seen he is definitely one to keep an eye on.

You realise how old you are when the wedding invites come streaming through the letter box.  I am not sure that reaching that age is a conscious thing; it certainly seems to have crept up slowly on me.

Modern technology does help to keep in touch with what is happening – this week when I was working I had a text to say I could follow the scores live from Long Eaton.

Our scorer, Smithy, is a wizard on his laptop.  Gone are the traditional coloured pencils and scorebook of old and in with the networked laptop complete with all the statistics you can dream of!

Within a matter of seconds we can access averages, up to date figures, even wagon wheels of your latest innings.

But when missing the cricket at the weekend one of the best features of the modern score book is that it is published live to the internet and you can access the information anywhere, anytime.

I have already been wrapped across the knuckles for looking at the scores as we were waiting for the bride to appear at a recent wedding – just good use of the time and she has kept us waiting!

But it hasn’t just been work and weddings that have forced me to miss out and I can’t blame the weather either.

When we have managed to beat the rain we have done well scoring plenty of runs, including 271 from 36 overs against HG Carrington Caribs in a rain affected match, and sit 4th in the league after week 6.

And after being inserted on a good track at Belvoir we scored an impressive 257 from 48 overs.  I was delighted to add my contribution of 0, caught behind nibbling at one outside off stump.

I missed out again and this time it was only me to blame – you have to love cricket!

Ben Thompson plays for Plumtree CC in the South Notts Cricket League.

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