Former professional rugby player and Plumtree CC batsman Ben Thompson can’t wait for the new SOuth Notts Cricket League season to begin.

The sun is out and like every other club cricketer in the country I can’t wait for the new season to get underway.

Nottinghamshire was basking in sunshine last weekend and there was a part of me feeling a cricketing opportunity had been lost.

How many pairs of grey marl socks do I actually need?
Will the Shane Warne zinc cream come back into fashion?
Am I going to need this insect repellent my mum bought in 1998?

I certainly won’t be happy if it is freezing cold on Sunday, when Plumtree head to Papplewick, and I will be even more annoyed if it rains!

Don’t get me wrong - I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the family and pushing the lawn mower around the garden but as I watched the impromptu cricket matches taking place in West Bridgford Park my mind was wandering.

The start of the new season was playing on my mind and I had to rush home and do something about it.

Emptying the contents of the cricket bag over the garden I dissected the contents.  It was time to make some big decisions – decisions no cricketer takes lightly.

Should my trusty and favoured piece of willow be passed to the cricketing gods?

How many pairs of grey marl socks do I actually need?

Will the Shane Warne zinc cream come back into fashion?

Am I going to need this insect repellent my mum bought in 1998?

It was time to face the facts – the faithful blade really had to go!!  

It was split all the way down the shoulder and no amount of fibre glass tape was going to save it.  It had been left wounded in the bag for two seasons and it was time to let go.

Losing a good piece of willow is emotional - you go through so much together ; the long innings, the golden ducks, the lusty blows (slogs to cow!) and the sweetly timed cover drives (mind wandering again!).   

I had been clinging on to the good times for too long – it was time to break free.

Christmas had delivered a new weapon and it is time to move on.  

The new bat doesn’t need an old favourite hanging around and analyzing its every stroke.  Removing the temptation to reminisce of innings gone by will give the new bat a chance to breath.  I hope it will be the start of a wonderful relationship.

Throwing away some well worn pairs of grey marl socks was easy in comparison so they joined the bat in the bin.  

I used to love zinc cream – fielding war paint!

Spending hours in front of the mirror preparing for a fielding session – who would have thought protecting yourself from the sun could be so much fun.

But I am nearly 30 and Shane Warne’s Advanced Hair Studios will probably be more useful for protecting me from the sun (note to self I must get a sun hat).

The days of covering my nose and bottom lip in thick white zinc cream and creating Allan Donald like swipes across the cheek are long gone but the stick stays – just in case.

The same goes for the insect repellent my mum purchased in 1998 – you just never know when you are going to need it.

In fact the bag spring clean means I have a free pocket where the grey marl socks were and my bag now has what Michael Mcintyre would probably class as a ‘man drawer’.

A pocket for all those bits and pieces you might just need but probably never will.  In goes the zinc cream, the scissors, the spare grips, the insect repellent, a pen, a pencil (you never know when you might be called on to score), a squash ball (bizarre) and anything else that doesn’t really have a home but can’t be thrown away - just in case!!