Something for the Weekend: It’s Just Not Cricket

Ian Morris returns with his weekly column after a brief hiatus for his birthday last week, which didn’t go at all to plan, as lockdown restrictions continue to impact on the Blind Cricket Season.

There was no column last week as I decided to take myself away from the keyboard for a bit and have a long, relaxing birthday weekend. Part of this plan involved settling down and just listening to the first cricket of the summer. The evocative sound of Test Match Special coming live from Southampton was going to be wonderful.

The first couple of days were iffy as the great British weather intervened, but the damage was limited by the fact I  was working so had to sneak listening in between Zoom calls. How many can you attend in a single working week? My current personal best is 36…

Earlier in the week, there had been the announcement that recreational cricket could resume with all sorts of sanitizing and restrictions. On the 11th July, my birthday, the game was on in local parks around the country, and what could be more emblematic of an English summer? The sound of leather on willow, the village green, the teas…. well actually, the teas were right out, you had to bring a packed lunch, but everything else was in play. 

So I was set! That is, until the fridge freezer finally gave up its battle for survival and a new one was rapidly sourced online – delivery Saturday. I hadn’t put a Fridgemaster at the top of my present list but this is what I got.

It’s astounding how much you can cram into a fridge freezer, and what a pain in the buttocks it is to empty and refill it. As a result the cricket was on in the background. England reverted to being dreadful and my hands were frozen as I manipulated chilled and frozen goods. 

Later that evening I was sipping a glass of red when my email pinged: ‘2020 Blind Cricket Season update’.

This is it, I thought. My beloved sport will start again and all is going to be wonderful….

Except the season is cancelled, binned, written off, no more, it is an ex season. Sadly the first bit of the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) directive on recreational cricket is: ‘don’t attend games by public transport’. As we are all blind or partially-sighted, this has burst our ball completely. 

I now have to look forward to April 2021 before any cricket will be possible. I am not sure I will even remember how!

At least England went on to win the first test…

…except they didn’t. They collapsed from a strong position demonstrating they couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo, let alone a cricket ball. They followed this up on Sunday by bowling like pie-flinging clowns and catching as if their hands were holographic illusions. 

I know in a pandemic sport probably has even less importance than it does usually, but I love it. This was my special birthday weekend and all the sport went wrong. The weekend was only saved by copious amounts of BBQ meat and red wine – and even then, I dabbed my naked tummy with a red hot roasting pan. I counsel you not to try that at home…

It simply isn’t cricket.

Something for the Weekend will be back next Friday, tackling national issues from a local perspective. In the meantime, you can check out all of Ian’s writing for S&C, here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast.

Image by Lisa scott from Pixabay.

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