From smack-bang in the middle of the bell curve

game ball – summer of ’03

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2006 at 9:44 pm

Was sifting through some stuff conveniently out of sight on the top shelf of my bookcase and came across one of my prized possessions…it’s a worn white kookaburra and it bears the signatures of 11 guys and towards the seam it says Wookiees versus Jedis” (http://www.milwaukeecricket.net/) (Starwars anyone?). The wear-and-tear, as one might guess, is because its been through 30 overs of being carted around Lindsay park (home of the Milwaukee cricket club). now, thereve got to be reasons why this ball in particular is so darn important.

For one; it bears the signatures of folks I thoroughly enjoyed playing the game withfiercely competitivebut sportsmen to the core. As Wookiees, we played our cricket hard and in-your-face (just how I like it J)but we were also the first to congratulate the opposition for a game well-played. This bunch of players were also some of the most talented cricketers I’ve played alongsideour team had it allawesome quick bowlers who could make the ball talk, elegant batsmen, the best slip cordon in the league in my opinion (the fact that I was part of that cordon has no bearing whatsoever 😉...jokes apartlearnt an awesome amount, about bowling as well as batting from these guys. (wont forget the impact of an innocuous piece of advice about keeping my arm as close to my ear as possible while delivering the new ball)

We were also the noisiest team on the field. Heckling, sledgingwhatever you want to call itif a batsman could be rattled by some cleverly worded comments, then we let him have it. Case in point: 1st over of a gamethe opposition opener plays a misses a beautiful outswingerlots of oohs and aahs from our close-in fieldersthen I comment from 1st slipas if talking to my wicketkeeper..dudethese guys are smartthey reversed their batting order on us…that’s their no. 11!”…he hears itif looks could kill I’d be vulture-fodder J next ball, plays and misses again. The keeper says no way this can get close enough to nick it! Bowl something straight! (to the bowler). Another glarenext ball and the batsman goes for an ugly heave across the lineoff-stump goes for a walk. Mental Disintegration at its best J Steve Waugh would be so proud.

And secondly; this was for an MOM performance. Why this game over others? Well, probably because I was in the worst form of my life throughout the game! Chasing a smallish total, we shouldve got there easy enough. I opened but soon found it wasnt my day. Plays and missesinside edges onto padnothing came off the middle of my bat. I knew things weren’t right when I mistimed drives aimed at the cover boundary so badly that they barely got off the square. With each delivery, my frustration was growing. It was a miracle I wasnt dismissed in that new-ball spell. My usual course of action chance my arm, look for some big hits or get out in the process so I don’t waste deliveries and put pressure on the rest of our batsmen. But, just as I’d decided, we lost 3 quick wickets. Our opponents were already on a highgetting out now would be disastrous. So I stuck in therepushing singlesthe odd two and the very rare boundary. The other batsmen did their stuffstroking beautifully and attacking their weaker bowlers. But we still were losing wickets regularly. My orders were simplestay till the endand that’s what I managedwe won by 2 wickets and a couple of overs to spare. id scratched around for one of my ugliest innings for a 49 not outmy lack of form was the very reason I was so proud of that innings where I played totally unlike meand we won. reason why that ball is so importantthatand the fact that the darn things cost $200 apiece! J

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  1. This song i’d learnt when i was a kid has been goin on in my head ever since I saw the word mentioned in your post… weird…Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,Merry, merry king of the bush is he,Laugh, Kookaburra, Laugh, Kookaburra,Gay your life must be. Kookaburra sits in the old gum treeEating all the gumdrops he can seeStop, Kookaburra, Stop, KookaburraLeave some there for me.Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,Counting all the monkeys he can seeStop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra,That’s no monkey, that’s me.

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