Officially my worst... day... ever. (And that was the worst... comic book guy-ripoff... ever.) I was again up to my cricketing tricks, this time out at an Aboriginal-sounding place called Tatyoon. Unlike most other pitches around my home town's area, which are made of concrete and covered with artificial grass, the pitches at Tatyoon, Alexandra Oval (in my home town) and Central Park in Stawell are all made of turf.
The official pitches.
These are supposed to be better for spin than other pitches, so I was promoted from C Grade to B Grade to play against Tatyoon's tougher lads. Apparently, these guys are a pretty weak team, even though they're in B Grade.
We fell in a screaming heap.
We fielded first. There was a lot of greenness on the usually light-brown to yellowing pitch, whoch is also supposed to help bowling. Thing is, it was also hard, which apparently makes a batting pitch. Hmm. And those black clouds on the horizon didn't help matters much, either.
Forty overs and I did not bowl one. I mean, that was all I was sent there for - bowling. My batting is quite crapola, as I shall elaborate on later.
My fielding was quite mediocre, though I did stop a few tricky ones. I dropped an easy catch, and so did mostly everyone else on the team - the Under-16 wicket-keeper counted eight drops - but a guy named Beano held on to one. That was one of the few wickets for our side.
Coming off the field in a somewhat subdued mood, I sat in the car and played some Ministry Of Sound on my iPod. (God, I'd hate to work for ABC Radio here... they are not allowed to use brand names because it's a non-commercial station. You should hear them sometimes: "Phone Dome" instead of Telstra Dome (a footy ground in Melbourne), "music player of choice" instead of iPod... etc etc.)
I was called on to bat No. 9, or seventh drop - meaning, the batsman who comes in at the fall of the seventh wicket. I forget who went out first, but he did, and then Beano went on and came back a minute later. That was two blokes out in two balls. One more and the bowler would have a hat-trick. So, I went in and tried to ignore all of the encouragement towards the bowler from the opposition. Rathie, my partner, told me that the guy was swinging the ball, or, getting the ball to curve through the air. Kinda like a tennis ball when you slice it.
I looked at the bowler, and thought, Bullshit Rathie, look at his run-up! It was typical of a spin bowler, and swing only comes with faster bowlers. But, still, I stood up to the bowler, and took my stance, thinking that I would just block the ball out and keep my wicket intact. So the bowler comes in, and of course, swings the ball from (the equivalent of) next to my legs to (the equivalent of) middle stump. The ball hits my pads and the bowler appeals for LBW. I look at the umpire.
He raises his finger. I am the third wicket of a Tatyoon bowler's hat-trick.
I took a moment and thought, YOU RETARD OF AN UMPIRE! Any Tom, Dick or Harry could see that the ball had pitched (bounced) outside leg stump. And any OTHER Tom, Dick or Harry knows that to get a successful LBW, bowlers must pitch the ball directly between the two sets of stumps, and the ball must have been judged to have hit the stumps if the batsman's leg hadn't interfered. There must have been no inside edge, or snick from the bat. If a ball pitches outside off stump, the batsman cannot have offered any sort of shot at all, and it still must have been judged to have hit the stumps. If it pitches outside leg stump, there's no WAY you can be called out.
I went off the groud like a gentleman, and then threw my gear in my bag like a madman (when I took it off).
I had a bit of a sulk on the bench where substitute footy players sit, and then my captain came up to me and had a word. He said that he had had a day like this some time ago, when he had been promoted to A Grade. Sure, that made me feel heaps better. But I was still a bit shitty. I went back to the car to get out of the rain that was approaching and threatening to end the game prematurely. I watched Bernie and Jumbo (both over 50) struggle through the rain, Bernie with a crook leg and crook hand, and try to last the remaining 20 overs.
The rain came and stopped the game. When they went back on, it took 5 minutes to bowl one of them and end the game - think it was Jumbo. And then the rain started again.
I'm pretty sure I'll have worse days...