So the new season is upon us. It’s time to dig out the kit bag, and then discover you forgot to wash your whites after the last game of 2012 – which is always a nice mouldy surprise.
It’s also time to consider your goals for the season. How many centuries will you score? Or for those of us who are more realistic, how many times will you reach double figures, or avoid getting out first ball?
If you’re a seamer, and you’re getting on a bit now, how many yards will you shorten your run-up by? Or are you finally going to resort to off-spin to, err, ‘prolong your career’.
And of course, there’s always the option of turning into a leggie. No matter how old one is, there’s always the naive hope you’ll suddenly become the new Shane Warne; until you realise that bowling leg spin is almost impossible – and all the blokes you’ve slagged off over the years (Ian Salisbury and Chris Schofield spring included) were actually geniuses compared to you.
The next step is to put yourself through a fitness test. I’m not talking about shuttle runs and trips to the gym here; that would be far too keen. No, I’m referring to a few half-hearted stretches to assess whether last year’s niggles have cleared up.
If you’re under the age of thirty, passing this most basic of tests is pretty much a foregone conclusion. If you’re over thirty, it’s almost impossible. In fact, just trying to touch your toes is likely to result in a fresh injury (probably a season-ending one).
If you’re a young pup, and you think I’m either exaggerating or a bit of a drama queen, just wait a few years smart arse. My body was fine until I reached 35, since when I’ve struggled to last a single game.
My 2011 season was over in mid-July when I tore a hamstring. The cause of the injury? Running a quick single. I was on 55 (that’s runs, not years lived) at the time, so it’s hardly like I wasn’t warmed up.
In 2012, I wasn’t able to play a single game due to torn cartilage in my wrist (probably caused by lugging my toddler around).
I had an operation three months in order to be fit for the new season. I have no idea why I expected to bounce back like a young footballer living in an oxygen tent, but obviously it hasn’t happened.
Unfortunately my op was a miserable failure. Now it looks like I won’t be able to play a single match in 2013 either. If anything, the op has made things even worse. In fact, I can’t even play golf now. Brilliant.
I suppose I could always take up scoring. Unfortunately however, I’m neither eccentric enough, nor sad enough, to spend my afternoon scribbling down bizarre symbols. I also have the concentration span of a gnat.
Basically, if I want to see my cricket playing mates this year, I’ll have to do so in the pub after the game. At least the beers won’t be on me though. The chances of me either scoring a ton or taking a five-for this year are precisely none.
PS If you’re looking for somewhere to buy new equipment ahead of the season, we recommend paying a visit to Fordham Sports in South West London (just off the A3). I got all my equipment from them a couple of years ago. It’s just a shame I’m not actually fit enough to use any of it.