Village Cricketer Questions How He Can Sustain Batting Average of 13 With So Little Pre-Season Practice

By Our Local Cricket Correspondent, Pies Morgan … (aka Dan Flanagan).

SOMEWHERE IN THE HOME COUNTIES, ENGLAND – An amateur cricketer was left wondering whether he could possibly meet the high standards he sets for himself as a batsman this morning, after the rule of six allowed cricket training to resume in England.

The villager, David Hughes, 57, angrily declared that a month’s practice before the start of the season was nowhere near enough for him to keep his average at its almighty 13.45. He went on to berate the government for waiting until the very end of March before allowing recreational sport to recommence. This, he argued, gave him no chance to enter into the peak physical condition required to maintain his proud record of notching two scores above thirty in a twenty-five game season.

“I am the real victim of this pandemic,” said a red-faced Mr Hughes, his impressive beer gut protruding from his training top. “I’ve been raring to go for months. My normal regime of netting twice a week, and being cleaned up five times in ten minutes, has been thrown into disarray by this authoritarian government. Brocklethorpe 4th XI will have me on toast if I don’t get to rehearse at least one scoop before the opening game.”

Mr Hughes also complained that the ‘rule of six’ unfairly targeted him, considering that he had never hit one in his life. Others were equally concerned about the roadmap out of lockdown.

“We have our first friendly in a little under two weeks, and haven’t trained yet,” said a concerned skipper, one Finn Legg. “How on earth can I expect the lads to serve up their usual batch of pies when they haven’t had the opportunity to send a single ball into the side of the net? Or, indeed, without the potential to beat the bat of the number eleven and then spend the rest of the session boasting about the ‘extra yard of pace’ they’ve put on. Think it through, please, Boris.”

At press time, Mr Hughes reportedly did not fancy a net, as he didn’t think it made much difference anyway.

Dan Flanagan

5 comments

  • The ‘never hit a six’ line brought back a memory. Way back in the day when beer cost 1/6 a pint, Prestwich 2nd XI had a veteran opening bat called Bob Whaley who claimed never to have hit a six. Given that the ground was (and is) only about 95 yards wide, and the 2s usually played near the edge of the square, that was some feat.

    Bob also bowled non-turning off-spin, very accurately, and his spin-twin Tony Bramah (who always batted 11) claimed never to have been given out lbw in a cricket career that went on into his sixties. If you had seen him bat you would have no trouble at all believing this. He once refused to bat – got dressed! – in a game when the opposition had a fast bowler.

  • When I were a lad I used to spend hours throwing a tennis ball against the back wall of our garage and trying to place it in circles I drew on the walls. It’s almost like facing a bowling machine. In between the circles and you were out. That way you were able to play as a team. This was pretty much as good as a net at that age. You could certainly grade improvement by scoring levels. I would have to get so many runs off so many balls, so you were pressurising yourself from the off. I recommend it to players of any age as you’re out of the way and you don’t disturb anyone. You can hit the ball as hard as you like and try to mimic real match situations by bowling one side of the wicket to packed fields to make scoring difficult. Just write chalk positions on the wall between the circles to indicate fielders. You can also practice technical weaknesses against spin, seam and pace by standing closer to the wall to improve reaction time. The more runs you score the better you’re getting. A pretty decent indicator. I never went the whole nerdy distance with score books but I kept a tally of runs per ball and wickets and found over time if I did this regularly the stats did improve.

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