First day of the new season, out at the beautiful Thurgarton Priory ground on the way from Southwell to Nottingham.
I find myself back in the third team this season, after an influx of talent returning to the club from various exiles. Either that or the second team skipper is glad to get rid of a piece of hopeless deadweight.
I feared I would be having a sort of "bat number 11, don't bowl" sort of day, but luckily El Presidente skipper decided to give me the new ball. I did my best, I really did, but no amount of bowling as quick as I've ever bowled in my life could change my luck - a few chances were missed off me per usual - and also the fact I have a bad habit of throwing in a few full tosses for reasons I don't understand. Invariably these get smashed into the far distance.
It's not that I'm trying to bowl them!
The other thing I notice is how amazingly banal a lot of chat on the cricket field is when someone is bowling. "Oh yeah, loving it", "Oh yes!", "Oh yeah, every day there", or "Oh yeah yeah yeah yes!".
Maybe I'll write a book about it.
Luckily we have bowlers who are luckier than me, and don't bowl full tosses, and so we kept the opposition to 230 for 8. After a hearty tea - I much prefer bowling first - the simple resignation of the fact that I would be batting at 10 or 11 meant I could wander off and photograph the ground, and even do some sketching even as the day got colder and chillier.
The trees and massive priory, now luxury flats attached to the church building, makes for a natural amphitheatre, and the smack of leather on willow echoed round the ground in the most satisfying way. A team mate reckoned this was because of the stream running along the edge of the ground, and whether or not this was true under the trees there was carpeted with wild garlic and was stunningly lovely.
I went in there to fetch a ball and came out smelling of garlic.
We were in with a good shout of winning the game at one point, but our batting rather subsided and I felt rather gratified to score 1 not out, somehow, especially as I was initially clueless facing their quickest bowler.
I just wish the sun had been out.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 06.05.17