Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hit-wicket in Little Rock

Was in Little Rock, Arkansas last weekend. A nice, quaint little town. I'd expected it to remind me of Raleigh, but for some reason it didn't.

As is customary in those parts, I woke up at seven o' clock on Sunday morning and trotted off to play a game of cricket. Couldn't remember when I'd last done either. To my credit, I managed to drag myself out of bed after a not unusual amount of muttering and under-the-breath-cursing.

The game was scheduled to begin at eight. Most players sleepwalked in by half past. After a brief squabble over the pitch, the ground, and the dietary habits of local geese, play commenced at nine sharp.

We won the toss, decided to bat and promptly lost a wicket in the first over. To my surprise, I found myself being volunteered to go out at number 3. Now, anyone who's ever seen me bat and not doubled over laughing their guts out can tell you that I am not particularly renowned for my batting abilities, especially that early in the morning. Still, not being one to back down, I put on a brave front and strode out to face the music.

I negotiated the first two deliveries fairly well (that is to say, I managed not to get out). What ensued next, however, would indubitably go down in the annals as the most controversial moment of the morning. Yes, even more controversial than the dietary habits of the geese.

What ensued was this.

The third delivery I faced pitched short of length and was angled down the leg. I tried to turn it through the on-side, but could only manage an inside edge onto the pads (or rather onto where the pads would have been had I been wearing any). The ball bobbed and fell at my feet. Being the kind-hearted soul that I am, I decided to do the bowler a favour and knock the ball back to him. In doing so, the bat must have inadvertently grazed the stumps and knocked the bails over. I, of course, was quite oblivious to it. The wicketkeeper obviously was not. All of a sudden, I found myself surrounded by fielders of all shapes and sizes appealing for my wicket. At this point, I quite distinctively remember saying something to the tune of 'Eh?'

It was soon brought to my attention what the appeal was about, and the matter deferred to the square-leg umpire, who thought about it, scratched his jowls, and in a moment of temporary insanity ruled me out.

The acute reader might have realized that the ball at this point was quite clearly 'dead', and any event after its demise could not have resulted in the batsman being dismissed. I considered raising the issue with the umpires, but thought better of it. After all, I didn't want to bring the game into disrepute and almost surely didn't want the umpire to demand $50,000 to resign. The cricket club probably didn't have that sort of money.

And so it was. I resigned to my fate. Cast a dirty glance at the mid-wicket fielder and trudged off back to the pavilion (or in this case, the bench). The rest of the game didn't quite match up to the excitement of dubious decision, so I'll spare you the agonizingly tepid details.

At any rate, I know now how Inzi must feel. I wish there were a post-match conference.


At September 16, 2006 at 3:41 AM, Blogger Vishesh said...

Glad they were spared the ordeal of bowling to you :-).

Hilarious !

At September 28, 2006 at 8:31 AM, Blogger Sujith said...

dude..it's $500k :)


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