Cricket season is upon us again
With winter coming towards the end of its cycle for another year, the days are starting to get longer and warmer. And as the calendar turns ever closer to summer, we also come closer to the season for summer sports—which includes cricket.
Last season, I helped my neighbour's under/10's team play, and we ended up winning the premiership! This was a great result considering my previous experience in cricket was only a 'muck-around' game here and there—either in the backyard or with the school team.
A story to inspire up-and-coming cricketers
One day during training, I told the school team my 'man of the match' performance story for a bit of inspiration. The story goes like this:
I always enjoyed high-school 'interschool sport'. The chance to leave the school grounds for an afternoon and compete against another school in various sports was a nice contrast to the routine of school life. The rivalries amongst other local schools always created some great banter and everyone enjoyed themselves.
The summer sport was always cricket, and being selected at the bottom of the order was fine by me—I was happy to play anywhere and do my part on the field.
One game, we had a middle order slump and I was soon rushing to get my pads, helmet and bat and get out into the middle. With a few overs remaining, our P.E teacher told me to just smash the ball around.
An unexpected success
The bowler came in and bowled it outside leg stump, I swung my bat, and somehow—it hit! A four! I don't know who was more shocked: me, the bowler or my P.E teacher. It was my first boundary in cricket and I struggled to keep my face straight to avoid showing how excited I was.
On my next shot, I ran for a quick two, then another four. In the next over, I shot yet another four, and with the final ball of our innings, I cracked a six straight over the bowler's head. Twenty runs in eight balls faced! It was quite unexpected. Still, we had to then bowl out the other team, or it would all have been for nothing.
Well midway through our fielding innings, our captain tossed me the ball to have a bowl. So I went to the crease and bowled my usual right-arm off break. Within three overs of bowling, I had taken two wickets for fourteen runs and we had won the match.
An unforeseen award
After the game, our P.E teacher told us all that I had received the 'man of the match' and would be batting at the top of the order in the next game. How nervous I was to stand on the crease at the next game and see the bowler come screaming in, firing the cherry-leather ball at my wicket.
I managed one noble hit before getting an 'LBW' (leg-before-wicket) and returning back to the sideline. I was subsequently returned back to my spot at the lower order which was fine by me, as I often read a book while waiting for my turn at the crease.
Achieving the impossible
It was a very unexpected rise, and if you had told me that I would score 20 runs and bowl 2/14 in a game, I would have said it was impossible. But as the Bible says, "Nothing is Impossible with God".
With glazed eyes, the kids were glad my story was over so they could go back to training—here's hoping we can win back-to-back titles!
Christopher Archibald lives in Sydney and is a Youth Leader at New Life Christian Church in Blacktown. A voracious reader, he ploughs through many books in a calendar year, with a bookcase that is constantly being rearranged to accommodate new additions.
Christopher Archibald's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-archibald.html