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Week 2: Feet of Clay

Sunday 29th September

Home from HomeJack cursed his luck as he gazed ruefully across the deer lawns to the pool

Wally is playing down at Gold Coast today so I’m home on my own. There’s very little to do without a car so I’m basically stuck at home all day. I took the time to get my CV up to date and video called my family and Clem. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a job soon enough.

 

Monday 30th September – Thursday 3rd October

Wally’s back at work and I’m stuck home again for most of the day. I spend most of every day trying not to sweat too much in the heat. I’ve had a look around and sent my CV off to some shops but no reply. I sometimes go walking but there isn’t too much nearby that I can amuse myself with. Plus, any time I do walk I manage about 5 minutes before I’m dripping with sweat and have to call it a day. After my walks I have to have a cold shower and lie under a fan for a little while just to regain a feeling of being cool.

The TV is strange here. I guess they get some American channels showing programmes at the same time as they would be on in the States, here. For example, there are many programmes that you wouldn’t get until past the watershed back home showing at 9 in the morning. It’s fairly repetitive though. 

I’ve always maintained that NFL is one of the most boring and pointless sports played, because I can’t sit for 4 hours and watch less than an hour of actual sport. I’m now eating some of my words because I find myself tuning in. It’s generally because there is little else on though. I can now, at last, appreciate a 40 yard touchdown pass or a good return.

Wednesday and Thursday training went well, and each time I bat under lights I get a little bit better. I met Joe Burns on Thursday which was fairly cool. I batted at the same time as him in the nets so I didn’t get to bowl at him which was disappointing. It would have been interesting to have tested myself against a state cricketer. Nathan Hauritz plays for the club occasionally too, and I’m hoping he shows up to at least one training session so I can shamelessly pick his brains. 

 

Friday 4th October

Spent most of today doing exactly what I do most days Wally’s at work. Nothing.  Whiling away my time with average TV and visualising scenarios for tomorrow’s game.

Friday evening saw the return of Wally’s parents from their trip around the UK. My family and I had met up with them whilst they were in Plymouth. They are really very nice people and make me feel very welcome. Wally seems to turn into a grumpy teenager again (he's 26) when they’re around and bickers with them a bit. Reminds me of my brother…

 

Saturday 5th October

Cricket again today and although I’m playing for the Third Grade side this week it still means an early start and a lot of hanging around. Obviously someone had seen something in me and thought I deserved a shot in a higher standard. I spoke with the chairman of selectors whilst at the ground waiting for the 12 o’clock start to roll around and he decided he would call the captain and tell him I should be opening the batting. 

We won the toss and, as it was scorching hot and the wicket was reminiscent of the M5, we batted first. I was really nervous before play started and it was made worse when I decided to leave a full in-swinger first up. It obviously didn’t swing enough as I was given not out, and my nerves calmed a little when I hit the last ball of the over for 4 off my pads.

Having never played 2-day cricket before my patience isn’t quite what it should be. I feel I’m an instinctive batsman and I don’t think too much about the shot I’m playing until I’ve played it. On slightly sticky wickets back home, when you get something full and wide you generally throw your hands at it. I do anyway. I wafted at some wide ones when the game probably required me to leave them well alone. It doesn’t help that my feet really don’t move as much as they should when I bat; I tend to play from 2 positions – pressed forward on middle and off, or on the back foot – so I ended up looking like a brainless, talentless mug fairly regularly. Bowl at my pads on the other hand, you’ll go fetch. I got to 21, with 3 boundaries through square leg and 2 through the slips. If I can learn to leave almost everything outside off stump and make bowlers come to me, I can hit them straight or through leg - that might work.

I was bowled by a late swinging yorker than completely foxed me. The other guys in the team did an awesome job, especially Harvey Aspin, who hit one of the most destructive hundreds I’ve seen in a long time. We got to 300 all out and we were granted a 3 over burst before the close of play. We got them 1-10 and that rounded off a pretty successful day for the team all in all.

We had a quick drink before heading home and Mick joined us for tea. He left and I watched a ‘Seinfeld’ marathon as I wondered where I’d be playing next weekend.



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