Our Treasurer, Phil Reeves, occasionally pens a column for the Bulletin. His latest offering is below.
Many thanks to our Chairman for allowing me (a mere treasurer and vice-chairman) access to his corner for one edition. Oddly enough, as we don’t see each other that often, I was with Nigel the last time I saw my last domestic and international cricket. The domestic was the last county match of the season at the Riverside in the company of Ian Howie and Stephen Ransome and the international was the Cape Town test. Little did I think, as I gleefully inked the 2020 fixtures into my diary, that after the finest spring cricketing weather for a generation that I would not have seen a single ball bowled.
I must say I was particularly looking forward to our days at the cricket at Hove and our first women’s event at Worcester. We shall carry these forward into next season and hopefully better times. Precisely what sort of functions we shall be able to put on later this year is uncertain. We hope to run some member meetings but are very much in the hands of the venues who will decide how many people can be allowed in and under what conditions. Watch this space and the website for news.
In lockdown I have a new skill in that I have been self-barbering. Not sure that ‘skill’ is quite the right term as I do have to wear a hat when outside these days and I fervently hope that a skilled hairdresser post-lockdown will be able to repair most of the damage. Reading has been a pleasure and I recently got through T E Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” which if it taught me one thing it is that the film “Lawrence of Arabia” was, shall we say, a very loose version of what actually happened in that conflict.
Gardening has been fun also. If I tell you that my first task was actually to find my garden you might deduce that it was a tad overgrown. However after two days of toil I managed to carve out a space just big enough for a table and deckchair. I had been closely observed with some enmity by a robin in one of the trees and it transpired it had a nest in a section that fortunately I had not disturbed. Me and the bird are now good and quite often have a drink together in the evening. It sticks to water to wash down its dried mealworms and I have something stronger but we find we both like bananas. It set me to thinking about cricketing Robins ie Smith, Jackman, Hobbs, Marler, Singh. I know, I know…I need to get out more.
Although cricket cannot yet be played I have been allowed back on the golf course. Absence (or is it absinthe?) clearly makes the heart grow fonder as I was like a small boy bouncing up the fairway the first time I played. It was still very difficult to get the ball in the hole but it’s the trying that counts.
Still, as I write we may be close to seeing some cricket on TV. Tests against West Indies and Pakistan are in prospect as well as some Women’s 50 over games later in the season. They will be rum affairs with no spectators as we are simply not used (in this country at least) to seeing empty seats at international matches. Football is experimenting with adding crowd noise to the pictures so we may hear some light clapping. How they will recreate that tell-tale buzz or hum of a ten thousand different conversations which is so distinctive in Test cricket I do not know. Latest is that Joe Root wants some Barmy Army chants played - I hope the broadcasters offer a mute option.
The playing regulations might be interesting as well given bodily fluids will not be allowed to shine the ball. There is talk of artificial substances but before Davey Warner gets too excited they are not going to include sandpaper. Application of special wax may be allowed and it will be interesting to see how it affects the ball. I can’t think the traditionalists will be in favour and I can hear Sir Geoffrey now muttering “never ‘ad none o’ that wax in mah deh”.
What about live cricket though? Maybe, just maybe we might see some at the end of the season. I do miss not sitting in the sun with one of Melton Mowbray’s finest and a freshly pulled pint of bitter. Ambrosia and nectar to feed the body and cricket to nourish the soul. A dream? Possibly, but let’s hope eh?