Our fragile top order frequently lands the middle order in trouble. In a bid to rectify this, I am asked to bat at five to add a bit of experience and resilience.
On this occasion I am fortunate enough that the top four all get good scores, so when the third wicket falls I am merely required to drive home the advantage – a task to which I am perfectly suited.
The crowd have had quite the hors d’oeuvre. Now they will get a main course fit for royalty. Laurence Elderbrook is about to grace this match.
I take a moment to compose myself in front of the mirror. Resplendent in my cream flannels, I look immaculate. It is time.
I adopt a casual, laissez-faire approach to the crease. My opponents know that the pressure is off. Who knows how badly this could go for them. This drama will unfold according to my script.
A lot of players find themselves in a position where they’re expected to attack and become too hasty, but not me. I pad up to my first ball, which pitches outside leg.
The ignorant bowler appeals, accompanied by his equally ignorant team mates. Then the unthinkable happens: the even more ignorant umpire gives me out.
It is important to retain an air of calm, collected superiority even at times like this, so I take the only option available to me. I discard my bat and advance on the umpire.
I grasp him by the lapels and draw his face towards mine. I look him in the eye. I tighten my grip slightly and lift him onto his tiptoes. It is at this point that I let fly a huge, bestial roar. Right in his face.
“Are you insane?” I politely enquire. “Have you taken leave of what little sense God gave you?” I continue, having not received an answer. “Do you actually know the first thing about cricket or are you just a jumped-up coat rack drunk on power?”
The umpire recoils slightly, presumably shamed by the accuracy of my insights. Satisfied that I have imparted a valuable lesson, I release him. I collect my bat, tuck it under my arm and make my way off the pitch with the serene dignity afforded to only the very few.
The players and the crowd are too impressed to clap as I depart. They admire my restraint. They admire me.
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