We always enjoy a tale of trying to follow the cricket without actually watching the cricket. Today, day four of the 2019 Headingley Ashes Test…
The following is a true story.
I removed my headphones, dusted down my grass-stained trousers and skipped giddily back to the car, children in tow. My heart was still racing. Palms still sweaty. Ears still ringing.
We had been out for the day, buying new shoes for small feet and pottering around town. No need to pay too much attention to the cricket. It was basically all over anyway.
Things like this just don’t happen. 67 all out in the first innings, then chasing 359 in the second? In your dreams.
Our shopping trip concluded as the final wicket partnership began, so we sat on the grass eating ice lollies and thinking about what to have for dinner. I edged further and further away from my family as the tension grew unbearable.
You know the story. The reverse sweeps. The missed run-out. The plum LBW with no reviews. The ‘It’s six or out…it’s six!’ The forehand smash through the covers to win, puncturing a hole in the fabric of time just big enough to glimpse another miracle, sepia toned armpits and all, 38 years earlier.
Wrestling with booster seats is a nightmare at the best of times. But clunk, click, one, two, three, everyone’s in.
Key in the ignition. I rub my eyes; it wasn’t a dream. Let’s go home. We might catch the highlights.
Hang on a second. What’s that coach doing?
Reversing, that’s what. Reversing towards us. Picking up speed. Showing no signs of stopping.
Beep the horn. Beep it again. Eventually he gets the message.
I get out and start towards the coach driver. He is a man. A big man. A big man with not much hair.
Heart still racing. Palms still sweaty.
‘Whatyouthinkyoudoing?’ or some other such adrenaline-fuelled blauchmange came out of my mouth. I pointed at my bemused family in the car, then back at the gap between our vehicles.
Eventually, beginning to realise that I might be on the verge of causing a scene, I held up my hands in the international gesture for ‘please don’t hit me’ and retreated.
I laughed manically to myself all the way home. Palms still sweaty, heart still racing.
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