We have one too many openers in this match, so I offer to move down to number four to allow one of them to bat at three. He doesn’t have the range of shots to profit in the middle order, whereas I do.
The second wicket falls and the slight delay means that an expectant crowd has an even greater need to see Laurence Elderbrook grace this match.
I compose myself in front of the mirror. Resplendent in my cream flannels, I look immaculate. It is time.
I adopt a fast-paced march to the crease to show that I mean business. The opposition are immediately put on the back foot. This drama will unfold according to my script.
I take my guard and await my first ball. I look the bowler right in the eye as he approaches. There will be only one winner here.
It is a short ball. I play back, but straight. As the ball pitches, my eagle eyes immediately pick up every detail of the ball. It is misshapen. It is slightly flattened and as it pitches it doesn’t bounce as a proper spherical ball should. It instead keeps low; dangerously low; low enough to actually go underneath my bat.
There is a hollow clunk as the ball strikes the stumps. I look at the umpire. I implore him with my eyes. That ball should have been changed. It was not fit for cricket. But it is to no avail – I am out.
At this point I take the only option available to a man in this situation. I swing by bat as hard as I can and knock the remaining two stumps clean out of the ground. I chase after one and as it lies on the grass, I swing the bat again. I swing it like an axe and drive its edge into the middle of the stump.
The stump half-snaps while my bat is hugely dented. I toss the bat away and let fly a huge, bestial roar.
As the echoes fade and the awestruck crowd look on transfixed, 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 admire my restraint. They admire me.