Thursday, June 04, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Not done one of these before.

The Throwback Thursday is a meme that I've seen running around the net for a good few months now and you know me with memes ...

Here we go - this Throwback Thursday goes back maybe 5 years now. Could be 4. And a pic ?
Apologies for the blurriness, this is an excerpt from a scanned in old style camera pic. It was my last game (and one of very few!) as a wicket keeper, where I played for one of the work teams against the other work team. It was the last game of that season too before the rains set in. I can't remember much of it (it was a bit of a blur !) but I can remember :

Being under the helmet for 19 out of our 20 fielding overs.

Getting the captain irritable for standing up to the stumps to him*
*(he was bowling up slope and anything that came to me standing back was coming to my feet, which is ... awkward. Better to up the required skill and stand up than risk having stuff go through)

I got a catch ! It was a fine nick down the legside, which is one of the tougher catches to take because you only see the ball coming after it has passed the bat. I didn't have to dive much but did the roll anyway :-) And then checked the glove to make sure I'd actually caught the ball. Confidence hey ?

I played the switch hit in the game ! This is a new novelty innovation, it isn't played much now but I liked doing it and was getting decent with it in the nets. As a right hand batsman, my right hand is normally on the shoulder of the bat with the left hand above at the top of the handle. When you play the switch hit, you swap the hands over as late as possible. I did that too early this time and the bowler was able to put the ball in a really awkward spot, so the ball barely got 10 yards. A shame because the shot was on, there were no fielders in the shot's hitting zone and the ball would have run away down hill.

I think I did pretty good in this game as keeper but ... if you're not used to it, the keeping takes its toll. I was shattered by the end of the game, from the keeping as well as having the helmet on for over an hour. Sweaty noggin = ugh.

We won ! Hence the celebratory picture. The other side legged it fairly quickly. I think this is one of those games where the fella who goes out with my last partner, Ravenwolf, was playing and chatting to me. I still treat him like a mate, which I suspect freaks him out. But there are boundaries where he quickly realises he should stop talking about the subject he's gone on to. (Lesson - there's too much hate around, if a break up happens treat it as a learning experience, don't carry malicious thoughts around, life is too short for that).

Mentioning "life is too short" sentiments ... Why the Pink Hat ?
This goes back a few years. Our team was merging with another team as the start of an initiative to change the way we support our kit. The other group didn't really integrate that well, there were a few blockers in there who were being obstructive. One is still there actually. But one of the people that helped bring us together was The Rose.

She was a beautiful lady who always caught my grin and answered with a little smile of her own. I can still remember her face.

However. She was one of too many who are struck down by breast cancer. She started treatment the season before the Pink Hat season and died not long before the start of the season. We were devastated. It was a terrible shock to lose one so beautiful, so kind, so early.

My original idea was to raise cash for a cancer charity on a form of performance incentive thingy. However, I knew I was approaching the end of the time I could support running around like a mad thing and didn't organise the charity collection thing. I knew that if I did, I would put too much pressure on myself to play games when I should be resting torn muscles and abused bones. I played 8 games that year, I'd normally play double that.

I did do a form of performance based donation though. I got two catches and a run out and for each of those, I put in an extra donation to other people's charity collecting efforts. I would have donated anyway but this was a nice little bonus for them. In the end, the only performance benefits were those catches and the run out, I didn't score any significant runs that year (wonder if it was the year I got hit for the second time ?) and my shoulder was past the point where I could bowl with it.

What I did do was raise awareness. Whenever people questioned the Pink Hat, I would tell them about The Rose. We went quiet for a little while after that and if you've seen me around a cricket field, you'll know I'm pretty gobby with giving encouragement to the team. I saw that as part of my role, to make noise. A quiet team is a sleeping, drifting team and you have to attack in cricket to win. I shed a few tears under that Pink Hat too. I did miss that Pretty Lady smile.

So that's my first Throwback Thursday post !

I hope your screens didn't crack with the picture of me. I hope you don't tear up too much with the story about The Rose. I think she'd want to be remembered for that wonderful smile rather than for sad reasons.

I never like to end on a sad note though.
That's from my last ever game, hope you don't get blinded by the sun glinting off the skipper's head.
Remember the bad but don't be defined by it. Live for the good.

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