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August 2008
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The captain’s blog: Victory at last

August 15th, 2008 by Edward Craig in Club cricket and tagged , ,

Apologies for my silence as I know many of you have been desperate for updates on Barnes CC (the club I captain in the Middlesex league) and our struggle. No excuses for the delay, just dealing with the slow-burning trauma of the season that all cricket captains endure. I think I’ve resolved it.

Remember the gamble? It didn’t pay off. If you remember, a bloke rings ups, demands to be in the 1s, saying we’ll avoid relegation ‘guaranteed’ if we picked him. I took a punt. He missed his second ball in his first game, then his 20th ball in his second game. He looked a passable player but no star and when he demanded money, saying that he was from Karachi, like Owais Shah, and Owais Shah “would do as well as me” in those games (I’d love to test that theory for a couple of Saturdays). I decided not to pick him any more. He then asked for “females”. I think something was lost in translation, he just wanted to be set–up on a date, but I didn’t get involved. I wished him well for the future …

We did win a match, at last, against Twickenham and their aggressive batting line-up. We made 166 (poor batting again), they were 57 for 7 when the captain dropped a sitter that made sitters look difficult – that became 145 for 7. During that partnership, I didn’t say much. I found it difficult and lost control. Not of myself but the game. All players know there is nothing worse than dropping a catch. Everyone is angry yet everyone knows you didn’t do it on purpose. I sat quietly at mid-on and let the game unfold around me – the vice captain spotted my mood immediately, saw what was required and took over while I recovered. But, finally, we stole a wicket, then two more and won the game.

It was a strange feeling winning – no one knew what to do. We weren’t used to smiling at the end of games, so we sat quietly in the dressing room afterwards. I ended up arguing with a couple of players about the batting order – my first clash coming after my first win. That’s what happens when you get out of your comfort zone.

Edward Craig is deputy editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in Club cricket |

3 Responses to “The captain’s blog: Victory at last”

  1.   King Cricket says:

    We demand a full appraisal of the captain’s catching ability from an impartial third party.

  2.   The Bear says:

    I was there, easiest catch I’ve ever seen probably, no actually.
    He’s demanded more in training since to make up for it, not caught many of them earlier. Let’s just hope league survival isn’t down to a last ball steepler dropping on him.

    We’re right behind you though skip….

  3.   jrod says:

    Maybe if you gave him th females he would have made more runs, you could have set up a Magic Johnson style captains room for yourself as well.

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