Commentator: “….and that shot brings him into the 90’s, the packed crowd shout even louder, he can feel the expectation ever since the first run he put on the board. Oh what a lovely cover drive, that’s 99 and end of the over. Both the players in the middle walk towards each other, the heat is intensive, but his mind must be exploding”.
Me: “Ever since I walked onto the field this morning, my heart hasn’t stopped beating like a wild horse. I now stand on 99 runs, one more and I will have achieved my very first century. As I walk to the middle to meet my batting partner, my eyes seem blurry, I need to keep my composure”.
Umpire: “Start of next over”
Me: “Ok, back to the wicket to face the bowler, heart is beating faster, legs seem weak, jelly-like, my head feels dizzy. I try not to look at the wicket-keeper; his eyes are gleaming, his gestures unsporting. As I turn, I notice a circle of fielders around me, are we playing ring-a-ring roses? I knuckle down, here he comes, all 6f4 of sheer pace and speed, the ball is pitching outside, here’s my chance….OUCH!
Commentator: “Ooh I bet he felt that one, bang on the left hand. The ball looked as if it was pitching just outside and then suddenly turned in, he is hurt”.
Me: “Don’t show any pain, get on with it. Here he comes again, leave it, leave it, don’t be tempted. Four more balls to go, I feel sick, why did I ever choose to play this game, do I have the balls? Don’t grip the bat too hard, relax. Shut up mind, you are giving me too many instructions, go away, leave me alone, let nature take its cause. Here he fucking comes again, right, screw this, I am throwing the kitchen sink at this”.
Commentator: “He knocks the ball to deep cover and off he goes……”
Me: “Run….run….off I go, right partner, start running in the opposite direction. I am running hard, don’t tumble, don’t look around, forget the fielder, I can run faster than he can throw. I can see the chalked line, there it is, I am there, I can see a red ball in slow motion making its way alongside me. Jump forward you fool, stick out the bat, hurry. Puff of smoke, what happened, my eyes were closed, I am lying on the floor, people screaming everywhere, I look up at the umpire, he’s making a window shape gesture, what, referring it to the 3rd umpire, I thought I made it, holy shit, will I ever get another chance?”
Commentator: “We are waiting on the decision, keep your eyes on the screen people, here it comes, twisting graphic tells us NOT OUT. The crowd roar in celebration, his first 100, well done”.
Me: “Just lie here, don’t move, savour the moment….the start of many a great things to come”.
I don’t know what it’s like to be a cricketer who is on the cusp of making 100 runs, but today this is my 100th post. What’s the connection with the piece I have written, not sure but I had been pondering for some days on what to write, hesitant, like the cricketer, so I let nature take its cause. I am sure so many others have reached this milestone, I’m just happy I stuck with something for a change.