27 Things You Only Know If You Play Village Cricket

27 Things You Only Know If You Play Village Cricket

If you’ve ever played village cricket then the chances are you’ve experienced the full spectrum of frustrating times to absolutely hilarious sights.

Whether it’s players pulling out at the last minute as they cannot hack their hangover or teammates leaving early to attend a family bbq – availability can be a struggle for many clubs.

On the pitch, seeing your mate get hit in the nuts can leave you in stitches right up until it happens to you just a few balls later.

How many of these things have you experienced… 

1. Blaming getting out on the bowlers strange action

Whether they are bowling off the wrong foot, have a non-existent front arm or they just have a flamboyant action, we’ve all been there blaming everything but ourselves for getting out.

2. The highs and lows of opposition teas

We all have our favourite opposition teas. The differences between the best and worst teas is quite staggering. Rocking up at the tea room and seeing a pot of chilli can bring you as much joy as the lukewarm tea urn can bring you despair.

3. Those early season games when it’s barely above freezing

No amount of jumpers manages to keep the cold out. There is a reason that cricket is a summer sport, we stand far too still for far too long. So whilst it’s barely 4 degrees whilst we’re patrolling the covers and we’ll likely catch hypothermia.

4. The pain of cricket ball on kneecap (and other places)

I’m pretty sure this happens at least once a game, and it seems some players’ kneecaps are like magnets to the ball. When it’s not you, it’s brilliant. When it does happen to you, nothing is less funny.

5. Getting annoyed at your club mates for dropping easy catches

How hard can it be? It was a dolly and you didn’t have to move. It’s even more frustrating when it’s off your bowling. Just tell them they need more catching practice at training.

6. Then you dropping an absolute sitter

Crap. Well at least you aren’t the only one.

7. Jumping back to square leg umpire because the quick bowler dropped it short

We’ve all been there, the opposition’s opening bowler is much quicker than we’ve faced or remember facing and we suddenly lose the ability to bat, instead we jump around and hope we don’t get hit.

8. You’ve witnessed an 68-year-old opener who has batted the for the entire innings to score 33 not out

To be fair, it’s an impressive feat to have faced so many balls and scored such a small amount of runs. This is great when the rest of the team has a good game, less so when the rest of the team fails and you’re defending 67.

9. You find it extraordinary how a man who appears to be about 11 stone overweight is able to clobber your bowlers all over the ground with such ease

Their hand-eye coordination is something quite magnificent that you only wish you could ever see the ball so well. Ball after ball, absolutely middling it to the boundary. Who needs to run when you score a four or six every ball.

10. The embarrassment when a 12 year old bowls you out 

It was probably a peach of a delivery so don’t get yourself down in the dumps. Okay, that probably doesn’t help but just accept your time has come and you’re going to be replaced.

11. The whole team thinks they know better than the captain

Choosing to bat first on a soft green pitch – idiot. From fielding placements, to the batting line up. Captains can do no right. But no else wants to do it.

12. You’re familiar with the disastrous attempt at a direct hit run out.

That inevitably goes for 4 overthrows to add insult to injury.

13. You hate left-handed batsman for being left handed, knowing your bowlers can’t bowl at them and you’ll have to change the field all the time.

Just make it the same on both sides of the wicket and we can just keep going like they are both righties.

14. And that left handed batsmen tell everyone they cannot be out LBW

You can, and if I’m umpiring. I will give you out.

15. The heart sinking moment a batsman asks for the sightscreen to be moved

It’s not even that hard to move, but if you’re playing on a large ground the walk down the sight screen to move it all of 3 foot for the batsman feels like running a marathon. 

16. Always shouting “CATCH IT” every time the ball is in the air

We all do it. Just in case the fielder who is watching the ball flying quickly towards their face didn’t need any more encouragement (read: distraction) to take the catch.

17. The most talkative member of the opposition is generally their worst batsman

You haven’t even taken guard and he’s already chirping. But don’t worry, he’ll likely miss a slow full toss and get bowled first ball.

18. You’ve been in a situation where everyone’s ready and in position, then you’ve realised no-one’s got the ball

Batsman has taken guard, we’re all ready, the umpire says “play”. And everyone just looks around waiting before realising the ball is still in the changing room. 

19. When the opposition refuse to call the game off despite a the 48 hour monsoon that is still going on

They are 3rd in the league (and you’re last) so they want those 26 points instead of 10 for the draw. But no amount of sun is ever going to dry up,  so just let us all go home.

20. You base how quickly a bowler bowls on the length of his run-up

Quaking in your cricket boots as the bowler runs in from the boundary and… it loops up and you’ve played three shots before it even reaches you. It’s rare, but it happens.

21. You’ve had a drinks break that consisted only of hydrating with beer

One of my many reasons for playing village cricket is the ability to have a quick beer break and it actually improves my game.

22. The ongoing avoidance of scoring or umpiring

Whether you take yourself for a walk around the pitch or hiding in the changing rooms, forever avoiding umpiring. And as for those who pretend they don’t know how to score, now is a great time to learn.

23. There’s always one guy who throws his bat every time he gets out

And we love him. He’s usually a great character who loves the game. But whether he’s just scored a double ton or got a golden duck – that bat is being hurled a minimum of 30 yards.

24. Insisting the ball turned a mile when really you just missed a straight one

It was a ball of century, honest! 

25. The ‘all the gear, no idea’ guy who loves the game

He has the shiniest gear in the club, probably worth £3000 in total. Looks an absolute don on the pitch but has a batting average of 6.39 and doesn’t bowl.

26. Rocking up to a game and struggling to see where the square is let alone the wicket you’ll be playing on

It’s just a green field. This isn’t a cricket pitch.

27. You wouldn’t change village cricket for the world

We love it. Whether in the pouring rain or heat stroke inducing sun. Whether winning, losing, drawing, watching, umpiring (well maybe), scoring (okay not this), batting, fielding, bowling. We absolutely love it and can’t wait for the weekend.

Your Stories…

I had a great one on Sunday. The opening bowlers were putting it in short at one end and the number 3 decided he needed to wear a lid for the first time ever this season. He was to face the other fuller bowler for his first ball, stretches forward and is stumped for a golden. He then trudged off to the pavilion and declares “The helmet was too heavy, thats why I stretched so far” 😀🤣
Craig Smith

Going to collect the ball from someone’s garden and apologising and probably reimburse for the trampled flowerbeds afterwards.
Someone accidentally leaving the gate open and sheep or other wildlife wandering onto the field.

Or when the pitch is in the middle of a public park and someone decides to have a picnic or set up their jumper goalposts just off the square and having to try get them to move as “they where here first!” Even though the stumps and boundary flags had been set up since early morn.
Richard Evans

Your opening bowler thinks the batter doesn’t have the right to play the ball so when he creams one through the covers for a 4 all along the carpet he is called a lucky so and so.

The nervous talker in the dressing room. Always telling everyone how to chase down a score when really I boils down to get 1 more that then without getting all out.
Andy Aucott

What are your favourite things about village cricket?

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