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Catholic Corner

Ilford Catholic play in the Herts & Essex League Ilford Catholic play in the Herts & Essex League

By F Angel
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
1:00 PM

Latest news from our Ilford Catholic blogger

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From the Big Bang theory to the story of Adam and Eve, there are a few different ideas out there on how it all began.

Recently however archaeologists have discovered a new text dug deep from an excavation site near the cricket ground, preserved through time, offering a different view.

The discovery has been dubbed “the Batsman’s Bible”

Here is an extract from the Chapter 1, Verses 1-3, (score)book according to St Geoffrey:

“In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth.

For the first few days He was pretty tied up, but in a spare moment He managed to bag a fixture against Celestial CC for the Sunday. They the medium weak and a friendly bunch. God had ten, but he won the toss and batted first so it didn’t matter too much, number 11 was on his way.

He made sure the weather was good too.

For the first few seasons God opened the batting with Lou C. Fer, a talented maverick batsman capable of huge scores. God loved to watch him bat but off the pitch he was a nightmare. The trouble was that he had a massive ego and got on everyone’s nerves. He would run people out, brag about how good he was, never paid his subs or bought a round. He would moan, argue with the opposition and question the skipper.

In the end, God, exasperated by his behaviour, dropped him from the team.

Lou C. Fer wasn’t happy and went berserk. Cast out of the team he was fuming for millennia and vowed to come back and haunt every batter in the universe until the end of time as revenge.”

This text goes a long way to explaining the batting demon. As all batsmen know when you are not in form he focuses in on you.

He will be there chipping away at your confidence and putting doubt into your mind and clouding your judgement.

“Smash that straight one” he will say and laugh as your stumps get horribly rearranged.

“Play a sweep to the leg spinner” he will whisper as you completely misjudge it and sky one to square leg.

When he has you in his grasp you are in Batting Hell – and the whole game looks very different there.

The ball is the size of a pea, there are 20 fielders, all eight foot tall, with huge buckets for hands, the ground seems to dilate and the boundary line slides back 30 metres as the bowler runs in. The sightscreen is like a postage stamp in the distance.

Your bat is made of flimsy plastic wrapped in wool and the ball becomes a shot-putt as it hits the bat. If it hits the bat, that is.

When the demons are plaguing you at the crease you are not just playing one ball, you’re playing about 600 in your mind over and over before the bowler even reaches the crease.

And each time you’re imagining getting out. Your imagining getting caught, nicking one, getting smashed on the pad, chipping one up, getting caught and bowled. Your imagining all this before the ball is released so by the time the actual ball comes down it feels like you have never held a bat in your life.

But – there is hope. You can escape from Batting Hell with just one shot.

Middle one and suddenly the batting demons will fly away. In the space of a cover drive you will be quickly projected into Batting Heaven.

Suddenly the ball becomes like a beach ball in size, and the outfield like Lord’s. The sun comes out and the pitch becomes a complete road.

The boundaries get smaller and the ground shrinks to the size of your back garden where just a flick of the wrists sends the ball for skimming to the fence for four.

Fielders are tiny and scattered around like subbuteo players. The only question in your mind when the bowler runs up is where you are going to smash it and how far.

The next thing the ball is pinging off your bat like a 300-yard drive with a Big Bertha.

The difference between Batting Heaven and Batting Hell is very small and you can be cast into one or the other in the space of a few overs.

So remember – don’t listen to the Batting Devil on your shoulder. Because the battle between the Big G and Lou C. Fer never stops – and when you are in Batting Hell it can seem like an eternity.

*Ilford Catholic CC won all three league games last weekend. If you want to play league or friendly cricket please email iccc2011@hotmail.co.uk.

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