From the Nursery End: From Strauss’ bat to my hand

10:34 16 July 2012

Andrew Strauss, pictured celebrating his Test century against the West Indies at Lord

Andrew Strauss, pictured celebrating his Test century against the West Indies at Lord's, is available for Middlesex for the County Championship clash with Nottinghamshire. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Have you ever seen it, when the ball goes over the boundary and it’s thrown back to a fielder by a spectator, and the throw is a pathetic girlie throw, that you know from the moment the spectator shapes to throw it that he doesn’t know what he’s doing and it looks like he’s never touched a cricket ball before?

And the ball is launched, and it drops well short of the fielder who’s only a few yards away, and wide too. A weak, ineffective attempt even though all that’s required is an underarm lob.

And you feel for that spectator, who’s surely embarrassed at his feeble effort, for he’s at a sporting event and he’s just demonstrated to everyone there that he couldn’t ever have played, not with an arm like that, not even for the most desperate pub side. And you know it’d have been even worse if he’d tried to throw it overarm.

Well, dear Reader, on the first day of the Notts game at Uxbridge, that embarrassing chump was me.

Sitting in the teeth of a gale, braced for the inevitable rain, and in a cloud of tiny flies which had chosen that morning to emerge from wherever tiny flies live and congregate just square of the wicket behind the advertising boards where I was seated.

You can see that I’m building up my excuses. Middlesex were three down already and it was clear where this innings was going (all out 98) when Andrew Strauss cut Gurney.

It beat the fielder, rolled up and over the sloping advertising hoarding and dropped onto the ground to my right.

Things were looking good. Firstly, I was actually watching rather than reading or sleeping so I could see it coming. Secondly, I’d anticipated well and had time to put my sandwich down and prepare myself.

I watched the ball all the way and knew to take my time, not rush into the throw – there was no run-out attempt needed, no need to throw it flat and hard just over the bails into the keeper’s gloves, just loop it back to Samit Patel who was trotting towards me.

I picked it up. I didn’t rush. In fact I looked at it. It seemed very scuffed considering Middlesex had hardly been able to lay a bat on it.

Then I realised that I couldn’t get my feet in the right place to throw properly because of the chair and my bag and the advertising board.

And I couldn’t give it a proper heave as I thought my hand might hit the board at the bottom of the swing at the moment of release.

Imagine that one – throwing the ball, it immediately hitting the board and bouncing back behind me somewhere in the direction of where the swimming pool used to be.

So I sort of released it a bit early, off the wrong foot, unbalanced, with no power. If your toddler threw like that you’d take him to someone to have him checked out.

It dropped well short of Patel – not wide mind – and he gave me the sort of look that I at first I took to be pity; here’s this great big chap, obviously well enough to go out on his own and stand up without help, but who can’t muster enough strength to chuck a ball a few yards.

But then on further reflection perhaps that look meant that he thought I did it deliberately to get the shine off or that I thought, like the England management, that he needed a little extra exercise so I made him bend over.

I sat down, caught my breath and brushed the flies off my sandwich. What am I? A ball boy?

Related articles

Live Blog Transfer Window Live July 25

 

Latest Stories

20 minutes ago
the 'fire ants' were first found in this country when a colony of 35,000 were electrocuted gnawing through wires at a National Trust property in Gloucestershire [Photo courtesy of April Nobile / © AntWeb.org]

Hate creepy-crawlies? Then look away now! There are fears that ‘super ants’ who are attracted to electricity and cause fires are coming to London, after a colony was found in a house in Hendon.

Read more
The boy was killed after a collision in St John Fisher Road, near the junction with Kale Road (Picture: Google StreetView)

A six-year-old boy died after being hit by a car in south east London as he walked along the road with his mum yesterday evening.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:50
The most sureal moment at the Commonwealth Opening Ceremony was the sight of some giant dancing Tunnocks tea cakes (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Did you watch the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony last night? It made us misty-eyed for London 2012, when the whole world was watching our city, so we decided to compare Glasgow 2014 to Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony. Be prepared for a blast from the past!

Read more

TOP STORIES

Promotions

Renault Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

The Week subscription offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.