The cricket season went out with a whimper a couple of weeks ago as England lost a twenty20 game against the West Indies in convincing style. It’s been a brilliant summer, for international cricket, for domestic cricket and for the Cavendish Cavaliers. It has been my first season playing for the worst team in Devon and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. For us the season ended with a high spirited loss to Gotham City, where I scored a Cavaliers best of 7 (which resulted in my average being higher than Chrisbobs) and where Dion was given out in controversial fashion. Domestically the season ended with Lancashire winning the County Championship and internationally with the aforementioned capitulation against the Windies.
And now it’s the winter and the withdrawal symptoms are already setting in. When Shakespeare wrote about ‘the winter of our discontent’, I am convinced he was not writing about the oppression of the York family, but about the close of the cricket season. And so the bats and pads go into storage, the grass is left to grow, the boundary line fades and the pumps in the clubhouse gather dust. In our dreams we play for the worst team in South Australia during the English winter, but instead our Sunday afternoons are spent playing Call of Duty, our cover drives are replaced with a volley from an M60 light machine gun, our off breaks are replaced with a shot from the dragunov sniper rifle and our dropped catches at point are replaced with the suicidal throw of a grenade against a nearby wall. It somehow doesn’t seem a fitting substitute. The camaraderie and spirit is lacking, one can’t stop for drinks midway through a Call of Duty match, there are no handshakes all round, none of Kevin’s famous tea and no trip to the bar after play. There is a hole inside of us that can’t be filled, no matter how much blood we shed on the virtual battlefield.
Yes, we’ll meet, we’ll laugh, we’ll eat and we’ll drink, but our hearts long for the sound of leather on willow, the thud of ball on pad, my own enthusiastic appeals and the umpires gentle mumble of ‘leg side’. But the summer will come around again soon and we’ll get back to loosing ways. But for now we suffer the winter of our discontent and entertain ourselves with late nights listening to England’s triumphant one day tour of India and playing Call of Duty, until it is ‘made glorious summer by this son of York’ and the season begins again.