I played against a classic example of the genre last week. Coming in at number three, he was one of those who has a couple of heaves early on and then, more by luck than judgement, seems to get his eye in. As he got to twenty-odd, his mental transformation into Kevin Pietersen began. He started walking singles. He began calling the umpire 'Umps' in a loud voice. Every time he got the strike in the middle of an over, he'd hold his glove across his chest with either one or two fingers outstretched to indicate the number of balls remaining. When he hit a boundary, he'd engage the nearest fielder in some sort of banter. He looked like he wanted to ruffle their hair too.
When they won the game he ran off and up the steps, waving his bat, weaving past the non-existent fans who hadn't come onto the pitch. Ran off! Presumably he thought he'd have to give an interview to Nasser Hussain or something.
This man was, I'd guess, way past 35 years old, a classic ersatz pro, watching a mini-movie in his head in which the boundary was no longer deserted but ringed by misty-eyed admirers, the pavilion occupied not by a junior football team who'd just won a five-a-side but rheumy old fellas in egg-and-bacon ties, his vanquished opponents walking from the field in wry contemplation, well beaten but able to tell their families they'd played against him.
The ersatz pro. You've got to love them. Haven't you?