Thursday, 1 September 2011

Being hit in the face, and other good times...

It's funny how a small and insignificant incident in a game can send you off into a reverie, a time-trip back into the long-lost, half-forgotten past to a moment when something similar happened, a distant event that somehow triggers another sense-memory which surfaces from that place in the brain where it has lingered and never quite left...

There I was watching Kevin Pietersen bat in the Twenty20 when he wandered off to the edge of the pitch, outside the line of the ball, and managed to top-edge it into the grill of his helmet, a sort of vertical flip-sweep that would have cost him his pearly-whites had it not been for the lid, and I felt a little tingle in my bottom lip, where there is an inch-long, pale-white scar from many years ago when the same thing happened to me... It wasn't exactly the same sort of shot - how could it be - but it was a sweep, played to a gentle off-spinner who I didn't think could get me out, so I got down on one knee and swept hard, but the ball must have just popped a little from the dry midsummer wicket and taken the edge of the bat before flying up into my mouth...

...There was a bit of gash, but it didn't seem like much and it didn't really hurt, just stung a little, so I carried on... I have no memory now of how long, or how I got out or how many I scored or whether we won, or any of those things... what I remember is getting home and trying to eat a chinese but giving up because by then it felt like I had a tennis ball in my mouth, and of the next time I played when I noticed that there were some bloodstains on the inside of one of my pads that stayed there for years [loved those pads, had to retire them gently in the end, like laying down a favourite shield]...

...That sent me off to another match on the same ground, fielding at slip to another off-spinner and watching the batsman go for a cut and then coming round on the ground because a top edge had flown up and hit me in the forehead, to the great hilarity of everyone that saw it - no health and safety in those days - oh, the embarrassment of that... and then another game, again on the same ground, where I got done by an outrageous slower ball that seemed to take forever to get down the pitch and bowled me - another laugh then, that time from their wicket-keeper - and then yet another game when I almost got shown up by a dolly catch at mid-off that I got too far underneath but just managed to grab with a jump and a fingertip...

All things that I'd forgotten, or thought I'd forgotten, but that came back in an instant after KP flicked that ball into his face, and then he laughed and the bowler laughed too, and we all thought yes.... this is the game... this is the game...


5 comments:

tai haku said...

"It was a sweep, played to a gentle off-spinner who I didn't think could get me out, so I got down on one knee and swept hard, but the ball must have just popped a little from the dry midsummer wicket and taken the edge of the bat before flying up..."

Yep, you just pretty much perfectly told the story of why there is a narrow scar running through the middle of my right eyebrow. Oh how I bled.

Banished To A Pompous Land said...

"where I got done by an outrageous slower ball that seemed to take forever to get down the pitch and bowled me"

Oh the interdepartmental games at work where, in the interests of inclusivity, the women were allowed to bowl underarm. And the one that hit half way down the pitch and rolled so slowly yet still avoided my attempted golf shot and came to rest against the base of the off stump.

Only one person wasn't laughing on that occassion.

diogenes said...

do we have the bowler's view of how easy it was to beat you in the flight?

CARLOS ALVARADO said...

Was the game a good game the ball juice to it by the result that favored them and they could get on with the game.
I think the game was fun ..

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