Cricket in Hell
If there’s a hell, I wonder what it’d have in store for damned cricketers? Like what playing conditions would Hades have for wretched souls in creams?
For one, you’d think bowlers would toil on flat decks, while batsmen would take block on minefields. As for fielders, you’d reckon they’d slide to save 4’s on turf littered with empties and discarded wrappers.
You’d also reckon Douglas Jardine would be captain of Hell’s first XI and that he’d set bodyline fields with a couple of extra leg gully’s.
He’d rotate a quartet of fast bowlers consisting of ‘Demon’ Spofforth, Idi Amin, Pol Pot and Hitler off the long run – (now shit, there’s an attack that rivals the 80’s Windies!).
They’d pepper you with short stuff, shorter stuff and beamers that’d zero in on your nuts.
Hell, it’d be a vicious onslaught of effort balls and searing pace and bodyline and fiendishness.
And should you survive the new ball, you’d then have to face Osama Bin Laden bowling wrist spun offies with an arm bent at 40 degrees.
He’d land every ball in the footmarks and his doosra would spit out of the rough as though it was a Boeing exploding into a skyscraper.
All the while, surrounding the bat would be Jack the Ripper, the Maquis de Sade and Joseph Stalin.
They’d sledge you venomously and cast creepy shadows over the pitch and snaffle half chances as acrobatically as Jonty Rhodes.
Further, Torquemada would be backing them behind the stumps, and he’d freak you out with keeping gloves that had spikes on the palms in the fashion of an Iron Maiden.
As for the umps, they’d be in thick with the bookies, while DRS would be at its faultiest, and snicko would only be called upon when the ball slammed into your hotspot (ouch!).
And after all that, you’d have a Duncan Fearnley without a sweet spot and one with a handle made of sponge, covered by a grip coated in axle grease.
Yep, it’d be hard going down there, alright, and to think you’d have to do it for all eternity (and that come his day of judgment, you might have to do it with Donald Trump as your batting partner! (yikes!))
Uh-huh, as I said, it would be hard going, alright, but hard as it is, I still reckon there’s something worse: Matt Hayden and Shane Warne sledging you from the slips as you faced Glen McGrath and the naughties Aussies … under a Pommie bastard’s cap.
(This is an extract from my trashy self-published tome ‘Viv Tufnell: the book before the sequel’. It costs less than the postage to send it.)