The MJ Clarke “Competitive Side of the Game” Memorial Book Club: a leg-up

Spending nearly five months away from cricket, I’ve missed that competitive side of the game,” MJ Clarke said on Sunday.
I think it’s in my blood, I love the game of cricket, and I always have.


– Did you see that from yer Michael Clarke?

– He wants to play on.

– Thinks he’s Michael J Fox in that movie.

– Back to the Future.

– Clearly suffering, though.

– Deluded.

– Terrible.

– New baby at home.

– Relevance deprivation syndrome.

– Massive drop in talk-home pay.

– Still.

– He needs a hand.

– Does he?

– Some ideas.

– For retirement.

– Oh, right. Like lawn bowls. That’s competitive.

– It is. So is Supercoach, I understand.

– Or harness racing.

– Yes, or Ballroom dancing. You’ve seen Strictly Ballroom, haven’t you?

– That’s good. Ballroom dancing. I can see that.

– Or the most global game of all; Association Football.

– Huh?

– Soccer. Look at Elyse Perry. She represents Australia in both soccer and cricket. Dominates.

– He probably doesn’t want to risk comparison there. Maybe something others haven’t tried.

– Yeah; there’s the luge. There’s always a fringe Winter Olympic sport to try.

– What about Backgammon?

– That’s not a Winter Olympic sport yet.

– No. But it’s competitive.

– Like woodchopping.

– Like talent quest singing.

– Like finding a home loan.

– Like finding the best electricity provider.

– Like welding.

– Like every-bloody-thing. Let’s face it; just about everything is competitive in this capitalist world.

– I guess that Channel 9 commentary box just isn’t competitive or matey enough.

– Hmm.


– He was brilliant though, wasn’t he?

– He was. He had some sunny days.

– Many of them.

– Many.

– Yet curiously described by insiders.

– It is curious.

– What were MJ Clarke’s words of wisdom again?

– “I’ve missed that competitive side of the game”

– He needs an outlet. Yer man needs an outlet.

– An outlet.

– Writing?

– Howabout reading.

– Both.

– I like it.

– Let’s start a book club.

– The MJ Clarke Competitive Side of the Game Memorial Book Club.

– And invite him along.

– Love it.

– Pub setting?

– Leave it to him to set a venue, I reckon. Maybe online.

– Which book to start with?

– What would you say?

– The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Navigating space and time.

– Good call.

– The Riders? Drifting, searching for inexplicably lost love.

– Good call. We’ll give him options.

– Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

– Are you getting all these down?

– But how to contact yer man?

– Twitter, I’d say.

– And direct him here.

– To this very conversation?

– Why not? He can write here, too.

– Grand.

– Any other ideas to help the poor old skipper, give a shout.

– That’s you.

– That’s all of us.

About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He is married and has two daughters and the four of them all live together with their dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.

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