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 hydrologist, climate reporter and writer of fiction & observational stories. 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 shares the care of two daughters and a dog, Pip. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.

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