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The Plight of a Weekend Cricketer

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Submitted By abhijithsimha
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The plight of a weekend cricketer
It has been recently brought to my attention that come October I shall be an uncle, to not one but two new nephew(s) and/or niece(s). Two of my closest cousins are expecting their first children (I guess this is a first - the phrase “first children” used in a grammatically apt context… call the patents office :p). A worrying thought indeed. Not that I doubt their abilities to raise children. I am sure both of them would make tremendous fathers. My concern, is how exactly parenthood is going to affect their availability to laze around in the field, dropping a red spherical object on the patch of field in an attempt to rearrange the three stumps which the others have been charged with defending.
In short, will they still play cricket?
They assure me they will, but I have heard similar expressions of confidence from many people I used to play cricket with. This raises an interesting dilemma which amateur cricketers like us face: how to convince our families, significant others, children etc. to let us spend most weekends meandering about on a cricket pitch. I have lost quite a few good cricket mates to the wrath of Venus, and can’t afford any more losses to the family I call team. I have long secured the wrath of numerous sets of parents and lately a few wives for keeping their children/partners away from them on weekends by organizing pointless cricket matches, now with two new souls being added to that list, the guilt is only going to multiply. Sigh!
A lot is said and written about the difficulties faced by international cricket players as they try to juggle their sport and domestic lives: how touring is a constant strain on relationships, how unholy temptations may creep into cricketers’ minds due to prolonged absence from loved ones etc. We of the slightly-less-talented cricketing fraternity struggle even graver issues. Obviously we do not have to endure the professional cricketers’ burden of crowd adulation or traumatic tours to the stunning sights of Cape Town or the sandy white beaches of Barbados. Unlike the pros, however, we lack the one overriding counter-argument in the eternal conflict with our families: we are not paid to play; in fact we shell out a good amount of money and play.
As cricket is not our livelihood, it may be difficult for others to understand why we would willingly spend a considerable amount of money and approximately 15 to 20 weekends a year playing our beloved game, precious time that could otherwise be spent with families, wives or girlfriends. Unfortunately this struggle is beyond our control. Why? You may ask. The answer is simple, whenever, we play cricket we get a glimpse into our childhood; get to feel empowered; get reminded that we can win; get to do what we grew up dreaming about; get to enjoy the feeling that 10 others have your back; we get the feeling that we matter. I tried to explain this feeling to many a wife who has me on their hit-list but couldn’t ignite their imagination.
Not a game goes by without at least one of my team mates having the usual dreaded phone call as he attempts to convince his partner that, of course, he doesn’t love cricket more than her. It’s just that we really need him to play tomorrow. By and large these conversations do not have amiable conclusions, and the final sentence uttered by my mate is generally something along the lines of the following classic relationship-killer: “Well, honey, I met cricket before I met you, so deal with it!”
Cricket shall always reign supreme (especially if you have a couch that doubles as a bed).…...

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