Aware that Australia’s cricket selectors might have to dig deep for volunteers to play in the Champions Trophy in Pakistan, I decided to take my off-spinners out of long storage and give them a whirl on the back lawn. Not a total success.
My wife’s leaden-footed performance behind the stumps made it pointless to attempt my subtler variations. Anyway, after two overs the telltale twinges announced that my knee was about to go. Finally, attempting a doosra, I painfully dislocated my thumb.
So much for my dream of becoming history’s oldest one-day international cricketer (by thirty years over – you can look it up – Nolan Clarke, of the Netherlands).
Knowing another tragic likely to be tempted by the possible openings in the Australian Xl, I called John Howard’s house to see how he was going. Janette answered. “He’s lying down,” she said. “I’ll try his cell phone,” I suggested. “He won’t be able to pick it up,” she said. “”He’s lying down on the gerberas. He’s breathing fairly often but mainly groaning. It’s his back. I warned him against trying the doosra.”
Even if the former PM and I had managed to iron out the kinks that inevitably come with lack of practice, I guess we would have been prevented from touring Pakistan by Cricket Australia deciding not to send a team to the Champions Trophy tournament scheduled to begin at Lahore on September 11. Anyway, I hope that would have been and will be the case.
Source: ‘If Howard and I Can’t Play in Pakistan, No one Should’, The Australian, 1 August 2008.
Thanks to Barrie Hibbert for alerting me to this witty piece which contains some good lessons about retirement.
Old Cricket Tragics Never Die…
They Simply go for a Spin
Dr Geoff Pound
Image: The off-spinner himself.