For every player that has ever played the game of cricket, from high standard league cricket to your local village Sunday friendlies, we’ve all heard or seen of them. Who are they? Your stereotypical village cricketers.
The pie man – you didn’t think we’d start anywhere else did you? As time stands still while Geoff releases his latest steak and ale into the low setting sun, you wonder whether has he always been a pie man, or perhaps whether in his pomp he resembled a Mitchell Johnson type delivering rockets past the helmet. Unfortunately these thoughts, along with the 2000 others you have while waiting for the ball with snow on it to come down, are just what P. Man needs to see you lose concentration and haul out as yet another victim. Difficult to replicate, some suggest pie men are born into the role. Watch out for those that also double up as the groundsman, expertly landing deliveries in the same spot time after time, turning the wicket from a batting paradise to minefield in a wink of an eye.
Cocky youngster – you can hear them a mile off, in their university tracksuits discussing how many WKDs they managed to put away the night before. Yes, it’s the cocky youngster. Sure they have great talent and their non existent education over the summer means their constant availability makes the, a captain dreams, but deep down every one wishes they’d just miss one week. Nobody says, but everyone smiles inside a little as they dance down the track to the pie man before being given their marching orders.
The novice – Their attitude is impeccable, their ability is not. Tend to be the type who ‘liked it as a kid’ and want to pick up the game in their early 40s, but we all know they will never get it. Secretly we all admire the novice’s care free attitude, who walks off with a beaming smile after being bowled for 1, while also wondering how bad they must be at other sports to decide this is the one for them.
The decline – They’ve been the golden prospect before uni, the cocky youngster during, but now they are nothing more than the shadow of a player they were. They’ll spend hours in the nets desperate to rekindle the form that saw them play with such ease in earlier years, but nothing can stop the inevitable decline from bad performance after bad performance.
Statistician – Never one to miss an opportunity to remind you of their batting or bowling average, the statistician is completely on top of their game. The type that will count their batting or bowling stats mid game, their delight is your boredom. While their ball by ball analysis can be helpful in the event of a tight run chase, you spend most of the time wondering how they spend their weekends, most likely sorting their colour coordinated spreadsheet.
The dinner shirt- Having looked like a late call up from the dinner party the night before, the dinner shirt looks completely out of place on the cricket field. They won’t bat, won’t bowl and will proceed to misfield for 90% of the time, leading to cries of ‘pick your fielder’ from the boundary.
The ringer – they are often unassuming in nature, possibly as a result of embarrassment at playing at a level where double bounce bowling isn’t frowned upon. They’ll hide themselves down the order so as not to completely ruin the game, but as they walk out to bat in their coloured pads you know the ball is going one way only. The catch? Make sure you are on their team