Mick's cricketing Days
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Mick's Cricketing Days

"Hey Mick"! calls out one of our blokes. "We're having a game of cricket against Delta Company, do you want to play"? "No thanks mate" replies Mick as he wandered into the mess for lunch. "Why not"? I asked as he joined us at the table. His sombre reply was, "well, I killed a man once. "Mick looked dead serious as I said, "maybe you did mate, but what's that got to do with a game of cricket this arvo"?

"You don't understand" said Mick. "I don't mean here in the battle with Charlie". "What I"m trying to tell you is that I killed a man playing cricket back home when I was a young bloke." All eyes were now on Mick and the silence was only broken when someone asked, "how the hell did that happen, I thought that cricket was a gentlemen’s game"? “Yeah, I suppose it usually is” said Mick.

“Anyhow, if you don’t interrupt me I’ll tell you.”

“I’d only just got my drivers license back from the local copper at home and was going to see a mate. As I’m driving along the Hume Highway and passing through a small town, I couldn’t help but notice a game of cricket in progress. It was stinking hot, not even a breeze, so I pulled up to watch for a while and found a shady spot under an old Pepper tree.”

“The batting side weren’t having much luck and I’d just knocked off a cold can when the captain approaches me and said “Listen mate, I don’t suppose you play cricket do you”? I replied that I did. He went on to say that they were 9 for 22 and a man short. So he hands me a single pad and I strap it on and I go in to bat. Just so you fellas know, most country games are always a bloke or two short and never enough pads, bats or balls; but they make do.”

“Anyway, I hit a six on the first ball but smashed the bat in the process. They sent out a borrowed bat for me, and ball in ball out, I kept belting sixes for a full four overs. I was 192 not out when, at the start of the next over, the bloke at the other end gets clean bowled.”

I made the mistake of suggesting to him, “That’s got to be impossible Mick.” He glares at me and says, “You don’t know what you’re talking about. Maybe you’re good at your sums mate, but you obviously don’t realise, that back in those days it used to be 8 balls to an over. I think the Poms had something to do with having it changed, to try and bring the Aussie run rate down.”

“So stop interrupting me, otherwise I won’t tell you what happened next”.

“The Captain came up to me and said, “well done” or something like that and went on to ask me, “I don’t suppose you can bowl”? “Skipper,” I said to him, “I can bowl better than I can bat, Lillee and Thompson are just medium pacers compared to me”. Then he warns me “that the umpire’s sons' usually open the batting for the other side, so don’t expect any appeals for LBW to go your way Mick.”

"Sure enough, he was right. First ball I trap the batsman right in front of his wicket as the ball thudded into his only pad. Naturally I appealed, “Howzat”? I pleaded with the Umpire. “Not out Son,” he says to the batsman. I was pretty annoyed I can tell you. But I’d been warned and decided to get even with the next delivery”.

“I ripped one straight into him at 100 and something miles an hour. The batsman was hit bad, went down on his knees as the ball smashed into the three stumps and then went through to the keeper who fell and was out cold. The ball then sailed past the outfield and they declared it ‘lost ball’.
I turned to the umpire and said, “nearly got him that time, ump.”

“No ambulance of course, so they sent a couple of utes out to the pitch and carted the two blokes off to the nearest hospital. The wicket keeper was dead on arrival but the batsman survived, although he hasn’t played since.”

“A couple of days later they found the ball, over a mile from the cricket ground. The ball had come to rest alongside the keeper's glove. The messy bit I have to tell you, is that the glove was covered in blood and guts and the keepers right hand was still in it”.

“Naturally there was an investigation into the matter and although I wasn’t charged with anything, the judge suggested that I never play the game again, as I obviously couldn’t control myself. I gave my word that I wouldn’t, and that’s the reason I can’t play with you blokes this arvo.”

 

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