“Despite the many advances that humankind has made there is still one achievement that lies beyond reach. Sure, we can put an astronaut on the moon, cure disease and even find a mute button for when Jedward come on the TV but despite all this I can assure you can’t get a man sized cricket helmet off the shelf in any good retail outlet, and believe me I’ve tried.
Now, I grant you my limited technique does not allow for over confidence. If it pitches in the bowlers half the chances are you will see me imagining an air raid siren and hitting the turf sharpish. Sure the talented amongst you might stand tall and whack the cherry into orbit but given a choice between glory and a chance of a smack in the kisser I’ll take the cowards way out every time. Under such circumstances a helmet has never been a priority.
This week I was invited to net with a friends team, seemed like a laugh and off I went. When it became my turn to bat I walked down the end of the net and took guard, only being stopped by the outgoing man and being asked if I shouldn’t be wearing a lid. I laughed, I told him honestly that there is no manufacturer who does them in my size and besides which I have been played for over 20 years and never been hit. Dear reader, you can guess what happened.
In my defence indoor nets offer a good deal more bounce than most wickets you will find outdoors and sometimes viewing isn’t the greatest. Perhaps having a tall left armer coming over the wicket was a little unfair too but I managed to successfully duck a couple and although slightly inconvenienced it didn’t bother me too much. It was then I made the critical mistake. I quickly assessed one delivery and dropped down as quick as a boy boobed pie chucker can muster, but made the critical mistake of taking my eye off the cherry. A split second before impact I remember thinking ,” Where did that one go?”, then I found out.
The ball hit the back of my head with a pretty hefty clunk but I thought it was only my pride that had taken the battering. I sat down collecting my thoughts for a second or two then someone said the fateful lines “Its bleeding!”. Bugger, thought I, that spoils the party and I was right. Cue endless enquiries of “Are you alright mate?”, one distraught bowler and three hours in A & E before they glued my head to stop the bleeding. Nothing drastic, just a blob on my head instead of a stitch or two compared to the usual blob in the scorebook throughout the Summer.
The after effects of this minor accident were only a few. An under impressed wife and a slightly sore head mainly but message is clear. For those of you who can get them please remember a helmet is for life, not an excuse to play with the nurses for several hours at the hospital if you accidently forget to put it on.