I won a long time ago ; I just didn’t realize it.
There I was, in the middle of the cricket pitch. Adjusting for center, scanning the outfield looking for a gap before I went into my pre ball ritual. 3 taps of the bat, shuffle the shoulders, then concentrate fiercely as I waited for the next thundering ball to come my way.
Would I crack it over mid on, stroke it through cover, or would I dramatically let it go through to the keeper untouched in an attempt to show my poise and grace under fire.
All of this must have been quite a site to the spectators in the crowd.
Except, there weren’t any.
The lights were off in the stadium and there was no one in the stands.
Yet there I was. In full pads, gloves, thigh pad, favourite bat and protective helmet , fiercely playing no one. Running hard, calling early, backing up at the other end to ensure I could sneak a cheeky single where possible.
I was still trying to beat them. Still trying to win. Still trying to hit a 6 off the last ball and be shouldered off the field to a standing ovation from the crowd.
“What a last minute victory” and
“Brad Stocks is our new hero. The champion we have all been waiting for has finally arrived” the journalists would proclaim.
Everyone had gone home a long, long time ago. Except for me. For I hadn’t even noticed.
I must admit It’s been a major relief realizing all this.
So I’m walking back to the change rooms now. I’m going to pack my things away for the last time and head out to the car park leaving the stadium behind me.
I’m just going to dump my things in the back seat, put my seat belt on, start the engine and just go. Where? Who knows. That’s the best thing about all of this. I can now go anywhere, For its over…
Thank god it’s finally over.