The season’s over. What are you going to do now? Here are five options to consider.
Become a footballer. It’s quicker, more glamorous and we hear there’s money in it. There’s also the charming possibility of having a set of studs put through your shin or a banterous ankle-bashing from a hard-tackling simpleton.
Go to rehab
Your back’s in bits, your knees are creaking, you can’t lift your arm above your shoulder and there’s a random shooting pain going through your right elbow. It’s time for some rest and recuperation. Spend Saturdays on the sofa. Meditate. Take up yoga. Soothe the aches and pains before royally screwing your body all over again next summer.
Next season starts now. Identify three key areas of improvement (batting, bowling and fielding?) and pursue your goals relentlessly. Hire out a net lane, fire up the bowling machine, enlist the services of a professional coach. Drill your problem shot, develop a new variation, re-read Mike Brearley’s The Art of Captaincy. Become better. Be sick of the game by the time next April rolls around.
Watch and learn
So you can’t live without cricket altogether. Content yourself with following the professional game – because for them, the fun never stops. Once the county season is over some time in mid-October, watch England’s winter tour, soak up the drama. Learn how (and how not) to play the turning ball. Have your say on who should make the XI, and keep up with all the latest domestic transfer gossip. Will Derbyshire’s want-away marksman make his much-talked-about move to Nevil Road?? Before you know where you are it’s mid-March.
The end of the season can be traumatic. Some species find winter’s lack of cricket so unpalatable they give up on everyday living altogether. Why not try it? Build up a store of fatty reserves, identify a suitable stowage and enter a deep, season-long sleep. Only awake when the phone call comes from the skipper asking you to come on pre-season tour.