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Losing face after losing your wicket: Top ten excuses for getting out in club cricket

Club cricket
Rich Evans by Rich Evans
@Rich_Wisden 8 minute read

There are many ways to get out in cricket – ten to be precise – and there are just as many archaic excuses for losing your wicket.

Those who play village cricket will be accustomed to departing batsmen barking their way back to the pavilion, and there’s always that clubbie who has never rightfully been adjudged lbw – routinely robbed, blissfully unaware of their frailties.

We’ve come up with the top ten excuses for getting out in club cricket. Why not share with your teammates, especially those who are particularly prickly when they’ve been given the finger. Which ones are your go-to excuses for losing your wicket?

“Well, that’s the way I play”

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” So said Marilyn Monroe, who unwittingly provided a convenient ethos to village sloggers across the land.

He’s on a crusade to make cricket sexy again – that’s the only staunch defence he owns – which can only partly conceal his inability to apply himself mentally to any situation. You keep slogging away, champ – we’ll do the donkey work.

Maybe we’re being a tad harsh. Perhaps we should listen to Marilyn’s vindication: “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” We just wish we saw your best more than twice a season.

“Triggered… again!”

Granted, it wasn’t the plummest of dismissals – not that we had a great view from outside the deep-midwicket boundary – but there’s a bit of a pattern forming here, chum. You’ve been out lbw five times in the last six weeks – four of those given by your own umpire.

So rather than blaming the inadequacies of those in the white coat, how about not trying to work straight balls through leg? It’s just a suggestion; we’ll talk later when you’ve had a chance to calm down.

“It did all sorts”

“That would have got Steve Smith out”. Yeah, it really wouldn’t have. It may have hit the top of off, but you left a massive gap between bat and pad and played down the wrong line. There’s a reason you bat at eight – and you’re lucky that nine, ten, jack are rabbits. Now get on the bowling machine and practice keeping out the straight one. It’s a useful skill to have.

“It was written in the stars”

“I just knew I’d get a duck today… knew it.” They got out the wrong side of the bed, dropped a dolly in the warm-up, missed their pre-match bacon buttie, and couldn’t recall which pad went on first.

To be fair, we’re amazed they even made it to the crease.

“Thought I’d give others a go”

You really do have a heart of gold, giving your wicket away in a winning cause so yours truly has the thankless task of entering the battleground with eight runs to win, as one endeavours to keep one’s average north of 20.

There’s a beer with your name on it… only we won’t be paying. Turns out our whip isn’t as generous as your batting.

“I’m rusty as duck”

You do know that if you never train then it’s likely to stay that way? Look, we know you do a tidy impersonation of a cricketer – tucked-in shirt, beach-blond hair, sweatband, Aero all-in-one thigh guard – but you’re averaging eight.

We know your ego will take a dive, but you’re in the threes next week… at least until the inevitable Friday night drop-out when we’ll come begging again.

“How can I take that bowling seriously?”

You’re right, you’re above this. To be fair, the bowler was honoured that you even offered half a stroke at that one. After all, you’re used to facing 75mph, not this dob.

Why should you try to play yourself in? Why should you attempt to outsmart the bowler you clearly think is a half-wit? Why should you strive to win us this game? You need to get out cheaply, get in that bar and tell us about how good you were when you were playing first-team cricket five years ago.

And us? We’ll hang on every word. We’re just honoured to share a beer and a club crest with you.

“Too hungover”

You’ve turned up half-cut again. You’re 18 years old – why are you wasting away your life with tequila shots and dancefloors on a Friday night when you should be resting up for match-day? You can’t bat hungover – that 63 not out last week was a fluke.

Where do your loyalties lie, son? You need to get your act together – this isn’t Mickey Mouse cricket. What do you mean you quit?

“I just need a bit of luck”

You’re an absolute gun in the nets on a Thursday night, hitting first-team speedsters back over their heads. So what happens between then and Saturday lunchtime?

You’ve all the signs of a delicious technique – an authoritative stance and trigger movement, expansive leave and a cover-drive that hides a thousand sins. You stride out there bedecked in the armoury of war – luminous bat stickers, club crest stitched on the helmet, tattoo on the forearm. When your middle stump is castled, the oppo rejoice after claiming what they think is the big wicket.

You just need a knock; you’re a class act; a score’s just around the corner… we’ve been saying for three seasons since your last fifty.

“The pitch got me out”

Sorry you’re not playing on a snooker table at Lord’s, mate. OK, the pitch does merge into the outfield, there’s a dry cat’s turd on a length and “a bit in it” for the bowlers, but there’s been 500 runs scored today. I think you owe our voluntary groundsman an apology after that outburst, don’t you?

Oh, and as you got the lowest score today, collect the match fees and boundary flags. Make ours a Peroni when you’re done, cheers.

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