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Club Cricket

Secret diary of a village skipper: Textual frustration

by Village Skipper 3 minute read

It’s reached the point of the season when tensions come bubbling to the surface. What can help relieve our club captain’s swelling dissatisfaction?

Death, taxes and selection dilemmas.

Few things in life as a club captain are certain but you can bet that come July you’ll have more than a few evenings scratching your head over how to get a decent XI out/tell someone they’re dropped/give everyone a game (delete as appropriate).

With availability varying wildly from one week to the next, part one of getting the game on – i.e. picking 11 players for a Saturday – can be the most maddening part of the whole damn summer.

One game I’m dropping quality all-rounders to the seconds because there’s just not room for everyone – ‘Sorry mate, hard luck – oh, and not sure I ever got your match fees off you, if you could just…’ – the next I’m begging and borrowing from the thirds because the county are in the cup final, England are playing football and couples continue to get married in summer. Congratulations on your nuptials, lifetime of happiness, blah, blah, blah – you’ve ruined my week.

It’s that time of year when tensions come bubbling to the surface. Traditionally that means players making increasingly unreasonable demands about where they play and what they do, and volunteers beginning to voice their dissatisfactions. At our place, it’s also around the time that skippers tend to jack it in.

So, at this potentially tricky time, how is it going? Well, the team is going well and seem to be enjoying things. I’m captaining a good side so can’t claim much credit, but the decisions I’m clearly aren’t making us lose, so that’s something. But my word, it’s a pain in the arse.

We’ve got two lads arriving half an hour late this weekend. Pick them both and gamble on the toss? Or sling one or both out? And if so, who to pick as replacements? We need a scorer the week after and there’s no one to do teas in August. What’s this now from the groundsman? Oh, good, X and Y think they should be batting higher and Z says he’s giving up. My iPhone trills till I dream of its destruction.

Did I mention that my last three scores are 0, 4 and 0? That at present I can’t actually imagine how to score runs, much less actually do it?

Perhaps it doesn’t take Freud to work out the real root of my disgruntlement. Just as a simple night of passion can turn a usually cantankerous old curmudgeon into something approaching a Buddhist monk, so one fifty-plus score lightly sprinkled with well-timed drives would see all these seemingly insurmountable captaincy frustrations melt away to blissful irrelevance.

I just hope that when the opportunity comes I can still remember how to do it.

READ: Previous secret diaries

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