Remember: a teammate is for the whole year, not just for summer.
From the club cricket archives.
The social media nightmare
“Only 20 weeks until cricket!” he posts on Facebook. “Looks a bit green out there #BowlFirst” he tweets with an accompanying picture of his garden lawn. The cringe-inducing Snapchat story of him emotionally putting his kit bag in the garage for the winter was the worst thing you’ve seen all year – and you saw Louise’s disastrous attempt at a gingerbread house on Bake Off. Every week you get notifications about a “Throwback Thursday” or a “Flashback Friday” picture he’s uploaded from last season. He even does “Way Back Wednesday”. He needs to get a girlfriend, a boyfriend, an imaginary friend, an Xbox, a Rubik’s Cube. You don’t care what. The posting just needs to stop.
The events planner
“Club tomorrow? A few drinks? Soccer Saturday?” This message appears in the group chat every Friday night without fail. The cricket might be finished but the events planner is desperate to keep the boys together. He’s organised paintballing, go-karting, a golf day, and even tried to book you all on a spa retreat. While the team trip to Center Parcs was delightful and the cookery class was way more fun than you’d anticipated, he needs to give the lads some space. Spend some time at home, Darren. You’re 35. You’ve got a family.
You see him all the time during the summer but as soon as the season’s finished he disappears off the radar. He doesn’t show his face at the club dinner, or the bonfire, and he didn’t turn up to your end of season booze-up in Newcastle. He doesn’t respond to your texts, your calls don’t get through, and he’s not been active on WhatsApp for weeks. You have your theories: maybe he’s become a spy – MI6 did have a big recruitment drive recently. Maybe he’s been abducted by aliens – that’s something that happens a lot, right? Whoa! What if he’s actually a ghost? He was dressed in all white most times you saw him and it would also explain why he’d mysteriously vanish when it was his round at the bar. More likely he just got a new phone and changed his number. Stop overreacting.
The keen bean
She books a bowling machine every week down at the indoor school and is constantly inviting you to early morning circuit training. She’s even paid for specialist one-to-one coaching to work on her googly. What a badger! Despite your cynicism towards her approach, you secretly admire her commitment. You could never dedicate yourself to something like she can. This is why you dropped out of university, this is why your bathroom is only half-painted, this is why you never do well at Fantasy Football. The last thing you successfully completed was a speed awareness course, and it had nothing to do with your bowling…
The Down Unde d***head
He’s your best mate, but for the next six months you’re going to absolutely hate him. He’s spending the winter at one of the top grade clubs in Sydney, while you’re waking up when it’s still dark outside to make the depressing commute to Canary Wharf every morning. You finish your Skype conversations green with envy and browse his Instagram posts with intense wanderlust. It’s not all bad at your end, though: you’re in line for a promotion, your five-a-side team are top of the league and that girl you like has agreed to go for drinks on Friday night. Your buddy then bursts your bubble by sending you a picture of him training with the Sydney Sixers. “That’s amazing, mate!” you reply, shaking with jealous rage. Maybe it’s worth dropping Darren a line about that spa weekend?