The chairman’s stuck his hand in his pocket and signed up an overseas star for the coming season. But who’s going to rock up? Adam Hopkins picks out the archetypal club cricket overseas pros.
The model pro
He’s the perfect signing. He sets a shining example to everyone at the club and is so thorough in his pre-match preparations it makes his teammates feel bad about themselves. He rocks up bright and early on a Saturday morning to run a few laps of the ground and has rolled the wicket before the majority of his team has even got out of bed. On a Sunday he is up early again to umpire for the under 13s. Are his sunglasses hiding the effects of a heavy Saturday night? Not at all. They’re for UV protection and UV protection only. He’s never driven over the speed limit. He’s never hung up on a telemarketer. He once found an injured sparrow in his garden and nursed it back to health. God bless this man. We are not worthy.
What a player. He’s used to flat, fast tracks in Perth so doubters thought he wouldn’t be able to handle those sticky green pitches of the North-East. They were wrong. He had 500 runs by the second week of June as well as 20 wickets despite apparently never bowling back home. People are still talking about that six and who can forget the catch he took at backward-point that defied the laws of gravity, the laws of physics and, according to the dismissed batsman, the laws of decency? He’s also incredibly good looking, once got to the bootcamp round on the Aussie version of The X Factor, and he just friended your sister on Facebook.
Send him back! What a massive disappointment this guy is. You can’t find his profile on ESPNcricinfo and it turns out the first-class team he plays for back home doesn’t exist. At first you thought he was just struggling to adapt to foreign conditions but in May he’d achieved his Audi badge and if it wasn’t for an inside-edge past leg stump, he could well have gone full Olympics. He finished the season batting seven in the twos and in August your chairman was seen pricing up an early flight home. He was a monumental waste of money and your club wishes they’d bought a new mower instead.
The loose cannon
He’s an absolute space cadet who wrote off the car the club leant him the night before his first game and he once lit up a joint while coaching the under 11s. You never know what state he’s going to turn up in and one time he didn’t turn up at all. The way he manages to balance being perpetually hungover with bowling 15 overs on the bounce every Saturday is an art form and, to be fair to him, he bowls it well. Not taking into account the time he threw up on the table at the club dinner, he is a popular presence around the clubhouse and his seven-for in the local derby will go down in club folklore. He is loved by everyone apart from one of the barmaids, who can often be seen Googling ‘breach of visa conditions’ and ‘deportation’ on her phone.
The culture-shock sufferer
The poor bloke’s a bit out of his depth. He grew up in a small fishing village in Sri Lanka but here he is spending the summer in Blackpool. He blacked-out on the Big Dipper at Pleasure Beach and had to miss a double weekend after a donkey bit him on the hand. He doesn’t understand why everyone in Wetherspoons looks so angry and the lads once lost him for three hours on a night out after he was kidnapped by a bunch of Essex girls on a hen party. He vows never to speak of what happened that evening.