Aberdeenshire cricket September 15, 2010

Season-ending musings

Clog Blog says "beannachd leat" till next spring, but not before feeling very miserable about it
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Aberdeenshire in winter: plan your vacations now
Aberdeenshire in winter: plan your vacations now © Rene van Oorschot

All good things must come to an end; Dutch dominance of European club football, Zimbabwe’s steady progression in international cricket (although an almighty comeback appears closer than ever), Aberdeen Football Club’s start-of-season winning streak (we managed to string together an imposing two victories), the glorious years of being able to consume lethal quantities of alcohol without suffering from a slight tenderness in the domal region the next day (how I envy those student scum). As distressing as those all are, the items on that list all pale in comparison with the single most miserable date in my annual calendar – the end of the cricket season.

The end of the cricket season is always a strange sensation for me. I generally look forward to it with some satisfaction, mainly due to my customary end-of-season dramatic collapse in form. It is usually when I start contemplating whether to buy the latest Predators or stick with the Total 90 boots for the coming football season during my run-up that I know I have drawn a mental conclusion to the cricketing period. In fact a neutral observer could probably be able to tell what month of the summer it is by judging my reaction to an edge for four through third man: if I aim a barrage of expletives and personal abuse at that bat-wielding scumbag, odds are it’s the start of the season, probably the first few weeks of May, but if I simply shrug my shoulders and whistle on my way back to my mark, it’s safe to say that autumn may rapidly be approaching. Those are the endpoints on “Rene’s Scale of Batsman Abuse”, which contains a large variety of manners in which to respond to being hit for a lucky boundary, each representing a different month of the summer.

Of course you will now be wondering why on earth I feel so sad at the end of the season if I seem so indifferent in the weeks running up to it. That is because, without fail, in the very last game of the season I, or any cricketer for that matter, will at some point have a moment of cricketing enlightenment that will make you remember why it is such a brilliant game. This moment does not have to be particularly significant in the context of the game; it does not require any personal milestone such as a five-for or ton or even a fifty. It could be anything, from a perfect cover drive that pierces the off side for four (or in my case the perfect chinese cut that pierces fine leg for four), a diving catch at slip, a single delivery that nips back and sends off stump cartwheeling, or even just a bouncer that the batsman wears in his ribs. Anything that would give a reasonable sense of personal satisfaction in any other match is significantly enhanced by at least several factors in the last game of the season.

These are the moments you will remember and cherish on those miserable, dark, cold, wet winter days (NB: the Aberdeen Tourist Board has “encouraged” me to add that Aberdeen is beautiful at winter time and offers, among other things, splendid views of the frozen rivers, stunning grey architecture, and death-traps roads artistically decorated with potholes).

It is always during the last game of the season that you realise you don’t need to score runs by the truckload or take buckets of wickets to enjoy cricket (although it obviously doesn’t do any harm). Rather it is those small, seemingly insignificant moments of personal satisfaction that give us amateur cricketers the ammunition we need to take enough enjoyment from a nine-hour session in the blistering cold to be inspired sufficiently to come back and do the same the following Saturday.

All is not lost however; there is a silver lining that comes in conjunction with the end of the British cricket season, and one that will undoubtedly have Cricinfo readers rejoicing. You will no longer be forced to sit through the ramblings of yours truly as I will be too busy hibernating next to my highly inefficient, and only sporadically operational, electric heating. I hope to be along wasting your precious time again next spring. Till then.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Duck on September 17, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    I will miss your blog immensely during the off season. If only I knew you in person.....

  • Nachiketa on September 17, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    Hi Rene, You exemplify all thats good about amateur cricket. hope to see you when the next season beckons!

    Nachiketa

  • waterbuffalo on September 17, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Cheers , Rene, till we meet again, if you are ever in Malaysia, drop by and play for our team, ball swings a mile here, you'd love it.

  • aritro on September 16, 2010, 21:14 GMT

    thanks for the entertainment. come back soon, please.

  • NicStar on September 16, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    thats edmonton cricket in canada... haha!! now that the winter is just around the corner, all you can think is what have done you throughout the season and what you gonna do next season... can't wait till the next summer... cheers mate... (from cold and foggy Edmonton, AB, CA)

  • Unmesh on September 16, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    It is the end of the cricket season for my cricket club too. My team lost in the semi-finals and I was very sad (more because it would be the last match of this season!). Anyway, it was great reading your blog, Rene.

  • Talat Babi on September 16, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    I hope to see you back at Chislehurst next year for a game or two. It was good reading your blog.

    You can bowl fast ....when your action gets everything right. I did catch one in the slips in your bowling, boy does it hurt????

  • alam on September 16, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    come to francistown,botswana, we are short of 5 players.

  • Liam Herringshaw on September 16, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    Hibernation awaits all of us who have foolishly chosen to inhabit pot-holed Arctic localities. As we'll miss the cricket, so shall we miss your ramblings. Roll on spring!

  • Ashwin on September 16, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    Looking forward to seeing you again then! Had great fun reading all your blogs! Particularly as we can relate to a lot of them...

  • Duck on September 17, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    I will miss your blog immensely during the off season. If only I knew you in person.....

  • Nachiketa on September 17, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    Hi Rene, You exemplify all thats good about amateur cricket. hope to see you when the next season beckons!

    Nachiketa

  • waterbuffalo on September 17, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Cheers , Rene, till we meet again, if you are ever in Malaysia, drop by and play for our team, ball swings a mile here, you'd love it.

  • aritro on September 16, 2010, 21:14 GMT

    thanks for the entertainment. come back soon, please.

  • NicStar on September 16, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    thats edmonton cricket in canada... haha!! now that the winter is just around the corner, all you can think is what have done you throughout the season and what you gonna do next season... can't wait till the next summer... cheers mate... (from cold and foggy Edmonton, AB, CA)

  • Unmesh on September 16, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    It is the end of the cricket season for my cricket club too. My team lost in the semi-finals and I was very sad (more because it would be the last match of this season!). Anyway, it was great reading your blog, Rene.

  • Talat Babi on September 16, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    I hope to see you back at Chislehurst next year for a game or two. It was good reading your blog.

    You can bowl fast ....when your action gets everything right. I did catch one in the slips in your bowling, boy does it hurt????

  • alam on September 16, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    come to francistown,botswana, we are short of 5 players.

  • Liam Herringshaw on September 16, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    Hibernation awaits all of us who have foolishly chosen to inhabit pot-holed Arctic localities. As we'll miss the cricket, so shall we miss your ramblings. Roll on spring!

  • Ashwin on September 16, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    Looking forward to seeing you again then! Had great fun reading all your blogs! Particularly as we can relate to a lot of them...

  • Niyam on September 16, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    I am proud to say I wasted a good no. of hours reading your blog instead of doing homework. It has kept me giggling through the punishments I receive everyday. Do return soon (after my exams anyway)

  • Dan on September 16, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    Rene, you are the man!!

    Cheers!!

    Dan

  • Ben on September 16, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Some of us must savour those smaller 'seemingly insignificant moments of personal satisfaction' more often than those who can lay claim to higher accolades of cricketing prowess! But looking back over my season this year I must agree. I never took a five-fer or hit double figures (next seasons's target...), but there was some gems I'll remember for a long time yet.

    Thanks for the reads over the summer. Enjoy your hibernation. 8-)

  • Ska on September 16, 2010, 9:27 GMT

    I'm a big fan. I'd love to read whatever you dish up this winter - not just cricket and however irregular.

  • Gary Murphy on September 16, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    Sad to see you go Rene! Can't wait for next spring now...

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  • Gary Murphy on September 16, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    Sad to see you go Rene! Can't wait for next spring now...

  • Ska on September 16, 2010, 9:27 GMT

    I'm a big fan. I'd love to read whatever you dish up this winter - not just cricket and however irregular.

  • Ben on September 16, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Some of us must savour those smaller 'seemingly insignificant moments of personal satisfaction' more often than those who can lay claim to higher accolades of cricketing prowess! But looking back over my season this year I must agree. I never took a five-fer or hit double figures (next seasons's target...), but there was some gems I'll remember for a long time yet.

    Thanks for the reads over the summer. Enjoy your hibernation. 8-)

  • Dan on September 16, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    Rene, you are the man!!

    Cheers!!

    Dan

  • Niyam on September 16, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    I am proud to say I wasted a good no. of hours reading your blog instead of doing homework. It has kept me giggling through the punishments I receive everyday. Do return soon (after my exams anyway)

  • Ashwin on September 16, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    Looking forward to seeing you again then! Had great fun reading all your blogs! Particularly as we can relate to a lot of them...

  • Liam Herringshaw on September 16, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    Hibernation awaits all of us who have foolishly chosen to inhabit pot-holed Arctic localities. As we'll miss the cricket, so shall we miss your ramblings. Roll on spring!

  • alam on September 16, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    come to francistown,botswana, we are short of 5 players.

  • Talat Babi on September 16, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    I hope to see you back at Chislehurst next year for a game or two. It was good reading your blog.

    You can bowl fast ....when your action gets everything right. I did catch one in the slips in your bowling, boy does it hurt????

  • Unmesh on September 16, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    It is the end of the cricket season for my cricket club too. My team lost in the semi-finals and I was very sad (more because it would be the last match of this season!). Anyway, it was great reading your blog, Rene.