This, that and the other. Mostly the other
Following a slew of international post-World Cup retirements, a Napier man has decided to call it quits on a glittering backyard cricket career.
Forty-eight-year-old Dennis Lowry claimed he had just lost the zeal for the game that made him one of the town's most fierce competitors, but also that his backyard had been turned into a mud pit after his kids played rugby on it on Saturday, making him not feel like playing cricket anymore.
"I just think the timing is right," Lowry said to his family, who were mostly busy ignoring him. "The mind wants to go on, but the body just won't cooperate.
"Also, some idiot stole one of our stumps after it got left out on the lawn a week ago, and playing with two wickets just feels bloody ridiculous."
Lowry displayed a keen commitment to the sport during his career. He was always the instigator of backyard cricket matches during family gatherings, and was often back out playing as soon as he'd had his dinner and a couple of beers.
Many claim, however, that his eagerness to play was unmistakably a ploy to avoid cooking and washing-up duties.
He was also an innovator, pioneering the "six-and-out" rule at 42, Gracefield Crescent, after his nephew had exploited Lowry's good relationship with his neighbours by repeatedly tonking Lowry into the adjacent property, collecting six runs each time.
"He threw a little bit of an angry tantrum about it when I said that hitting it into the Caldwells' would now be out in the middle of his innings," Lowry mockingly said of his nephew Simon, as his family continued to not care. "But in the end we came up with a compromise, and the game has been much better for it since the Easter holidays of 2003."
Simon was reportedly five at the time.
Lowry's crowning achievement in backyard cricket was his marathon innings of 142 not out, which he proudly dubbed a "world record" as no one has made a higher score in that particular backyard. The historic innings was made during the family's Christmas barbeque in 2008, as a fairly drunk Lowry ruthlessly tore to pieces a bowling attack consisting of several children under 14.
The landmark innings was characterised by his on-field aggression, with his eight-year-old daughter bursting into tears and running to her mother after Lowry described her as the "biggest pie-chucker" he had ever seen in his life. His 12-year-old son, too, had lost interest in the game and walked off in a huff after his father refused to believe he had caught him cleanly while on 45.
The innings was cut short when Lowry's mother-in-law stomped and berated him for being a "useless, drunk piece of s***" after he had insulted most of her grandchildren in one way or another, but Lowry believes he was well on track to make an epic double-hundred "had that b***h Helen not got her knickers in a twist".
Lowry claimed that while some may only remember him for his refusal to stop batting when he had been given out lbw, he will be regarded as an aggressive batsman with a never-say-die attitude, and perhaps the finest backyard cricketer his extended family had ever produced.
Lowry also likened himself to Sachin Tendulkar and Muttiah Muralitharan, as he, like them, had left an indelible mark on the sport and played the game in the right spirit. He refused to be compared, however, with "that Sri Lankan chucker who went through all those Tests and was proven to be a cheater. What's his name? Malinga?"
Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.