First cricketing walk in the woods for 18 months!

Close up of a cricket bat, a Wicket made from white pumbling tubes and on grass beside a Blind Cricket Soundball which is a Junior football with a bell inside it.Text says Metro Blind Sport cricket nets and training tuesdays 5 pm at Highgate Woods cricket nets

Metro Devils cricket team practice session at Highgate Woods

The Devils congregated at Highgate Woods on Saturday for the first practice session since September 2019. You wouldn’t have known it. Paul Toplis organised us into pairs and everyone got a chance to bat and bowl on a typically windy afternoon on the slope of the home pitch. Alongside some very old-timers, we had Anil and Hassan joining us for the first time.

They showed great promise with both bat and ball. The slope of the pitch accompanied by a gust of Spring wind certainly tested their bowling initiation but credit where credit’s due, they did really well. Even Paul laid down his sophisticated scorecard system and joined in the pairings. I have never seen him bat nor bowl before and he performed admirably.

Everyone reported aching bits of the body on the walk back to the tube station. I suspect it will be a lot worse for everyone tomorrow! So, keep up the training and focus on flexibility. It’s alright for the youngsters but us oldies need to get our Pilates etc in as much as possible!

Special thanks to the Devils who helped handle my guide dog Varley. It was his first time at the cricket. He obviously hated being lashed to the kit wheelbarrow and did try to intercept some balls when sitting with me at mid-wicket. There is definitely room for improvement there!

Bring on the season and the competitive matches we know and love. Oh, and boy are we looking forward to having teas provided and the toilets by the changing rooms open!

Finally, I have to report a sad loss: on the return tube journey, I was a little lost at Leicester Square. I turned around just as another Southbound train came into the platform. The subsequent rush of air took my favourite Antigua baseball cap straight off my head and it went sailing onto the tracks. Varley didn’t leap down to rescue it although a passing youth did say he was tempted having witnessed the rather amusing sight. Why did I change my Devils cap for my Antigua one when leaving the pitch?

by Chris Lewis


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