The season's fixtures were set several months ago and he established that his first venture into the field would be next week. However, at short notice, the executive authorities at go ahead Edinburgh club Carlton have summoned him to play today. FB assumed at first that this must be because his demonstration of skill in the practice sessions had so impressed new coach Toby Bailey, to the extent that he had advocated FB's importance to the club's developmental plans. After all, a man who bats with his eyes closed should be invaluable. However long experience tells FB that a late night call means a skipper in anyone-will-do-mode. Some one to hide in the field at deep fine leg and perhaps scratch a couple of leg-byes at the bottom of the batting order. Someone to bring empire biscuits for tea. Even Fantasy Bob will do........... Skippers among FB's world wide readership will recognise this desperate state of call-off-itis - a more intensely debilitating condition is not known to psychological medicine.
|Strauss - |
where his sweaters are
FB now has limited time to tour local chemists for the required supply of essential preparations. Industrial quantities. These are need to stimulate muscular blood flow - a triple layering of linament, Ralgex and Deep Heat usually does the trick. It also ensures that FB has the dressing room to himself as his teammates exit in fear of crippling lung damage from the fumes. Other preparations are needed to dull the pain and promote recovery. FB hears that morphine has some efficacy here and is told it can be found in certain locations around Edinburgh. He has been told, 'Just ask for Davey - he's the boy.' Failing that he will make do with Ibuprofen and IPA.
Mental preparation is another thing. Last year FB's start to the season was more carefully planned and he had the opportunity for peaceful contemplation and reconciliation with his maker from whom he requested assistance. This invocation has been used by religious leaders of all denominations and now appears in the Common Book of Prayer. FB invites all cricketers to make use of it as they wish.