Saturday, 15 November 2014


Lower league cricketers can be forgiven for feeling a bit underwhelmed.
Guided by the junior members

A ten year journey covering billions of miles of empty space with a coquettish spin around a couple of asteroids, not to mention Mars, to catch a flying bit of rock 2.5 miles across, would seem a challenge.

However compared to the trick of finding an unfamiliar away ground with the assistance of 6 junior members in the back of the car, it looks like simplicity itself.  Notwithstanding that each junior member is plugged into his own i-Phone, giving the mission more computing power than was necessary to land on the Moon, this is the mission that is fraught with danger.

The junior members' confidence in knowing which is right and which is left is repeatedly examined under the most testing conditions.  In obscure parts of the universe exits from roundabouts have to be carefully counted, if the mission is not going to spin off into deep space, travelling inexorably, out of the range of radio telescopes, beyond the powers of steering correction or recall.  Even Twitter can't reach.  To infinity.  And beyond.

Fantasy Bob has conducted such frightening missions many times.  His success is a triumph of the human spirit. The stuff of heroism.  Unregarded and unlauded.

But land on a comet with a unique post code and you're all over the media.  FB is beyond jealousy and congratulates the successful team.  He is not sure why 10 years ago they thought it was a good idea to pick this particular 67P for an away fixture, but he supposes the fixture committee had their reasons. But having gone all that way the team must be disappointed.

Scientists seem to think that comets may have brought water and other matter to earth.  But there is still a hotly contested dispute in the scientific community as to whether comets could have brought cricket to Mother Earth.   This mission gives no comfort to those taking this view - 67P does not look a promising venue for cricket.  Must the mission therefore be deemed a failure?  Anxiety is running high in the committee room as the Tweets pour back to Earth.

No evidence that a wicket has been prepared
FB has often had such a sinking feeling on landing for the first time at an away venue.  The pavilion has seen better days, and its rickety door seems firmly closed.  The outfield looks a bit unkempt and there is little evidence of a wicket having been prepared.  There is a sinking feeling, batteries are running low on the collective i-Pod and it is difficult to check directions.  But just as their patience is at an end, a shambling grey-beard in an ill-fitting tracksuit wanders in the gate, opens the pavilion and slowly begins the miraculous task of transforming this hostile environment into something approaching a cricket ground.

And for a few hours FB and his junior colleagues can put the cares of the world behind them - until they have to prepare for the return journey...........

Will evidence of a doughty groundsman be found on 67P, and give some succour to the theory?  FB awaits the confirmatory tweet.

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