Chester-le-Street 2009: The Mother of All Victories
I played my first cricket game of the season on Saturday – the season being winter – and was left strangely fazed by my performance. I didn’t bat, achieved nothing of note in the field, and was brought on for three accurate but pointless overs hidden in the wastelands of the mid-innings lull by a beneficent captain happy to donate the opportunity of a meaningful contribution. Which I spurned.
I ruminated all evening and the following morning but it was only when I switched over from Countryfile to watch the Test Match that I realised what was gnawing at me. I’m Tim Bresnan. The guy to make up the numbers: to turn X into XI. That’s why I am called ‘I’.
Which was why I was surprised when captain Strauss plumped for Brez Lad to open up on this morning when England scrambled for wickets as the clouds gathered and Broad and Onions stewed.
One wondered what machinations had occurred in the dressing rooms beforehand, but from my schoolhood experience if you find yourself unexpectedly called upon in the sporting arena it’s because your mum has rung your games teacher to complain that you’ve caught your death of cold standing for hours in the wilder parts of the outfield.
So it would seem to explain a great deal if coach Flower had received an irate call from Ma Bresnan saying that young Timmy had come home in tears because the other boys wouldn’t let him play. Or from Mrs. Collingwood saying that her cherished one had always wanted to have a go with Matthew Prior’s gloves because the ball hurts his hands. And Jimmy’s mum to ask if her son could join the slip cordon because they were always laughing together and he felt left out.
Flower is clearly an amenable chap. He even let Borthwick and Turner, the little ones from the nursery school, out onto the pitch to have a run around where the ball wouldn’t hit them. Hopefully.
But we should take the opportunity to congratulate Bresnan on taking his first three wickets in test cricket – it might be the last chance he gets this summer. And to all those who took catches having found themselves in foreign fields.
And to Strauss and Flower for a pulling off a minor masterstroke in ignoring the claims of more senior bowlers and giving Master Tim his shot. My mum has your number Mr. Flower: expect a call any time soon.
As a postscript to this post, I have just noticed that I have included an inadvertent Onions pun for which I can only apologise.