Sunday, February 25, 2007

Dropped catches and Ducketts

It is a small world indeed. Just a couple of days ago, I exchanged an email with kenelmdigby (John Sutton, on whose cricketing exploits I've blogged a few times), concerning catching and dropping catches. I wrote about an experience of mine in the Northern Sydney Suburbs Leagues:
Some five years ago, playing in the Northern Suburbs grand final, I dropped a left-handed batsman (brother of the man who had scored a double ton off us in an earlier game), shortly after I had been fantasizing about pulling off a catch in that very position. My captain, for some reason, had decided to send me in as a short-fine-leg, or leg-slip, call it what you will. I found the position odd, and stood there wondering why I had been sent there when I hadn't seen any evidence that we needed a fielder there. As I stood there in the heat, my mind wandered, looking around at the other players, the slips chatting away, (the bastards wouldn't even throw the ball back to me on the relay back to the bowler), the mid-on and mid-off talking to the bowler, and I suddenly felt lonely, despite being out there with a dozen or so men. I conjured up visions of pulling off a blinder, off a lighting quick glance played off a fast bowler - ah, that'd be it. Two balls later, our fast bowler pitched one on leg-n-middle, the lefty went across and over and flicked it down leg-side. For a fraction of a second, I lost sight of the ball as he moved and then suddenly, alarmingly, the ball was on me. I had my hands cupped, but I hadn't been in a catching position, I don't think (perhaps that was the problem, the placement had left it vague whether I was catching, or cutting off singles). And it was swinging, I still remember the banana like curve it described. It swung away from me, hit the top off my left hand and bounced off, harmlessly, over my left shoulder, down onto the grass. I ran back, picked up, threw back to the keeper, and closed my eyes. He went on to score a few more runs (I couldn't bear to keep count). We lost by one wicket.

Yeah, I know, a sad story. Now, note the reference to his brother - his name was John Duckett. He had absolutely pulverized our bowling earlier in the season during the course of his double-ton and this week, Peter Roebuck writes a story on him in the Sydney Morning Herald.


Anonymous Max said...


I can't remember definitely but I think I may have been the captain responsible for this marvellously prescient piece of field placment.

Coincidentally this incident was mentioned last weekend by the one of the chaps in the team (Ross!) when we were discussing how many Finals we have lost over the years!

Don't dwell on it but always remeber in future that all field placements in cricket are catching positions :-).


8:06 PM  

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