When summer is finally over and the disgruntled partners of cricketers up and down the country get their other halves back for the winter. Here’s to the WAGS and HABS – the forgotten heroes of the cricket season.
THE FRUSTRATED GIRLFRIEND
“It’s not a summer holiday if it’s in April,” she snarls. “I don’t care if it’s on Groupon!” Ah, the annual plight of the club cricketer’s girlfriend. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you, but needs to realise she’s not the only love in your life. Regardless of her hatred of cricket – your first love – you want to marry this woman. You really do. You’re going to propose. You haven’t been more confident about getting down on one knee since you played that sweep shot in last year’s cup final. Sure, it ended in an lbw and sparked an infamous collapse that squandered your club’s first chance of silverware in two decades, but we’ll forget about that. It should be fine this time. Yeah. It should be fine…
Not that she needs any encouragement, but a day at the cricket is a perfect excuse to have a drink… or 10. She starts slow – she knows how to build an innings – but by the close of play she’s wobbling more than an Aussie batting line-up in Asia. She’s pirouetting in the middle of the pitch like Shahid Afridi in Faisalabad and before you know it she’s stood on the bar in the clubhouse doing the Champion dance. She went through more bottles of wine last season than you took wickets… and you got the most scalps in the league.
MR INFERIORITY COMPLEX
He’s your typical chauvinist who thinks women can’t play sport. You have no idea what Sarah sees in him. “Good arm,” he chunters as you fire the ball in from the boundary. “You need some throwdowns before the next game?” he smirks after your dismissal. He makes your skin crawl. He thinks he’s god’s gift to women – you’re hoping God kept the receipt. He looks like a berk with his snapback on backwards and his tattoos are rubbish. Is that a tribal sleeve? Who’s he kidding? He has no indigenous heritage, he’s from Stockport. To be fair, he just feels inferior around you. He knows you’re all better cricketers than him and his season’s stats are testament to that. Eighty-seven runs in 11 innings in the fourth XI? It should be you offering him throwdowns.
Good lord. She’s glorious. She’s got to be the most beautiful woman to ever grace a cricket ground and her presence is distracting the fielders. Her boyfriend could nick off first ball and still receive a standing ovation. There are rumours flying around that she was a Miss Great Britain Finalist and appeared on Love Island. Someone said she used to go out with a member of One Direction – the one with the skinny jeans. She’s a Joe Root back-foot drive; she’s Hashim Amla off his legs; she’s Sangakkara in full-flow.
THE BLISSFULLY IGNORANT BELLA
You met her on your year abroad. She’s Italian but, amazingly, she’s never heard of Michael Di Venuto. She doesn’t understand cricket but she does like your cable-knit sweater, and the novelty of the clubhouse bar having Peroni on tap is enough to make her feel at home. Remember the gondola ride in Venice? It was perfect, wasn’t it? She looked enchanting. Her jet-black hair shimmered in the moonlight. You stared into her emerald-green eyes for what seemed like an eternity. It’s just a shame you don’t watch the ball that closely, eh? You’ve just left a straight one and your middle stump’s gone cartwheeling. Oh well, at least she doesn’t know the rules…
THE TRAINING PARTNER
Joy of joys, you both play! Whether you’re both fully fledged players or one of you is just being über supportive, it’s perfect to have someone to net with, right? To chat technique, to dissect that problem you’ve got – you know the one when you’re just not quite bracing that front leg – or to think about field placements while sat on the sofa… it’s the dream. But then, you get a bit competitive in that game of indoor cricket and next thing you know one of you is sleeping on the sofa.