Another season has drawn to a close. Only this week have I learnt that has been 19 seasons completed so far. That is quite a lot! That is an awful lot!! However it doesn’t finish there, nor am I wishing it to.
Of course I am talking about cricket. Having lived for over 20 years of my live opposite a cricket ground and now married to a cricket player, I still have cricket very permanently attached to my lifestyle. The phrase goes, “I was a cricketer before I met you and I’m still a cricketer now”. We ladies have all heard the line. However, I am very proud of all the achievements, the history that has been made and am very fortunate to have been part of some of the special memories that we both cherish. It is a huge part of my husband’s life, which makes it a huge part of my life as well and I believe that is the way it will always be. I like to refer to myself as the ever supportive wife; I just may need to remind myself about that during the course of the long seasons.Having been brought up in a home where sport was always on the television, I knew cricket existed but that was it. Irrespective of both my parents being keen on all sports, being one of three girls, our sporting interests did not reach to the boundary. We thought it was so boring, very similar to watching ‘paint dry’. So many years later when I started dating, many questions were asked about it, the how and why and trying to get an understanding that I had never wished to get in the past. “Just like ‘glorified rounders’”, I would have said. That kept it simple in my head, even at that stage I knew very little about the different formats. Thankfully I didn’t ask….that could have been a life changer!You would think by now, all these years later that I would know it all, that is definitely not the case. I am still learning. Hearing some of the terms, cherry, dolly, and googly, I am still baffled, amused and confused at their origin. Who was responsible for such terminology?! Regarding having a look at the wicket that is being used on the given day for a game; I am very sure all the men, playing or spectating alike use it as an early opportunity to have a chin wag and escape from the Missus. Then there is the great Northern Ireland summer weather that frustrates everyone…as much as it is frustrating for the grounds men, players, umpires, scorekeepers and the dedicated people who give of their time week in and week out…..it is as frustrating if not more so for us ladies at home. “Once a cricketer, always a cricketer”, that’s what they say. Should a game be called off due to weather, then comes the possibility of every man’s worst nightmare – Saturday shopping, relationships have been known to end over less! Let me give a suggestion, let us ladies shop alone, with your credit card, you men relax, stay at home, with the children, make the dinner, put to bed, we will see you later!The plaque in our home reads, “We interrupt this marriage to bring you the cricket season”, this will come about next year once again all being well. However next season my plan is different, rain, hail or shine we are coming too. You will find a tent pitched in the corner of the ground, it will have a zip, the kiddies and I will take turns, they will be zipped in during over’s (possibly locked too lol), I will be zipped and locked in at times too, at lunch the kiddies can do ‘running laps of the boundary’ and go to the nets and should the rain fall I will happily allow some father and children bonding time. With cricket strongly rooted into our family and lifestyle, I have no doubt that it will be part of our heritage and continue with the future generations.I like this line the best, “behind every successful man, there is a strong, wise and hardworking woman”. We cricket wives or should that be cricket widows can share in the success and satisfaction that comes with another completed year. The patience (in abundance) and understanding we show and the unwavering support we give does not go unnoticed. There are many who have been in our position before and there will be many more afterwards. Saturdays can be long, both Saturday and Sunday together is even longer where the length of a cricket match is concerned. So over the course of a whole season it can be very tiring when you have a family of little people to entertain. The cricketing fraternity is special, just like all other sporting circles I would imagine, a network of people all sharing the same love and passion for cricket. It is like another family to belong to, where relationships are made and you become part of something very extraordinary. For teams and more specifically our other halves to have taken part, contributed and been involved in winning and receiving silverware it is very rewarding for them. So cricketers enjoy the opportunities and experiences while they are there to be enjoyed, realise it is something very special and thank your other halves often for what they do. Gifts are not optional!Come next year when all the double header weekends present themselves, I may just find I have to try exceptionally hard to remember everything I have just written.