It’s the last week of cricket this weekend and I found myself rampbling through the park last week which reminded me of my own youthful days of playing cricket on a Saturday morning. Nowadays I’m a father watching from the sidelines and the memories are of playing on mats laid on a concrete pitch.
The mats have long gone ever since they discovered that you can play on a much more consistent wicket if you covered it with synthetic grass. The ball lasts longer, the possibility of the ball hitting the join in the mats and nearly taking your head off is gone and everyone has a much fairer go at batting.
Wandering over to the cricket nets in the corner of the park I was a little taken aback to find that even the nets have been furnished with synthetic grass wickets. It stands to reason I suppose but still, I can’t help but think what a luxury that is and a bonus for all kids who play the game.
It sort of highlights the fact that even though it doesn’t feel as though we’ve progressed all that far, the game of cricket – even Saturday morning cricket – has come a long way. Hell, even the cricket pads that the kids wear these days have moved well beyond what we were given when I played. My pads came complete with buckles to do them up, buckles that managed to rub the skin away from the backs of the legs every single time you wore them. The simple replacement of buckles with velcro has made wearing cricket pads a much more reasonable and comfortable task.