I'm bowled over by my boy's big match

Share
Related Topics

A big day in my life is nigh. I'm taking my nine-year-old son to his first proper cricket match. We are going to see England vs Australia, but I'll be lucky if it's as good as the first one my dad took me to.

It was the legendary Headingley test where England were forced to follow on and then, thanks mainly to Ian Botham and Bob Willis, went on to grab an extraordinary win over the Aussies.

That, of course was a five-day match, and we very nearly left after the third day as all seemed lost. I'm well aware that it's one of those matches where, if everybody who said they were there was actually there, then they would have filled 10 Headingleys, but I was there, I swear it on Geoffrey Boycott's life.

There was a documentary on telly the other day called Botham's Ashes which I watched only to spot a 13-year-old me in the crowd. It wasn't that hard as I was sporting a rather offensive camouflage jacket that I loved and my dad hated.

My boy and I are going to a one-day game as he has quite a short attention span. I feel confident that the sun will shine on us, and everything points to it being a great day.

I remember taking my wife to a game at the Oval where we were squeezed in between a group of very rotund West Indies fans. I was enjoying the match until I turned to find her fast asleep on a very kindly man who was loathe to move her off his shoulder. About five minutes later and a Mexican wave gave him the opportunity he needed to both wake her up and send her flying simultaneously. Stacey has never been to another cricket match.

Try as I might, I have never managed to get her to love the game as I do. This is probably because, as a Canadian, she is preprogrammed to find the game both confusing and dull.

Every year I have to suffer the tedious joshing of my in-laws about how I can enjoy a game that can go on for five days and end in a draw. I riposte with as much scorn as I can for a country where lacrosse is played by men and the national sport, ice hockey, is basically a legalised form of pub brawling on skates.

So I shall go alone with my boy, a father-son bonding day, where we will kick back our heels, talk nonsense and watch the game.

I actually think that, what with the current state of Australian cricket, he will be more excited by the crowd than the game. He has never been anywhere with a crowd of that size, save for a curious excursion involving fake dinosaurs wandering around Wembley Arena while a reject from drama school pretended to be an intrepid explorer in a time machine.

On that occasion, I fell asleep, only to be woken up and ordered to bankrupt myself at the gift shop selling overpriced dinosaur-related tat. I fear that this day might be equally ruinous, with stalls selling hot dogs, cricket gear, shirts … Thank God he is not old enough to drink yet, or I'd have to sell one of my kidneys to pay for the outing.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Political satire is funny, but it also causes cynicism and apathy

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
It is much easier to correct errors on the web than in print  

There would be no need for corrections if we didn’t make mistakes in the first place

Will Gore
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links