I love cricket. I truly do. One of my favourite memories is being 9 years old and waiting in anticipation for Dad to come home from work so we could play cricket. I would sit on the front steps, cricket bat placed across my skinny, pale thighs, hoping that the next coal-caked car that turned into our street would be my father. We'd take turns batting and bowling and my dad would take it easy on me by only belting every third ball back over my head.
One afternoon I masterfully perfected a late turning, dipping leg spinner and bowled my father behind his legs. He muttered something under his breath and asked me to do it again, which I did. I did it a third time and danced a little jig of joy. He then gave me the bat and marched a good thirty metres to the back fence and proceeded to send down some pretty hostile deliveries. This probably doesn't sound like a problem, given that cricket players usually wear helmets, pads and a protective box. According to our house rules, these devices were the sole domain of pansies and I spent those harrowing six balls whimpering in terror at the sight of my father steaming in from the chicken shed boundary end.
My eldest son has started to enjoy cricket. He's grasped such nuances as the leg glance, pull shot and the Yorker. He's also learned how to sledge and the other day mocked me after smacking an errant delivery of mine over the fence. He didn't laugh when I lengthened my run-up.