Scotland’s cricketers have been plunged into confusion. The beast from the east. A sudden cold snap. Dazed and shivering they look out their kit for they must assume the season has started.
For the first matches of the season are by long tradition played in Siberian conditions. There are misleadingly titled warm up matches (which Fantasy Bob avoids – he does not want to peak too early) where fielders in the deep have been known to get lost in snow drifts.
Edinburgh’s cricket grounds in particular have been historically positioned to ensure no barrier between them and the Siberian wastes. They promiscuously welcome any chill winds to their empty expanses at any time. At the start of the season however they are particularly lascivious and can without difficulty ensure that frozen draughts come from each point of the compass simultaneously. There is no beast like the beast across the cricket field. The beast is from the east south north and west. Bowlers, if they are able to move at all, struggle with length since they are bowling into and with the wind at the same time.
|Go ahead Edinburgh club Carlton's ground |
ready for the first matches of a new season
They reflect on how they survived the Arctic conditions at the start of last season losing no more than three toes to frostbite. And they still managed to bowl a 10 over spell. As he dons his gloves and prepares to leave the warmth of the pavilion a batsman will stiffen his upper lip and say stoically to his colleagues, as they huddle together for warmth, that 'I am just going out now, I may be gone some time.' (The promise of a long innings that FB never manages to fulfill whatever the climatic conditions). They struggle to close the door against the icy wind and as they watch their colleague walk out to make the supreme sacrifice, they bring to mind that magical day last season when the Siberian wind relented, when the sun shone high in the azure all day and the temperature approached a sweltering 10 degrees. The joys of summer - they come nearer every day.