As he meticulously inspects each item, he is mindful of Mrs FB's strictures on economy. She suggests that any investment appraisal of new items should take into account the stage that FB's cricketing career has reached. The twilight years, she suggests, have lingered longer than seems natural even at these latitudes. The value to be derived from expensive investment therefore might be limited. By comparison with for instance, she adds in a slightly coquettish fashion, items of jewelry. The law of diminishing returns, she says returning to a more trenchant tone of voice, applies not only to FB's visits to the crease
With a sigh therefore, FB puts the glossy Gray Nichols catalogue aside and judges his trusty bat is fit for one season more. Given his performances over recent seasons there must be many runs still locked in it. However closer inspection reveals the grip to be in a condition comparable to FB at the end of a trying spell up the hill against the wind. Refurbishment is not an option. The bat grip is gone too. There is no alternative but to purchase a replacement.
|The total of FB's new kit for season 2018|
This puts FB in a quandary. FB's bat handle is festooned with grips - 5 in total. It is perhaps the thickest bat handle in World Cricket. A cause for wonder by his junior colleagues who struggle to get their growing hands round it.
FB read many years ago in some coaching manual (as if he ever read such things) that a thicker grip would soften his hands giving him greater control over his shot making. It would be heroic to suggest that this adjustment has worked and turned FB into a master at the crease, but FB has continued to pile on the grips. Hope springs eternal.
So, what should he do faced with his new purchases - should he put them on top of the existing ones or remove those first?
Mrs FB's advice has, for once, not been helpful. Watching him as he agonised at length over this decision, she reached the end of her patience. 'For goodness sake,' she said. 'Get a grip.'