Knees, November and The Big Bash

30th November 2018

November is my least favourite month of the year. I’m glad it is over, good riddance for another 11 months. I’m pretty certain that if we decided to get rid of one of the months of the year we could bin November and hardly anyone would notice.

This November doubly so. Confirmed on Tuesday that my left knee, which has soldiered on manfully since major surgery in the early 2000s has given up the uneven struggle of trying to transport me. 

Not being one to do things by halves I’ve managed to rupture my ACL, tear the cartilage, populate the knee with all manner of floating debris and have osteoarthritis! Keyhole surgery in the week before Christmas beckons and then the long and painful rehabilitation. 

November is miserable from a weather point of view, it is far enough away from the end of the cricket season that the memories are rapidly fading, it is too far from the start of the cricket season to be able, with any reason, to have any anticipation for next season.

There are the crumbs of comfort that an England tour offers to keep us going and at least this year we have Jack Leach to support on these tours. But November is usually a month devoid of much decent cricket to follow.

And this week the ECB gave us another reason to dislike November by formally announcing the Hundred will go ahead in 2019.

But most of all November is the month that has most significance for my relationship with my still much-missed Dad. His life neatly bookended the month, born on 1st and diagnosed with terminal cancer on the 26th, albeit 85 years apart.

So roll on December. For me the start of the Big Bash is the start of the new cricket season. The timings work quite well especially at weekends when with a bit of good planning you can watch the end of one game and the whole of another before lunchtime.

Doubly so this year as I a going to have to do one of the things that comes least easily to me, sit and rest for the last couple of weeks of the year. It is therefore a big relief to know that I’ll have some decent cricket to watch during that period.

The Big Bash is my favourite T20 tournament. Way ahead of the IPL and our own Blast who in turn are streets ahead, in my mind of the rest. While all T20 games are pretty formulaic and very few stay long in the memory the way the Aussies do it isn’t surpassed.

The commentary is a big part of that. You accept the inevitable hyperbole with all such competitions but there is a lot to like about Gilchrist, Ponting, Waugh et al. The fact that the majority of the players are well known and the competitive nature of the tournament each year all add to the lustre.

The other thing about the BBL is that I’ve got nothing invested in any of the teams which adds a pleasantly surprising dimension to the competition. In past years I’ve sort of sided with the Perth Scorchers because of their Justin Langer connections but with that gone there’s no loyalties to spoil my enjoyment.

And of course there are 18 days of Big Bash cricket before my op to “take my mind off it”…..

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