It finally got to me in the last week. I couldn’t bring myself to think or write about Somerset cricket. At first I couldn’t understand what had brought this on but over the past 48 hours I’ve been able to rationalise it.
I now accept that I am missing cricket more than anything else during this lockdown. I’ve coped fine with working from home, haven’t missed going out and about or travelling and Zoom has helped ease the gap in my family and social lives.
It started with the anniversary of that glorious Lord’s final. Was deepened by the announcement that there will be no domestic cricket until at least 1 August. And was finished off by the perfect weather for playing and watching cricket.
Suddenly writing about games of the last two years seemed so empty. In no way making up for the loss of this year’s action. The very thing I’d set out to help others get through had hit me hard. Very hard.
Those of you who know me know that Somerset cricket is, like many from our county woven into the very fibre of my being. I cannot live without it and try as I might I cannot avoid that fact. For 50 years I have lived, breathed, ate and drank the fortunes of Somerset County Cricket Club. Between April and September, the exploits of Langford, Marks, the Parsons twins, Marcus and Tom, have shaped my everyday. And now, it is not there.
Absence, as the saying goes, makes the heart grow fonder. What it doesn’t add is that it hurts like hell. And we have another two months at least to wait.
There has been another effect. The sadness has in the last week turned to anger. Why is there no cricket? Surely if tennis and golf can resume on a recreational level and the Premier League is scheduling a return in mid-June county cricket shouldn’t be far behind? The West Indies arrive next week to play a three-test bio-secure series in Manchester and Southampton, the England bowlers have been training at the “bio-secure” CACG, but there is no county cricket on the horizon. As Gordon Hollins intimated in his most recent interview with Ben Warren last week, the domestic season might only be in September that we see any action.
So, sorry, for the radio silence on SomersetNorth over the last couple of weeks. I hope readers will understand. Writing, I’ve learned, of any sort isn’t something you can turn on and off at will. Writing about Somerset cricket for me is about passion and engagement. I’ve had days when I’ve been able to write three or four pieces and days, often several at a time, where nothing would flow.
Such was the case last week. I didn’t have the words to write, in any way, that would do the achievements of 25th May 2019 justice. It may come later in the summer. It may not. But the mojo is back. Somerset cricket is too inspiring and too important to me to leave alone for long.
And, hopefully, there will be some Somerset cricket related news to write about soon.
But in the meantime I’m going to continue looking back to 2018 and 2019, starting tomorrow picking up the Championship game at Guilford last summer.