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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Excuse #23 - Bowling a Maiden Over

When players from Afghanistan and Bangladesh run up and down the pitch at Manuka Oval as part of the Cricket World Cup, I might try to write a pitch for my latest story.

It would not be the first time I’ve whiled away my time at a cricket match. All those Saturday mornings keeping score at junior cricket or the time I got sunburnt at the Prime Minister’s XI come to mind. And filling in a blank scoresheet is a whole lot easier than writing words on a blank page.

Given that junior cricket is a few weeks away, the answer for writer’s block could be a trip to Bowral. Pottering through the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame or having a picnic at the picturesque Bradman Oval is bound to be inspirational. I’ve just got time to dust off the folding chair and fill the esky before the game between Cootamundra and Bowral on 15 February.

Cricket Captains Walk Cootamundra
As for Cootamundra, serious procrastinators would enjoy the Cricket Captains Walk where it’s possible to admire Australia’s cricketing greats, soak up the ambiance and think about statistical probabilities. I have calculated the likelihood of producing a quick 500 words after this kind of nostalgic reflection to be 500 to 1 against, with the usual standard deviation – much like a cricket ball off a crack in the wicket.

Statistically speaking, I might be better Setting Up My Starting XI for success. This is where I channel the Australian selectors online and pick a World Cup Team full of players like World Cup debutants Glenn Maxwell (122 off 57 balls in the warm-up match) and David Warner (127 off 115 balls against England at the SCG). It’s like writing that virtual best-seller where I can be Margaret Atwood and Ursula Le Guin all at once.

To even up the odds, when the Australian Cricket Team plays England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Valentine’s Day, and my loved one steps up to the remote control, I’ll pick up my pen, and like any good opener, settle in. I should be able to show some resilience, develop a relaxed style, get some runs on the board, and hit a six or two in my allotted overs. If I get drinks as well, I’ll know someone’s bowled a maiden over.

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