The MCC is the oldest cricket club in the world, and it owns Lord’s Cricket Ground. It is the guardian of the Laws of the game worldwide and it is the world’s most active cricket club with some 480 games played each year. Playing today were several National League players past and present (in both the opposition and in our team) and a fully professional female cricketer. This was going to be a tough game.
We won the toss, and as is tradition, we decided to bat. It was a ‘retire at 50’ policy, and so Immy (who plays for Spencer) and Charlie opened the batting. They got us off to a flying start before Charlie skied one and was caught at cover point. This brought in Sue Donaldson, who had been an amazing Surrey player in her time. Immy retired on 73, which brought me to the crease. I always feel nervous when I go out to bat, mostly because I fear getting out first ball. But the bowler popped in a slightly short one, so I rocked onto my back foot and cut the ball for four. It did not take the nerves away, but I felt a lot better.
Sue and I built up a partnership of a few fours and singles. Then they brought on their fast bowler, Molly. I had seen her bowling at the beginning, and she was very quick indeed. I steeled myself, muttering, “Watch the ball, watch the ball,” as she started her quite lengthy run-up. She tried to hit it in short, hoping that this might intimidate me. But short, fast bowling is my favourite and I managed to steer the ball through point to the boundary. See attached picture!
The MCC made 200, some 20 runs over the target the captain had given us, and I finished on 39 not out (which I was delighted with!) So, we went into the field feeling confident. The opposition put up a good fight, with two of their players making good scores and hitting the ball cleanly. The MCC ran out convincing winners in the end, but we also were able to award a ‘Spirit of Cricket’ cap to a player in the opposition who played impressively but also in the spirit of the game, with manners, skill, and enjoyment. This was a really lovely end to a great game.
I have a further 5 games for the MCC this year, and it has been an honour and privilege to be selected.