It is often said that the best way of finding something is by not looking for it, and goodness I found something yesterday. By accident. En passant. While searching for the answer to something else.
I took my trusty camerawoman to a weekday game at Streat and Westmeston Cricket Club, a beautiful little ground nestling in the grounds of Middleton Manor, just outside Ditchling. From the pavilion the views of the Downs and the Beacon are truly beautiful, and the day could not have been a better one: a sharp contrast to last week’s drizzly affair at Sidley, near Bexhill. The camera was there for a clear purpose: to allow me to talk a little about my preparation and how I feel about playing, in the hope that I, or someone, might come up with some ideas about how to mend my head.
I am, you see, increasingly coming to believe that my game is now played out in the head. Yes, I have technical faults, but these are minor. I’m trying to bridge the gap between practice and performance. In training I am positive, decisive, effective. In the middle I am, at present at least, all at sea. And generally out for a teeny weeny score.
So. Video. Can I see things which I might accentuate or minimise in order to play some decent cricket?
What I saw was actually quite shocking. I walk like an old person.
Over the last year, I’ve gone from being co-ordinated and fluid in my movements to being stiff, jerky and shuffling.
Now, when I walk, my torso is stiff and upright, my stride short, my legs moving as if I’m protecting my knees, or at least have very solid knee braces on. My arms, and especially my left arm, barely swings at all, my shoulders are stiff and solid, with none of the rolling movement one sees in the, oh fuck … I’ve backed myself into a corner … healthy.
I am ill.
Yesterday I seriously considered stopping playing. I’m simply not convinced I can take the humiliation for much longer.

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