Gus invited me for lunch last Sunday, which was very enjoyable. After lunch he suggested that we watch the cricket on the television. It was what turned out to be the dramatic end of the First Test of the summer between England and New Zealand. The two top England fast bowlers, Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson, destroyed the New Zealand batting line up to win the game. Gus had earlier told me that Test cricket can sometimes be a bit slow; after all the game can take up to five days to complete. He explained that this is quite different to Twenty-Twenty cricket where, as the name suggests, each side has just twenty overs to bat.
The reason he asked me to watch the cricket with him is because he wants me to play for the staff team in the annual Staff-Student cricket match next month. In the last few years as British born members of staff have retired or moved on to other universities they have mostly been replaced by people from non-cricket playing countries like Greece. To raise a team of eleven people at least one of the Greeks will need to play - and he thinks I am the most likely to be able to take part as I am generally fit and seemed to have good hand-eye coordination when he saw me playing table tennis.
Gus explained to me that the Staff-Student game would be a twenty overs each match and that everyone except the wicket keeper would have to bowl two overs of six balls. After the England match was over he showed me a recording of a Twenty-Twenty match so I could see that you don't have to bowl as fast as Anderson and Broad. I reckon I can cope OK with the batting but I am not sure about the bowling. Gus said we would have a practice session sometime next week. If it turned out that I just couldn't bowl I was not to worry as Tony Steel, who is the wicket keeper, could bowl a couple of overs with someone else going behind the stumps for those two overs.
Gus then started to confuse me a bit by talking about fielding positions where the names slip, cover, square leg, third man and silly point came up. What funny names these are. Gus asked me if I could throw a ball a long way or if I thought I might be good at catching. He then gave me a cricket ball to look at. It surprised me how hard it is. I am not keen of having a ball like that flying towards me!
Well it is true that I am reasonably athletic. I have played soccer and basketball so I will give it a go. I will let you know later how I get on!