A Word In Your Ear - April 24, 2014

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There’s a lift in my step as we approach weekend.

With spring’s sunshine and rising temperatures, I’m ready for a session at the crease.

By that I mean the cricket club – not actually at the wicket, playing hard ball.

My position is actually on the terrace at Blackpool’s ground, overlooking Stanley Park.

From there I watch that timeless summer spectacle, as men in whites chase a red ball around the green - endeavouring to hit stumps or bat as hard as possible.

It’s complicated, as I realised explaining it to an American friend, and often slow. But on the terrace we’re in no hurry. Our light conversation only gathers pace.

Of course, it helps that the club keeps the best beer in our resort, for my money. A former Blackpool steward also runs quaint Lytham Cricket & Sports Club, while there are fine grounds, too, at St. Annes, Fleetwood, Poulton and elsewhere.

An afternoon match on a village green, such as at Wrea Green, is one of the traditions I missed most when working abroad.

Then there is our weather. Unlike the world’s hotspots, here sunshine is a lottery. If cricket is sedate, then it’s the weather that brings tension, dismay and delight.

As for playing, I’ve not done so since school. It was a shock, at age 11, to graduate from rubber ball on the park to rock-hard ‘corkie’ at games.

When fielding I stood close to concussion at silly mid-on. If you wondered why that position was so named, try standing there.

Then came my turn to bat. The lad before me was hit between the eyes by a bouncer from a wild fast-bowler. He fell back unconscious over his stumps.

“Right, Edmonds, you’re next!” said the games master, as the previous batsman was carried off.

What happened then?

Well, you’ll have to join me on that terrace and ask.

n For Roy’s books and more visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com