Friday, 8 October 2010

Not bad for a first go

With my cricket withdrawal symptoms reaching a new peak all my obsessive-compulsive tendencies are being furiously channelled towards my kit, and today it was Virginia's* turn for the TLC.

I'm disproportionately fond of Virginia, my first "proper" bat, but unless the most apocalyptic scenario were to unfold I'll never use her in a match. Hyacinth is ahead of her in the pecking order and by the time Hyacinth retires I'll have another member of the "harem" to take her place. Virginia does, however, have an important role to play in the nets, as her extra two ounces and smaller sweet spot compared to Hyacinth will, I hope, mean I can get into position just a fraction earlier in matches, thus evening out a quick bowler's tendency to ease up a bit when practising, and encourage me to really middle it.

Anyway, Virginia's grip was starting to get a little tatty and in need of replacement. I've never changed a bat grip before - I've never before used a bat often enough for the grip to wear out - and it's one of those tasks you approach with an even mix of excitement and trepidation. It's a new challenge (and there's something weirdly awe-inspiring about those who can make putting a new grip on look effortless), but also a new way to utterly humiliate yourself by making a gigantic mess of something that looks so simple. I took the old grip off and had a couple of goes at putting it back on using a gripping cone, which didn't go fantastically well, but the new grip was much more pliable and as you can see, in the end I did a pretty good job of it!

*for those new to the blog I should explain that my bats have girl's names - the Kashmir willow V1 is called Virginia, the English willow Hyper Blade is called Hyacinth Bucket - Hyacinth for short.

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