LOUIS BURKE | Culture | CONTACT
As any brand advertising during the cricket will tell you, the summer is a great time for backyard cricket.
Yep, after watching the heroes of the pitch bowl and bat the day away, there is nothing that a good old Aussie family loves more than heading to the BYCG to recreate the sporting glory while taking themselves far too seriously.
One of the benefits of backyard cricket is how it can be played without picking formal teams, and allowing players to rotate between bowling and batting at a casual, social pace.
For the Wests of Betoota Heights this simply will not do.
A backyard cricket session for this family typically begins with grandfather Arnold West (69) picking his team out of his pool and children and grandchildren, almost all of which are far better at cricket now than he ever was.
As the backyard was suitably prepared with a freestanding set of steel stumps, Arnold’s newest son-in-law, Irish ex-pat Shane McCarthy (36) was informed he would be fielding, despite the fact that he was sitting in the lounge room drinking a stout and enjoying something other than cricket on the TV for once.
Wanting to be a good sport, McCarthy stepped into his father-in-laws backyard, only to be booed by several members of the other team immediately.
Taking his spot on the field, McCarthy quickly realised he was a tactical choice made by Arnold as he could pepper twos at him all arvo and never have to worry about him actually catching one.
“He was a nice fookin’ bloke about tirty minutes ago, now he’s going on like a fookin’ shite,” stated McCarthy as he nursed the red marks he received from the high velocity tennis balls and five minutes spent in the sun.
“He keeps calling me Mary.”
Unfortunately for McCarthy, the official classification of the backyard sporting event was that of a ‘Social Sport’ so he couldn’t simply have a tantrum and leave without it being a massive thing.
When the time finally did arrive for McCarthy to attempt to bat (after Arnold declared 371 not out) he was subject to further ridicule by the way he held the bat and was humorously bowled a potato instead of a tennis ball.
“For a moment I considered knocking that thing right through his fookin window.”
Tragically, McCarthy’s plans for revenge in the form of property damage were short lived as the potato hit the steel stumps, sending him off pitch to the sounds of Arnold quacking like a duck.
“If I ever catch him on a hurling pitch I’ma ram a hurley right up his fookin’ aris.”