Yates is getting twitchy. The kind of twitchy that has him testing bowling actions in the empty canteen with an orange. The kind of twitchy that comes from seeing Surrey CCC on his bank statement, showing that the upcoming season’s membership has been paid. The kind of twitchy that comes from seeing @surreycricket’s photos and videos of pre-season training.
It won’t be long and the first games of the new cricket season will be upon us. Yates has still to decide whether to drop by the University game at the Kia Oval but will be going to the first day of the County Championship season, the home game against Sussex.
As the weather can be somewhat variable – from freezing one’s nether regions off in the morning then by end of play having the start of a suntan – Yates is contemplating what will go in his cricket box this season:
A flask is essential. Baltic like conditions aren’t just found at Chesterfield you know. There were a few more than slightly nippy moments at the Kia Oval last year. Mine will probably be filled with tea, hot Vimto or on occasion soup. Not the stuff with croutons in though – they get caught in the spout.
Lunch will depend on various factors, including the weather forecast, what Yates has in his freezer the day before, whether Yates has remembered to get something for lunches and/or can be bothered to cook, whether or not Yates overcooked it and whether or not Yates had a total wipeout in the kitchen. So lunch can include any of: mozzarella sticks, cream cheese bites, chicken goujons, savoury rice salad, vegetable fingers, turkey kievs, pizza slices (Tuesdays is BOGOF at Papa Johns so Thursdays has a good chance of being pizza day) and other “finger food”.
There is one major flaw with this as it stands. They are all cold. Consideration is to be given to buying a food flask which can hold a decent bowl of soup, chilli, spag bolognaise, et cetera for those cold days.
Cold drink: usually a bottle of water, maybe with a touch of lime juice. If emptied can be refilled from the water cooler in the Pavilion.
Tea will probably be whatever is left over from lunch.
Snack foods shouldn’t be forgotten either. Minstrels are a firm favourite as they don’t melt. Bonbons are also nice but they’re covered in powder and can be quite lethal to the teeth. Wine gums, cola bottles, Sports mix or sweets of that ilk are also known to come along. Yates has given up crisps and it may be that chocolate will soon be following if the M.O. has his way. Flapjacks might be coming along if that is the case, and Yates does make good flapjacks.
The sun cream, lip salve, freshener wipes and spray probably won’t come out until things get a bit warmer.
So dear readers, what’s in your cricket box? What are your hints and tips for staying warm in the freezing early season winds? Have you any recommendations for Android cricket scoring apps? It’s often easier to poke a screen than to write when it’s colder than a penguin’s chuff.