It’s that time of year; the loo seat gets colder each morning and my wallet ever thinner. The only time I get to see sunlight is on weekends, and I am permanently tired from waking up at obscene hours to listen to Test Match Special. Life is ticking along but not doing much more, and everyone is just waiting for the Christmas break.
It is this break that weirdly seems to stress so many out – for a deeply analytical (sic) brain like my own I naturally do not struggle to find presents to purchase for my loved ones, but it appears that when the boot is on the other foot I am a somewhat more difficult person to buy for. So I thought I would compile a list of cricket-related gifts in order to make things easier for the unimaginative present buyers out there with myself as a friend. Some are genuinely wanted, others a bit generic, and some will appeal to the cheaper ‘Work Secret Santa’ market too. In a very particular order:
1. The Wisden Almanack 2012 (£30).
The annual bible of cricket. The must read. An obvious gift, to be repeated every year until I die. Think of this as a Christmas tradition – more important than Turkey, more relevant than Jesus.
2. Tickets. £35+.
Ok, this gift requires a bit of planning, but how hard can it be? It is obvious I won’t be able to get up to Durham on a Monday for a T20, but I could get to London or the Rose Bowl easily enough on a Saturday or Sunday. England are playing both New Zealand and Australia next summer, as well as hosting the ICC Champions Trophy. I like cricket. There is lots of it on this year. Think about it.
3. Mug. £10.
Not an original idea, but at least it is a safe gift. This particular effort (link) looks like it is of good quality, is quirky in it’s design, it depicts a traditional cricket scene and thus is timeless. This is a budget option aimed at the ‘oh shit I have got to get you a present?!’ market.
4. Bin Stumps Sticker £5.
A lovely little idea if you’ve a garden at least 22 yards long, and possibly aimed at the younger market. Personally I’d put the sticker on the left hand side of the bin with leg stump right on the bin’s edge. Any nicks which hit the rest of the bin could be automatically out ‘caught behind’. That is probably my adult mind thinking too deeply into it, though. If you are anything like my brother and I, it might be good to also stock up on tennis balls.
5. Alcohol. £10-15
I’m rubbish at cricket. I get out early often, drop catches, and bowl too many wides. I cut a sorry, forlorn figure for the majority of my existence. There is but one comfort in my life. Do not deny the desperate man with the golden duck. Embrace him.