Monday, August 22, 2011


When I first heard that sound loud and clear, I asked myself "That cannot be the sound of the ball smacking my head, can it? It just cannot be..." The wild spinning of my head and the stars I was seeing at 5:00 on a summer evening as I went down on my knees replied "Yes, it was your head, dummy! Concussion. Concussion. Concussion. Man down!" The sport is called softball [in most ways similar to baseball] but I can tell you from personal experience that there was nothing soft about that ball. 
I should've seen this in my future, taking into account my overconfident demeanour about fielding on a softball game. Given a chance, I would tell everyone how easy it was to stop a shot in softball with those huge gloves that the fielders use. "We don't need gloves in cricket", I'd say. After all, if there was anything in cricket I was good at, it was fielding at close in positions. So on that sunny Wednesday evening as the batter clubbed the ball in a flat long trajectory towards me situated in the left field [a sort of deep mid-off], I was relaxed and ready with my glove in "Come to Daddy" mode. Only to find the ball magically evade the more-than-ample glove webbing in front and smack down flush on Daddy's head.
I was the star of the team now... in all the wrong ways. Team members rallied around me, "Look at my eyes", "Follow my fingers with your eyes without moving your head", "Stay on your knees", "It's going to be OK" and all those things you say to people who don't have too long left. The batter on the opposing team looked like he had just murdered a man and to be honest from the crunching sound that the ball made with my knucklehead of a head, I wouldn't have counted on myself to get back to the team enclosure.
Ice pack to my head and still surprised at my being able to walk unaided, I went back to the benches and popped a couple of painkillers a helping hand had offered. This was going to hurt real bad in the night, I already knew, but an even bigger bruise was from the blow to my ego. A lifetime of above average cricket fielding laid to waste, in that single moment of idiocy. Now that I seemed OK, the jokes were already doing the rounds. "You thought you were playing soccer, huh?" and "We take two extra runs for that accurate hit!" are only two which come to mind.
I took the field again after a couple of innings and on getting back home the rest of the evening was spent Googling 'concussion' to check if there were any warning signs to watch out for. Thankfully I had none but it was a timely reminder for people of my abysmal physical abilities not to get cocky about anything, even catching a flat long hit ball. On the positive side, my concentration levels out in the field for subsequent games have improved ten-fold. Unfortunately I have also earned a tag, a tag of dubious distinction, as the guy who took a headshot.


Kunnu said...

Who said, you were good while fielding in close in positions?

You had it coming..Roys...haha :D

Roy said...

Oh, but I was, back in the day! A sharp fielder at backward point, no less! And this was not close-in, this was really really deep mid-off so the shame was multiplied ten-fold.