The Moment Cricket Clicked: Sam Bruning
Here we are again, back with another edition of 'The Moment Cricket Clicked' and this week i'm thrilled to be joined by Samuel Bruning (@SamuelBruning on Twitter). Sam is a former writer for the discontinued Inside Edge Cricket Blog and in terms of free lance writing about the game he is one of the best going. Sam's posts are often insightful, well thought out and almost always a good read (he's praised Matt Carter before as well so he's a fan favourite over here) and this one is no different. Enough of me here's Sam on one of Stuart Broads more forgotten 'knee pumping' spells.
As though being asked a numbingly dull question by an interviewer of some student magazine, I believe, that my earliest memory of cricket was, after he had just bought me and my brother a cricket set, bowling a full toss onto my grandad’s forehead with a faux cricket ball.
I now bowl legspin.
However, the moment cricket clicked for me, in the sense of when I first felt as if I had to keep going with it, it become a passion, not a hobby, a life not a game, was not when I accidentally assaulted a family member, but was in Durham, on Monday the 12th of August 2013.
The contest was England v Australia, the fourth day of the fourth Test of the 2013 Ashes. And while England, 2-0 up, had already retained the stupid little urn, this day was special.
I don’t really remember much of the actual cricket played, only the emotions that accompanied them. Sport is a weird thing, in that, absorbed in a moment, the only thing that seems to matter is the team on the field. Cheering, even pleading for wickets or runs is an inherently irrational thing, which, I suppose, makes it human.
I can’t tell you how my Dad managed to get the Monday off work, if it was part of a holiday, or just a trip in a day. Nor can I tell you what seat I sat in, or what Stuart Broad’s exact figures were.
But, I can tell you, that surrounded by drunken adults, twelve year-old me, accompanied by my parents and younger brother, were ecstatic, as England claimed victory, against the Australians.
And although it’s hard to believe, given England had beaten them in 2010/11, to me, perhaps pushed on by the crowd, these Aussies were still the mightiest side in cricket. Even though England were 2-0 up, the abiding feeling I had was that England didn’t beat Australia. Sport really is irrational.
Therefore, I expected Michael Clarke’s side, who I was told were the Old Enemy, to chase the 299 required, especially at 109-0.
And from there, they didn’t.
My memory is incorrect, when I think that Bresnan got the first wicket, and then Broad the rest, but it turns out Swann got the first two.
But, my mind does not falter, when I recall that Bresnan did find a thin edge from David Warner, one so thin I had no idea he’d edged it. It was that breakthrough which left the Aussies 168-3, and then Broad did his thing.
The cliché of ‘legs pumping’ has never been truer than that day.
In my head, Broad is just a blur, sprinting in, and collecting wickets. He got Clarke and then Smith, then Haddin, Harris, Lyon and Siddle. And just like that, England had the Test, the series was won, not retained.
And as the ball fell into Jimmy Anderson’s hands, ending the Test match with an England victory, the stand, which I’ll forever know as the ‘party stand’ erupted. I remember looking around, joyous, in shock, and in awe. England had won the Ashes, and I had been there to see it.
From then on, I had DVDs, books, kit, the lot. Nine summers later, I remain stupidly hooked. I can’t explain how, but there is something about that clash of bat and ball that remains addictive.
Broad ripping through the Aussies showed me the moments that cricket can provide, and having seen one, I now spend my summers chasing the next.
Cricket had clicked, and I can’t get it to stop.