Drinks Duties on Tour: Tales of an Inexperienced 12th manPeter McGlashan |
As a wicketkeeper it’s not often you end up carrying the drinks. You are either in the 11 or you aren’t in the 12.
I’ve only ever done it twice and both occasions were novel events, one I now laugh about and the other one I will always savour.
Hopefully, they will never happen again.
The first time I carried the drinks was at the Under 19 World Cup in South Africa in 1999. We were about to play home side South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town, in what we thought was a must win match to make the final.
Maybe it was complacency or arrogance, but I assumed I would be playing, as the reserve Keeper, Michael Papps, had been sent home after dislocating his shoulder in the swimming pool the night before the tournament opened. Hamish Marshall, (twin brother to James) had been brought over as a replacement and he’d only ever kept once in a school game.
I was shocked and disappointed when told I was 12th man, knowing the importance of the game and the pressure it placed on Hamish. Ten years on, playing together for the Northern Knights, we joke about it and re-enact his botched run out, where he knocked the bails off prematurely before the ball arrived.
He hopes he will never have to take the gloves off me again… as do I!
At the time I was gutted, but in hindsight it was a good lesson for me. In professional sport, like most things in life, complacency is a dangerous trap to fall into. Standards slip and you become comfortable with mediocre performances and average results.
The second, and most recent, time I’ve carried the drinks was last weekend in Sydney. It capped off a crazy week where I’d gone from playing Twenty20 for the Northern Knights in Hamilton in front of 1,500 people to potentially playing for the Black Caps in front of 35,000 at the SCG.
My sister, Sara, who plays for the NZ womens cricket team, the White Ferns, was already set to play the curtain raiser to the mens KFC Twenty20 on the SCG that night.
When told of my selection I rang Mum to check where my passport was. Mum, Dad and my youngest sister, were already booked to fly over and watch Sara play so were running round making last minute preparations for the trip away.
Mum asked why I needed my passport. Was I thinking of coming and watching Sara play?
“I might be playing just after her”, I replied. Further panic spread through the household.
In the end I didn’t play, as Brendon’s shoulder came right, and had to settle for carrying the drinks. The moment of disappointment passes, then the excitement of helping the team get the desired result kicks in.
It was great to get a taste of it again and I’ll never forget standing on the balcony of the Away dressing room at the SCG and looking out seeing our surname on my sister’s shirt playing in front of 21,000 people.
We’ve both got the Twenty20 World Cup in England to look forward to now. Fingers crossed we both get picked.
The women are again playing curtain raisers to the mens games so hopefully we can replicate that night in Sydney.
Except this time I’d rather not be carrying the drinks?
State Northern Knights
Sara McGlashan fielding during the New Zealand White Ferns Twenty20 game against Australia