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4th January 2010

Will Smith’s All Out Cricket Diary

I was playing sport – particularly rugby – as if I was in possession of a 6’6” frame. Back then I was putting my body in situations not wholly agreeable – consequently breaking collarbones (four times), nose, fingers and generally doing unnecessary damage – while, all the time putting myself in situations not wholly agreeable, off the field.

‘Grabbing the opportunity’ is most certainly what I would have done if offered, ten years ago, the place I find myself in now. With both hands. And with a vice-like grip. Despite the broken fingers.

The more perceptive of you might see where this pre-ramble is taking us. As I look back, never is it more apt then to look forward. Ditching the usual diary format for this issue, here are my New Year resolutions for 2010…
• Lose 4lbs
• Give up alcohol
• Give up chocolate
• Become celibate
None of these resolutions will be kept. It just felt necessary to include them, as token gestures.  Instead, I will offer up my cricketing resolutions for 2010.

• Win Championship for third successive year
• Win Domestic 40-over competition
• Win Domestic 20-over competition
• Win Champions League in India – resulting from above win
• Score mountains of runs in every form
• Never drop a catch
• Captain the side without error of judgment or reasoning

I assure you that I will retire on the spot should all of these things occur. That is a solid gold guarantee. And not because I feel my time in the game is at an end. It’s just that there is no way I could go a whole season without dropping a catch!

Anyone playing the perfect game would find themselves prolific in run-scoring or wicket-taking, perfectly consistent in catching, fielding and every other aspect of cricket. More fitting is to acknowledge how each person can get as close as is humanly possible to their best. My resolution is to achieve all I can, each day, as a cricketer, a captain and as a person (sorry to be cheesy).  It sounds simple, but it is a resolution I will forever persist with, and hopefully influence others to do similar, if they so wish.

Serving to break up this article further, I offer a list of alternative resolutions:
• Learn to surf
• Keep my ankles intact, thus avoiding many snapping dogs while beach running.
• Own a racehorse by the end of the winter
• Not drown (or freeze) while surfing
• Play for England
• Not go bankrupt as a result of the aforementioned racehorse

Again, the more perceptive of you will notice something ne’er before hinted at. I would love to play for England. But not wishing to appear above my station, I’ve until now kept it to myself. I feel sure that deep within me – in there somewhere – is an international cricketer lurking. A resolution for 2010 – or maybe the ‘tennies’ or ‘teenies’, or whatever the word for this coming decade may be – is to coax him out.

As Jeremy Clarkson is apt to sign off, and with that bombshell still fresh in your minds, I bid farewell to you and to 2009. It’s been a good ‘un. But let’s be greedy and hope for an even better New Year!

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