A local dunce has allegedly spent the last fortnight secretly working on his cricket skills in preparation for spending Christmas Day with his new girlfriend’s family. Dave Carrabar is a relatively short eight months into his relationship with girlfriend Georgie, who casually mentioned a few weeks ago that the Christmas Day cricket match at her uncle’s house “gets a bit competitive”.

While Carrabar took a few days to digest this information, he then resolved to put in a bit of work on his slog sweep and part-time outswing bowling, in a desperate attempt to prove his suitability as a romantic partner for crowd-favourite Georgie. Speaking exclusively to The Watsonia Bugle, Carrabar said, “Georgie’s not really into her sport, especially cricket, so I don’t think she fully appreciates the unique dynamic that a game of backyard cricket amongst adults can actually have. You throw a newcomer like me into that mix and the layers of social interaction multiply significantly. Georgie and I have said ‘I love you’ to each other, but I feel like that game of backyard cricket on Christmas Day will be a far more important milestone in our relationship moving forward.”

Presumably in an attempt to impress Georgie’s relatives, Carrabar has been heading down to his own backyard late at night to bowl a few balls at the fence and also hit a ball against a brick wall. He said, “I haven’t played serious cricket since the Under 16s, so I’m pretty rusty, but any preparation is better than nothing. My outswinger is actually getting a bit of shape. And I’m really concentrating on watching the ball right onto the bat, because I’ve heard Chappelli say that about a thousand times on the cricket commentary over the years.”

Despite feeling like he has the fundamentals of the game under reasonable control, Carrabar also claims that there is so much more to the game then just batting, bowling and fielding. He said, “Mate, there are just so many potential scenarios that I need to be prepared for. Like how old does a cousin of hers have to be before I can bounce him and question his parentage? Is it poor form to dive for a catch when a six-year-old is batting? You know, would my athletic brilliance in taking the difficult catch be cancelled out by the fact I’ve just ruined some kid’s day? It’s a minefield. So, in addition to my regular bat and ball sessions, I’m also doing some visualisation exercises. Just so that I’m better prepared on the day if, say, Grandma Betty decides she wants to have a bowl and I spy a big opening at cow corner. Do I loft the shot into that gap and suggest that she doesn’t bowl ‘there’ to me again? Or do I pat it back down the wicket and pretend she’s as dangerous as Warnie on day five of an Ashes Test? You know, just the usual stuff.”