I’m Brett Lee, coming in for the second last bowl of the innings to bowl to the last batsmen of the Indian squad, the batsmen who needs seven runs to win the Test series of this summer, and boy do I not want to mess it up.
I feel a long lock of my black hair fall across my face as I rapidly approach the garbage bin that is the stumps. The wicketkeeper, a hurriedly drawn stick figure on my best mate’s garage door, gives me the same blank expression I’ve seen since the start of my innings.
The fielders in the street, mostly more of my neighbours and friends, start clapping me in as I try to bowl the first hat-trick of the summer.
The tension is building.
The batsman, my best friend Dave, tries to put me off with a quick poke of his tongue; it isn’t going to be enough this time. I concentrate on the spot right between his legs, to bowl him middle-skiddle.
I reach the bowling crease and let fly. The ball, an old, dog chewed tennis ball with added masking tape to aid with swing, lands on his leg side and he swings so hard, I think that his arms will fly out of his sockets and hit me in the head. The only way that I’ll get my hat-trick is if somebody can take a miraculous catch in the outfield.
The ball goes higher and higher into the evening sky, hardly looking to descend on a fielder. It sails, like a dagger through my pumping heart, right onto the lawn of my house, the lawn that is counted as a six to anyone that can reach it.
There goes a six.
There goes my hat-trick.
There goes my little brother, Ron, who speeds off to our lawn to grab the ball, only to hardly make halfway with the throw back.
“Damn it!” I hiss, not wanting to swear in case Mum hears my foul language in the kitchen. Out of the corner of my eye I spot Dave, dancing and waving his bat to an imaginary packed MCG.