PUBLISHED: 12:26 14 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:26 14 May 2014
Latest news from our Ilford Catholic blogger
A dodgy postcode, no sat nav, a wrong turning or just no sense of direction are all reasons for cricketers getting lost on to the way to matches.
And there have been some great examples over the years - one driver picking up Capital Radio on the “way” to Bournemouth, another seeing the arches of Wembley loom into view on route to Enfield and a whole group of guys parking up in a farmers field on the instruction of a misinformed Tomtom.
But no one has ever heard of a player getting lost on the way back to his car. On a home game.
Until now that is.
Only a few weekends ago one of the lads parked up in Greenleafe Drive, an adjoining road to the pitch, but after the game as the park closed he left via another gate. Now this meant a short walk back to the car via some back roads - probably a five-minute walk.
However as dusk descended our intrepid explorer ran into problems. A few wrong turnings and he completely lost his bearings as all roads and houses started to look the same. His girlfriend phoned him as he was late but he had only had one per cent battery on his phone.
He started to explain he would be a little delayed but seeing that his battery was going to run out exclaimed - “Oh no – I don’t need this!”
The line went dead.
Those last words were ringing in his girlfriend’s ears and she started to expect the worse – was he mugged, beaten up or kidnapped?
Meanwhile he was still lost with no phone, in the increasing gloom, and no closer to his car.
But as he turned the corner in the distance was a neon light – a flickering Chinese takeaway sign that gave him hope. He moved towards it and entered the takeaway to ask for directions.
“Hello – I’m very sorry but do you know where Greenleafe Drive is please?”
“Green leaf? Crispy Seaweed?“
The Chinese man behind the counter thought he wanted something off the menu. To be fair when a man walks into a takeaway this is a reasonable assumption to make.
“No, no - Greenleafe Drive? Do you know where this is?”
“What green Leaf you would like? Bok Choi?”
The man behind the counter brandished a menu and asked the player to point to his chosen dish.
“No, no - do you know where Greenleafe Drive is? My car is there!”
“Ahh - one moment sir”.
The chef was summoned to help and he rushed through from the kitchen – “Don’t worry, come with me, I will drive you there.”
So now our explorer is in a car with a Chinese Chef being driven all of 50 yards to his car, just round the corner.
But meanwhile the situation had further descended into chaos as his girlfriend was now in tears to the in-laws, phoning the police requesting a full blown search team with sniffer dogs at the ready to find the missing cricketer.
An entire extended family in Hornchurch were about to jump in their cars to scour every last yard of Barkingside to find him.
But thankfully after he found his car, rewarded the Chinese Chef generously, and made it home, all fears of a missing person were allayed and the search effort called off.
So if you see any young men carrying cricket bags, possibly emaciated with straggly beards wandering around the back streets of Barkingside, don’t be afraid, they have just lost their way a little.
*Ilford Catholic 1st XI defeated Hockerill 1st XI this weekend in Division 1 of the Herts and Essex Cricket League. If you would like to play league or friendly cricket in the local area email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.