The outfield, better known simply as "the deep" is where I love fielding. Whether it's casually sipping electral at third man while my opening partner is having her go at the opponents, or whether it's prowling the boundaries in the death overs, I love being there.
I love being the one the captain goes to when we have a batter on fire and deep mid-wicket needs protection;and doing the yards by running from long on to long on every over at the fag end of a T20 game (hopefully having already completed my quota of overs). Running along the boundary and putting in that slide (which I can never manage on my left side), or judging that skier and holding on to it just inside the ropes, gives me a real high.
The deep is a place of solitude, away from the bustle and chatter that goes on in the infield. It's a place where I can slow down and think, and I have seen a few captains using this space to adjust to a fast moving game. At the same time, I can't totally relax there. At any moment a ball may come rocketing towards me, like a puck across ice, attempting to beat my outstretched fingers and collide with that rope. With the infield, I know every ball could come at me, so close to the bat as I am. But in the deep, it's easy to think that the infielders will stop it, so it's much easier to go to sleep, and much more satisfying when I don't.
Those left handers are a bother though. Running up and down every ball, switching from off side to on side, infield to outfield, I would be lying if I said I didn't mind it! Always a streak of relief in the celebrations every time a southpaw is dismissed!
I was originally thinking of writing a poem on this topic (yes, I do have a job), but couldn't come up with enough rhymes. So this post will have to do! Hopefully have struck a chord with those who patrol the fences, agile limbs, strong throws and all! For now, laters..