The man came out to the sort of applause that makes young men want to take up cricket and makes girls with dubious morals want to take up cricketers.
It was as if Jesus came in covered in beer and ice cream.
They stood as one unit, they applauded, the cheered, they shouted, they awed.
He did what he always does, he left his helmet off for long enough for the warmth to wash over him.
The crowd gave him the final inspiration he needs before taking on the filthy convicts.
The crowd loved every step he took.
He was hope.
19 balls later he was gone.
And the ground ignored his exit.
The hope was gone.
All they were left with was a large lad with a fucked up knee and 7 useless runs.
The oppositions all rounder had humbled him pretty easily, and the cheer he got for coming on the ground was going to have to be enough in his second last test innings.
The silence was not meant to be a slight, but it was.
They wanted/expected/hoped for more, and he couldn’t do it, so they did the crowd version of turning their backs on him.
For thousands of people in the ground this may be the last time they ever see him play, and he exited the ground to chats about Law Firms and the ruffling of the Times.