Anyone who has ever been in a batting collapse knows the pure unimaginable sense of gloom that overcomes the team.
Positive batsmen are stripped of all hope and can do nothing more than March out in a death waltz and wait for their demise.
Each batsman then trudges off the field knowing that their fate was sealed even before they went out there.
The batsman who doesn’t lose his wicket seems to have a face drained of blood as each of his team mates walks back.
There is the look between team mates where they just know they’re in a collapse, and don’t really feel the need to verbally confirm it.
The coach sits there unable to say anything to changes anyone’s mood.
Players waiting to go look almost frightened of facing a spinner or even some middle aged slow seamer.
The tail are defeated before they even step out on the ground.
And you can see the whole team collapse into a liquid mass of utter uselessness right in front of your eyes.
If you’re in the team, you feel like it’s a virus, it just infects your body and you can feel the negative vibes pulsing through you as the collapse gets more violent.
It’s a dark, dark spiral; it feels lonely even though it’s a shared experience.
Often you have no idea how it started, or how to stop it.
The one consolation is that it’s a quick death.
A collapse is over so quickly that by the time you really reflect on it you’ve lost, and it’s like being drunk and trying to decipher some surreal Mexican acid western and trying to work out what just happened.
That is what Sri Lanka is doing right now.
The collapse is over, the gloom and disease is overtaken by introspection and that shit feeling in your stomach that your parents have seen that sex video where you use a bowling pin on yourself.
The good news is by Friday they’ll be playing at Lord’s, and this will be no more than a punchline and ever fading public humiliation.
It just feel like in the hours after it happens.
I think the collapse is why cricket clubs started serving booze, and that always helps.