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Pragada: Batter up

The Oxford Blues women’s cricket team meets in a small gym with green rubber floors, not much larger than a basketball court. The coach is speaking to the team, running through some throwing drills, and two hard, leather bound cricket balls are flying haphazardly around the room as the team warms up. Suddenly cricket bats and tennis balls are broken out and small groups of hitting drills commence, projectiles now soaring through the air in every direction; the sharp cracks of the bat piercing the light conversation taking place amongst team members. The head coach catches sight of me sitting idly on the sidelines, drafting this column, and with two emphatic gestures (one at me, one at the tennis balls laying in the corner), I’m now involved in this practice somehow, ducking and dodging as I pick up balls for the team and try to avoid being hit. How on earth did this happen?