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The first Australian to grace Offley’s ranks, Hum’s arrival in 2008 suggested that England’s hopes of regaining the Ashes in 2009 were looking up. Making a mockery of the theory that Australia only produces elite calibre cricketers, Hum scored 12 runs in his first five innings for Offley, averaging a mighty 2.40. Hum’s performances raised the concern that he had only been recruited by Chris Austin in a cunning bid to find a more limited stroke player than Austin himself.
Despite this disappointing return – to say nothing of having to commute from London for every match – Hum established himself as an integral part of the squad in 2009. After initially failing to make the grade as an opening batsman – somehow Hum failed to see the humour in rushing up from London to be cleaned up by the first ball of the match – he has consistently produced some useful runs in the lower middle order for the Second XI.
Hum has also had some limited success as a bowler, taking four wickets with his slow-medium pace deliveries, deliveries that would perhaps be a little quicker if he did not appear to be devoting so much energy and attention to trotting into the crease without falling over.
However, it is in the field where Hum has made the biggest impact. His celebrated koala-wearing-callipers impersonation has shredded the belief that all Australians are naturally gifted fielders. Hum lacks speed, mobility and balance and invariably goes chasing after the ball like a one-legged kangaroo.
Yet his enthusiasm for the game never wavers. While he may not be worth his place through sheer volume of runs and wickets, his never-flagging shouts of encouragement and inspiration have cemented his place in the team. Hum never fails to greet the widest of long hops with a cry of, “Well bowled!” Wides and no balls are greeted with, “Have another one!” and there is no bowler in the Offley ranks who does not allow himself an inner smile when Hum shouts the words everyone loves to hear; “Bowling a treat, mate, bowling a treat!”