I HAD to chuckle on Saturday as I played second fiddle to young Evan Williams in the middle as we attempted to save the game for Greenmount at home to Stand.

We didn’t quite have enough to reach the target in the end and I was out trying to slog the penultimate ball with 12 runs needed.

While I trundled back to the pavilion with the game lost, Evan saw it through to the bitter end and finished on 19 not out.

He put in a really mature display, pushing the ball around, finding the gaps to eke out the runs.

All he was maybe missing were the muscles to reach the boundary, but they will come.

His performance drew a lot of praise from our opposite numbers at Stand, and rightly so.

What made me laugh was the fact he was playing the senior role and is what, 13? I am 50 this month, old enough to be his granddad!

That’s the circle of life right there, or maybe I should call it the cycle of cricket.

Every cricketer goes through it – we all have to start somewhere, make our mark and earn our spurs in the first team.

I remember how nervous I was starting my first games for Ramsbottom.

My team-mates might not believe it now, but I was like a mouse in that dressing room, which can be a fearsome place, at least the ones I have been in over my career.

We all have to go through that rite of passage. You don’t really feel comfortable or a part of it until you have proved yourself on the pitch, like Evan did on Saturday.

That will give the young lad confidence and slowly but surely he will start to feel like he belongs with us grown-ups.

The funny thing is, though, I am starting to feel a little bit like I did as a youngster, like I need to prove to my team-mates that I belong at this level.

I couldn’t buy a wicket on Saturday, and there is no doubt it is getting harder and harder to make an impact on games.

Just as was the case when I was a young teen coming through, I am sure the rest of the lads in the dressing room must be thinking ‘what is he doing here’?

It doesn’t matter what you have done in your sporting life, all those hundreds of wickets that I have taken in the past are in the past.

I don’t have any God-given right to be in the team, that choice should be made by the selectors.

Just as the youngsters coming up need to earn their place, when you get past a certain age you need to keep earning it every week.

That is the circle of life – the cycle of cricket.

Cue Elton John.