20th century US journalist and columnist, Earl Wilson, used to have a favourite saying: "Success is simply a matter of luck".
As an opening batter, Simon Norvill knows the truth of those words better than most. But he generally doesn't consider himself a lucky cricketer. The 37-year-old has spent most of his life playing Australia's favourite summer sport, and knows how fickle it can be.
So he was pleasantly surprised when, during his rollicking innings of 88 for Central North on Sunday, opposing captain Adam Ison shelled a relatively straightforward chance at midwicket off a miscued pull shot from Norvill.
"Usually they catch the screamers off my bat," Norvill said.
Due to the length of the game and the patience required of those who play, cricket is a sport that invites a fair amount of superstition and belief-based practices from batters and bowlers alike.
So while Norvill is used to seeing fielders take impressive grabs off his batting, he trusts that the unbiased nature of luck will balance out in the end.
"You get bits of luck some days, and you get bad luck other days," he said.
"It all evens out. If you have a good run of it, you just keep quiet and be happy with it. And if you have a run of bad luck, it'll eventually turn around."
Ironically, this played out on Sunday. Shortly after his reprieve on 70, Norvill hit spinner Pushpinder Jassal for a towering six over cow corner.
The very next ball, he tried the same slog sweep but found the boundary rider.
"I hit that better than the ball before," Norvill said. "I just hit it too flat."
Though his innings was cut short before he could reach a well-deserved hundred, it was a bright spot to close another Country Championships campaign for the Tamworth native.
And, more importantly, Norvill enjoyed the chance to bat on his home pitches once again.
Though he still lives and works in town, Norvill is currently in the midst of his second full season playing for University in the Newcastle first grade competition, to which he commutes every weekend.
"It's been good fun," he said.
"It's interesting playing on different grounds, in different positions all the time. It's a bit more of a test."
After playing for the first time in Tamworth since last year's Country Championships, Norvill was impressed by the quality of No. 1 Oval.
"It's in really good condition," he said.
"The wickets held up really well, you could trust the bounce all weekend. That makes life a lot easier, and the outfield's beautiful."
While he has so far enjoyed the challenge of playing in Newcastle, Norvill does not know how long he will continue to do so.
Nearer the end of his cricketing career than the start, he now makes decisions on a year-by-year basis.
"It was good fun last year," Norvill said.
"They rang and asked if I wanted to do it again this year. The wife was happy with it, so I'll see how I go at the end of this season and re-evaluate."
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