It's two days since the game ended, and my body is slowly recovering. The bruise which stopped me closing my hand is starting to fade, the gash on my shin has new skin. And when I think that I got off lightly compared to some of my team mates, you do wonder why we do this for fun. The Raptors have so far shown an alarming enthusiasm for putting their bodies on the line — Ken has tried repeatedly to separate himself from his shoulder; Iwan tried to hurdle the catcher to steal home and nearly broke his back. And all this is without our most persistent masochists getting involved — Stevie normally gets poleaxed on a regular basis, but instead, at the weekend, he was stroking RBI doubles.

So is there any need for all this pain? Over my years at the Herts club, we have had any number of bleeding faces and black eyes (including one of my own), all topped off with a broken jaw (not mine). But nobody flinches. My wife thinks we're all bonkers. I suspect she's right. Maybe it's all part of the release we get by playing competitive sports. And kept within sensible limits, I think injury is a perfectly healthy part of sport.

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