Category: Match report (page 1 of 18)

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk – but on no account mention the cricket

England v Australia at Edgbaston – day two match report

Ged Ladd’s smartphone, Ivan Meagreheart, writes:

It can be quite exhausting being Ged Ladd’s smartphone; day one of the Edgbaston Test had been such a day. Normally a good rest overnight and I recharge my batteries without difficulty, but I had a bad night and in the morning I felt even more run down than I had the night before.

Ged went to put the kettle on and the cause of my low energy was revealed to him.  Although the lights were working, the sockets around the walls were all dead. Ged spoke to a member of staff and the problem was sorted very quickly. Ged let me lie in for 90 minutes or so before we set off for the ground and promised that I’d be allowed to rest for most of the day. Ged certainly wouldn’t need me to look up the cricket score today.

Soon enough several other Heavy Rollers turned up. There would be 10 humans this year, perhaps a record number. First to arrive was Big “Papa Zambezi” Jeff and his charming pal Biff (possibly the best Northamptonshire batsman never to represent Northants in first class cricket). Soon after that, Harsha Ghoble, famous for getting barracked by the Indian supporters for holding the Indian flag upside down, vintage Trent Bridge, 2002. Then David and his son Dan Peel, chauffeured to our meeting point by their delightful wife/mother (respectively), Lemon. One more, Peter Doubt, would meet us at the ground, so we were ready for the off.

Dan Peel, a local lad, offered to lead the trek from Hagley Road to the ground.  2.1 miles by my reckoning – I have an app for that. Ged insisted that I rest and that we could manage without apps or use other people’s smart phones. Dan took us a fair bit further east into Birmingham than was necessary – which is why humans should never be trusted with directions. The Boy Malloy kept pointing out that his app was suggesting a different route, while Charley “The Gent” Malloy was happily counting his footsteps using his exercise app, delighted that a bit of route confusion was increasing his footstep count.

Eventually we got to the ground, which was heaving with people, but we were in very good time for the start of play. I know – I mustn’t tell you about the cricket. I’m a machine. I can do rules.

To avoid the sorts of Edgbaston shopping confusion described in the final paragraph of the piece linked here, Nigel and Charley had, between them, brought masses of “man nibbles” with them for the outing. Pork pies, sausage rolls, cheese and onion rolls, chocolate marshmallow sandwich biscuits, jaffa cakes – that sort of stuff. And Doritos, naturally. Most of the group washed this feast down with copious quantities of beer, but Ged is off beer these days, so he drank buckets of water instead.

Soon it was time to walk home. The Boy Malloy took charge and insisted that we follow his app home. Even Dan Peel admitted it was a shorter, quicker route.  After changing/charging respectively, Ged and I joined the group for a drink in the hotel bar early evening (Ged imbibed, I didn’t) and most of us went out for a light Italian meal across the road, which was a popular choice with all other than Harsha, who referenced the Bland Food Sketch, but came along anyway and seemed to enjoy his bland evening.

When we got back after dinner, Ged’s power sockets had gone down again, but this time he got someone at reception to put a shilling in that particular meter before bedtime.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


England v Sri Lanka at Lord’s, day one – match report

Lord's Cricket Ground pavilion

We weren’t going to do this, but when we started writing something else we sort of felt obliged to ‘fess up that we’d actually been at the ground yesterday and by that point a match report seemed unavoidable.

New rule

We always include a brief italicised outline of what we want from match reports submitted to this site (send them to king@kingcricket.co.uk), but one thing we increasingly feel the need to mention is that you don’t actually have to be Ged Ladd to contribute one. Much as we enjoy the man’s offerings, it would be good to break the Ged hegemony because variety and fenugreek are the spices of life.

Ged doesn’t even have to be there.

Although he was on this occasion.

Ged

We know Ged through this website. A couple of years ago, we met Ged for a pint and we now know him in that sense. But we don’t know Ged. For example, until yesterday, we didn’t know that Ged was the kind of person who could tell you in what year you’d met him for a pint and Ged didn’t know that we were the kind of person for whom past, present and future are just one murky impenetrable dream state, meaning we rarely know if things happened yesterday, five years ago or not yet.

So this was not one of those we-always-meet-up-for-the-cricket things. It was a very kind invite from Ged which was completely unexpected. We were particularly struck by it because we would never even dream of inviting someone to something unless we’ve known that person for at least 20 years (a threshold which also increases by the year).

Be prepared

Ged told us he would take care of food and kindly reminded us that Lord’s Cricket Ground’s greatest attribute is that you’re allowed to take some booze in.

Going by the guidelines, a bottle of wine seemed the most sensible thing to bring. However, we have never drunk wine at a cricket match and what little we know of Ged also made us suspect that a bottle of SPANISH RED WINE in upper-case letters probably wouldn’t be to his normal standards, so we instead plumped for the two beers option.

At the same time, we didn’t want to be the northerner who turns up with two cans of Skol, so we opted for two bottles of Belgian beer as this seemed nicely ambiguous.

Real world skills

What we didn’t bring was a bottle opener. Fortunately, Ged’s front row seats provided us with a perfectly adequate concrete step in front of us and we were able to put this to use for the old ‘position bottle top on corner and hammer with side of hand’ opening technique.

We were somewhat taken aback when not just Ged, but also his two companions Charley “The Gent” Malloy (slight suspicion of a made-up name) and Big Al Delarge (slight suspicion of a made-up name) were astounded by this hitherto unseen method. When we employed it a second time later on in the day, people in neighbouring seats also looked on in awe. One guy, wearing a blazer, said: “That’s pretty impressive,” and really seemed to mean it.

We felt a little like we’d just cracked open a can of Skol, but mostly we felt proud to have helped spread a vital life skill which we had always taken for granted.

The Home of Cricket

While there certainly were a few beer drinkers in our stand, it wasn’t 98 per cent of the crowd as it is at the cricket grounds we normally attend. The most popular beverage was instead Champagne and the day was punctuated by popping sounds.

Surveying the patch of grass beyond the boundary, we put it to Ged that a more appropriate nickname for Lord’s would be The Home of Corks. He seemed to find this amusing. Acutely aware that we are nowhere near as witty in real life as people sometimes expect us to be, we made a note and repeated the joke hourly.

The Home of Real Tennis

At the end of the day’s play, Ged offered to show us the ground’s real tennis court. This was everything we hoped it would be – which is to say an almost entirely baffling experience. As far as we can work out, those who commit to real tennis from an early enough age must at some point hit some sort of sweet spot where they have had sufficient time to attain a rough grasp of the rules without yet having been consigned to a wheelchair through old age.

After that, it was time to shake hands and part ways. We politely reminded Ged to try and keep his match reports as short and pithy as possible and then the next day wrote 800 words about meeting him.

Did Ged make Lord’s throdkin?

Did he ever. Top man. Recipe here.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


England v Australia at Edgbaston Test – day one match report

Ivan Meagreheart The Smart Phone writes:

It’s hard work being Ged Ladd’s smartphone. I get pretty run down by the end of most days. Still, there are perks. One of those perks is cricket. During the cricket season I get to look at the scores a heck of a lot. And sometimes I get to go to matches.

Ged has a regular meet with friends for Thursday and Friday, the first two days, of the Edgbaston Test. This year [Editor’s note: last year now] threw them into confusion. The match started on a Wednesday. So what exactly is their tradition? They plugged for the Thursday and Friday; days two and three this year.

So on day one, the Wednesday, Ged decided to get his packing and some work done early in the morning, go to the gym to watch a fair chunk of the morning session on the TV while exercising, then head to Euston during the luncheon interval.

When we got to Euston, Ged called Daisy; a task for which I am ideally suited, but increasingly rarely employed. Daisy told Ged that her two o’clock patient had cancelled and that she now had an unexpected break until half-three. She intended to slob out and watch the cricket. “Great,” said Ged. “Give us a call or text if anything happens – the wifi/digital signal on the trains is ghastly, but strangely, mobile phone signals get through fine.”

It’s only a short journey to Birmingham, but Daisy must have phoned Ged half a dozen times while we were on the train. Girls. Ged seemed happy enough about it, though.

When we got to the hotel, Ged collected his key and then wheeled his bag to the bar; stood watching the TV for a short while, then turned around and headed towards our room. Moments after we turned and walked out, the punters in the bar gave a huge cheer. I didn’t realise that Ged was so unpopular.

Ged took about 10 minutes to unpack a bit and grab some reading matter, then we headed back to the bar. Ged found a quiet corner with a good view of a second TV, ordered a potta and hunkered down for the rest of the afternoon.

About an hour later, Nigel “Father Barry” White arrived and joined us in the bar. He had received a peculiar text from Charley “the Gent” Malloy and “the Boy” Malloy, who said they were running a bit late and had stopped for a snack at a service station. Ged and Nigel debated the causation sequence in that two-part statement. There ought to be an app for that.

After a while, the Malloy pair turned up. The four fellas had a drink together as stumps approached. Soon after stumps, Nigel raised the subject of dinner. Charley announced that the Malloys’ late afternoon snack had turned into a bit of a junk food feast and that they weren’t hungry.

Ged and Nigel searched for a restaurant nearby – I have an app for that – and settled on Bengal Delight. They had a very enjoyable meal by all accounts, although neither ruby looked anything like the posh drizzle-laden pictures on the website. I was quite rundown by the end of the evening, as was Ged, in excited anticipation of spending day two at the match.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Lord’s net practice – journey report

Was It Because I'm Black

Dumbo the Suzuki Jimny writes:

Just a few days after Ged and Daisy went to the Lord’s Ashes Test and got all confused about etiquette, Ged asked me to take him out and about for the working day, to culminate at Lord’s, The Home of Cricket, for a net with Charley “The Gent” Malloy and Escamillo Escapillo. I was incredibly excited about visiting Lord’s for the first time, but knew there was real work to do first.

Ged stuffed my copious rear with a great big cricket coffin and his kit bag, plus a much smaller bag full of his work papers, covering that lot with a large tarpaulin, as is his custom when I am likely to sit around loaded up.

“Giddy up Dumbo,” said Ged, as we set off. Unlike the bowler Mark Wood, who has an imaginary horse, I actually AM an imaginary horse, which is even more fun. We went to Hammersmith first up, to a big building with a visitors’ car park. Ged went in with his small bag of work papers. I waited. And waited. And waited. Ged was in there for hours. Eventually he came out of that building, looking quite perky.

“My new ukulele strings have arrived, Dumbo,” said Ged. “We’ve got time to collect them from the music shop on the All Saints Road on our way to Lord’s. Ride like the wind, Dumbo.”

This last request was a bit strange, given we were in Hammersmith in the rush hour. Unless you consider 10 to 15mph to be “like the wind.” I did my best.

Ged wasn’t in the music shop very long and came out proudly waving two sets of baritone ukulele strings. When we drove around the corner, there was a policeman waiting. He waved to a group of other policemen a little further down the road, who flagged us down. “Just a routine, random stop and search, sir,” said one of the policemen. He then asked Ged for any ID with his name on it. Ged proffered his Middlesex CCC life membership card.

I was overcome with fearful and paranoid thoughts. Ged always travels under a false identity; none of his credit cards or membership cards are in the name Ged Ladd. I thought the police would easily rumble Ged and that I would be impounded or worse. Why did they stop us and let countless others drive by? Was it Ged’s beard? Was it because I am black?

“Where are you coming from and going to, sir?” asked the copper.

Ged told him.

“What’s under the tarpaulin, sir?”

“My cricket coffin, kit bag and a bag of work papers,” said Ged.

‘Don’t say “coffin,”’ I thought. ‘That’s bound to arouse suspicion.’

“Would you please step out of the car and lift up the tarpaulin, sir?” said the policeman.

Ged showed him.

“Would you like me to open the bags?” asked Ged.

“That won’t be necessary, sir,” said the policemen. “Just waiting for the database check, sir.” There was a long pause.

“Do you like cricket, sir?” asked the policeman.

‘Good question,’ I thought. ‘You’ve stopped a life member of Middlesex CCC, on his way to Lord’s for a net, with a great big cricket coffin, but truthfully he doesn’t care much for cricket; he prefers rounders and netball.’

“Yes I do, officer,” said Ged, pathetically.

Thankfully, those silly policemen failed to rumble Ged’s false identity and let us go as soon as their useless database check came through.

To add to my sense of persecution though, when we got to Lord’s the gate official wouldn’t let us into the ground, as there was a so-called big match on the next day and no-one available to do a security check on me. I wanted Ged to tell her that we had been security checked ten minutes ago, when the fuzz gave us both a thorough going over, but he wimped out. Ged simply expressed his displeasure and parked me on the other side of the Wellington Road, so I still haven’t seen Lord’s.  But we’re going again soon and I’ll tell you all about it once I’ve been in.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


England v Australia at Lord’s, day three – match report

Ged writes:

I prepared a splendid picnic, though I say so myself, for me and Daisy to enjoy on the Saturday of the Lord’s Ashes Test. Breakfast muffins stuffed with juicy coriander prawns was the centrepiece of the midday feast. The main event, though, was focaccia-wiches, containing Big Al deLarge’s latest discovery of amazing Parma ham. Following a successful use of the latter fare the previous week, when Dave The DJ came round to my place for a guitar/ukulele jam, Daisy was envious as crazy and expected nothing less.

These days, Daisy and I choose to hide from the sun in the “unfashionable but good for priority bookers” front reaches of the Lower Edrich. This time we were surrounded by delightful Middlesex CCC people, many of whom we knew at least by name from the internet radio and website chats in years gone by. It was like an impromptu gathering of the e-clan.

Mid-afternoon, I ventured alone round to the posh side for a pee. As I have reported many times before, you get a better class of floor piss round there. But as I approached the Tavern Stand loo, I saw that Mr Johnny Friendly, who had sent me and Daisy the MCC Rules of Real Tennis only a few weeks previously, was standing in the doorway, engrossed in reading his electronic tablet. It seemed to me, momentarily, that I was always running into Mr Friendly in or near those toilets and that he might mistake my repeated presence as sinister, or perhaps a quest for additional gifts. As he was deeply engrossed and I was sure he hadn’t seen me, I decided to save embarrassment by walking a little further round to the Allen Stand loo instead.

When I got back to our stand and reported my sighting to Daisy, she was most put out. “But supposing Mr Friendly did see you? He would surely see your lack of acknowledgement as a snub – and after he has shown us such kindness in the matter of Real Tennis. Surely the correct etiquette now would be for you to write and apologise profusely to Mr Friendly for your rudeness.”

I said that I thought the correct etiquette in the circumstances would be to forget the whole thing. But, you see, I come from the wrong kind of family and only went a few modest steps up the lower rungs of the social ladder by winning a scholarship to almost the right kind of school. Do not scorn or reproach me, dear reader – pity me.

Daisy was both unsure and upset. “Oh drains to oiky pater and that common, lawn tennis court he built for us. Why couldn’t we have had the real thing, then none of this Mr Friendly dilemma would have happened?”

There was no point consulting the good folk of Middlesex CCC around us. Good, honest, stout yeo-folk to be sure, but not the sort of people equipped to advise us on etiquette paradoxes. Where are the MCC posh boys when you need them?

“I know how we can resolve this dispute,” I said. “Let’s consult Jane Austen…”

… by which I meant the Complete Works of Jane Austen, which we always have to hand on our e-book readers. Unfortunately, Daisy misunderstood me and got straight on the mobile to Jane Austin, sister of the mighty Ian Austin, the greatest all-round cricketer that Baxenden CC, nay, perhaps even the whole of the Ribblesdale League, has ever produced. Daisy asked Jane Austin her etiquette question, listened politely to the answer, said: “Thank you very much indeed,” then put the phone down.

“What did she say?” I asked.

“Art tawkin’ ter me or chewin’ a brick?” said Daisy.

“I think that means she agrees with me,” I concluded.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Middlesex v Worcestershire at Uxbridge – match report

celebratory-ice-cream

Dumbo, Ged’s Suzuki Jimny writes:

Not all that long after taking Ged and Daisy to Ireland, where I got to watch my first snippet of a cricket match at Clontarf CC, Ged asked me to take him to Uxbridge to see day two of Middlesex v Worcestershire. I was very excited about this prospect, as it was proper first class cricket and I hoped I’d get to see a lot more cricket than I ended up seeing at Clontarf.

We set off ridiculously late for the game. Ged insisted on doing work in the morning and then doing some exercise at the gym at lunchtime before setting off, so by the time we got to Uxbridge it was gone 3pm and more than half the day’s cricket was done. We listened to the commentary on the internet radio on the way out to the ground. Ged said that it sounded quite tedious, but that anyway his main purpose that afternoon was to finish reading a book, The Utopia of Rules. I asked Ged what the book was about. He said it was a socialist perspective on the anthropology of bureaucracy, so I was none the wiser and wished I hadn’t asked.

When we arrived at Uxbridge, I expected to drive up to the boundary and watch the match, just as I had at Clontarf, but an official pointed me to another field, some distance from the first-class pitch with no view at all. Ged said he was powerless to intervene on my behalf. Ged should know; he’s reading the book on bureaucracy.

Ged also said that he wanted to have a photo of himself taken eating an ice cream, as a celebratory joke to send to the advertising people who, bizarrely, contacted Ged while we were in Ireland wanting to license some clips from the old Ladd family home movies. Ged’s Dad is slapping on the tanning oil in this advert. That’s Ged and his Mum looking daft on a Fredalo in this vine. Some of us actually have to earn our living.

It was a glorious afternoon when we arrived, but it soon clouded over and there was a really cold wind. Ged said afterwards that he enjoyed his ice-cream, especially as his friend, Frank Poole, had insisted on buying Ged the treat as well as taking the celebratory photograph. Ged and Frank had a nice chat while walking around eating their ice creams in the sunshine. Ged started the afternoon in shirtsleeves, but soon had to layer up with a jumper and thick jacket, yet still felt cold sitting reading his book, which was, apparently, a chilling enough read even without the cold wind. So we stopped off at Harry Morgan’s, near Lord’s, on the way home, as Ged said he needed some hot chicken soup to warm and cheer himself up. Bless.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Essex v Australians at Chelmsford – match report

Ivan The Smart Phone - Not a Selfie

My name is Ivan. I am Ged’s smart phone. One of the few things I cannot do is take a selfie; my friend Ida took this picture. I wear a protective cover in the style of an old-fashioned calculator. I am told that this is a joke.

I went with Ged to see a cricket match in Chelmsford, the principal settlement of the City of Chelmsford and the county town of Essex, in the East of England. We travelled to the ground by train and on foot. I could explain all the detail of the journey to you; I planned it after all, but Ged says that I must not be too wordy in my match reports. He also says that I shouldn’t mention the actual cricket. I can follow rules.

When we arrived at a little park across the river from the ground, Ged asked a steward for help, as for once I could not answer Ged’s question. The steward pointed to a security check in the park, near which we saw some chavs knocking back bottles of Champagne at 10.45am.

Ged went forward for his check.

“Do you have any glass bottles or glasses?” asked the steward.

“No,” said Ged. “I read the ticket carefully. So I brought only plastic bottles and glasses.”

“Stroik a loit, knock me darn wiv a fever and shoik me ‘and, squire,” said the steward, putting out his hand for Ged to shake. “Yer the first proper gent today.”

I identified the accent as Dick van Dyke.

I kept Ged and Charley the Gent Malloy in communication during the journey, so Ged knew exactly where to go to find Charley. Unusually, Ged did not wipe his feet as he entered the pavilion, but he did wipe them as he left the building, heading for the viewing benches in front, where Charley had saved him a good seat.

“No chance of us trying your famous bottle of red wine today then, Charley,” said Ged, showing Charley his little plastic bottles of wine. “Glass prohibition and all that.”

“Oh I pay no attention to that guff,” said Charley, producing a proper glass bottle of wine. “But I thought white would be better than red today; it was so hot yesterday.”

I had taken Ged and Daisy to Wimbledon that day and indeed it had been so hot my circuits overheated. I had to sleep for most of the day. I am pleased to report that no such overheating occurred on this occasion. I should say, though, that the Wimbledon surroundings were somewhat more salubrious than Chelmsford. Still, Mrs Malloy had prepared a similarly splendid picnic, with chicken rolls, cheese ones and also some with corned beef – the latter I think Charley rather hoped would be rejected by Ged, but Ged enjoyed his fair share of everything, including the nibbles, biscuits and cake.

Towards the end of the day’s play, we all relocated to the other side of the ground to get a different view. During a short rain delay, a steward protected the field of play. He was jerking around with Southern Dragon Kung Fu moves, as if fighting his own demons.

“Are you all right?” asked Charley.

“These bloody flies at this time of the evening,” said the steward. “They’re awful.”

Ged and Charley had not encountered any flies, but decided to leave that area and return to the pavilion.

Soon after that, Mrs Malloy joined us for a few minutes at the end of the day, during which time Daisy phoned in from the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. All too soon, Ged and I were on our way back to the station, after agreeing that, one way or another, we had all enjoyed a splendid day in the country.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Lord’s Cricket Ground tour – not a match report

Bert writes:

This website has a number of obsessions. Cricket is one, obviously, but there’s cats and fat cricketers and ankylosing spondylitis and all sorts of other stuff. And there is the apostrophe, with particular reference to the correct use thereof.

The thing is, I don’t think this is especially unusual. The link between cricket and punctilious punctuation, that is. There is something about cricket, its atmosphere and culture, that makes it a suitable place for those of us who care about such things. Next time you’re at the cricket, ask the person sitting next to you if correct apostrophe use matters – it’s very likely that you’ll get an affirmative response.

I found myself at Lord’s the other day, taking the kids on a tour of the ground. It occurred to me that I could confirm, or possibly refute, my hypothesis on apostrophes while I was there. I mean, one would expect that the Home of Cricket would also be the Home of Correct Apostrophe Use. So I paid particular attention to this as I took the tour.

Let’s start with something simple – the straightforward adding of a possessive s to a singular noun.

simple

Yep, no problems there. In fact, the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that the same correct usage is repeated at the top of the stairs. Well done the MCC. Now, what about plurals?

plurals

Ah, exemplary. How many boys? More than one, I’ll be bound. You’ll have to take my word for it, but that same perfection is repeated on each of the display boards in the case. As you might imagine, the children and I spent several happy minutes at this display, bathing in the warmth of the calm, confident typography of the English cricket establishment. Marvellous stuff.

Of course, the name of the place itself – Lord’s – has an apostrophe, indeed one that might trap the unwary user. So how does the MCC get on with this trickiness?

trickiness

Perfectly, of course. We shouldn’t have expected anything less.


Anyone For Real Tennis? – England v New Zealand match report

I Can't Get My Head Round These Rules

Ged writes:

Two days after my last-minute-dot-ticket-office, cocktail-avoiding day at the Lord’s Test with Charley the Gent Malloy, I returned for my long arranged Sunday visit with Daisy. The weather forecast had been dreadful, but we woke up and indeed arrived at the ground on a beautiful sunny Sunday.

Daisy and I had an event-free circuit walk during lunch, but when we attempted similar at tea, we ran into Mr Johnny Friendly, walking the other way.

“Hello you two,” said Mr Friendly, stopping to chat with us. “Are you enjoying the cricket?”

“Oh yes indeed, Mr Friendly, very much so,” said Daisy politely, before enquiring: “Have you been watching the cricket or playing your beloved real tennis?”

“Mostly the latter,” replied Mr Friendly. “I can’t get enough of it these days.”

“I saw a television broadcast about real tennis only yesterday,” said Daisy. “The rules sound fiendishly complicated.”

“Not at all, young Daisy,” said Mr Friendly with his kindly voice. “The rules can be set out on a couple of pages; indeed there is an MCC leaflet that explains it all. Would you like a copy?”

“Nothing in the world should give me quite so much pleasure,” blurted Daisy, slightly exaggerating her Jane Austen-style manners.

Unfortunately, you see, Daisy comes from almost the right kind of family, which, after making a modest fortune through trade, then packed Daisy and her sisters off to almost the right kind of school. You should not scorn or reproach such people, dear reader. Daisy is a very good sort of girl; you should wish her extremely well and be happy to see her respectably settled. No doubt, there are men who might not object to her.

“Then you shall have a copy of that MCC leaflet,” said Mr Friendly with his benevolent voice.

“Ey up, tha’s reet gradeley,” said Daisy, getting so excited and confused that she muddled Jane Austen, the great early 19th Century novelist of manners, with Jane Austin, sister of the mighty Ian Austin, the greatest all-round cricketer that Haslingden, nay, even the whole of Rossendale, has ever produced.

“Hello you three,” said Mr Friendly, turning away from us. He was greeting some friends or acquaintances, no doubt far more important folk than us. Soon Mr Friendly was in deep conversation with those people.

We wandered on, thinking that Daisy’s real tennis rule leaflet hopes had been thwarted. But two days later, by means of that magnificent institution, The Royal Mail, a personally autographed copy of the MCC Real Tennis Rules, together with warm wishes from the Friendly family, arrived at our humble little hovel on the western fringes of London. Now that’s class for you.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Scarborough Cricket Festival match report

Ed writes:

I went to the Scarborough Cricket Festival. Here’s nearly proof.

welcome-to-scarborough

Yorkshire playing Durham in a top-of-table Div 1 encounter. Your proverbial 32-pointer.

We bought our tickets at the turnstiles.

scarborough-ticket

At the same time, my Dad was at Trent Bridge. His ticket was more fancy.

test-ticket

We asked where we were allowed to sit.

“You can sit anywhere.” Pause. “But not the pavilion.”

Great ground, packed but with enough non-pavilion options to make it a nice-but-tricky decision.

As happens often in my life, I ended up at deep midwicket.

The sun shone.

We agreed there was nowhere else in the world we’d rather be than here. We wondered if Gary Ballance felt the same way.

me-and-pavilion

We decided to do a circuit of the ground. You can do that in real places.

We started then got stopped: “You have to pay a pound to walk through here.” It was the members enclosure.

“Or you can walk anti-clockwise.”

We spurned the financial incentive and embraced the anti-clockwisdom.

Sat on the grass now, by the actual, real-life boundary rope, near a few hundred Yorkshire supporters, it was time for a beer.

We headed to the bar. They only sold the Scarborough Cricket Club Merlot by the glass – I wasn’t allowed a bottle as a keepsake.

We drank bitter.

Dad was worried he’d not get his money back for his third day Test ticket. Here is the small print.

test-terms

Small print in Scarborough is bigger.

scarborough-terms

After a few more beers, we passed out.

pass-out-ticket

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


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