England v India, Edgbaston Test match report

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Ged writes:

We were all set for our (almost) annual visit to Edgbaston for the first two days of the Test. Charlie “The Gent” Malloy had arranged everything. Front row seats in the Raglan Stand, digs at Harborne Hall, nets the night before the start of the Test at Harborne CC – even tickets for day two grub at the Spice Bizarre Indian Buffet (in honour of the Indian bowling attack).

This year, there were to be just the three of us; the third man being Nigel “Father Barry” White. Nigel is one of the elders of our Edgbaston visiting troupe, known as The Heavy Rollers, tag line – “causing havoc at Edgbaston tests since the 1990s.”

On the Monday before the game, I took a call from Charlie. “Bad news, Ged. It’s 50-50 as to whether I’m going to make it.”

I thought he meant that he was probably dying. “Chas, what on earth has happened?” I asked.

“Something gastric”, he replied. “More runs than Rahul Dravid.”

“Surely you mean that you have the Jonathan Trotts, Chas”, I quipped. He didn’t laugh.

We agreed that Charlie would cancel the Tuesday nets and try to join us later in the trip if he was able.

Nigel and I soldiered on. We had a tasty Chinese meal on Tuesday evening, cunningly avoiding the riots by remaining in Harborne. But it wasn’t the same without Charlie. We called him on the Wednesday morning.

“I’m feeling weaker than the Indian bowling attack”, he said. “I’m not going to make it today.”

So Nigel and I went to the supermarket and, at high speed, bought enough picnic food to cover all eventualities for the next two days (22 minutes, beating last year’s Ged and Chas supermarket picnic time trial by nearly an hour).

We got to the ground in good time to see the warm ups and settled in for the day. Later, we went back in to Harborne and enjoyed some tapas and wine. But the Wednesday had not been the same without Charlie.

Thursday morning, Chas called us just as we were setting off for the ground. “I’m feeling as weak as the Indian batting line up minus Dravid,” he said. “I’m not going to make it at all, fellas.”

Nigel and I got to the ground in good time, ate the remains of our supermarket picnic and just before tea we feasted on the bizarre Indian bazaar buffet. Very tasty. Later, we went into Harborne for some wine, but no food – we was stuffed. But the Thursday had not been the same without Charlie.

I called Charlie on the weekend to find out how he was feeling. “I’m feeling almost as weak as the excuses in a BCCI press release,” he said. “But don’t worry, I’m on the mend. You’re still up for the Edgbaston trip next year, aren’t you?”


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  1. “A heartbreaking story of loss and despair.”
    – The Times

    “Sadder than Toy Story 3.”
    – The Sun

    “You’ll be crying into your cornflakes with this one, assuming that is that you are eating cornflakes at the time of reading, and that your head is positioned in such a way that any liquid rolling down your face would fall into the bowl.”
    – Logical Accuracy Monthly

    “Dangerous and subversive.”
    – Health and Safety Executive Report on the Dangers of Shopping Too Fast in Supermarkets

    “Very honest.”
    – Gay Times

    “Disgraceful comparisons of gastric troubles to Indian cricketers. Ged is just jealous about where India is in world cricket and money and how I’ve got a job talking rubbish and stuff and… (continued)”
    – Ravi Shastri

  2. I cannot help but feel this report is incomplete, Ged. Quite disappointing, going by your usual high standards. What kind of Chinese meal? Did it involve broccoli? If so, why? I mean, that thing doesn’t even grow in China. Why has it become a Chinese staple in the west? If not, why? Why go against tradition? What kind of foods in the Indian buffet? I assume samosas and tikka masalas were involved. If so, why? If not, why again? What kind of tapas? Cold? Not cold? Why wine instead of beer?

    So. many. questions.

    1. Any half-decent Chinese restaurant will serve kai lan


      (Chinese broccoli) rather than the inferior European brassica. I’m afraid it is the species (rather than taste) similarity that leads to inferior Chinese restaurants serving the other stuff.

      The Indian buffet was a bit “standard” as you guessed – – I went for the gravy-based curries rather than the tikka bite-type stuff.

      Similarly the tapas was mock-Spanish taster plates rather than the real thing, but did a job.

      I fear I am becoming intolerant to beer in my old age, so tend to drink wine far more than beer.

      I report the memorable stuff, Deep Cower. Apologies if that is insufficient for you.

      But thank you for your questions. I’m glad you asked those.

  3. Getting the Jonathans is nasty. Hopefully not due to a bad reaction from some dihydrocodeine. The specifics are clearly not meant self-referentially…

  4. I was there on Wednesday. Did you get a Cure Leukaemia t-shirt? I did. They told us all in the EH stand we were going to do a photo shoot with them on, the vast majority wore them without the photo shoot ever materialising.

    I did keep the t-shirt though. It’s cottony soft and I often sleep in it now. So I think the t-shirt got a happy ending, even if Cure Leukaemia probably wasted a great deal of time and money on the whole affair.

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