Ged Ladd & Co Ltd quietly works wonders for world cricket. People from all manner of countries where cricket is barely played (e.g. Bulgaria, Switzerland, Nigeria, Russia, Belgium, USA, Italy, China, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa) have been introduced to cricket through our company scratch matches and T20 visits. Indeed, the annual works outing to a Lord’s T20 game or two has now become a bit of a tradition.
This year my American business partner, Timothy Tiberelli, decided to bring his lovely wife Elspeth and their delightful young daughters, Heavens-To-Mukti-Yoshke-Leopardess-Pansy (age 13) and Chakra-Howdy-Doody-Tigress-Rosebud (age 10) to the T20.
Timothy bumped into the recently estranged wife of an eminent good friend of his. The wronged woman took the trouble to describe at length a quarter century of scandalous and scurrilous hurt. I can’t imagine why News of the World journalists ever bothered to hack phones and bug rooms when they could simply have turned up at Lord’s for T20 matches and opened their ears for a while.
The Tiberelli girls were not finding any of this conversation very interesting, so they went off to play with their diabolos.
When they returned, I (foolishly) said to Timothy: “Oh, I thought the girls were going to demonstrate their diabolo skills to me later,” at which point he packed me and the kids back off to the Coronation Garden for an exhibition and a chance to shine. The girls were very good diabolists, especially Rosebud.
They let me have a go. I was not very good.
Some other youngsters were bowling at the batsman statue with very limited success, so I asked them if I could have a go or three – I hoped to redeem some pride. I bowled at the statue with even more limited success than the youngsters, at which point I graciously bowed out of the garden games.
I suspect that Pansy would have bowled better – she had managed to keep my batting in check during the previous week’s scratch game using the fiendish tactic of bowling from a low trajectory and straight at the stumps.