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Laurence Elderbrook takes stock

Despite the captain’s promise following my moment of triumph, I was not called upon to bat at three the following season. In fact, I was not called upon to bat at all.

Having spent the entire season resplendent in my cream flannels on the wrong side of the boundary, I decide to take stock. I speak to Mrs Elderbrook about my cricket career and see what advice she has.

Mrs Elderbrook says I should take the hint. She says that if a team’s happier to pick a wooden barrel than me on the grounds that it can be placed at fine leg where it might occasionally stop a four then maybe there’s a message in that.

I say that she is right, that all the greatest players lose form and that it is how you respond that matters. I thank her for her subtle wisdom and inform her that I am going to go to Australia to play grade cricket. I will claw my way back to glory.

Later on, the lady on the phone tells me the price of a flight to Sydney and I take the only option available to me. I throw back my head and let fly a huge, bestial roar, after which I bellow my credit card details at her.

Mrs Elderbrook looks on with a tear in her eye. She admires my restraint. She admires me.

More Laurence Elderbrook

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Trott’s OCD, Morgan’s superpowers and Strauss’s handshake

Handshakefulness

We’ve written a piece for Cricinfo that has already been branded ‘a senseless attempt at trying to make people laugh’. You’ve got to take pride in earning comments like that.

It revolves around the things in the title of this post. We’ve been trying to work ‘handshakefulness’ into an article for a while now, so we’re quite pleased with it. Read it here.

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Kent v Essex match report

Andy writes:

When I was told we were going on a stag do I was excited. Well, excited but concerned too, because I was also told it was in Canterbury. I met up with the lads and boarded the train.

We had not seen each other for a few years and although there was more of us around the waist and there were definitely a few of us with less on top, we recognised each other and engaged in the usual childish banter chant of “oi oi saveloy!”.

There was a bloke called Asa, who was a colleague of the groom. He looked at us oddly when he heard the chant. I had never met him so it’s hard to say if he was either fatter or balder than before but he did have one of those continental ‘man bags’ which I found slightly odd. Arriving at Canterbury, Asa, a regular Kent attendee, said we could walk but it would take 20 minutes, so we waited 30 minutes for a cab instead.

The best man knew Simon Cook from his playing days in Hong Kong and he sorted out complimentary tickets. As we were a little late due to waiting for the taxi, we missed Rob Key getting out, but did see him waddle back into the pavilion as we ordered early refreshment. The round was five bitters, two lagers, a Magners and some oriental pish which I think was lager but may have been bitter.

Play stopped as we mounted the stairs to the mortuary that is the members’ pavillion. I think Joe Denly recognised me as someone that played with his dad, which would have been a good spot considering he was six at the time and I was 75 yards away walking up a staircase next to the BBC Kent booth. In truth it was more likely the pink fairy wings we were all wearing.

My mobile phone rang as we went inside and some old hag told me to shut the door in a manner that those liking older dominatrices pay good money for. I suspect she was slightly concerned at eight men with pink wings arriving late into the members’ stand talking nonsense. I spoke to my wife who was checking I hadn’t got drunk already.

Over lunch we ventured to a pub which did food but not of the edible variety, so pints three and four were accompanied by some ready salted and tales of yesteryear in the smokers’ beer garden. In truth, if Canterbury had a Domino’s we would have been set for the afternoon, but one of our other mates who worked in Whitstable had arrived at the ground and we went back to see him and have lunch.

Asa had to leave at 5.30pm because his Dad was picking him up. So four pints, one burger and a pastie later, we were sitting in the members’ stand thanking Cookie for his generosity when the Essex boys emerged from their showers. I said to Maurice Chambers: “What happened to you? You got Keys and then I saw you taking out drinks as 12th man.” He smiled, touched his side and said he had a slight strain and wanted to be fit for Twenty20 finals day. Talk about a shallow excuse for ensuring an IPL audition.

Oh yes and Ravi smelt tather tarty for a player who also never made the field. Sadly I failed to consume a curry or a kebab and got home at 11pm.

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Robert Key and his health and safety wisdom

Sarah Comma Canterbury sent us these, ‘hot off the camera card’.

Ian Botham could learn a hell of a lot from this:

Highly visible and his whole head is safe and secure

Where Botham removed his helmet and opted for a low-visibility tabard, Rob Key has got everything right.

Rob Key is better than Ian Botham in every conceivable way. Can Rob do anything wrong?

Totally inappropriate shoddery - won't somebody think of the metatarsals

The answer is yes.

That is totally inappropriate footwear for a building site. What if someone were to drop a piece of scaffolding on his foot?

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The autumnal cricketing wasteland

Autumn isn't depressing, it isn't, it isn't, don't cry, it isn't

It’s not the English cricket season and it’s not yet the Ashes. People aren’t interested in cricket at this time of year, but that’s why we started this site; for the days when the newspapers don’t feature a single cricket article.

The good news is we’ll be ticking over as normal for the next month or so and we’ll have match reports and the like. The bad news is that we’ll also have a short series by Laurence Elderbrook, updating us on what he’s been up to.

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Evil Monty Panesar improves his bowling figures

No, Monty! Say it hasn’t come to this.

Monty Panesar's deviousness knows no bounds

In a desperate bid to advance his case for England inclusion, Monty Panesar has been reduced to tampering with scoreboards.

2-20 sounds so much better than 2-120.

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Surrey v Glamorgan CB40 match report

Wickman from Royal Cricket writes:

My sister in law and I are Surrey members so we decided to go to a 40 over game. I’ve only become a member this year, but I haven’t been organised enough to get to the Oval. So I was pretty excited about getting into the pavilion – even if that one trip was effectively costing me more than £100.

There are pictures of former Surrey cricketers on the stairs. I noticed that they hadn’t got around to putting the end date on Ally Brown’s picture from when he left Surrey. Perhaps Chris Adams is hoping he’ll come back. If I had known about how good the ground staff and drainage were I would have had more time to look at the pictures by arriving earlier. My sister in law said that as the pictures were inside, it wouldn’t have mattered had it been raining or not. For some reason it’s not as annoying when your S-I-L is right as when your wife is, despite them being blood relations.

I didn’t know that they had Pedigree on and hate the creamflow stuff so had a pint of Foster’s. My sister in law did too. She then went on to rosé. I discovered that they did have Pedigree – I just hadn’t seen the pump – so I then went onto that. She also tried the white wine which she said was a Chardonnay (she prefers something drier and Italian). Finally she tried the red. She didn’t say anything about it. I am guessing she was either quietly pissed or quietly impressed.

We both remarked that we had really good seats on the top deck right behind the bowler’s arm. We couldn’t understand why they were free. We noticed from behind the bowler’s arm that one of the Welsh players had a really fat arse. We remarked that it was unlikely that you would be picked for England these days with a fat arse so we rather wrote off this guy’s chances. Actually, he was really fat all over, including his neck which seemed to bulge a bit.

I found a lift in the pavilion. This was good because it’s a long way back upstairs if you fancy a cigarette. I was glad I only smoke very occasionally. The alternative would have been to sit further down perhaps. But my sister in law didn’t want to. When I got back to my seat I felt hungry but the food in the cafeteria didn’t look that good. So I went back down to get a burger but they had closed.

This meant I left the ground very hungry. Annoyingly, I also missed my train home from Vauxhall so I took one to Clapham Junction. There they had a West Cornwall Pasty Co shop. I tried a steak and ale pasty and a traditional Cornish pasty. I ate them the wrong way around. Because I had the steak and ale one – which was quite spicy, moist and rich – the other one tasted very bland, which sort of made me think I should have got two steak and ale ones. But I was trying to pretend that one was for “a friend”.

When I got home there was a documentary on Ian Botham.

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Monty Panesar’s back

As in ‘returned’. He hasn’t got anklosing spondylitis or anything.

We’re frigging delighted about Monty Panesar being in England’s Ashes squad.

In a world of cynicism, underperformance and questionable motives, the man who literally jumps for joy at taking a wicket is king.

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Chris Tremlett’s back

As in ‘returned’. He hasn’t got anklosing spondylitis or anything.

We’re generally in favour. Not because he had a good season in that netherland, the second division of the County Championship, but because when he’s bowled for England, he’s bowled a bit like Andy Caddick and Andy Caddick was mint.

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Does Eoin Morgan have a girlfriend?

A lot of people seem to be searching the internet trying to find out whether Eoin Morgan has a girlfriend or not. We can’t say this is something that’s unduly concerned us.

However, using our extraordinary ability to put ourself in someone else’s shoes, we have gained an accurate insight into what a girl might see in him.

  • Ice-cold temperament that’s perfect for marshalling a run-chase
  • The ability to hit giant sixes, seemingly at will
  • Supple batsmanship of breathtaking dexterity
  • Adaptable approach, moving from accumulation to aggression in a heartbeat
  • Sees England home and wins cricket matches

That’s pretty much everything a girl looks for in a man, right?

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