12 questions about that 2019 Cricket World Cup video where Freddie Flintoff sang and a bunch of people followed him

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In 2018, the ICC released a promotional video for the 2019 World Cup.

It starred Freddie Flintoff (definitely Freddie and not Andrew or Andy in this instance) and you can still find it on YouTube here.

We have a bunch of questions about it.

  1. Is this what Fred does now?

Flintoff also did a song for the football world cup and it was both incredible and bad.

Apparently that was just practice, which explains why this particular world cup music video is incredible and slightly less bad.

  1. How long would it take for the Daily News to fold?
Daily News (all images via YouTube)

The front page is weather, which is good, strong UK tabloid fodder. The back page is “CRICKET WORLD CUP IS COMING.”

This is (a) a woeful headline and (b) hardly a sudden and newsworthy development.

We’d suggest that the kind of newspaper that runs ‘cricket tournament that has been scheduled for years is shortly about to start’ as its main sports story is not one that is going to earn a huge and profitable readership.

The only way this makes sense as a back page headline is if there are about 15 different editions of the newspaper every single day – and if that’s the case, they’re going to go bust almost instantly.

  1. Who the hell are these needy tag-alongs and what the hell is going in their heads?

We’ve seen Andrew Flintoff several times in real life. We have never once felt an urge to follow him.

Now we like Fred very much, but if we saw him and he suddenly broke out into song, we would honestly be physically repelled by this. We would rapidly begin to move in the opposite direction without hesitation.

What can possibly be happening in these people’s lives that they instead think: “Well this is unbelievably weird. I know – why don’t we not just follow, but actively join in.”

The two on the right are definitely on their lunch breaks, in which case this free time should be incredibly valuable to them and surely not to be frittered away on ex-cricketer-following wild goose chases.

  1. What were these three guys doing before they joined in?

‘Just hanging around in town in my England clothes with my entirely normal hair.’

  1. Is Charlotte Edwards the greatest facial actor in history?

Look at Charlotte Edwards’ face here and try and tell us this face doesn’t somehow crystallise all of the many conflicting emotions you simultaneously feel while watching the video.

Either (a) Charlotte Edwards is the greatest actor in history or (b) they didn’t warn her and this is just her genuine, honest reaction.

  1. Why is there a police officer?

The opening gives the impression that this is one of those impromptu celebratory parades that often seem to occur in music videos and nowhere else.

If that’s the case, where did this guy come from?

What kind of impromptu celebratory parade has a police escort?

Maybe this isn’t an impromptu celebratory parade. Maybe we should stop thinking of it as one.

  1. What is the guy at Mani’s Greengrocers doing?

This guy.

At first we thought he was a customer and that was maybe his rucksack in front of him.

But then we noticed that he has bright blue hands.

Either he’s wearing a luridly coloured disposable latex glove, like they use at crime scenes or he’s bagged something up.

The second option seems more normal, but it looks more like a glove to us, in which case who is he? Does he work at Mani’s? Is he Mani? (He’s certainly not Mani from the Stone Roses.)

If he’s just a customer, why is he putting a glove on and where is he putting the fruit? If he’s an employee, what is he doing? Also, why doesn’t he so much as bat an eyelid at the demented torrent of people pouring past him.

Maybe this one isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s bugging us all the same.

  1. Who are these people and how did they know this parade would happen?

Did they have 4 and 6 signs lying around? Do they attend Tests annually but retain their signage from one year to the next? Did they see the parade coming on CCTV giving them time to dig out the signs and display them at the appropriate moment?

We’re pretty sure the guy’s not a proper cricket fan because a proper cricket fan would always wave the 6 as a 9. (We’ve no idea why this is the case, but we’ve seen it happen enough times to know that this is 100 per cent true.)

  1. Is this one of the Currans?

Kind of looks like one.

Maybe not one of the current ones, but we assume there are more Currans still to come.

  1. How long is this parade?

They start somewhere urban, they end at the Oval, but then at one point they’re here.

Is this one of those bits of London where they leave a field surrounded by big trees to try and trick you into thinking you’re not in London? (Nice try London, but we can still hear you.)

It’s also worth noting that going off the background, Charlotte Edwards’ bench is in this area but then when Fred acknowledges her, he’s back in suburbia (or possibly urbia (why does no-one say ‘urbia’?)).

This is a very slow response time. Fred’s reactions have deteriorated markedly since he was a professional cricketer.

  1. In terms of famous cricketers, does the video mostly just feature people who happened to be in and around the Oval on the day that they were filming?

Fred obviously got the train down especially, but other than that you kind of feel like they just roped in whoever stumbled past.

Other than Edwards, we get Phil Tufnell (obviously) and Kumar Sangakkara (less obviously, but also totally obviously if we subscribe to the ‘in-and-around-the-Oval’ theory).

Greg James is there too. A Venn diagram pretty much demanded his presence because this is both music and cricket.

  1. Where do you go after this last bit?

The problem with climactic moments like this is that everyone has to do something immediately afterwards and you’ve honestly got no room for manoeuvre. It’s all downhill from here.

We’re guessing that everyone looked around awkwardly; no-one really spoke; a bunch of people checked their watches and hurried back to work; and the Saint George’s Cross person got the Tube home, leaving little deposits of tinsel and ticker tape here there and everywhere.

Fred’s probably still there, pratting about with the beach ball or something.


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  1. Sort of escalates very quickly, too: within 20 seconds of leaving his coffee behind, he’s a full marching band behind him.
    So many other things to note: the three guys with the sweeping brushes, the synchronized umpires ….
    But what about Freddie wearing loafers without socks? Surely that was worth a mention. Coz I’m pretty sure he’s wearing (grey? suede?) loafers without socks. I’d check to be sure but that would mean having to look at the video again.

  2. People would more likely have 4 & 6 signs from limited overs matches, particularly T20. I may have a few spare ones from last year’s Lauderhill CPL matches that I have saved in case I ever need them again. This is perfectly normal behaviour.

  3. ICC, Amaya.

    The fictional shop in the video/question 7 is actually written on the sign, with errant apostrophe (presumably a deliberate joke), as Mani’s Greengrocer’s.

    It is actually a very faint disguise for the very real Danny’s Greengrocers on Electric Avenue in Brixton Market:


    Quite near the Oval, as you say.

  4. I fear that popular music and the popular music video have both taken a turn for the worse in the last 50 years.

    This morning I published a piece with some 50-year-old chart rundowns and my old reel-to-reel recordings of the top 10 songs.

    Lyrically, the new ICC song comes nowhere near the giddy, poetic heights of, for example:

    “Yummy, yummy, yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy…”

    …nor, “Here she come now, say Mony Mony…”

    For the latter, I have also included a video which can only be described as psychedelitastic:



    1. A quiz question for those of you who like puzzles: what connects one of those Top 10 songs from 1968 with “Mani’s Greenrocer’s” from that 2018 cricket promo song/video?

      1. Is it that Eddy Grant also recorded Baby Come Back and had a hit with Electric Avenue where said greengrocer is located?

  5. You’d be no fun at a musical: “Hang on, they’ve just met. How do they know all the words?” etc.

    1. Tell you who else is no fun at a musical: everyone who’s ever been in a musical.

  6. Charlotte Edwards!! I think her facial reaction to this whole thing is actually closer to my internal feelings than my own facial reactions are… that’s top class acting.

  7. I feel like every mention of the ‘World’ Cup should have the word ‘World’ caveated in brackets, given that the ICC has tried to make as little of the world as possible involved.

    1. The final of the U19 World Cup Europe Qualifier (Div 2) took place in Saffron Walden today – Netherlands vs France.

      The Netherlands scored 281/6 with their 17 year-old captain Boris Gorlee out for 99. He’s been playing for the Dutch U19s since he was 15, if my maths is correct. France made 86/0 which rapidly deteriorated to 127 all out.

      Denmark won the 3rd place play-off vs Guernsey; Norway beat Italy for 5th place; Sweden beat Belgium for 7th place. Winless Spain finished 9th with nobody to play off against because of there being an odd number of teams. Bit surprised Spain don’t do better at cricket, at least as well as France, say, given the number of Brits who decamped to there, and the apparent suitability of the weather…

  8. Mrs. Smudge, who cannot abide cricket, but in general is of far sunnier disposition than me watched the video with a smile and said “what a joyful thing that is”. After reading the article she added “King Cricet is just being a smart arse”.

      1. I went* to see that Hamilton musical that everyone was raving about. I was most upset to find it wasn’t about Gavin.

        * I didn’t – did you see how much they were going for? For a bloody musical?

      2. She has been known to sing along to Disney films….. but who amongst us haven’t

  9. Oh, for some top-class Stokes news that is as ridiculous as this video, please do head to cricinfo and take a look at this: http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/24318244/ben-stokes-identified-main-aggressor-bristol-fight

    Apparently Stokes punched a guy “with a clenched fist”. Punching a guy is one thing, but clenching your fists while doing so (never mind that’s exactly how punching is done) is going too far. I am sure Mark Spure would’ve wondered — as he was heading home undoubtedly to retire to bed with a PBJ and a glass of milk — what kind of a horrible world this is if he has to witness “the male punch another male”. To top this off, the piece ends with a female student describing what can only be gay porn.

    The trial continues.

  10. This is a wonderful post KC. I haven’t laughed so much at one of yours since Paul Collingwood punched a pterodactyl.

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