A 1982 ‘corridor cricket’ match report

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Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. We’re only really interested in your own experience, so if it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. (But if it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.)

Herbert Ackgrass, the official cricket biographer of King Cricket reader and contributor, Ged Ladd, writes…

After describing Ged’s three matches for “The Players Of The Left” as the entirety of his Keele University cricket career, I have subsequently been inundated with a message of correction. Andrew Noakes quite rightly points out the series of corridor cricket in F Block, Lindsay Hall, 1982.

Unfortunately, Andrew remembers little detail other than the identity of some of the miscreants – I mean cricketers – enabling me to extract some witness statements.

In addition, my detailed research has uncovered an historic diagram of unquestionable veracity and intricate – some might say excruciating – detail.

History is very weak on details regarding the equipment for such matches, but there is a suspicion that, in the early days at least, Ged Ladd’s trusty pan comprised the bat.

Ged moved away from Lindsay in February 1982, taking his pan with him, although he did occasionally make a guest appearance at evening (after closing time) matches. The pan resides to this day in The Museum of Ged’s Artefacts in West London. The identity of the replacement bat for 1982 corridor cricket remains a mystery.

As for witness statements, Richard van Baaren recollects corridor cricket thusly:

“… many beers were enjoyed… I seem to remember standing flush in a doorwell as the ball flew by from the bowler to batsman and then jumping out in time to try and make a catch (or more likely get hit by the ball). More than that (it must have been a tennis ball) I cannot recall. It’s amazing that we managed to survive…”

The ring of fielders guarding doors 6 to 9 at the Western end of the corridor, when populated by residents, comprised Cornelius, Schumacher, Coldstream and van Baaren – a collection of names worthy of a visiting team from Southern Africa… or possibly Northamptonshire.

The species of tennis ball referred to would be the light, soft, modern tennis variety, not the real, hard, tennis thing that Ged boldly plays with at Lord’s these days.

When asked for consent to being quoted in this piece, Richard replied: “Of course, but I’m not sure that it ranks as a moment of elite sport.” 

King Cricket readers might choose vehemently to differ on that point.


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  1. As is not uncommon in King Cricket match reports, this raises more questions than it answers. In fact, it answers precisely one question, that question being “What on earth is all that banging noise coming from F-Block?”, famously asked by Lindsay Hall F-Block resident Denise Sullivan (*) who was trying to get some work done. The follow-up question, “Haven’t these idiots got anything better to do?” remains unanswered.

    The first and most obvious new question is, “How come the bowling side has twelve players?”

    The second question is, “Why isn’t the drawing done to scale?” I mean, it doesn’t strike me as an impossibility to at least approximate the scale. As drawn, the “corridor” appears to be more of a hallway, but the absence of any scale means that the relative proportions of width and length must remain unknown. And I have to say, in what I think of as a corridor, the chance of the bowler being able to find a gap between any two of the on-side / off-side fielders is pretty remote.

    The third question is, “Given the obvious slapdashery with which the draughtsman has done his work, what on earth prompted him to draw a fancy border round the title block?” And not only that, but to draw a slapdash fancy border round the title block. It’s as if the muse of artistic precision visited him for a few brief seconds, but then gave up and buggered off before completing her work.

    That’s it, no more questions. The final score is 3-1 in favour of questions asked and not answered.

    (*) Denise Sullivan is a very real person, an English student at Keele at around that time. She went on to work doing PR for Texaco, in which role she occasionally delivered cake to the media at Texaco Trophy matches. She was once described on TMS by Brian Johnston with the phrase “A vision in red has just entered the commentary box”. She is also my cousin.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Bert. It would be impossible to apologise enough for Herbert Ackgrass and his incessant scribblings, perennially raising more questions than he answers. Quite right.

      I thought I’d bumped the old curmudgeon off in the mid 1980s…


      …but the old git seems to have made a comeback under King Cricket’s eccentric tutelage.

      However, Denise Sullivan couldn’t possibly have been a Lindsay Hall F-Block resident, as that block, together with the several surrounding it, were for boys – I chose my description wisely.

      For reasons never properly explained, the female blocks were out of earshot from the boys ones, although not out of what my mother would have called krikhn (or crawling) distance, thank goodness.

      I don’t remember a vision in red and think I probably would remember same. Perhaps Denise wasn’t a vision in red back then. I was a skinny ha’peth who might well avoid detection by dint of a more recent description. Do send Denise my very best wishes and sincere apologies for the noise (not that she could possibly have heard it unless she was herself up to no good) next time you speak with her.

    1. Indeed, Chuck, I have sent a Freedom Of Information request to Herbert Ackgrass and King Cricket to try to ascertain why that phrase failed to find its way into the piece.

      Response there has been none.

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