A mouse in cricket whites at The Home of Corks – a match report

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Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.

Balladeer writes:

Long-time readers may recall my last jaunt to Lord’s, in the company of my friends Troubadour and Minstrel. Unfortunately those two fine humans have since decamped beyond the Watford Gap, meaning I’ll likely never see them again. This meant that when Durham (whom I support) played Middlesex (whose ground is my local one), I needed to find new company.

I found a reluctant ally in my girlfriend Mummer.  I found a much more enthusiastic ally in the form of Wilfred Rhodents.

Due to the Compton and Edrich Stands looking like burnt husks as they awaited their rise from the ashes (small ‘a’), we had to make the long journey around to the East Gate. Here, the lady checking the bags for explosives commented in detail on the volume of our supplies.  

“Ooh you’ve got lots in here haven’t you!”

I gave that particularly British awkward smile that says, ‘I don’t know how to respond to any of this.’

We sat down, and shuffled about a bit as the clouds did likewise, eventually arriving in a particularly biodiverse part of the ground. We had butterflies, damselflies, ladybirds, wasps, and the odd spider coming to make our acquaintance. 

Mummer is not keen on spiders. Wilfred might have played a miniature game with them (twice the limbs, twice the odds of an LBW), but as he calls himself a professional I’m obliged not to report any details that may or may not apply.

Lord’s is world-famous as The Home of Corks, so we had pink fizz in celebration of our visit. Unfortunately, having prepared thoroughly for the tea situation (including acquiring a brand-new thermos), we hadn’t prepared quite so well for the booze situation. We ended up drinking pink fizz out of mugs. Hopefully some of the Members disapproved.

Lunchtime soon followed, and Wilfred took to his rightful position on the field.

Following this photograph, two elderly gentlemen were keen to enquire whether I took this mouse in cricket whites everywhere I went. I did the Smile again.

The afternoon descended into slightly chilly torpor, unless you were viewing things on the field, which this report is not. Having eaten the caramelised onion focaccia relatively quickly, we tried our best to fend off the coldness with booze, tea, hog roast sausage rolls, more booze, and more tea. This was successful enough, but the looming clouds and chilly breeze told of an uncertain future for the day.

This future was postponed until around five or so, while we demolished some raspberry pastries; but the inevitable eventually happened despite the clouds looking no worse than they had done at, say, 2pm.  ‘Cricket does itself no favours sometimes,’ I opined sagely to Mummer, and to the Guardian Cricket Liveblog.

This had a rather unusual conclusion: liveblog curator Tanya Aldred (not a synonym for a medieval performer and therefore presumably a false name), not wanting Mummer’s first experience of the cricket to be marred by bad light, met us with some Victoria sandwich. I don’t think there’s a more cricket experience than this.

Here’s a picture of us, with me doing the Smile.

We left with something more of a spring in our step, with Wilfred certain that, sizeism and speciesism aside, he was a better player than any human who took the field that day. I’m worried he may have some strains of Laurence Elderbrook to him.


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  1. Lovely stuff, Balladeer!

    Need more of this sort of thing.

    No-jinx Policy again for Durham and Glorious next season?

    Winter well

    1. Well Scotland beat England (in 2018 but that’s not so long ago) and Singapore beat Scotland, and England were world champions, so does this now make Singapore the best white-ball team in the world?

      Wonder what the biggest ever A beat B beat C (with C clearly by far the best side) differential is, for results within say a two-year timeframe. Probably fairest to only compare within the same format really but I couldn’t resist.

    1. Jonathan Meades said, ‘herbs are bullies.’ I know what he means regarding lovage. I’ve never used it in a sandwich and guess the application should be in homeopathic measures.

  2. Great match report Sir B. Wilfred reminded me of Fingerbobs and the crazy cat who presented the show.

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