A new era of Test cricket (a 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.)

Regular King Cricket contributor Ged Ladd writes…

The self-styled Heavy Rollers, under the leadership of Charley The Gent Malloy and Nigel Father Barry, have been gracing Test matches, primarily at Edgbaston, since the last century.

But it is a new era of Test cricket now; an era without caution, an era without backward steps, an era of selfless decision-making on behalf of the team, an era of fearlessness.

In short, an era where Ged Ladd has assumed the central picnic production duties for Edgbaston.

This is a massive change.

Admittedly, visits to Lord’s have been graced with Ged’s picnics for decades, but Lord’s is home to Ged. Edgbaston, being away, has always been, until now, someone else’s picnic. For the first decade or more, David “Peel” Steed would do the honours; in more recent years, Mrs Malloy would load up Charley The Gent’s quality motor with several months’ worth of grub for our two-day trip.

The way in this new era is for me to arrange to stay in an Airbnb, with a kitchenette on hand, enabling me to make a fresh picnic each day.

On this occasion, we had four Rollers: me, Charley, Nigel and Harsha Goble. I decided to focus on vegetarian grub, as Harsha is strictly veggie and the others are both partial to cheese, egg and legumes.

Cheese sandwiches, spiced up with mango chutney, have now become a firm favourite and I’ll no doubt struggle to wean the lads off that recipe if I fancy a change. I also made up slightly spicy egg mayonnaise sandwiches, using tabasco as the spice. I think I should have gone a bit more spicy for Harsha, who tends to quote lines from the “Going For An English” Bland Sketch if the food get a little insipid. In addition, some falafel ball salads, plus grapes and strawberries.

The thing that hasn’t changed in this new era is the Birmingham rain. We tried quite hard to avoid getting soaked, but both days we were at the ground, we were caught out by heavy showers, ending up like the result of a Laurel and Hardy water fight sketch.


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  1. That wall-mounted TV is very high. Did you suffer neck ache?
    Electric toothbrush in the kitchenette…for immediate post-meal brushing?

  2. No neck ache from the TV in that Edgbaston Airbnb because I didn’t switch that TV on at all.

    I think I kept the toothbrush in the kitchen because there was nowhere sensible to stand it in the bathroom, but in truth I don’t really remember.

    If anyone is temporally confused by this match report, it relates to the England v India Edgbaston test match in 2022. Sam’s report on the 2023 Edgbaston test was published on King Cricket last week – my report on same (now including a link to Sam’s piece) can be found here.


    I wouldn’t risk making throdkin cookies in a kitchen other than my own, JB. Indeed, now that I am “a gentleman of a certain age” it would probably be the wrong end of the risk/reward equation for me to eat such stuff. Bert might have a different view on whether caution free, fearless picnic making should include executing the throdkin cookie or not. But no-one wants to get to 60 or so and then hole-out with a silly shot when playing the longer form of the game.

    1. No problem for me there Ged. Cricket, with its history of around 500 years or so, has only a minor hold on tradition. But eating – that goes back further, about 540 million years. And in all that time, nothing whatsoever has changed.

      Essentially, two cnidarians by the names of Cam and Brian (after whom that period is named), sat down one balmy evening for a chat. Brian became hungry, although he didn’t know what hungry meant. Nor did he know how hungry felt, or indeed, anything at all. Despite this, he decided to rustle up a tasty meal of oatmeal and animal fat. Not having any oatmeal (on account of being under the sea) nor animal fat (on account of him and Cam being the only animals), he instead dreamed up a fricassee of plankton in a white wine sauce. This (without the white wine sauce and the fricasseeing) became his and Cam’s staple diet for the next 539,999,500 years. But he never forgot that initial desire for oatmeal and animal fat, so as soon as this became more available, he moved to make it a fact. Sadly, Cam had died only 539 million years earlier. In memory of his lost friend, he decreed that this meal “wille onley bee cock-ed inn that playse wher wonn is at hoam” (*).

      And thus was the tradition on only cooking throdkin in your own kitchen born. Don’t mess with it.

      (*) The spelling is due to Brian’s overall lack of hands.

  3. Excellent picnic-preparing but surely the cheese in the cheese/mango sandwich should be Brie or Camembert? What’s going on here??!

    1. Runny cheese on a picnic? Has climate change awareness entirely passed you by, Miriam? The English summer is now just one long heatwave.

      I did cover the topic of runny cheeses at blisteringly hot test matches quire comprehensively in my own report on the 2019 Ireland test match at Lord’s:


      The runny cheese details were absent from my King Cricket report on that match.

      I do hope that answers your question, Miriam. It’s great to see you commenting here again.

  4. You have indeed covered the more exotic cheeses, yes – although on a day like today I think your cheeses would have been fine? I must say most of the cricket picnics I have seen around me have been unconstrained by practical considerations – I remember once seeing someone unpacking a dressed crab and china plate and proper cutlery.

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