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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.