Are you in The Wisden Cricket Weekly Gang?

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2 minute read

Do you mind if we tell you a barely relevant story? If you do mind, you’re probably reading the wrong website.

We’re very confident that the pure hilariousness of this tale cannot possibly be conveyed without first-person experience of the person involved, but we’re going to tell you anyway because it’s one of the funniest things we’ve ever heard and we like to share.

Back in our first year of university, we stayed in catered halls, so all of our food was cooked for us in a big canteen place. We ate a lot of lattice fries and bacon chops and got a fat face.

One of our friends, who lived in G-Block with us, was from the North-East. He was a kind and generous man, but he also had what might be described as a chequered past. He had briefly been in prison for assault or ABH or something and had been a bit of a troublemaker in his youth.

He was warm-hearted, but also kind of intimidating if you didn’t really know him. Upon learning that he’d done (a very small amount of) time, you’d probably have thought to yourself: “Yes, that seems like a thing that would have happened to this person at some point.”

This is important because you need to have the vibe of this person. We are talking about a hard-edged adult person who you didn’t necessarily want to be around when he’d had too much to drink.

One day, he and a group of us from G-block were standing in line in that canteen, each of us holding trays that would soon be loaded with food. This was a thing that happened several times a day. Standing with trays in our hands was a very ordinary part of our lives.

For reasons known only to himself, on this occasion our friend looked up and down the line at us all and uttered the immortal words: “Hey… We’re The Tray Gang.”

It wasn’t a joke. It was more of an observation.

Like we said, we cannot possibly convey how funny it was to hear a man like him say something so spectacularly juvenile. You’ll tell us we need to get out more, but truly this was one of the great moments of our life.

The point of this story, insofar as there is one, is that it’s funny to be in gangs when they’re harmless and inoffensive and you don’t have to whack a snitch or something to gain admission.

All you have to do to join The Wisden Cricket Weekly Gang is sign up to receive the Wisden Cricket Weekly email, which is mostly written by us.

Go on. Do it.

Critics are calling it: “Similar to Cricket Badger but with more links to Wisden stuff”.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. I am very proud to say I was there. It was funny.
    Also it led to a running gag that has stayed with me and, I think, KC, and can be pretty much adapted to any situation when you are with another person doing the same thing. ‘Hey… We’re the shopping/train/washing up/walking in the park/having a beer gang.
    I’m not saying it’s funny, but it’s fun to say.

    Just to reiterate the binary nature of this man. He smashed a golf ball into my eye whilst playing golf indoors, leaving me with a small scar above my eye I still have to this day. He then sat me down, cleaned me up, expertly bandaged me and accompanied me to the hospital and stayed with me until I was discharged. And if that’s not binary enough (I have no idea if I’m using binary in the correct way here by the way) after he had bandaged my head/eye, I was feeling sick from all the blood loss etc so I went through to our shared toilet, leaned over the bowl to vomit only to be greeted by a MASSIVE turd he had refused to flush because, ‘I thought I’d leave it for you because it’s, you know, funny. It’s massive.’
    It was massive.
    I haven’t seen him for a long time.
    I still think about him.
    What a time to be alive.

    1. I’m just not convinced that the “shopping/train/washing up/walking in the park/having a beer gang” suggestions operate at the same level of punnery as the example expertly delivered by your north-eastern friend based on the Kray gang.

  2. G-Block? Are you sure you were in a hall of residence and not prison yourself?

    I was in Wessex Hall / We sex all/ sex (according to the sign out front as it was inevitably vandalized over the year.

    1. Prince Prefab will be able to confirm that it was indeed G-block. Although we appreciate that his stories above again sound like prison.

  3. What an extraordinary coincidence. When I was in catered halls of residence, I was in F block. Just across the way from G block.

    Which university are we talking about in your cases, KC & PP? It sounds like a cracking good one, whichever one it was.

    1. Hi Ged,

      It was one you didn’t need many qualifications to get into it, it’s in York, it’s always changing its name, and (I don’t understand this to this day because we had nothing to do with Leeds) somehow we all graduated from Leeds University…
      Is that right KC or did I dream it?
      F Block? They were the cool kids.

      1. Yup, my alma mater (Keele) had a similar arrangement with Balliol College Oxford, which, amongst other things, ensured that firsts were as rare as chicken’s teeth.

        What an extraordinary coincidence that F Block was the place for the cool kids at Keele in the 1980s and at York St John in the 1990s.

        My favourite F block story:

      2. I too lived in an F block. Until a sofa fell from our window and destroyed a car parked underneath. At the time it was cool. It was slightly less cool the following week when we were asked by our university to find alternative accommodation. It was even less cool for the owner of the Renault 5.

        So, I’m sorry, Ian Foulkes, it was me, even though I vehemently denied it at the time. That was cathartic.

  4. I have to wonder why you’re not on the list of their notable alumni on wikipedia. Some bloke who was on Fame Academy made it.

    Ged also appears to be missing from the list at Keele.

  5. If we were (hypothetically) in this Wisden Cricket Weekly Gang, is there some sort of Wisden elite mateship that goes with that? And if so, is that a greater or lesser sort of elite mateship than that already bestowed by regular attendance at this royal and noble court?

    1. It’s more likely a gang of elite backstabbing and double-crossing – if only so that no-one mistakes us for the Australian men’s cricket team.

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