Arrow stopped play at The Oval

Posted by
< 1 minute read

As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t fire arrows at people – or indeed anywhere near them. It is what is known as “very dangerous”.

Someone fired an arrow into the middle of the Surrey v Middlesex match today.

Here’s the arrow.

Cricketers don’t wear armour. That thing would absolutely tear through a cable-knit sweater, so everyone went off.

Any of you say “that’s a crossbow bolt, not an arrow,” you’re missing the bigger picture here, which is that medieval projectiles shouldn’t barge their way into cricket matches uninvited.


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. The BBC commentary on the incident was interesting (is it available on listen again? you might try ) but the whole incident is bizarre.

    It’s as if someone is trying very, very hard to prevent Yer Maj from writing a gloat-piece about Australia being beaten in Bangladesh and Shakib definitely being “one to watch”.

    Think about it. First of all, 2400 years ago, they write a classical melodrama, which they then ensure is reprinted in time for it to be taken into a cricket ground 11 years ago and provoke a response from an England captain. Then today they sidle up to the Oval and launch a crossbow bolt onto the field of play.

    I wouldn’t like to speculate who exactly “they” are, but being a staunchly sportingly nationalistic and surprisingly long-lived antipodean must limit the number of plausible suspects.

    1. You could credit one or even two of these things happening today – but all of them? It is indeed highly suspicious.

    2. The commentary was, as you say, interesting. The commentators promptly locked their door, declaring the ground in a state of lockdown. Two cricketers running out hard. Let’s hope this doesn’t open up a think tank for other disturbed individuals.

    3. Until such time as KC finds himself sat on the Royal Arse with 5 mins to spare to write such piece(s), Bail-out, there is plenty of hand-wringing and shoe-gazing on the nature of the Aussie defeat, and some words on S-u-H, here:

      Readers with decent memories might also like to take a few moments to ponder some examples of contenders for that lowest ebb. It would be better if they’d experienced them first-hand, however.

      From BTL:
      “Oh, don’t worry, we’re gloating all right. You can never be so mired in your own worries that an Australian cricket calamity doesn’t bring a welcome feeling of schadenfreude”

  2. Not wishing to cast aspersions, but:

    * Ged has spoken to several members of the MCC staff who are disappointed by Middlesex’s performance this season;
    * many members of the MCC staff play for The Cross Arrows CC
    * Middlesex seemed to be struggling in the match at the Oval today, although by the time of the incident were on their way to a draw or even, who knows, possibly a surprise win;
    * Some members of the MCC staff might (and I am merely saying “might” here) have felt slighted by Ged for taking Iphigenia with me to Southgate to meet Michael Vaughan in August 2006, rather than to some other match at Lord’s that season
    * #justsaying (as the great man Vaughan would no doubt put it)
    * #irestmycase (as Ged might put it, although slipping from the Vaughnian third person into the first person for the hashtag is a bit disappointing.

    1. Ended up retiring hurt after getting hit by a ball to the stomach. You’d think the extra padding would have prevented that.

    2. Better than Leverock? An amazing display.

      Just have to say how atrocious the commentary and the graphics were, though. No wonder WI cricket is in decline – almost unwatchable (and unlistenable).

      Also whoever was pirating their TV feed to serve up these youtube highlights (and despite his name I’m sure “MSD official” isn’t MSD’s official youtube channel… do kids these days even understand what “official” means?) rather spoiled things by showing Cornwall retiring hurt, but Pollard’s ball that led him to retire hurt. And despite the title, he scored 78, not 80. Bah.

  3. Happy “start of the 2023 World Cup Qualification cycle” day everyone – it’s time for Division Five of the World Cricket League.

    Jersey and Italy look the most likely to progress (having both been relegated from Division Four last year), but Guernsey (who finished third last time around at this level) could spring an upset.

    The other teams involved are Ghana (who I shouldn’t have listed first in this bit, as I don’t know anything about their team), Vanuatu (who Pointless fans will no doubt be rooting for), the Cayman Islands (whose Wicketkeeper Ramon Sealy is also an international footballer), Qatar (who seem less interested in piling money into cricket than buying French football teams) and Germany (who probably aren’t as good as they were in the 1930s).

    1. Tricky to predict things at this division level. Sometimes all it takes is a country with a substantial sub-continental expat community (often one you might not have expected to be there) that have gone and got their cricketings organised and they can storm up the rankings. So I wouldn’t want to rule Qatar out just yet. Wonder if it has all come a bit early for Germany – their cricket scene has just had an almighty expansion from the very large number of Afghan refugees who settled there in the last couple of years, but it’ll take some time for it all to get reorganised and for newcomers to meet residency qualification conditions.

      1. I had always assumed it was analogous to the Bermuda situation (or Jersey/Guernsey/Isle of Man), but let’s say it’s for tax reasons, everything that happens in the Caymans is for tax reasons.

      2. Bermuda is not in the Caribbean, so is obviously quite distinct. (It’s a couple of thousand miles away, in the North Atlantic.)

        There are a couple of other nearby countries with their own national teams outside the Windies: Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas. They are much closer, but they are the wrong (northern) side of Cuba and again lie in the North Atlantic rather than the Caribbean. Historically Turks and Caicos was part of the West Indies Federation/British West Indies, like the Caymans – in fact both were politically attached to Jamaica. The Bahamas was not, though it later joined CARICOM.

        The Caymans are right next to Jamaica (closer to Jamaica than the other Windies nations), are formerly politically part of the British West Indies / West Indies Federation (as part of Jamaica – it only became a separate colony as part of Jamaican independence) and are now an associate member of CARICOM. So all things considered they seem to “belong” as part of the West Indies much more than Bermuda, the Bahamas or Turks & Caicos. Perhaps they are just so small they figure they’d just be subsumed into Jamaica for the purposes of first-class cricket (as the Channel Islands would be if they were to form part of the England set-up) and would be unlikely to ever contribute any players to the Windies team … though even tiny St Lucia eventually produced a Windies player – Darren Sammy!

Comments are closed.