At least James Vince gives you a focus

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Social media has been alive with pleasure this week at the news that James Vince has returned to the England squad. It’s gratifying to see that fans’ views of him have in no way cemented and that there is universal near-desperation to see him given a third chance at Test level.

But let’s imagine for a minute that the response was the exact opposite of that. Let’s imagine that rather than fist pumps and hastily-scheduled James Vince parties, his recall was instead greeted with eye rolls and bad-tempered chuntering about Ed Smith and his selection cronies. What can you say to these people?

What we’d say is this: at least James Vince gives you a focus.

By this point we have to accept that England’s batting collapses don’t come about because of one bloke who sometimes bats in the middle order or sometimes at number three. It is a far more deep-rooted thing that will prove much, much trickier to overcome.

That is a horrifying thought and the best thing to do with horrifying thoughts is suppress them. You do this by getting angry about something very obvious and human and what could be more perfect than the prospect of a guy with a long track record of edging to slip for 27 being given yet another opportunity to edge to slip for 27?

Imagine if that actually happens! Imagine if, with everyone primed to lose their minds should he edge to slip for 27, James Vince actually edges to slip for 27.

The prospect of this is so wonderful we can barely even describe it. It is like actively alerting someone to the existence of a ‘wings stay on/wings fall off’ switch on an aeroplane only for them to deliberately flick it. After miraculously surviving the crash, they flick it again on their next flight. Again they survive and at this point you feel you have to intervene again. As you’re standing there, pointing to the switch, patiently advising them not to flick it, the person holds your gaze and even as they’re nodding their head to express comprehension, their hand is slowly moving towards it.

Yes, you will most likely lose your life in an air disaster, but that compulsion to flick the switch is also very funny.


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


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    1. Does Vince practice nicking, in the nets?

      Apparently, some new stats analysis shows that Vince nicks more compared to other players, even though he misses less!

      1. I liked this one, but I don’t know if it breaks the laws of clerihew (or at least, the spirit) for the second line to run into the third like that.

        A few threads back I put another which suffered the same problem and the second line didn’t feel like it had quite the right rhythm, but the rhyme was more fun:

        Keaton Jennings
        Triggered derogatory pennings
        For his magnificent drop –
        Could he be given the chop?

        My favourite one was the Cookie one.

        Alastair Cook
        Plays by the book,
        But I’ve the sneaking suspicion
        He’s not reading a good’un.

        I especially like this one because it feels 100% true and rather seems to capture both the spirit of the man and the sensation of watching him at the moment…

      2. Bail-Out
        Was concerned about
        Whether his Clerihew conformed strictly to the required metre and length of line.
        But it was fine.

  1. Any King Cricketeers bidding for CWC 2019 tickets? Ballot closes on Wednesday, leaving you just a couple of days to sort out the remortgaging in case you are successful…

    What’ya going for? What’s your strategy?

    I’ve plumped for Eng v Aus and Eng v Ind group games, which it is anticipated will have ‘high’ demand.

    1. Yes. Our strategy involves picking out a couple of matches we want to go to and seeing whether we get tickets for them.

    2. I applied for Ind-Aus and Ind-Pak. 4 tickets each. How does it work though? Is it all or none? Or can I maybe get 2 tickets to one of the matches or something like that?

    3. I have applied for too many games, most of which I would struggle to get to if I were to be successful, but have cunningly done it through the medium of a cricket-going friend, so as to somewhat spread the financial consequences of catastrophic success. The ticket prices for most of the attractive games are ridiculous.

      In unrelated news, is anyone quietly singing “Kohli don’t like it, scrap the hundred, scrap the hundred’ to themselves to the tune of The Clash’s ‘Rock the Casbah’?

      1. oooooh, cricket Friend!

        I have followed a similar strategy to avoid financial meltdown, however we have accidentally applied for one of the same games. Fail.

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