BJ Watling – not just a weirdly-named man in an oversized jumper

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Bradley-John. BJ stands for Bradley-John. We’d have gone with Brad. Or John. Or Bradley. Or Bradley-John. BJ went for BJ.

As for the surname, we can’t hear ‘caught Watling’ without thinking it’s some sort of archaic crime. As in: ‘Broad was caught watling behind the keep and was sentenced to a day in the stocks – that’ll teach him to watle’.

But despite the quirky nomenclature and despite fielding in his dad’s jumper, BJ has got a lot going for him. For example, on day three, he made a hundred which feels like it’s decided a Test match.

Never say never in this series. England may well come out and chase down 400-and-whatever. It just doesn’t seem likely and New Zealand’s skippy, trippy approach to cricket means they aren’t short of time, even if drizzle has a say.

As for what precisely drizzle might say, were it to arrive. We’d guess it would say: “Why BJ? Why not Brad or something?”


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  1. I watched a great deal more of that than I should have, and “watle” is exactly what nine-tenths of that England bowling was. They were watling it in God knows where.

  2. nz’s batting order should start with bj followed by cumming and how.

    just felt I should get that out of the way.

  3. Never mind BJ – what the flying heck’s happened to Ballance? Where’s the doughty doughy rock of England’s batting order we’ve seen in previous series?

  4. Where we went for multiple batting all-rounders, NZ have instead gone for four wicketkeepers and it seems to have worked a treat – them being able to catch a ball and that.

  5. The problem with having a surname with an -ing verb form and a first name with an -ly/-ley adverb form should be clear to all.

    He was watling bradley. In point of fact, he had been watling very bradley indeed for some time…etc.

    More importantly, though, we need to know whether he comes from the right sort of family. Given the rather baggy, ill-fitting nature of his dad’s jumper, I fear not…

    …in which case surely you should record formally the error on the scorecard; for BJ Watling please read Watling, BJ.

  6. Abandonment! We’re saved! (Possibly).

    Can any time be made up on day five, or is it just a strict mandatory 90 overs?

    1. I believe it is strict mandatory minimum 98, weather permitting, for tests.

      Chance of showers tomorrow too, but England are far from saved by the weather – we’ll need to save ourselves and indeed really need the exercise as warm up for the Ashes.

      A 1-0 series win without the need to “properly bat out a draw”, i.e. for 100 overs or so, would be unconvincing to say the least.

      Indeed, whatever happens England’s performance is well short of convincing this series. Much upping of game needed for the Ashes, methinks.

    2. Indeed, agree with that sentiment. Only two results now possible…

      Question is, barring injury/illness, do we start the Ashes with that same XI? Time seems to have run out to give Rashid or AN OtherSpinner (erm ok, Rashid) a go. Surely we can forego the luxury of eight batsmen. We need another proper bowler, even if it’s RFM – Moeen’s been tanked in this test, performing almost the opposite of the role a spinner is supposed to do.

      Bell’s jaikit is on an increasingly shoogly peg as well, barring a match-saving, back-to-the-wall effort second digs.

  7. I’ve met a number of people who use their initials as a name. Almost all of the ones I’ve met have a “J” as one of the initials. I’ve asked a few friends, and so far it seems that this observation holds true.

    This might be a bit American based but we have OJ Simpson, Michael J Fox (his middle name is Andrew), JK Rowling, PJ O’Rourke, TJ Hooker, BJ McKay (BJ and the bear), JFK, LBJ, LL Cool J, J Lo, JB Priestley, JRR Tolkien and JR Ewing.

    1. Jay-Z (Jay Zed I think he’s called over here)
      JR Hartley
      The J Man

      Ok so some of those might be my imaginary ‘hood mates.

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