Cameron Boyce fails to purchase sourdough

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Do you know how far it is from Australia to England? Miles. Absolutely bloody miles. Do you know how long it takes to complete the trip? Ages. Absolutely bloody ages.

Cameron Boyce flew from Australia to England for this match. He bowled one over. It went for 19. He didn’t bat. He’s going home now.

We become enraged if we walk down to Tesco Express and they don’t have any sourdough. That’s maybe a half-hour round trip and we only embark on it if we’re also going to a second shop for something else. This is even worse than that because the experience has not merely been unproductive, it’s been counterproductive. It would be like arriving home at the end of your failed sourdough mission only to discover you’d trod in dog shit and also lost a fiver.

England won the match, largely off the batting of Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali, both of whom made 70-odd. Morgan’s had a month off and reckons it’s been the perfect preparation, leaving him fresh and keen to get stuck in. In contrast, Moeen Ali’s been slaving away, but doesn’t seem to care. Before the match he said: “If there was training every day, it would be the best. If it was games every day, it would be the best. I love it.”

So do cricketers need more rest or regular cricket? Maybe, just maybe, it depends on the individual.

There’s a possibility Moeen might open in the UAE in October. We hope he doesn’t. When Alastair Cook played one-day cricket, he lost the ability to leave the ball with conviction. If Moeen opens in a Test match, he might lose the ability to scythe at wide balls with absolutely no thought for the consequences.

Scything at wide balls with absolutely no thought for the consequences is very much what Moeen’s batting is all about. Commentators always marvel at ‘checked drives’ and ‘little more than a forward defensive but it’s gone for four’. Giving it a right big yahoo with the bat is going out of fashion and Moeen’s willow describes a bigger arc than anyone’s. Long may it continue.


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  1. It’s a half-hour round trip for you to Tesco Express? I have nine (yes nine, I checked on the website) within a mile of me.

    There are also apparently 7 Sainsbury’s “stores” within the same radius.

    I have no idea if any of these places have any sourdough in stock, however.

    I agree that Moeen shouldn’t open – it seems that many people can’t seem to resist the tempting idea that the ‘opener problem’ can be solved by promoting a player already in the side, though. Ditto for Root.

    1. “Within a mile” is a much larger radius than “half hour round trip on foot”, though.

      Even if you are a fifteen minute mile walker (fifteen to twenty minutes covers most walkers, within fifteen being at the shorter end if walking normally), you still need to spend time within the store, even if it is to be an aborted mission in the end.

      Can we please try to harmonise our measures and units, so we all know where we stand? It’s not a lot to ask.

    2. Ged – one should bear in mind that not all of these establishments are exactly 1 mile away – many are much closer, allowing a 30-minute period to entirely encompass the journey there and back, with plenty of time left over for a purchase.

      In terms of walking speed, Google Maps estimates that my walk to work is 0.95 miles, and that walk typically takes me 12-15 minutes depending on a variety of factors including whether I have to wait at any point in order to cross the road (and also on how motivated I am to get to work, which is a matter worthy of its own study).

      There was a time when I could have offered you the data for analysis, but sadly my fancy pedometer/tracking device is no more. Perhaps if you liase with the security services, they’ll be able to provide you with the ‘metadata’?

      Howe – yes, one of them. I was under the impression that our noble King was also a city dweller, however.

    3. As far as I know, he lives within the shire of Che, land of hot-tubs. There are no cities in this place, except for Chester, which doesn’t count. So I think one Tesco Express within walking distance is actually quite a lot.

      He will have had to walk past twelve Waitroses, though.

    4. That is a foul slur. Our town most definitely does not boast a Waitrose, let alone multiple. Co-ops, however, are plentiful.

      The Tesco Express in question is just about within a mile – approximately 15 minutes’ walk.

    5. OK, OK. Let’s test this properly.

      Who is your MP?

      I should say that this isn’t just asking whether you’ve got a Tory MP. I’m sure that there are Tory MPs who represent Tesco /Co-op shoppers just as much as Waitrose shoppers. No, the test is whether they have an ordinary name or whether they have a proper, dyed-in-the-wool Tory name, like Tarquin, or Marmaduke, or Antoinette.

    6. He’s actually called David. Truth be told, the name’s probably not the best angle to take when goading us.

    7. I have it on the very best authority that David Rutley, Conservative MP for Macclesfield, is an ASDA man.

    8. Macclesfield? That’s one of those places that sounds like a proper northern town from the name but is really expensive and full of footballers, isn’t it?

      You live in Alderley Edge, don’t you?

    9. No, it’s one of those places that people mistake for being full of footballers, like Alderley Edge, but is actually a proper northern town.

    10. Such a statement is in our favour, but we feel obliged to point out that on the subject of Macclesfield, The Macc Lads may not be entirely impartial.

  2. Presumably he got paid, though?

    There are worse things than flying around in first class on someone else’s dime (bowling one over for 19 and not batting, for instance – which sounds like most of my cricket appearances, minus the bowling part).

    There isn’t a Tescos within thousands of miles of me, express or otherwise.

    1. Tesco tried, they introduced a chain of 200 stores called Fresh and Easy in Califonia, Nevada, and Arizona that were all within 478 miles of my house. The furthest probably about 7 hours away by car.

      The 2 nearest ones were 45,000ft to the West or 7 kilometres to the East. a round trip to the Western one, in a nice town called Upland, was anything from 25 mins to 6 hours depending on traffic.

      I liked them and can confirm they always carried sourdough bread. I also liked them cos i was often the only one in the store, they have all closed down now 🙁

      PS, I don’t like sourdough.

    2. It’s a rum do when you have to drive for seven hours to the nearest Fresh and Easy merely to abstain from purchasing their sourdough.

      It doesn’t sound like a very sensible or civilised society “over there”, Rus.

      No wonder you all need guns in order to defend yourselves.

  3. It took me 48 hours to get to the Antipodes, but by the time I had arrived I’d somehow only missed one day of cricket. It’s a one way ticket to a world of jetlagged mental torment where night and day cease to have meaning.

    It isn’t one way of course. You get to do it all again on the way back.

    How sportsmen are able to handle this well enough to take part in physical activities for a living is beyond me. I was reduced to having rolos in the foetal position for weeks.

  4. Question: is Ben Stokes England’s x-factor player?

    And no, I don’t mean somebody who can just hit it really hard or bowl game-changing spells, although he can do those. The “x” in x-factor represents an unknown, and Ben Stokes does those things that might go unnoticed on reading through a scorecard. Tremendous flying catches. Run-outs. An excellent final over. And I’m sure he perks up the dressing room too.

    Everyone has been comparing Ben Stokes to Andrew Flintoff. I’m wondering whether he can be the next Paul Collingwood.

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