Category: Regulars (page 1 of 37)

What was it like to go and see Hampshire v Somerset in the 2019 Royal London One-Day Cup Final?

The Lord of the Rings
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What was it like to watch New Zealand v South Africa at the Basin Reserve? (a match report)

The Basin Reserve, Wellington (CC licensed by Greg Salmon via Flickr)
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A legitimate excuse for missing Warwickshire v Kent in County Championship Division Two last year (a match report)

Edgbaston (CC licensed by Steven N via Flickr)
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Stumps in a Salford toilet

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A cricket being conspicuously indifferent to the Home of Cricket

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What’s it like to watch cricket at Galle? (Sri Lanka v South Africa match report)

Galle International Cricket Ground (CC licensed by Adaptor Plug via Flickr)

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A Middlesex Second XI v Lancashire Second XI match report (from 2016)

Ged writes:

The best laid plans, eh?

My plan for the day was to have a real tennis lesson at 10am and stay to watch the finale of the Middlesex v Durham match. But Middlesex decided to bring an end to those proceedings the day before.

Plan B. Real tennis lesson at 10am, then scoot from Lord’s to Radlett to catch at least two sessions of dinky-doos play there (Editor: We have no idea what this means, but sometimes it’s just better to publish and hope that no-one uncovers your ignorance than actually ask for an explanation.) To my shame, I had still not been to Radlett, despite my constant intention to get round to it since my last aborted attempt, reported on King Cricket years ago.

After the lesson, I returned to Dumbo (Editor: Ged’s car) in Car Park No. 6 to find Paul Collingwood, in his Durham track suit, loading up an Enterprise van with Durham kit, much of which was piled up in front of Dumbo.

I threw my measly tennis kit in the back and turned on Dumbo’s engine. Colly gave me a look of exasperation and started moving the kit that was blocking Dumbo’s way.

“Smart move,” I said. “You don’t want any of your kit inadvertently run over, Colly.”

Colly didn’t smile. He looked in a thoroughly bad mood for some reason.

I added to the bad mood by then remembering that I needed to book Dumbo in for his MOT and service, so I got out of the car to get my diary, fiddled around for a few minutes making that call and then drove off.

Dumbo suggested that he or I might write up that Colly encounter for Cricket Badger (Editor: Now Wisden Cricket Weekly). Indeed, you might well have read about it in that esteemed organ before you read this.

Dumbo got very excited when we drove into the Radlett car park, as you could see the field of play just beyond a low hedge. Regular readers will know that Dumbo is constantly trying to repeat his first cricket experience, at Clontarf, Dublin, where he could actually see the field of play. That is hard to achieve at, e.g. Uxbridge and/or Lord’s.

Radlett is a lovely ground and that day was a beautiful day for being around cricket. Michael Atherton was putting his son Josh through his paces in the nets – a fairly regular school holiday sight at Radlett, I am told. As one of the Middlesex regulars put it to me: “You get a very good class of father and son playing in the nets here at Radlett.”

The afternoon passed remarkably quickly. I didn’t get as much reading done as I had intended but I did chat well with some of the Middlesex regulars, who are always good company.

On the way back into London, at the end of the M1, Dumbo started coughing and spluttering. He’s been doing that intermittently of late. Perhaps the excitement of seeing the cricket had been too much for him. Probably just as well I had booked him in for that service.


A near-streak match report from Lord’s from when England played India

Edwardian writes:

I had stayed in London the night before, so got to Lord’s early. I was frisked by a security chap who was pouring with sweat.

“Blimey, mate,” I said. “You’ve been on it.”

He replied: “It’s the menopause” – a line I suspect he was using liberally.

After a saunter and a coffee I got to my seat in the front row of the Edrich Lower Tier. I was pleased to find that I was sitting one seat away from the same man that I had sat next to at the Pakistan Test. We shook hands, pleased at the coincidence.

Just before start of play a slightly flushed and haughty woman told me I was sitting in her seat.  She was right and I told her not to panic. I moved down the line and settled down again.

I blamed my simple seating mistake on feeling a bit spaced out after drinking liberal amounts of wine in a Spanish restaurant in Farringdon on Friday night and then more wine back at the hotel where I met a young buck who was getting married in St. Paul’s Cathedral the next day. He said he was getting married there because, “my old man broke the land speed record.”

I wondered what the criteria was for getting married in St. Paul’s and suspected that my 1993 cycle ride from Worcester to the Forest of Dean on a 1925 Triumph road racer with inverted lever brakes in heavy traffic probably wouldn’t cut the mustard.

I found out that the woman seated to my left lived in the same area of Norfolk where I spent my childhood.

At the start of play I put TMS (Test Match Special) in my ear and was pleased that I had got a Saturday ticket under clear skies.

My companion to my right was quiet until I decided to take my shorts off. I’m not bashful about these things.

“Are you going to do a streak?” he exclaimed.

I dispelled the possibility after a few seconds of thought. (I was well placed to do a dash from the front row and the steward was nodding off behind his sunglasses). It was cold.  I wriggled into the jeans and shoes I was wearing the night before. It wasn’t a day for flip-flops.

My lunch was two rounds of Co-op ham and mustard sandwiches washed down with one of my half-bottles of claret which I keep aside for cricket matches.

Someone behind me said, “He’s drinking red wine, this rosé is gay.”  A positive appraisal, no doubt, in times gone by.

At one point in the afternoon, a lazy stream of spilled cider made its way down from our right, soaking the bottom of our bags. Squeezing the bottom of my bag and smelling it I said to the man on my right: “That’s cider, mate, definitely cider.”

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


England v Australia ODI at Cardiff – an overview of food, beer and men in odd shirts

Tom writes:

Having not been to Sophia Gardens before, I was a little unsure what to expect. However, having been to international matches before, I knew that I would be at least £60 less well off before I started.

Nevertheless, we got in, only to find out they can’t serve until 10am. There was a man with a watch there to enforce it.

We made the mistake of going to the first bar we found: Foster’s or Strongbow. I wanted something vaguely resembling beer, so cans of John Smith’s it was.

£5 each, plus £1 glass deposit.

What?

We mooched around the ground and found bars that sold a better standard of drink (more fool us).

We came across the team playing 5-a-side. That clearly meant a late start – not that anyone bothered to announce it.

A glance at the Guardian site informed me that the toss was delayed because of the rain. Why do you need to delay a toss? It went ahead shortly and Australia elected to bowl – as you would unless your surname was Hussain or Ponting.

I avoided the food because it was ridiculous – right up until I seriously had to eat. I bought a hot dog which was a shade under the £6 everything else was. It was just about edible.

A man had an odd shirt on who sat on the steps.

We won with plenty to spare and so back we went to our conveniently located hotel.

I had to go to Brussels the next day so other than a couple of pints round Cardiff, hoping to run into Gladstone Small, Mike Gatting or anyone, I called it a night.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Essex v West Indies indoctrination of a young mind match report

Dan writes:

My seven year old son looks a demon with the bat in his hands in the back garden, and he actually pays attention when the cricket’s on the TV. He seems to reserve special interest for the Test matches, which is very pleasing.

So this summer we signed him up at the local cricket club (can I give Rankins of Rochford, Essex, a plug and a thank you?) as part of the ECB’s All Star Cricket programme for 5 to 8 year olds. He loved it.

I loved that one of the coaches was very encouraging of the high elbow when playing straight – something I tried to instil in the boy in the back garden, due to my aesthetic love of the straight drive. A good one really can make me tingle.

The ECB threw in some extra benefits, such as child +1 freebie tickets to see the county play. We got a pair for Essex against the touring West Indies side before the Test series started.

I had a plan to keep him from getting bored during the long day and the morning session went very well.

Watching the opening spell, there was a very amusing small group of West Indians being marvellously vocal for such an event. They did make everyone smile. All day long.

We ate the packed lunch early, so we could get the boy on the outfield for a bit of coaching with the young lads from the Essex Academy.

The young ‘All Stars’ had a whale of a time out there, and even the rain couldn’t stop them.

They did get told off by the announcer – “I’ve told you once!” – when asked to clear the outfield for the start of afternoon play.

The plan for the afternoon was to walk around the ECG to enjoy different vantage points and views. And, of course, buy some surprisingly reasonably priced branded stationery and a belated score card and programme from the club shop.

Before we knew it I was embarrassing myself giving him some throw downs during tea.

Assuming he’d be bored by now, I’d prepared the wife to expect us home for dinner. But one portion of chips later, scorecard on his lap and pencil at the ready, he sat transfixed by the evening session.

You can’t imagine how happy it made me as someone desperate to have a conversation in my own home about cricket that elicits more than a weary wife’s sigh and how much of a success the day was in terms of indoctrination of a young mind.

If we have more young people like this out there, Test cricket will survive at least one more generation.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


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