Ged Ladd & Co v Children’s Society XI – match report + wagon wheel

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Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. We’re only interested in what it was like to be at the game, so if it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. Equally, if it’s an amateur match, please go into excruciating detail.

Herbert Ackgrass (the official cricket biographer of King Cricket reader and regular contributor, Ged Ladd) writes…

Ged Ladd played many matches against Charley The Gent Malloy’s Children’s Society team in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

Most of those matches took place in Regent’s Park or Holland Park, but on one occasion, in 2003, neither of those Royal Parks were available, so the match was played instead in The Queen Of Suburbs, Ealing. The above picture, not from that match, is borrowed from the Hire A Pitch website, where you can still book an Ealing Central Sports Ground pitch.

That Ealing (in truth, Perivale) location made this the ideal opportunity for a visitation from Daisy’s mum, The Duchess of Castlebar, as the Duchy of Castlebar happens to be very nearby. The Duchess had, apparently, for years wondered whether Ged could actually play cricket. No pressure.

As usual, Ged arrived at the ground early. He soon encountered an enthusiastic young Kiwi named Phil, who was one of the many antipodean ringers – aka temporary Children’s Society staff – who tended to appear once only for such fixtures.

Phil invited Ged to bat against his warm-up bowling. The pitch was clearly a little two-paced; the first delivery was straight and stuck in the pitch a little, such that Ged lobbed Phil a simple return catch. Ged explained to Phil that bowling straight like that is considered to be ungentlemanly conduct in these parts.

The teams gathered. The Duchess and her entourage (Daisy) arrived just before the start of the match. Ged won the toss and elected to bat. In those days, Ged tended to bat at seven or eight. 

Ged Ladd & Co got off to a decent start: a couple of decent partnerships; then, when Phil came on to bowl, a flurry of wickets. Ged’s turn soon came.

“Good luck,” said The Duchess.

Ged was to face Kiwi Phil. The first delivery was deceptively straight and cruelly stuck in the pitch a little. Ged tried everything he could to avoid the inevitable, but no amount of determination could prevent him from lobbing the ball back to Phil for a simple return catch and a primary.

“Never mind,” said The Duchess, before turning to Daisy with the decree, “I have other matters to attend to now; let’s go, Daisy.”

The following run chart summarises Ged’s innings.

4 comments

  1. Another fine match report from the Ackgrass stable. I’m sure I had a pair of boots made by Ged Ladd & Co or maybe it was those old buffet bowlers John Lobb. The run chart looks like one of my chitting potatoes sown on Good Friday (being the traditional day for this activity).

  2. My noms de plume are getting out of control. KC seems to encourage them.

    I still shudder when I drive past that Perivale ground.

    To add insult to injury that day, something bit me when I was fielding, which resulted in a ghastly poisoned leg wound that seemed to take forever to clear up. It must have been a stray tropical insect, not native to the Queen of Suburbs. I don’t think the Duchess got close enough to me physically that day to extract life blood in the legendary manner.

  3. Departed without troubling the scorers, as the newspapers say.

    But the scorer had to, at the very least, mark Ged’s wicket falling on that particular ball, put a score (0) up against Ged’s name, put one into the wickets column for “Phil”, mark the manner of the dismissal, and who knows what else.

    That feels like a fair bit of trouble to go through to mark someone out for a first ball duck.

    1. Absolutely right, Aditya.

      On more than one occasion in those fixtures Charley The Gent (and/or I) “departed without troubling the scorers” in the manner of that inappropriate euphemism.

      But on two occasions at least Charley really did depart without troubling the scorers. For both the 2005 and 2006 fixtures Charley managed to pick up an injury just ahead of the match, so ended up attending but acting as a sort-of coach or non-playing captain. On those occasions he really didn’t trouble the scorers.

      And on one occasion Charley’s boss, Lofty, attending merely as a spectator (despite having the height and build of a big fast bowler), troubled the scorer a great deal by interfering with his good work and suggesting that he might have recorded matters wrongly when he had, in fact, recorded them correctly. Given that Lofty, while highly numerate, self-confessedly knows nothing about cricket, Barmy Jez is not only a cricket nut but also has a first in maths and was, in real life at that time, one of my operational research statistics whizzes.

      In could go on about the phrase “troubling the scorers”…oh, I just have gone on about it.

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