I Don’t Like Cricket, I Hate It – the upcoming Ashes tour edition

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Photo by Sarah Ansell

A semi-regular feature in which we ask a fella going by the name of Prince Prefab about cricket – even though he hates cricket. We are in bold. Prince Prefab is not.

It strikes us that a looming Ashes tour is one of the few times when the sport might force itself into the wider public’s awareness, so we’re interested to hear the current view from ‘outside cricket’. Before that though, there’s some related cricket news that we’ll have to touch upon…

I was in a town in Yorkshire once – Cleckeaton, Pudsey, Batley, Shipley, I don’t know – and I was driving along with a mate and we saw a dog being pushed along in a pram, all tucked up nicely. And he nodded and went ‘Dog in a pram’ and we carried on. And it was quite a thing to see, but it was still just a dog in a pram. So I’m sure there are many column inches being written about what you alluded to but there’s no more to say than ‘dog in a pram’ about it really is there?

Yeah, we don’t want to go down the route of dissecting the incident. We were just wondering what perception you’d had of Ben Stokes before this week (if any)?

None at all. Honestly couldn’t have picked him out of a police line up including him, Prince and Alan Partridge. Although I would know he wasn’t Prince or Partridge, obviously.

So basically, you knew nothing of England’s most high profile Test cricketer before this week and now you think… well, we should probably let you put it in your own words.

I’ve seen a video of him fighting for a minute. I’ve never seen him play, heard him speak, read an interview. I don’t even know what he’s said after this incident. From what I know he could be anything from a decent fella who acted daft on a night out to a raging psychopath.

By the way, watch that video. Are they all wearing white trainers cos they’re cricketers and they think that they have to wear white trainers all the time? Or is that the fashion? For lads who go to shit clubs and don’t know that they should be wearing proper footwear by their mid twenties?

We bought some Hi-Tec Silver Shadow the other day – but they’re silver (they’re grey).

Mate, you’re too old to be wearing trainers for anything other than sport. Come on. You know that. You’ll look like a leisure dad.

Should Stokes play for England again?

Oh yeah. But a big fine and a good telling off. A proper telling off, like when Mr Carter made us cry for having a water fight with the fire extinguishers in the huts.

Next question: did you know it was the Ashes this winter?

Yes, I did. But maybe because of the Stokes stuff. The will-he-won’t-he be selected fuss I’ve heard on the radio. I’m not certain I would have known otherwise.

Any knowledge of the squad? Any opinion at all about how England might do?

I presume that guy who was shouting ‘Stokes! Leave it!’ might be in there. Can’t remember his name. Someone called Ali? I just googled two I thought might be playing. One is 40 and retired. The other is 45 and Australian. I have the idea that it is not thought we will do very well in these Ashes but I do not know why.

“Stokes! Leave it!” isn’t in there, we’re afraid – although many people thought he might have been. Moeen Ali will be going. You can have half a point for that.

Who were the two you googled? You can tell us. We won’t publish your ignorance on the internet or anything.

Jesus this is embarrassing. Strauss and Hayden. I mean, Hayden even sounds so obviously Australian but I didn’t know…

Odd that. A couple of years ago we asked another friend to name current England players. He said “there are loads” and then struggled to come up with a single name. He eventually went with Botham and Gilchrist.

Strauss is actually going, incidentally. Not as a player. He’s director of cricket or some such title.

Just looked at the team and I recognise a good six or seven of the names.

To be fair, there’s cricket fans who might be struggling with a couple of them.


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  1. Ah, great to have Prince’s insight. I’m personally wondering whether the dog wanted to be in a pram, or whether someone was going to bottle his mate if he didn’t get in the pram, or whether someone was going to bottle his mate and he overreacted when he got in the pram. As in, got in the pram, put on a baby bonnet, and threw a proper tantrum. That sort of thing.

    Incidentally I’m glad that ‘Stokes! Leave it!’ isn’t going. One double century against the might of Derbyshire does not a Test cricketer make.

    On another topic, are the mid-entry adverts going to be ‘a thing’ now? I have this site on Adblock whitelist because I want to support it and because the ads were non-intrusive, but they’ve recently taken a step towards intrusiveness. Next thing you know they’re animated and slowing the site right down, mentioning no names Cricinfo.

    1. Firstly, thanks for whitelisting us. That’s appreciated. The costs of running the site only ever seem to increase (apparently SSL certificates are now pretty much obligatory) while revenue doesn’t necessarily keep pace.

      The mid-entry ads will most likely stay on the mobile version of the site. Previously there’s been almost no advertising shown to mobile users and being as mobile accounts for somewhere around half our traffic, that’s not great. Within the post is just about the only place we can put ads on the mobile version of the site, due to the design.

      We’re trialling mid-post ads on the desktop version of the site too, at the expense of one of the ads in the sidebar. It’s always a trade-off between prominence and invasiveness. We’d got the impression that the odd advert between paragraphs was more common on mainstream sites these days and therefore maybe not too irritating. Maybe we’ve misjudged that. If so, it’s not something that can’t be undone.

      1. I’ve been offered a free WW1 commemorative coin. FREE. Sounds like literally money for nothing. Usually online transactions seem to be almost exactly the opposite of this. I’m not sure this particular merchant has got the hang of advertising just yet.

    2. I’m being advised to carry what looks like a sonic screwdriver AT ALL TIMES.

      Completely understand having mid-text adverts on the mobile site. Would rather in all honesty have the ads down the side on the desktop site: it is becoming more common, but so are the far right in Europe, T20, and superbugs. Slightly different scale of disaster, natch. I still notice them when they’re on the side.

      I’ll keep whitelisting this place regardless, so long as the ads don’t start to move about and slow my Mac to a crawl. I appreciate the need to make this place financially less unviable.

      1. Anyone else got an opinion? We can tweak things based on how our audience feels about things. We’re not Cricinfo.

  2. Strangely, I was sharing Sam’s morbidity about cricket yesterday, unable even to articulate the same, unlike Sam, who did so eloquently…


    …when the question popped into my head, “I wonder what Prince Prefab would have to say about all this? PP’s thoughts might cheer me up a bit.”

    Knowing that KC does not do requests (and in any case being morbidly silent myself), naturally I did not pose that question or desire.

    Which now raises the question in my mind, can I telepathically request or induce KC to produce the pieces I want without His Maj being aware of the invisible hand that guides his pen to such glorious pieces as this Ashes Edition of “I Don’t Like Cricket, I Hate It?”

    Spooky skill, if skill of mine it is. Spooky.

      1. Actually, on reflection, I don’t trust my psychic powers, so might I respectfully suggest that your readers deserve…

        …perhaps even in the circumstances should require from you…

        … a match report describing the occasion, “when Mr Carter made us cry for having a water fight with the fire extinguishers in the huts.” It’s the water fight we’d be after, not especially the details of the out-chewing you received for it.

        While writing, I did send you three fresh submissions Thursday about which you have been unusually silent acknowledgement-wise – have they got mislaid in your junk/spam wotsit?

      2. Probably just that we didn’t check our email, but a lot of stuff does seem to end up in junk so will have a look tomorrow.

        Sadly, we cannot report on Mr Carter’s out-chewing as Prince Prefab’s “we” misleadingly referred to only he and his schoolfriends. We were otherwise occupied in another school in a flatlands town.

      3. Ged,
        The huts were the temporary classrooms my school had for all five years I was there. Over in the corner of the yard, by a main road. Two classrooms per hut, a cloakroom in between with two fire extinguishers on hooks.
        It was Will Bevan’s idea (He was a big lad, a farmer, lost his virginity at twelve. You did what he said) –water fight with fire extinguisher until they ran out. That’s about all there is to it.
        Then Mr Carter found out and this is where it’s not fun anymore. He’d lost a friend in a fire when he was young. He came in the room and placed the empty fire extinguishers on the desk at the front and went for us. Quietly at first. Tough lads cried.
        But not Will Bevan. Later that day he ran across the football pitch with a panty pad from the vending machine in the girls toilet stuck to his head. His arms spread wide and a big smile on his face. He left before GCSEs.

      4. Exceptionally good match report, Prince Prefab. I owe you beer and cake.

        Man of the match award goes to Will Bevan.

        Actually, on reflection, the man of the match award should go to you, Prince Prefab, for the absolutely delicious line:

        “He was a big lad, a farmer, lost his virginity at twelve. You did what he said”

        Chapeau, Prince Prefab. But not the Anglais kind; best reserve that for the needy pre-teen Will Bevan.

  3. Hi-Tec silver shadow? I remember being mercilessly taunted for having a pair at school. Fortunately, Santa got me some Nikes for Christmas.

    Astride the social ladder, now it was my turn to pour scorn on my less sartorial peers. Kids are bastards.

  4. My mate and ‘work colleague’ Scottish Richard has predicted England to lose 5-0 already and hasn’t even based this specifically on Stokes being absent. I don’t think he rated our chances anyway. Incidentally he sees Stokes as a “good number 4, potentially number 3, think they will struggle to replace”.

    He’s a baseball fan – this might have some relevance to US Super Rounders or something. I don’t think he’s advocating a promotion up the order when our talented young hitman returns.

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