Ireland/England v England/Ireland match report from Malahide

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Chuck writes:

I have never been to a cricket match of any description, level or length, even though it is my all time favourite sport. Despite that, or maybe because of it, I had absolutely no intention of attending the Ireland/England versus England/Ireland one-day international in Malahide in person. (Old Irish joke – why did Malahide? Because Terenure. I think it’s in Ulysses. You probably need to be from Dublin.)

However, a back injury sustained the previous Sunday evening by bending down to put a fork into/take a fork out of (my memory on this point is hazy) the dishwasher, while my able-bodied and supple-backed wife and three children looked on, meant that I would have to track the proceedings on Cricinfo from home as opposed to doing so from work.

Yes: dilemma. It’s easy skiving off work to follow the cricket scores, but how does one skive off being incapacitated to check the cricket scores?

By Tuesday, scarred by two nights of interrupted sleep, I didn’t get around to checking the score until about the point where Porterfield had scored his century. This is because of the slow and deliberate moves required to locate the power cord to our laptop, which the children had cunningly hidden in a location most likely to trouble somebody with a chronic back problem.

Lunch was not a picnic: no smoked salmon or Champagne, no Pimm’s or hot steak sandwiches from Jamie, no steak and kidney pie or pints of lager. No, lunch was a cheese toastie, two chocolate digestives and a cup of tea.

Given I was further scarred by the non rock ‘n’ roll nature of my back injury (I mean, what can people ask you? “So, what, were you putting on – a full power wash or an eco-cycle?”), my second visit to the ball-by-ball score was at the exciting point of England/Ireland being four wickets down with Morgan and Bopara at the crease.

Having by this time realised that the furtive joy of sneaking looks at the ball-by-ball coverage is more heightened in a work context (particularly a pressurised work situation) than a sick-at-home context, while also realising that the stage was set for a Morgan ton to do down his country of birth, my third and final look at Cricinfo coincided with Bopara’s ton and Morgan’s winning runs.

Didn’t do much for my back, as you can imagine, which took a further seven (seven!) days to heal. On the positive side, we are getting a cat, which I can only hope will be conspicuously indifferent to cricket.


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  1. Excellent stuff, Chuck. Delightful reporting. We’ve had a few match reports here recently where people have been reported for breaking the NO CRICKET rule, only to find that this doesn’t cover non-professional cricket. So it’s lovely to get back to one that drives a coach and horses through the rule as if it wasn’t even there. And not just once, but many, many times over. D Charlton will have a field day.

    Also, given that your wife has three children and a chronically useless husband to look after, why is she allowing a cat? Is it a trained cat, one that can empty (or fill) a dishwasher without needing a week off work?

    1. We actually ended up getting two cats, Bert, both of whom have shown intense interest in the dishwasher, although not to the point of actually unloading it. And apologies to everybody for all the mentions of the actual cricket in my report. At least, back then, England were winning the odd game or two …..

    2. Do the cats have cricket names?

      For clarity, we don’t mean ‘lbw’ or ‘caught at deep midwicket’ – we mean something more like Inzamam or Wasim.

  2. I … but … … it’s … most discarded ever

    Cracking reporting Chuck – and cracking back injury, it would seem.

  3. Indeed, in the summer of 1990 I bent down to put a bottle of wine in the fridge, only to arise (or rather, make a feeble attempt to arise) with multiple prolapses at the base of my spine.

    “Ged’s back”, you all would have cried, had I known you then (and indeed had I been known as Ged in those days).

    But even in my darkest months – and that summer was pretty grim along with the following winter – it took best part of a year to recover from that one – I would NEVER EVER have flouted a “no cricket mention” rule in quite such a flagrant manner.

    I’m sorry you hurt your back, Chuck, I wouldn’t wish that pain on anybody. I am also saddened to learn that you have never been to a cricket match, that is a great loss for you. But we cricket match attendees have standards to maintain – the “no cricket in KC match reports on professional matches” standard is sacrosanct. What were you thinking?

    1. “The only exception is if you’re playing a game with your mate down the drive and the stumps are chalked on the garage door. In that situation, or a similar one, we really do want to know how the match went.”

      Does anyone really believe that England are playing at a higher level than this?

  4. In other news, this from Matt Prior:

    “This isn’t the time for mincing words, ‘positive this and positive that.'”

    And in the next breath: “This is a time for brutal honesty and fronting up.”

    Memo to everyone – stop saying “fronting up”.

    1. I’d go further than that, Sam.

      Memo to cricketers everywhere – stop talking.

      I don’t want to know about their positives and their brutality and their fronts. In a situation like this, there is literally nothing they can say that isn’t either wrong or platitudinous. It’s all this talking-for-no-reason that gives rise to the mangling of the English language that we used to mock Hayden for. These days, every cricketer you ever hear is a proto-Hayden.

    2. They should just say: “We haven’t played well enough. Australia were better than us. We have to improve.”

      That will do.

    3. Cricketers only say stupid things because journalists ask them stupid questions.

      How about a blanket ban on all interviews with all sportsmen, all press conferences, everything.

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