Meeting people is easy – an Edgbaston 2023 match report

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King Cricket contributor Sam Blackledge writes…

‘Meeting People is Easy’, according to a seminal late-90s fly-on-the-wall documentary following the touring exploits of chart-topping indie beat combo, Radiohead. It was a title dripping in irony sauce, Thom Yorke and co being famously introverted and socially awkward.

The Oxford-born rockers are rarely associated with cricket – this superb piece by Jonathan Liew aside – but they came to mind as I took my seat on a humid, sultry Saturday morning at Edgbaston.

Either side, my nearest and dearest. Easily navigated; a lifetime of shared memories in these very stands have built up something of a cricketing shorthand. We told misty-eyed tales of Reeve and Woolmer; Lara’s 501; Kasprowicz’s glove in ‘05; and an entire day lost to rain this time last year. 

To the front and further along our row, vague acquaintances, many of whom I hadn’t seen since the release of OK Computer. Handshakes and pleasantries were exchanged; rail and motorway anecdotes recounted; app-based weather forecasts pored over. 

Lunchtime approached and I made my excuses. You see, I had an appointment to see a man about a blog. I checked my phone. ‘We’re here!’ the text message cheerily announced. ‘Ragland Stand, block 6, row E.’

Elbowing my way through the Fred Flinstones, banana suits and 118 118 men (yes, bizarrely, they are still very much a thing), I reached my destination. There he was, unmistakeable, resplendent in purple, a comment section giant made flesh. The artist formerly known as Ged Ladd. 

I don’t mind admitting I was slightly nervous. We had only ever met once before ‘IRL’, in Chorlton circa 2019, as briefly mentioned here. I needn’t have worried, of course. Any friend of King Cricket is a friend of Ged’s.

I was swiftly introduced to Harsha Ghoble, Nigel ‘Father Barry’, and the famous Daisy. It was not dissimilar, I would imagine, to walking the red carpet at a fancy awards do. The dawning realisation that these characters from the internet, with their enigmatic noms de plume, are actually living, breathing humans, with faces and hands and lunchboxes packed with, as far as I could tell, 90 per cent salad. 

We took some photos for posterity. Because as we all know, if you ain’t got pics, it didn’t happen. 

Satisfied that I had overcome introversion, social awkwardness and the lunchtime rush, I made my excuses and headed back to base.

‘Jonny-Two-Phones’ appeared just I was leaving. I’m sure if he wants to get hold of me, he will find a way. 


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Fantastic to see both of you together! I am sure if Bert was a real person, he’d have joined too.

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