Middlesex v Surrey County Championship day two match report

Ged writes:

An annual tradition in my business is to have a day of County Championship cricket at Lord’s with Uncail Micheál, my Irish-American business partner.  Uncail Micheál is a real stickler for spelling and grammar.  Indeed, he has specifically become a stickler for English spelling and grammar; he was horrified when our last book was “translated” into American spelling and grammar for joint publication on both sides of the pond.

Uncail Micheál especially berates staff if they confuse the name spellings “Lloyds” (Lloyds TSB, the bank) with “Lloyd’s” (Lloyd’s of London, the insurance thingamajig), as that is not only a confusing misspelling but also an apostrophe aberration.

The early morning before one of our cricket days out tends to be a fairly fraught affair, with both of us trying to clear any urgent overnight e-mail workload before setting off for the ground.  I fired off what I thought would be my final e-mail to Uncail Micheál, but it seemed I had missed him, as seconds later I received an out of office reply:

Out of the office at Lords… “Many Continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a game.”  George Mikes.

I love that Mikes line; one of my favourites.  Mikes is pronounced Mik-esh by the way, in case you didn’t know.  But Hell’s bells – Uncail Micheál has spelt Lord’s incorrectly – without the apostrophe.  What will people think?  Can we avert this potential apostrophe catastrophe?  Thinking quickly, I rapidly e-mail Uncail Micheál back, pointing out the potential disaster, copying in his assistant and hoping for the best.

We were in luck.  Uncail Micheál hadn’t yet actually left his desk, so he corrected his out of office reply and informed me that linguistic-Armageddon had been averted.  Thus we both set off for Lord’s relieved and ready for our day at cricket.

I am delighted to report that the rest of the day passed without further incident.

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21 Appeals

  1. Thank goodness.

  2. How do you pronounce that name? Uncle Michelle?

  3. This is not related to Ged’s excellent report above (sorry Ged!), but anyone remember Guy Whittall? He seems to have had an interesting visitor:


  4. He’s not Uncail Micheál to you, Ged, he’s Uncail Micheál to me.

    No wonder you can’t pronounce his name properly.

  5. Lancs are gently drizzling their way to the League 2 title at the moment, with some earlier assistance from the young lad Key. And due to the unique way the County Championship is viewed, we’re already being discussed as title contenders for next season. Sadly, those of us in the know understand that winning the Championship will have to wait another 75 years.

    We’ve discussed before that the optimum tactic for winning the County Championship is to pack your team full of not-quite-good-enough test players, on the basis that if they get fractionally better the county will never see them. Durham are proving this point as we speak. So here’s a question. Let’s say that due to a huge scandal involving Giles Clarke, N. Srinivasan, James Sutherland, two koala bears, a lemon, a group of N-Power girls dressed as Nazis and Robert Mugabe wearing Matthew Hayden’s baggy green hat, all international cricket next summer is cancelled. Who would win the County Championship?

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