Need to bring solidity to your top order? You need a Stoneman

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Mark Stoneman (via Surrey Twitter)

Gary Ballance’s pink, fat lips let go a scream. His left index finger was fractured. He isn’t made of stone.

England will therefore call up someone who might be in a bid to solidify their top order. Mark Stoneman, now of Surrey – but on some level eternally of Durham – is said to be “on the edge” of the team.

You can do a lot worse than marking your perimeter with stone. We can’t off the top of our head think of any watery cricketers who might provide a moat, which would be the only superior option in our eyes.

Stoneman is averaging 58.53 in the County Championship this season and has hit three centuries. Hopefully his are qualities England require and he won’t end up being exiled to the ruins of Old Valyria.

England’s distaste for softer materials may also see them rest-drop-rotating Wood.


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


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Time for a call-up for Stone(roses)man. Hopefully he won’t be the latest to (Water)fall by the wayside, leading to another resurrection for Ballance!

      1. Samwell Tarly: Rob Key
        Tywin Lannister: Geoffrey Boycott
        Gregor Clegane: Luke Fletcher
        Petyr Baelish: Andy Flower
        Tommen Baratheon: Ian Bell

    1. Bayliss doing a decent impression of Lord Varys since he took over.

      “Why have you picked Liam Dawson, but left out Mark Stoneman having seen neither of them play”
      “My little birds are everywhere, even in the North, they whisper to me the strangest stories”

  2. I was also waiting for…or even expecting an article about this quote from Trevor Bayliss on Moeen Ali dropping down the order to accomodate an extra batsman:

    “As a batter, I’d have the shits having to bat at No8.”

    I can only assume that “having the shits” carries a different meaning to our antipodean cousins. That or it’s customary to feed laxatives to whoever bats eight.

    1. Geographical Features XI

      Graeme Wood
      William Porter-field
      Clem Hill
      Maurice Leyland
      Peter Forrest
      Jim Parks
      Peter Moor+
      Stuart Broad
      Jim Laker
      Mark Wood
      Jack Brooks

  3. Grated natmag, watery cricketers, you’re twisting my melon, man. Then Game of Thrones: Emilia Clarke was having dinner in my polytunnel when she found out she got the role as Daenerys Tarragon (s/p?). That’s one of your actual facts that is, as Kenneth Williams used to say. A clanger, I know, but there you are.

    1. ‘Emilia Clarke was having dinner in my polytunnel’ sounds like a Half Man Half Biscuit song title. Or a euphemism.

      Extraordinary boast – and all the better for it. What do you serve in your polytunnel, if you don’t mind our asking?

      1. This was a while ago, obviously, but there was pesto involved as the polytunnel was solely devoted to basil and tomatoes and I had a sufeit. It was raining. Lots of wine. Emilia came grasscutting with me once, but I think she’s doing ok now.

      2. We’re going to resist the temptation to ask further questions as we quite like the blurry perfection of how we understand things right now.

      3. Did you have a grunge upon your splod, masking your cordwangle (as Kenneth Williams also used to put it) in that polytunnel of yours, Edwardian?

  4. Returning to the main edifice of this piece, it occurred to me overnight that, if we are trying to solidify and to strengthen our structure with Stoneman, we should also select another player to help construct these premises.

    Step forward, Mason Crane.

    I also wondered, harking back to days of yore, whether Norman Featherstone might have been able to contribute.

    “Yes, very solid, but a relative lightweight”, I hear you cry.

  5. Cricinfo inform me that amongst today’s fixtures is “TBA v India U19 (begins in 2h 39m)”. Is TBA some new team I haven’t heard of, or are they still scrambling around trying to raise a team to play against?

    1. It’s a team that Straussy’s building, consisting of KP, Jade Dernbach, and Gayle among others. Total Bloody Arseholes.

    1. Does it look like the main in the non-American world? That’s what it looks like to me, and it is just awful. Too many clicks to get to the international calendar, inefficient use of space in the live scoreboard, slower to load (perhaps due to the infinite scroll and all the videos).

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