Pakistan v England in Abu Dhabi match report

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Bradders writes:

This was a curious day on which I learnt much. It began however, if not badly, certainly disappointingly. I shouldn’t complain of course seeing as it was a free day out but when you get an unexpected invite to a ‘Corporate Networking Day’ which just happens to be in a box at the cricket you start to dream big about what the day might hold.

My friend, whose company was organising the day, had promised me a bacon sandwich and a beer upon the journey up from Dubai. However, because unexpectedly one of his Emirati clients had accepted the token invite extended to him, it was deemed that pork and alcohol was not the done thing.

No problems of course, but then when this aforementioned client failed to turn up and didn’t contact us, we sat in the car park for what seemed an eternity and we missed the first hour’s play.

This low was soon transformed into a sparkling high when 80 beers arrived in a wheelie bin almost immediately upon our arrival. Our spirits restored we moved into the networking part of the day during which I established a few things listed below:

  1. Chicken sausage rolls are practically inedible
  2. Drinking beer out of a small coffee cup with saucer to disguise the fact we were drinking outside (something for which we were threatened a visit by the CID if we were caught) means that you get through beer more quickly. Anyone who has ever played ‘centurion’ will know what I mean as the experience is similar
  3. Networking events where you are plied with alcohol mean you talk to everyone yet then have trouble remembering who they were when you pull the cards out of your pocket the next day
  4. Despite common opinions to the contrary, the Abu Dhabi police have a sense of humour – signs saying: “The dress code is simple – keep your clothes on” raised a smile

The undoubted highlight of the day was the ongoing battle between the Abu Dhabi cricketers and the Barmy Army who were marshaled brilliantly by their trumpeter. It began when the handful of Barmy Army in attendance were cautioned for being too noisy by a couple of Arabs only for them to respond with a chant of ‘Who are ya, who are ya’. This then escalated when the trumpet itself was taken away to receive a stamp (live for any length of time in this part of the world and you begin to appreciate the unexpected power of a man with a rubber stamp) with the poor chap in question being assailed by chants of ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’.

On the bus back we managed to stop at all five petrol stations in the hour drive home as the 80 beers took their toll before heading out into the night and quantities of spicy olives from Nando’s which we voted unanimously the best olives in the world.

I am sure the esteemed readers of King Cricket have some further opinions on this very important matter.


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  1. Nice match report, Bradders. That’s what we in the trade call a “drop intro.”

    As far as the olives go, I have not experienced enough to have an opinion. So I’ll just stand back here with Sarah and watch the carnage.

    Pint, Sarah?

  2. I think Bradders may have thrown people by including the very unlikely pairing of nandos and “best in the world” in the same sentence. Methinks it may have been the 80 beers talking…

  3. If the olives were so good, we take it you didn’t feel at all bad the next day.

    Because if you did have a bad stomach, it was almost certainly the olives.

    1. It is a fact in the same way that the acclaimed ‘best post in the world’ of Rob Key riding some strange beast is a fact. Unarguable and unconditional.

      I even bought two portions to take away which I ate for breakfast the next day!

  4. Partially.

    It was making up for lost honour in not completing Edward cider hands a few weeks previous.

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