That part of the 1981 Ashes no-one talks about so much – it’s Tavaré time!

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Roll up, roll up for the fifth and somehow not final Test of the 1981 Ridiculous Ashes. This one’s got Chris Tavaré in it, failing to keep pace with Geoff Boycott as the Yorkshireman tore along at just under two an over.

It wasn’t just Boycott who outscored Tavaré in a partnership, of course. England’s latest number three batted so long and so slowly that pretty much everyone got an opportunity.

One player to achieve the feat was – get this – Ian Botham, who played what was in some respects a better innings than his more famous one from earlier in the series, at Headingley.

The match was also notable for two striking debuts: Mike Whitney, who apparently went on to become a referee in Australia’s version of Gladiators; and Paul Allott, who did something very unusual when he was bowling, which you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out about. (Ha-haa! You can’t get out of it now. We have suckered you in with some classic listenbait!)

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  1. Quite a bit of effing and jeffing in this episode. Yours, shocked and appalled, South West England.

  2. Mike Whitney’s other notable TV shows include hosting “Who Dares Wins” which was a show where ordinary people walked across tightropes and ate scorpions for the chance to win cash, and “Sydney Weekender” which I think he still hosts, which is, you guessed it, a travel show about things to do on your weekend around the Sydney area. He also famously hosted the Queanbeyan Truck Show once and was served an ice cream by yours truly, a meeting which I outlined in great depth in a “Cricketer Spotted” bit for the Badger a while back!

    1. P.S. my favourite bit on Who Dares Wins was where they set themselves up in a shopping mall and offered $1000 to anyone who could sing the second verse of our national anthem and not a single person could.

  3. Lovely stuff, the 1981 Ridiculous Ashes Fifth Test podcast. I commend it to you all.

    I was there on the Saturday. By which I mean, I will have been in front of the TV for much of the day. During the day on the Saturday, I probably got to see much of it in colour in the living room.

    The most notable thing to me about that test, reading my diary and blog piece, is that it was my Grandma Anne’s last test. No, I don’t mean that she batted at three for England with a sprig of beetroot, although heaven knows, Grandma Anne would quite possibly have done better that way than some of the occupants of that role in 1981 prior to Chris Tavaré…Grandma might even have scored her runs faster than Tavaré…anyway here’s my diary piece from that part of the summer.

    To be honest, the Tavaré/Botham dichotomy is the only ridiculous thing that I remembered from this match – the other ones covered in the podcast are very enjoyable.

    You woz mugged in the scoring section for this ridiculous match though, KC, no wonder you were jeffin’ swearin’ by the end.

      1. Thanks, KC. I’m sure it’s what Grandma Anne would have wanted.

        Having said that, I might have struggled to explain to her the idea of unwinding after work by listening to a podcast, then in the morning logging in to my own blog to add some links and further thoughts to my August 1981 posting, then coming to the King Cricket site and linking from here to the aforementioned link-strewn blog piece…

        …I think Grandma might have said, “don’t talk, eat!” before I got to the end of all that.

        I hope all readers here are having a good Festivus. Daisy and I will air our grievances with each other this evening over dinner. As long as we are both still alive and talking to each other, we’ll start our Crisis volunteering tomorrow.

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