The impact of Headingley 2019 | I Don’t Like Cricket, I Hate It

Posted by
2 minute read

I Don’t Like Cricket, I Hate It is a semi-regular feature where we ask a fella called Prince Prefab about cricket – even though he hates cricket. We are in bold. Prince Prefab is not.

We have got an absolute bombshell to drop on our readers here, haven’t we, Prince Prefab? A big thing happened. A very big thing indeed. After Ben Stokes and Jack Leach had that partnership at Headingley, you texted us to say that you were voluntarily going to watch the highlights. This whole feature is about how cricket has never won you over and yet just for one moment it won you over. The readers are going to be dropping their bacon sarnies and spitting out their tea and all sorts at this earth-shattering news.

Yeah it won me over. Done me like a kipper etc. And it was so good I don’t care. Also I rewound some shots and watched again and I still haven’t deleted it despite our storage being at critical.

So what did it take? What finally got you to pay attention?

It got good. Twice.

How did you know it got good? And what does getting good even mean to you, in terms of cricket?

These are hard questions. And I’m tired. I suppose cos of you writing about cricket for years I’ve gradually paid more attention. I’ve found myself checking the score now and again. And even I could tell with Stokes that something special was happening.

The ‘good’ question is hard to answer. Like when you have a mouthful full of good food you can’t always describe why it’s good, you can just tell. Something is good when it’s good. It makes itself clear as good to you.

I’m waffling.

What we take from this is that boring the tits off you about cricket for what, ten or twenty years, has REAPED ENORMOUS DIVIDENDS.

Partly. But if the recent cricket had been as nondescript/dull as how I suspect most cricket is, it would have made no difference at all. But I’ve been checking the score, so I have to concede a little. Do you know what annoys me though?

We do not and we cannot wait to find out.

It’s an old gripe. It’s been there like a stone in my shoe for twenty years. When are you going to show the slightest bit of interest in any of my interests?

Specifically: jangly indie pop; Prefab Sprout; ridiculously expensive handmade boots; small, quiet novels about lonely men not doing much then shooting their own dog or something else suitably depressing and tragic.

When, KC? When?

95 per cent of our conversations are about the Trashcan Sinatras. We swear to God.

Well someone has to talk about them.


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. This offers a glimmer of hope that if I keep talking cricket with my extremely disinterested wife for the next 20 years then maybe one day I can talk to her about how Joe Root Junior is not quite as good as his dad, the importance of a solid front foot defense, and how The Hundred was so much better than this new The Fifty that they play these days?

    1. This. Great tip, thanks KC! As a lover of all things jangle, I’m surprised I haven’t heard them before.

  2. Re: Prefab Sprout – I went to school with Paddy McAloon’s nephew, or cousin, or something. Presumably he was also Martin McAloon’s nephew, or cousin, or something.

    1. Julius Winsome by Gerald Donovan is the actual dead dog one, that’s very good.
      But these sort of guys really (and they are all guys…) Willy Vlautin, Kent Haruf, Donald Ray Pollock, Daniel Woodrell (THE BEST).

  3. Ah, Prefab Sprout. Hot dog, jumping frog – the story of an aging pop act known only for a catchy novelty track and yet who still considers himself The King of Rock and Roll.

    Wait a minute…

      1. Tim Farron was President of the Newcastle University Students’ Union when I was there. Sometimes it just blows my mind when disparate strands of my life cross.

  4. I saw Prefab Sprout perform at Keele – either 1984 or 1985 – with The Daintees and Hurrah also on that (Kitchenware) bill.

    I’d heard (owned) one or two of their tracks by that time on NME sampler cassettes – I realise this sounds well archaic.

    Cracking, they were, Prefab Sprout.

    So THAT’S where Prince Prefab got his name. I love that. I’d been too polite to ask, for obvious reasons…

    …when I were a lad, the less fortunate around my way were still living in post-war prefabs.

    1. I would have given a portion of a left testicle to have seen them live.

      Also love that you saw a Kitchenware records bill.

    1. Gosh – you were there, were you? You’ve kept a bit quiet about that.

      Well done for being there, but you could perhaps (if I might advise) be a little bit clearer about it next time. Bert, bless him, had similar problems at Trent Bridge in 2015.

      I’ve always been very clear about Edgbaston 2005 and in any case we Heavy Rollers are televisually rather heavily exposed (red shirts in front row, not streakers, you understand).

      But well done you for being there this year, Thesmudge. Excellent news.

      1. Christ on a bike, I hadn’t realised you were there in 2005 and Bert was there in 2015. Did I mention I was nearly there in 2019?

  5. Well; Chapter 1

    (in true Patrick O’Brian mode)

    I was driving down from the wastes north of Lothian the other day…

    Enough excitement for now. Please join me tomorrow when my journey got to Carlisle.

    On day five we might be perpendicular to Headingley.

    1. Come now, if you are being Patrick O’Brian, we need to know how many drops of tincture of red bull you took and how you stowed the boot to ensure the Mondeo’s best handling on Northern A roads.

  6. With Somerset looking to press home the advantage against Yorkshire and Essex struggling to gain any kind of foothold in their game against the Birmingham Youbears, I wonder what kind of dirty tricks will be utilised to conspire to deny us a maiden county championship title this time round?

    Has there been any tightening up of the rules regarding declaration bowling and contrived run chases?

  7. Lancs are (almost definitely) going up!

    I’m far too polite to say ‘up yours, Glamor(g)s’, but I’ve definitely thought it…

    1. Almost certainly. Sorry, been away from emails this week. Will confirm when we return to them.

Comments are closed.