We got someone who’s been off work sick to report on the Under-19 World Cup for us

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Shivam Mavi is about to hit the stumps (ICC)

Budgets and time constraints being what they are, this seemed a smart way to go about things. The Under-19 World Cup is definitely a tournament where you want to hear the views of someone who’s had a very heavy cold – particularly if that person also happens to harbour an unusually deep-seated hatred of commentator Alan Wilkins.

Apropos of nothing much at all really, D Charlton told us that India have “a proper quick bowler” while England have “one great looking batsman”.

The England lad is Harry Brook, who sounds to us like a 1920s outside-left, signed for £3,000. According to D Charlton, “there was something about Brook that had stardust on it.”

We asked D Charlton who the Indian lad was. He said he wasn’t sure.

He later got back to us and said it was Shivam Mavi. No further details.

D Charlton also said that the tournament had provided awkward ground for the commentators, as they’re often left talking about people they really don’t know that much about.

“Alan Wilkins has repeated the same story about England’s wicketkeeper (that his grandfather kept for Glamorgan (Wilkins used to play for Glamorgan)) at least three times.

“He also has a habit of being surprised at the players’ ages. ‘Here’s the young Bangladeshi number four, and he’s ONLY 18 years of age…’

“He does this repeatedly. As does Mark Butcher who, otherwise, has been excellent.

“But the commentary exchange of the tournament so far went like this. Rob Key had a genuinely interesting fact about England’s opening bowler Ethan Bamber: his dad played Hitler in Tom Cruise’s film Valkyrie. Key reveals this, then…

Russel Arnold: What a character to play!
Rob Key: Not one for the method actor.
<cue furious producer shouting at them to stop talking about Hitler>
Arnold: So… what’s happening at Kent?
Key: I don’t know, I’m here, not in Kent.

“Who knew how easy it was to break the Golden Rule of Commentary: do not mention Hitler.”

In a later missive, D Charlton said: “Alan Wilkins made the usual comment when the camera showed a group of schoolkids at the cricket: ‘School children allowed in for free today – it’s great to see them doing that.’

“Mark Butcher said: ‘Anyone can get in for free. It’s not just you who has a special pass, Alan.'”

To ensure full clarity on his position on the matter, D Charlton added: “I hate Alan Wilkins.”


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


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  1. Based on what’s written, are we allowed to write about the actual cricket if we submit a match report based on what we watch on television?

    And more pertinently, if we go to a match but only watch the big screen, are we allowed to write about events on the field of play?

    1. This is not really a match report. It’s more of a talent-spotting, commentator-abusing exercise with the added benefit that we have an unreliable narrator who may have been experiencing a fever dream.

  2. I really hate Alan Wilkins. It’s not a lie.

    One final thing on him: watch him do a post-match interview. He has an amazing skill in that he never actually asks a question. It’s incredible. Oh, and he’s the first with a cliché.

    AW: So, you lost the game, their firepower was too much.
    Cricketer: Sort of but we played bad shots.
    AW: but talent like you were up against today is once in a generation stuff
    Cricketer: Not really, they won the toss then bowled well but we didn’t help ourselves
    AW: you’re going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to stay in this contest
    Cricketer: we’re in good shape, this is a blip, are you going to ask me a question?
    AW: the fire is clearly still burning in your dressing room.
    Cricketer: genuinely, who are you? What the fuck are you talking about? I know all the other commentators, they are very famous ex-international players. Some have really worked hard at becoming decent broadcasters, like Nasser. You are not even listening to my answers. I could say fucking anything. You just care about your own voice. Rabbits! Rabbits! Rabbits! See you haven’t even flinched!! What is this?!
    AW: hahaha. I think we can all agree with that! Back to Nick in the commentary box.

    1. I watched a bit of Pakistan-South Africa last night, and when Alan Wilkins came on, he massively got on my nerves before he had even said anything. Thank you.

  3. Have you seen the ludicrous airport ground? One exuberant six too many and you’ve got ‘lost ball in jet engine’, which is probably the last reason for match abandonment not used by the ECB.

    England v Canada (short video) https://streamable.com/j7u2l

  4. That really is a superb report on the U19 World Cup, DC. I am inspired to watch a little of it myself, now, if only I could keep awake at those crazy hours.

    As for Hitler putting in an appearance on the cricket commentary, he made one of rare appearances on Ogblog the other day, when I had an involuntary memory from my youth…one of the strangest but this is no fever dream:


    1. With Australia 28/4 against England in the quarter-final, was there ever a better time to start?

      1. With Lloyd Pope taking 8/35, was there e’er a better time to finish?


        Spinning balls.

      2. I am reminded of an occasion back in the dawn of internet time, when I was running the Middlesex Supporters’ Site.

        One supporter wanted to send me some written material electronically, so I suggested, on the discussion board, that supporters in such circumstances use File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

        Sportnetwork scrambled the term FTP, in the same way that it, routinely, scrambled well-known swear words…a problem in itself for Middlesex, especially when supporters wanted to refer to the team as “The Sex” or chant “Middle Middle Middle” etc. – we needed to get a special dispensation for those terms – I digress.

        Anyway, I needed to do a fair bit of informal research (some in unexpected places) to discover that FTP is actually an abusive term used in sectarian circles, by angry Protestant people in the direction of Catholic people.

        In short, in a strictly non-sectarian sense…


      3. Nice anecdote! Thought you were originally referring to the “balls” comment, til I realised TP was the ginger Warne himself (or the chap in Rome).

        For those unaware of the term, it’s worth reading up about the Scunthorpe Problem.

  5. I saw a man who looked a bit like Mark Butcher yesterday.

    I said to my wife: ‘If you saw Mark Butcher walking past here, would you approach him?’

    She said she wouldn’t.

    1. At a Smiths tribute gig recently I saw a guy (in Glasgow, no less) who looked just like snooker player Alan ‘Angles’ McManus. Of course he denied being Alan McManus, which made me all the more certain it was him.

  6. Daisy and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching 80 minutes or so of the QF between England and Australia this evening.

    The highlight, I suggest, was when they showed a screen shot of Australia’s route to the quarter final, which concluded with a big win against PNG.

    “Who are PNG?” asked Daisy.

    “Papua New Guinea”, I replied.

    “They don’t play cricket, do they?” asked Daisy.

    “Yes they do, but not all that well, it seems”, I replied.

    “Do they wear their penis gourds when they play cricket?” asked Daisy.

    “I have never seen them play”, I replied, “I’ll have to call a friend”.



    Daisy would like to know the answer viz batting, bowling and fielding.

  7. It should be noted that Harry Brook’s middle name appears to be Cherrington, according to Wikipedia. Extraordinary.

    1. Definitely in the Mark Nicholas category in terms of “better spice this up a bit with the middle name.

  8. FYI, I have seen Ethan Bamber’s dad David on the stage, more than once.

    The first time, as it happens, in March 1989 Bamber played Horatio opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in Hamlet.

    That was an interesting outing and an interesting production. Day-Lewis pulled out of the production early, allegedly because he was spooked by the part, although that famous stage anecdote has subsequently been debunked:


    …anyway, I was lucky to see Day-Lewis in that role. It was an interesting evening in several ways…I shall Ogblog the evening imminently.

  9. India have two proper quick bowlers. Shivam Mavi bowled in the upper 130s and had serious inswing going for him, and there’s also Kumlesh Nagarkoti who hit 145 frequently and generally looked like a young Dale Steyn if that young Dale Steyn also looked like a young Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio from the hit MTV reality series “Jersey Shore.”

    England also have a right-arm fast-medium swing bowler, whose name is either Dylan Pennington or Dillon Pennington or perhaps some third spelling of that first name I can’t imagine at the moment. Remember this comment in four years when he gets called up for the fourth Ashes test after injuries hit England’s pace attack and takes one wicket for 164.

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