Posts Tagged ‘brown caps’
So Sir Alec Bedser is dead. Given his reactionary stance on most aspects of modern cricket it is highly probable that among his dying wishes was the installation of a rotisserie spit in his grave in order for him to spin in it at his leisure.
He would have been given an early opportunity to give the spit a test drive as his county Surrey kicked off their season by subsiding apologetically to a first defeat to Derbyshire at Oval since 1966. Bedser was probably moving through the gears as it was revealed that big money signing Chris Tremlett was being rested for the first game to “manage his workload”. To be fair to Tremlett, it’s been a long old season so far what with all the team photos and tracksuit fittings.
It didn’t get much better today down at Hove as another Tremlett-less side muddled their way to 199-7 against Sussex, reliant mainly on a heroically stolid performance from Arun Harinath who blazed his way to 62 off 290 balls.
In fairness to the Lions (they’ve reverted back from the Brown Caps to add “a bit of bite to the team” according to Chris Adams – crank it up Sir Alec) they faced up against a Sussex team with the bit between the proverbial. They welcomed back recent defectors from beyond the county line – coach Adams and new captain Rory Hamilton-Brown, poached from the Sharks in the winter.
I was hoping for at least one burning effigy of the Surrey skipper or maybe just a pig’s head lobbed onto the outfield, but perhaps the Sussex fans were pre-occupied mounting this zealous protest against the assassination of a local fox at the orders of Sussex chief executive Dave Brooks.
I’m not sure what I find funniest about this story. Possibly the fact that the police were called on the night of the killing as gunshots were heard. Or that Brooks justified the murder by claiming that the fox was “behaving strangely” and could have led to the cancellation of matches. Or the one local resident who questioned the safety of Hove’s cat population amid all this gunfire. Or the other one who speculated on the plight of the widowed vixen.
Or maybe just the demonstration itself, so pleasingly emblematic of county cricket – poorly attended, half-hearted and probably smelling faintly of Scotch eggs.
Maybe this is all an ill-conceived publicity stunt to boost numbers – the Leicestershire Foxes are visiting Hove next week after all. In fact, is that Dave Brooks hiding behind the hastily-created banner? I hope he hasn’t shot himself in the foot.
The loudest groans as Kent were relegated from Division One of the County Championship last season came not from the Spitfires fans but the local constabulary in Canterbury. Because it meant that this year a four-day game against Surrey would be added to the fixture list. And, as we are all too aware, there is no more vicious rivalry in sport than that between two adjacent Home Counties.
So my Surrey crew (two old school friends) and I decided to get ourselves tooled up and head south in search of trouble yesterday for the first day of the match at the St Lawrence Ground. We made sure that we were sporting provocatively Surrey brown, including dark chinos and tan leather brogues.
As we approached the gates it was obvious that a massive police presence had been put in place to counter potential violence between opposing fans. He was eating a Cornish pasty and explaining to a middle-aged lady how to get to Habitat.
Once we’d taken our seats, although of course we stood all day, the announcement came over the PA system that Azhar Mahmood would not be taking his place in the Spitfires eleven. Two seasons ago, Mahmood had done the unthinkable and headed down the M2 to join Kent from the Brown Caps. Obviously it had been decided by the Kent management in conjunction with the police that it would be better if Mahmood stayed away from the ground in case he incited a riot.
It was quiet in the ground in the morning, but we could all sense the simmering tension. I definitely got a funny look from a small boy who was sitting in front of us with his grandpa. We thought it best to split up and search for mischief separately. We could keep in contact via text if we needed to team up again.
Very soon I got a message from my mate saying that something was brewing up over by the Leslie Ames stand with a man in a beige linen suit. Apparently an altercation had ensued after he’d kicked his Thermos over. A Scotch egg may or may not have been thrown.
And over by the tree my other friend was trying to stir something up by splashing some lime cordial into the face of an old lady. He tells me that it was very strong cordial. Disappointingly peace had broken out when the lady had gone back to finishing her crossword.
We then planned a pitch invasion at tea. This was gratifying successful as we were joined by at least a hundred others. Although nearly all of them seemed preoccupied by playing impromptu games of kwik cricket and getting Bob Key’s autograph.
Inevitably we were ejected from the ground. It does have to be said however that this was around two hours after the close of play. We’d fallen asleep. In a way it was good thing to get some zzzs under our belt. We had an early start today to visit the Rupert the Bear Museum.