Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

It’s All Fun and Napes

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It’s actually been a bit of relief to catch a breather from the World Twenty20 action and have the opportunity to snort up some pure uncut County Championship action.

And there was a particularly diverting performance down at Tunbridge Wells by Graham Napier of Essex but not England. Napier has spent the last two weeks employed as a waiter serving drinks to his colleagues. He occupied his place in the England dugout with the quiet desolation of a man invited to the party only to arrive at the door and be told his name is not on the list.

Against Kent yesterday he gave a poignant reminder of what the England management ignored: boshing 64 unbeaten runs at No.8 off 68 balls including 7 fours and 2 sixes. Apparently these are called boundaries, but I wouldn’t know: I’m an England fan.

Napier added four wickets to his all-round swag, one of which was an old comrade from the benches, Robert Key. Key has acquired a cultish following among cricket fans, and I believe that Napier deserves one too.

If only because he will always hold a special place in my affections for literally being the most drunk person I have ever seen. It was in the bar of the Park Plaza Hotel in Nottingham after Twenty20 finals at Trent Bridge in 2006. He crashed out of toilet door and acquainted himself with the opposite wall, before greeting me like I was his brother. It was a touching moment and I won’t forget it.

I hope the England selectors don’t forget him either, although I fear his opportunity may have passed. But that’s just going to add to his cult.

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Written by harrisharrison

June 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm

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