Friday, 21 December 2012

The Smudger Chronicles continue

I always like to get something out on a Friday afternoon for those of you cooped up in offices awaiting when your numpty boss finally let's you go home at 5.

My new collaborator, The Loins of the Club, has been busy ploughing through more historical Ashes yarns so we can be regaled with some mirthsome miscellany. He's still on the chapter about the Big Ship era and sends me this. He also remembered to sign off properly this time without the need for me to add anything!!!

More about the Big Ship......
He captained Aus in 10 tests v England - won 8 drew 2 with one of the draws (at Manchester) an almost complete wash out.
On the voyage over, to keep to his fighting weight of 22 stone, he joined the crew in the engine room shovelling coal.
In one match, he caused a 'confabulation' when he thought Hobbs should have been given out and wasn't. Hobbs was out two balls later. Typically Surrey.
In another match, when Wooley was making his debut, he made the batsman wait for 15mins before bowling a ball. In those days, the bowler was allowed to warm up whenever he liked, so he went a few strips down and practiced bowling some balls. When they went to the fine leg boundary, the Aus fielders were in no hurry to retrieve and return the ball. Wooley made 8.
He was a good enough cricketer to do the 1000run - 100 wkt double on all 3 of his tours to England. In one, he made 2,000 runs & took 100wkts. The only tourist ever to have done so.
He was athletic enough to take 44 catches in tests, usually at mid off.
He wasn't a fan of the draw, believing that all tests should be played to a finish. In the drawn match at the Oval, he took himself out to the outfield and picked up a newspaper that had blown on to the field and started reading it. He said "wanted to know who we were playing".
When the England captain - the hon. Mr. A. Tennyson - declared, he stayed out on the pitch. The rules of the series stated that after rain, the batting side could not declare within 1hr 30 of the close. The hon. Tennyson was unaware of that, so everyone had to come out again. In doing so, he embarrassed the English establishment who were shocked that an uncouth, semi (state at that) educated colonial should know the rules better than their own chaps. The umpires further compounded the embarrassment by allowing him to resume bowling on restart. This meant he bowled two overs in a row.
On retiring he regularly wrote for the press, saying that Larwood and O'Reilly couldn't bowl and Bradman couldn't bat. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

Bring back the draw and the back foot no ball.

If I don't see you before, have a Merry pinning a Jewish carpenter to a tree time and a Happy New hurtling 586, 920,000 miles or so around the sun.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

More Smudger Flashbacks

Smujinder has remembered another tasty little nugget from the depths of his cricket viewing memory. Once more I shall let the great sage's words do the so called talking!!!

This time from 1920  on ‘strilian captain –  22 stone tug of war champion Warwick 'big ship' Armstrong - who “permitted neither pulled muscles nor psychological upsets”. Sound attitude. Unfortunately, the book does not state his views on warm ups, but I think we can guess.

It occurs to me Mr Armstrong's nickname is only one letter away from the one we don't say to Coco's face.

Incidentally, despite appearances to the contrary, Mr Smudgergee is not c130 years old, he has simply been reading an off-beat book on the History of the Ashes (not the one pictured I don't think).

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Smudger's Test Match Recollections

Lady like lobs?!?!?
In his late teen's our venerable erstwhile 2's skipper Mr Smujinder Smudgergee attended his first ever Test Match. He feels it bears some relevance to my recent grumbly post about skippers who seem unable to try something different.

His account shall do it more justice than anything I could attempt.

Looking at your contribution on the web, I'm surprised no one has repeated what the bow tied Lord Harris (England skipper) did in 1884 at Lords when playing Australia. This was the first time, a team passed 500 (Aus) in tests. It also saw the first individual double ton (Murdoch).

Anyway, as the score passed 500, the bow tied one got so fed up with the England wicket keeper - the Hon. Alfred Lyttleton - criticising the bowling that he put him on to bowl. Dr. WG went behind the stumps and bowling with his pads still on, the Hon. Alfred bowled a "succession of lady like lobs", taking 4 for 19.

What's more, as the Hon. Alfred never bowled in tests again, at 4.75 he has the best bowling average of either side in the history of the Ashes. Eat your heart out Warnie, Larwood etc.

Reminds me of the two seasons in a row my figures were 1-1. For a captain to get a bowler like me to have figures like that CONSISTENTLY, must have been one heck of a (cynically and selfishly opportunistic) skipper!!!!!!!

Smudger's Cricket Teaser - Answer

Not a Friday
The Loins of the Club writes:

The Aus player who wasn't selected because he wouldn't eat fish on a Friday was Alan Kippax, although I misled you with the dates. It was when he was young in 1926. He averaged 50+ for NSW but only in the 30's in tests - all v England and all on uncovered wickets. No easy runs v Bangladesh in those days.

Smudge forgot to type "bring back the draw" at the end of his email so I've been kind enough to add it.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Up for the Cups 2013

The draws for a number of the cup competitions are now out -

  • Murgitroyd Masterton - Home vs Fauldhouse, winners away vs Heriots or Marchmont.
  • Presidents Trophy - Home vs Livingston, winners home vs Carlton 2.
  • Parks Trophy - Home vs Bass Rock, winners home vs Murrayfield-DAFS.
  • Activcity Trophy - Home vs Westquarter, winners home vs Livingston or Leith.
  • Presidents Plate - Away vs Teuchters, winners home vs City of Edinburgh Council.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Smudger's Cricket Teasers (no. 1 of a continuing series)

Q1. In the 30's, an Australian batsman was dropped because of his refusal to eat fish on a Friday.
Name him.