Rustington Match Report.
The things one has to do these days to get PSM. After the unfortunate incident involving the ball and my nose, I feel a full risk assessment and Health and Safety report is long overdue.
Alcohol and Cricket
While not actually compulsory, it’s usually a good idea to meet in a pub beforehand and drink at least two pints of beer. This will loosen those muscles, make you less fearful of the quick young opening bowler, and make you much much funnier. You will also be expected to make use of any local drinking facilities. However, try not to be too drunk to bat.
The RoborBob Sub Clause
If you are Roborbob, however, you can get as drunk as you like and proceed to provide almost innumerable PSM nominations.
You should not bring alcohol on to the field of play, unless of course you are umpiring. It gives an air of authority, and also provides you with an excuse not take any of the bowlers kit, “Sorry, mate, my hands are full with counters and beer”.
Helmets and other equipment
The use of helmets is not compulsory. However, most older Greysmen have now adopted head protection, in most cases very foolishly waiting for absolute proof that their reflexes aren’t what they were (in the form of a ball smacking them in the face) before doing so.
Other equipment may be used, although if you are Duncan you may consider a bat optional. “Has anyone got a spare shirt?” is a question that should only be asked if you actually want to keep giving Biff a reason for having a spare shirt at every game, or if you are some mug in the pub who we persuaded to play last night. In which case, were you lying when you said you thought you had a white tee-shirt somewhere but you’ll need to borrow some trousers?
Black trainers should be avoided. This is not because they are inherently unsafe, but because the constant ridicule of your teammates may become distracting. This rule applies especially at Twineham and Wineham.
If you are Del you can consider taking your phone out to bat with you, but filming yourself bat is probably something only he could do.
Pitches are usually uneven surfaces on which caution should be exercised. Spiked boots will help while you are standing still, but may get caught in the ground when you attempt to move, especially if you’ve just downed a pint of San Miguel in two minutes not realizing you are next to bat. Even if the pitch is an absolute road, you can still blame it for the loss of your wicket, of course.
Extensive research, backed up by empirical evidence accumulated from watching over 30 years of Greysmen has concluded the follow adage to be emphatically true. Warm ups, including catching practice, cause injuries and should be avoided at all costs. The more you warm up, stretch, lie on the ground doing things you’ve seen them professionals do on the telly, the more likely you are to use a cut throat gesture to indicate to your skipper that your achilles hammy is about to twinge and possibly twang and someone else will have to bowl.
Equal Opportunity Policy
All Greysman shall get a game. This policy used to work better than it does now, due to the advent of a middle order interspersed with some batsmen. Very occasionally one of these batsmen will be drunk, get himself out and challenge his teammates to say they weren’t pleased he was out. This is known as The Rustington Anomaly.
We welcome all ages, with a particularly open policy on third age players. We also welcome Afghani refugees, unlike the British Government, although only one so far (what do you mean, tokenism?) and any other people with whatever background (unless it’s a very bad one on Zoom). Australians and Sri Lankans are also particularly welcome but if you sound a bit posh and have a reluctance to got to the bar, you may find yourself less welcome.
LBGQTXYZ are also welcome. If you have another letter which describes you that I have forgotten, sorry, but not I’m typing the whole alphabet. If your letter clashes with someone else’s, we will allocated a nick name to you.
The Clubs pronouns are It. The Club’s adjective is Mighty. The Club’s definite article is The.
Horn Blowing Policy
The Greys Cricket Club takes these matters extremely seriously, and like to generate an atmosphere where everyone feels able to say, “Biff, where’s the maximum horn?” Horn blowing is actively encouraged, but only in the defined match situations. If you suspect a colleague has bullied his way to a 50 or 100, or you’ve seen someone use aggressive hitting to strike a ball beyond the boundaries of play for a 6, you should blow the horn. Horn blowing outside of these parameters is not encouraged, as it makes the club look even more like a bunch of loud mouthed oiks.
CoVid. Special Provisions
The Greys special Covid provisions are as follows. We shall do what the opposition ask us, but slowly bend the rules the longer the day goes on as we notice the opposition aren’t really doing it right either.
Spectators shall consist of the follow people only:
- Parents of Greysmen young enough to still have them.
- Recently acquired wives/girlfriends, although they will almost certainly cease attending after a maximum of two seasons.
- Non-playing Greysmen with new children. Former recent wives or girlfriends (I can see why it’s wives AND girlfriends now, much nicer acronym) are allowed on a family pass and don’t think for one moment their presence means they are ever going to come and watch you play again.
- And Dave.
This rule does not apply when we are playing at St James’s.
When waiting to bat, try not to sit right on the boundary’s edge facing the opposite direction talking high finance to your teammates. If you do, remember to place a solidly constructed metal flask (or similar) between you and the 14 stone fielder who is about to hurtle into you in a blur of arms, legs and arse. It may soften the blow.
Fielding is dangerous. If you have time to react, try to get out the way of the ball, but don’t make it obvious. Time your dive in the covers so the ball is somehow 20 yards beyond you by the time you hit the ground. Circle underneath a skier and fall over 5 yards away from where it lands. If you don’t have time to get out of the way, just hope for the best. Before asking where you’re required to field, try to remember who in the team can run, throw, or be bothered to chase a ball to the boundary. If the option of fielding within 30 yards of Zac is available, grasp it with both hands, but you may find a cluster of other fielders with the same idea. When wicket keeping, remember certain Greysmen may shy at the stumps, thereby exposing the fact that you never bother to get to them unless absolutely necessary.
If you see three Greysmen running in arcs which look like they are going to intersect and they are all starring skywards, shout out a random name and turn away immediately. If you hear a sickening crunch, deny it was you who shouted out and hope none of them were Hatrick… again.
All data is collated by the Greys statistician. He will encrypt it and reproduce it in a form that can only be understood by those in the know. If you are scoring runs, the stato reserves the right to count them and keep a paper record of the days events. These are then made available on the interwebs. It’s not really Data Protection is it?
Any data shared on social media should be carefully vetted before publication. We’ve had our teamsheet leaked on Twitter once already, with potentially disastrous consequences. Who’s going to fear a team with a Bumbo in it, after all?
Recent media attention has been focused on this issue, and rightly so, if that’s your thing. Pop along to see nurse, there’s a good chap. She’ll give you a couple of Disprin and a quick spray of Ralgex and you’ll feel like a new man in next to no time. Otherwise a good cry in your car for half an hour usually does the trick, I always find. If you’re still a Mopey Michael after all that, self-medicate in the pub afterwards, and it will all seem much worse in the morning.
With safety in mind, it’s important to focus while batting. If you can do that, you’re probably not drunk.
There may have been some confusion over this in the past, and a previous Treasurer may have thought financial transparency meant keeping all of the clubs money in a see through plastic wallet with holes in, which was then left in various locations for everyone and anyone to see, while at the same time maintaining a veil of secrecy over the actual accounts. This is not correct.
Greys accounts are free for everyone to see when annual accounts are presented at the AGM. Remember to appear interested in these when the Club Treasurer is attempting to explain why there isn’t as much money as there should be, before forgetting all about them and then asking how much money there will be for tour. It is also customary at the AGM to make an apparently sensible but actually absurd and unworkable suggestion about what to do with the tiny surplus in our account in order to generate more income. Make this suggestion as near the end of proceedings as possible, in order to generate maximum needless discussion.
You will be relying on any first aiders in the club to have been paying attention at their last refresher course, and that it wasn’t any more than about three weeks ago, or it will all have been forgotten anyway. Luckily Defibrillators have instructions on them and First Aid kits contain nothing of any use, so even if you’re badly hurt, the First Aider is unlikely to be able to make it any worse. Remember to make an entry in the accident book. If you don’t know where the accident book is, just remember to nominate the incident at PSM, then it will be recorded in a way we can all laugh about afterwards.
Clearly an area that needs work. A “We’re not Fucking Baby Sitters” committee made up of Richard Partridge, Tim Greaves, Dom Ashton and chaired by Biff will be established to look into how we can improve in this department. Clearly children shouldn’t be allowed to bowl at Del.
Overall Risk Assessment
Cricket is a bloody dangerous game, and can result in death. However, we didn’t win at Waterloo or indeed on the playing fields of Eton playing fucking tennis, did we? If one of your teammates does die on the field play, remember, he died with his boots on and it’s what he would have wanted.
The Match Report
Rustington. A town suffering from corrosion? It seemed not when we arrived at something like a smaller version of Littlehampton (a town with a small hamp?). A quick survey of the oppo revealed a number of youngsters practicing their fielding, and a peppering of slightly older men in white not warming up but sitting around the outside of the social club.
We won the toss and batted. I’m not sure how Roborbob became so animated so quickly, but he may have been attempting to get his drinking in early so as to sober up enough to drive back later. We were treated to a barrage of comments deemed worthy of PSM nomination, one of the highest ever by a single Greysman at one game (7), though I’ll wager Ricky has the best average in that department, closely followed by the enigmatic paradox.
Dan H photobomb time!
Robor gave us a primal “Aaarrrghhh!” sound, made when stopping the ball one handed (off the field), challenging anyone who’d listen to a press-up off, piss taking of Diamond for having to run 100 yards every ball, lairily shouting “Are you watching Skip?” after bowling a couple of half decent deliveries and the already near classic “Who’s upset that I’m out?” He was clearly fading later in the day when he had his very own David Cameron moment, confusing Aston Villa and West Ham.
Anyway, try as he might, attention was drawn away from Roborbob by the stroke play of Del. Earlier, Biff had unluckily chopped on to one that nipped back a bit, and Hatrick had been well caught at cover point by one of the kids after a couple of fours. R/B had scored 38 of his own in a good partnership with Delbert, who treated us to an array of beautiful sweeps, cuts and cover drives. A lot of these deliveries were bowled by children, but you can only stylishly strike what your given, and Del did so on his way to a superb 89. Yours truly was given a load of sensible advice by Del about taking your time, defending the straight ones etc, only to follow it with the frankly ridiculous, “and then just hit the ball in the gaps”. I didn’t, and was caught. Dan Cope hit a 6 in his brief cameo, Dom his usual brisk scoring, scored another enterprising 50, including the partial destruction of a child’s bike with one boundary, the ball travelling far too fast for QB to attempt to stop. Zac, in a welcome return, hit his first ball for four and Ben a quick 8 at the end. 248 off 35 overs seemed a decent score, but the outfield was quick and with one short boundary, we weren’t too sure of ourselves.
Despite a spirited effort, mostly from a tall left hander, Morris, who scored 86 (including a massive straight 6), we proved too strong for the Rustington batting line up with a number of kids in it. Robbie made the first breakthrough with a wicked in-cutter, before having to cut his spell short due to a…well take your pick really, Dan Cope took two in two with slightly swinging full tosses, Diamond Dan was unlucky to only take the one wicket from 25 off his 7. Biff got some tap from the left hander, but not to be forgotten, Roborbob chipped in with 2 for 3 off 2 overs. A small boy was cruelly run out by the wicket keeper, who perhaps got his Karmic comeuppance a short while later, when getting a painful blow to the schnozzle for PSM from the ball, not the boy. Rob -Are you Looking Skip -orbob finally got the left hander well caught by Dom, going backwards. The innings closed in drizzle- 155 for 9 at the end.
Everyone who’d arrived with Roborbob scrambled to get into Skip’s car for the return journey, but one way or another, we all made it home in one piece. HQ wasn’t quite the same without regular of regulars, Biffo, but a good night was still had by all. Great to see Zac and Del playing on a Sunday.