Here’s Daniel Splarn’s take on the country cricket stereotype – an entertaining look at the characters we see each week on the country square.
ever angry fast bowler
We’ll start with an absolute country barbecue staple: the habitually angry fast bowler. The 33-year-old insurance broker, who was a perfectly sane and decent guy off the field, was a completely different animal once he crossed that white line.
You’ll see him walking to the wicket, another 45 hostiles, there’ll be overzealous LBW yells, explosive outbursts by anyone, and even trying to get the batsman on a quick single.
“Oh shit,” he hisses, as another halftrack roars past you, heading for the border, “stick your fingers out and dive in, okay?”
He’s actually pretty good with this new nut, the guy, and he’s known for letting it rip every now and then. Catch him on a good day, he’s a handy addition to the site. But whatever you do, don’t catch the ball at his bowling game and expect to enjoy the rest of the day.
all the gear i don’t know
Another classic sight of a country green space across the country. All The Gear, No Idea starts batting most weeks – but that’s almost always because you win a tie and choose to bat because the rest of your team is 20 minutes late.
He looked very confident as his forearm was knocked down a few times – he even hit a few times in the middle – but once he was in the middle normal service resumed as the opening bowler kept hitting in his bat (often with impressive numbers like 800 or 501).
After a series of near misses, All The Gear, No Idea will finally head to a well done 9, clean bowl. As he tucked his racket under his arm and strolled back to the stables, he would say something about “tarnishing the new ball.” Back to single digits today, but no one can take away 47* to win the 2004 tournament. nobody.
The semi-pros your buddy seduced at the last minute
“Serious gamer, I’m Will. Did I tell you how many games he’s played for Sussex Seconds?” Yes, yes, you did.
After weeks/months/years (delete where applicable) of hype, your trusty opening fighter finally gets his work mate Will to join him as a last-minute wrestler in a tricky match against the league leaders.
Apparently you agree – either Will or someone’s 11-year-old son has to play in jeans – and make him fourth and bowl.
On the way to the game, you hear about bluff half centuries and devastating fives, but this is real Will, made a four ball duck and dropped a full dolly on a slip Ball and threw a series of off-balls, then overs after a 3-pointer, he was taken all over the place and quickly backed off the attack.
Will usually disappears without paying for games, then dazzles for his frequent teams a week later. Bye now
low level slogger
Think Liam Plunkett A little more wood and you’re pretty close.
He’s the kind of guy who loathes his role as a referee so much that he’ll give you a completely shocking decision just because you had the guts to ask for it. Did you put it directly on the pad? “I’m afraid that’s plum LBW”. Missing a mile and the third person appealing to someone caught? finger up.
Slogger dropped to 11th this week after dropping his in-game captain (an absolute shock, of course). And he’s heading to the crease now to prove it.
“Just play nice and safe”, you say, “We only have 2 rounds to wait for a draw”. This is of course futile. Obviously this is futile.
After two agricultural masters somehow missed the stumps, he leaped from the wicket, tossed his third ball and sought glory (and imagine the applause as he beat his team to an unlikely victory ). missed. tapered. game over.
What’s special about running specialists is that you have nothing to say on the sidelines. He’s always biting your ear on the slide when you need to score a goal or grab a beer after a game.
But when it’s your turn to hit him, he magically becomes completely still. Yes, all communication is gone. Therefore, he’s involved in approximately 87% of your team’s runs.
He’ll let himself run – stop, go again, and return safely to the shelter of his sudden crease – while you slip and fall on your ass. You’ll be stuck again, going for 12 out of 27 balls is very unsatisfactory.
When you turned towards the gazebo, you swear you caught a glimpse of him grinning and talking to himself. He will go on to compose a glorious half-century and give you the same smile after the game. Talk about insulting hurt.
If you remember to take him to a game, seriously consider a hasty departure — keep him at Bognor Regis.
Can you think of any country cricket stereotypes we missed?