On a drizzly Saturday reminiscent of ‘St. George’s Day’ in 2008 when grey skies and rain greeted the 43rd US President, Darjeeling CC was due to begin their Two Match T20 series against The Wombats (recent winners of the pre-Chiang Mai Sixes Tournament). On arrival to the ground, the GCA appeared deserted – the teams however, (most of which arrived early) were camped out in the Changing rooms warming their hands round post match bevies. Familiar faces of Greg Moses, Neil Colbeck, Sackers and Steve Brown greeted me whilst Brian languished horizontally on the benches deigning to offer an outstretched arm. (Ash was around busying himself with the ground staff – of which I discovered he refers to as ‘curators’) Early discussions surrounded Friday’s performance of DCC – with particular reference to dropped catches, Brian’s scruffy half century and the enigma of what made certain Darjeelingites ‘tick’
Next to join ‘the party’ was Matt Escritt looking healthy and ready for action followed by Gibby & Son along with (yet another) trimmed beard style and tails of bitter Canadian winters and thermal underwear. Bringing up the rear, the unmistakable figure of Lee Dawson.
Further mention should be given at this stage to the weather and pitch conditions. There was spitting rain – rain I might add you would welcome in England for your Saturday league cricket – let’s say median British weather conditions. Rain that was however, keeping the covers on. A 2:30pm start was announced – at 2:20pm the toss was lost and Darjeeling was put into field. At 2:30pm the covers were sliding off and Lew was limbering up. At approximately 2:33pm the covers were sliding back on.
When polite enquiries were made (whatever polite is for what the fuck is going on with the covers’) – we were informed that the ‘Australian’ pitch was due to be used and as this was heavily clay-based it might be too slippery for us and could cause injury (which is ground staff/curator speak for “there’s a spot of rain in the air and we don’t your spiky feet touching our pristine square”). A further pitch inspection was agreed at 3:00pm and we also heralded the arrival of one Mr Dommett looking a wee hungover and donning a simple Nokia to replace his vodka-damaged smart phone.
DCC sauntered back to what Americans call the ‘locker room’ and the lids to the Eskies once again opened. A new shower turned our interests to indoor cricket and an impromptu game of French cricket began. We learned that you cannot be out for a Golden Duck and that Steve Brown is a little too ‘passionate’ in the froggy form of the game. We then stretched the indoor pitch to the toilets and found Ash’s batting forte is definitely with indoor tennis ball cricket after he sent deliveries pinging around the alcoves of the changing rooms.
At 3:00pm it was announced the game was cancelled and some took this as a cue to leave whilst a few of the keener/more optimistic/more deluded members (myself included) hung around in the hope some cricket could be negotiated. Interests however, turned to talk – with that master orator, Greg Moses delivering a 3 o’clock bombshell – i.e. that he had zero sympathy with anyone killed by a dog or a snake*
We even tested the theory of how to repel such a snake attack and agreed it would be possible (and forgivable)if the victim was drugged or asleep. Discussion then switched to further unlikely “Animal Death Matches” A Staffordshire Terrier v a Red Kangaroo, A Badger versus a Wolverine, a Gorilla against a Bull and Tag team between a Tasmanian Devil and Staff (Terrier) versus a Monitor Lizard / Komodo Dragon and Panda. We also concluded that a Great White Shark would beat a Polar Bear (in water) – unless, the Polar Bear was defending her young and lastly, that a Grizzly Bear was just about the hardest beast out there (out of water).
Now this may sound like drivel to any TMS (Test Match Special) followers – but let me tell you Aggers, Blowers and Bumble – it beats discussions about the demise of test cricket cheesecakes any day!
To further prevent the onset of ennui, Greg entertained us with a Sydney Harbour Bridgesque climb up the GCA
and avowed it to be “one of the finest views in cricket”. After getting further updates on the current affairs on the world of darts (and hearing that Sackers has forked out AED1,200 for a ringside – or should I say “oche-side seat” at the Dubai Duty Free Masters) it was time to leave. I would welcome any further addendum from any of the more hardcore DCC’ers who remained.
*On further probing, the parameters of this bold declaration were agreed – the snake would have to be of the constrictor type (i.e. a python or Boa and not a poisons viper) and that we’d be talking about a sole dog and not a pack dog attack.