Yesterday afternoon, I went to the village of Staplefield in West Sussex, to see the annual cricket match between the locals and a comedians’ cricket team organised with Germanic efficiency by Frank Sanazi.
I am not a great lover of cricket. I think the British Empire may have been built by armies going to foreign countries and insisting that the locals played cricket with the English/British until they lost the will to be independent and handed over their countries and natural resources rather than play another match.
But this cricket match and this cricket team was different.
Yorkshire comedian Keith Platt inexplicably dressed as a footballer.
Former submariner Eric was wearing a tennis headband when he fielded but black-rimmed Groucho Marx glasses as a batsman. He claimed these were not comedy props and he needed them, but I wasn’t totally convinced as he developed the hint of a strange gangling run when he wore the Groucho glasses.
Meanwhile, Bob Slayer dressed in black with a normal white sun hat on his head which, when erect (the hat, that is), oddly made him look like a rather down-at-heel TV celebrity chef wearing a rugby strip. He did, though, manage the impressive multi-tasking triumph of drinking at least one pint of beer while fielding.
I had to leave during the second half to see a friend who told me tobacco companies had been discovered putting sugar in their cigarettes to make them more addictive.
And, mid-evening, Frank Sanazi texted to tell me that the comedians had lost by 69 runs – 209 to 140 – but that Bob Slayer had finished 31-not-out and was “now a comedy cricket legend, as he developed a batting style called ‘swatting’ in which he maniacally tried to bash every delivery like he was Zorro.”
An interesting cricket match.
Now there’s an oxymoron.