V&A CRICKET 2020 – END OF TERM REPORT BY THE CHAIRMAN, NICKY BIRD COVID WREAKED HAVOC WITH THE FIXTURES but we had half a season, which the Stonor chaps thought impossible in early July, and so did not waste money and energy preparing a strip or the outfield. Worms enjoyed themselves, bunnies too. I came for a picnic at the pavilion at that time and the pitch was a field, seemingly returned to nature and poppies and clover and birds. It was desolate; no walkers about, not even Lachlan camping in the environs with his primer stove and pocket edition of Aeschylus. I wrote to the Telegraph pointing out the absurdity of cricket being banned while netball and outdoor gym was allowed. The crap about a cricket ball being a ‘vector’ was palpable nonsense (and so it proved). Boris read my letter and relented. Stonor worked miracles to return […]
After some murmurings in the week about The Cricketers Club of London having gone cold, it transpired by Friday their fixture secretary was, in fact, dead. Over in W11, our very own match manager and captain, Lachlan Nieboer, had been neutered by some virtual auditioning in his bedsit. Fortunately, the Authors had also lost their game that Saturday and following a few late evening sweet nothings to his beloved biographer, Charlie Campbell, the cats were herded to a sunny Stonor for 11:30. On arrival, and in the bohemian absence of any coinage, we demanded to bat first and give our talented line-up a chance of putting on a show. Emley duly obliged. Having completed 8 balls in the nets and a cigarette, he was snaffled behind – out for a royal duck. That brought Derewlany to the crease. Overcompensating for something with his new willow, he joined opener Marsh […]
V&A AWARDS FOR 2019 SEASON V&A CRICKETER OF THE YEAR LACHLAN NIEBOER – top all-rounder, a titan with bat and ball, rivals the original Brycreem Boy, Denis Compton. Valued for his match-winning prowess, Olympia and acting ability on an off the pitch; his runs and wickets won at least three matches. Always a welcome sight on match days when spotted at 09.30 frying his Full English on the pavilion porch BATSMAN OF THE YEAR ANDY TAYLOR – many commanding innings of responsibility (unlike his brother), power and style. He scored more than 400 runs and averaged around 40. Much missed when he buggered off to Canada. Mr Reliable, as batsman, sub keeper, fielder, bowler and in the pub INNINGS OF THE YEAR ROB TAYLOR – a maiden ton of 101* in an hour, a rampant run-fest to rival Morgan or Milburn. At his worst his batting is a brief […]
Saturday 2nd September was a day of two great sporting events. I am assured that cricketing fans across the nation were torn between attending the T20 Blast finals day, featuring Alex Hales and the like, or attending the long running V&A vs Thebertons, featuring two members of Jonkers Rare Books (or is that Jonkers Rare, Books), + 10. We were at one point thirteen, until it was agreed that there were no phantom cricketers in the changing room, and Nieboer’s tent was nowhere to be seen. A quick pre-game chat on the green wicket soon turned into a conversation about lawn mower insurance, by the sounds of it a good game to be in, but realising where our conversation had arrived at, we promptly cut it short. Unsure whether to bat or bowl against what looked to be a capable side, captain Jonkers wisely lost the toss and we were sent out […]
Sammy Woods will skipper my all-time overseas-born Somerset CCC XI. Sammy played 299 County Championship matches for the Cidermen, 230 as skipper. So what? He also played Test cricket for his native Australia and for England; Test rugby for England; soccer for Somerset and Sussex, and hockey for Sussex. “In later life he watched sport, drank heavily, continued to relate anecdotes and failed to apply himself”. True V&A, unlike Sunil Gavaskar. Our annual landlord and tenant match defied the bookies. Earlier in the week, Stonor had just 8 bodies, while the V&A was oversubscribed. Stonor recruited the V&A flotsam of Nick and Tom P-G. The V&A lost Lachlan Nieboer at a late hour. On paper, the V&A still looked a stronger side. Neiboer’s withdrawal seemed to dent the V&A mojo with several players stating he would have made the difference. But cricket remains a team game, and it was a real […]
It was a gap in our fixture list which caused Lachlan to volunteer to raise an opposition with the help of Nick Constatine. The exercise was not entirely fruitful and on the eve of the match they had mustered but half a dozen.
THE SILK BOUDOIR XI were actually VII, because several of this youthful side couldn’t get out of bed. The V&A keep themselves nice on Friday nights so they’re perky for the match, would that others had our
Unlike the V&A CC, whose members nowadays have little to do with the V&A (although some have visited the museum by accident), The Authors XI are actually authors (alumni include P.G. Wodehouse and Conan Doyle). Currently they include Tom Holland, the popular classicist, and Andy Zaltzman, the comedian and podcaster (also a fine batsman). Tom Bird chatted to him, not entirely aware of his pedigree. ‘What do you do?’ ‘I have a podcast, The Bugle.’ ‘Been doing it long?’ ‘Ten years.’ My daughters, who went to the circus in Stonor Park that was noisily in evidence all day Saturday, squeaked with excitement on hearing Andy was in spitting distance. If only they’d known. I have a family connection with The Authors. William Fiennes is a regular. He was raised at beautiful Broughton Castle near Banbury, about which he wrote so movingly in The Music Room (2009). His Dad is Nat […]