Busy week here at Lord’s as the museum refurbishment is well underway. I’m not involved really so have mostly been keeping out of the way, although I have been forced to take a bit of interested after finding out my desk is going to be part of the exhibit about Wisden. I was pretty upset at first at being turfed out of my home, but have cheered up as I now know I will be getting a replacement desk (so won’t have to work on the floor). It’s also nice to know that my desk will be admired by many, you too can come and view the famous desk at the MCC museum soon – it’s being displayed to symbolise John Wisden’s desk, but you will know the truth, it’s far more important than that, it’s actually the very desk where so many of my famous wonderful blog posts have been written.
Have a great new story on the TTF website this week ( http://www.takingthefield.com/stories/innocence-youth ) please have a listen. I don’t want to spoil the ending for you but I will say that it involves a little boy being a little bit naughty. His actions in the final over of a match remind me of the controversal ball bowled by Trevor Chappell in 1981, it was the last ball of the match and New Zealand needed 6 to win so Chappell ensured this was impossible by bowling the ball underarm and letting it gently roll along the ground to the batsman, a strategy not actually illegal at the time, but certainly rather naughty!
For some other examples of naughty boy behaviour I have turned to fiction. In The Wicket Swindlers we a have a definite case of cheating, using a rather complicated method. The baddies have invented a device that looks like a simple camera but can be pointed at the batsman from some distance away and will release ‘electrical waves’ causing the batsman to lose concentration and make silly mistakes. Ingenious! Luckily the hero of the piece discovers their scheme and sees them brought to justice.
Perhaps a little less cunning, Harry Harper decides to teach the smug prefect fast bowler a lesson and stop him playing in a match by stealing his trousers! Any young boys out there planning a trick like this should beware. Poor Harry is spotted during his scam, ends up being accused of a crime he did not commit, his reputation lays in tatters and his plan doesn’t even work. The lesson learned is that trouser stealing just is not cricket, avoid it if you can.
(Further reading: It’s Not Cricket: A History of Skulduggery, Sharp Practice and Downright Cheating in the Noble Game by Simon Rae, The Wicket Swindlers by Anthony Thomas, The Boys Book of Cricket for 1950 – all available at the MCC library.)