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On Tour in England

[door Robert Wolfe] If you have ever toured across the channel you will know it is partly time travel. How about for instance our fixture in Newton, just 10 miles from Cambridge. A one pub village. Where of course that one pub is the living room of most villagers and hence even at 1pm on a sleepy Thursday is pleasantly filled with clientele, discussing their lives as if it were 1900 something or 1800 something.

The fixture itself took place on a ground that actually is a rather large paddock for cows. Part of this paddock had been electrically wired off and apart from the tree at deepish square leg, looks like a completely regular cricket pitch. 50 cows looked over the fence at long-on as Amsterdam batted first and ever so slowly the cows moved anti-clockwise as if reversing the hands of a big invisible clock.

To start off with we batted a bit like the time when cricket hadn’t been invented in the Netherlands yet, but eventually we became more solid, especially when skipper Tina (aka James Potter from the zomis) showed his antipodean desire to stretch boundaries. Only the row of cars parked along the hedge hiding the road gave a hint in which century we were in, until of course the cows reached that part and even they disappeared form sight, quite alarmingly so to some who had not signed the excess waiver at the car rental shop.

However apart from some nudged mirrors and extra mud on them the cars survived the clash with time travel quite well. And so did we when S Hannema hit into a bigger tree outside the wired fence and the batsmen waiting underneath resembled Newton (b. 1664) discovering gravity. We ended up on 155 runs in - how could it be otherwise - a timed game.

After a tea - like only the English can do - our turn to field alongside the cows, who now watched from the fine leg boundary. Wickets fell, runout happened. The hands of the clock indicated 20 more overs and the countdown began. The cows moved to square leg and were almost home in cow corner when we needed one wicket more and they needed 9 off 2 overs and then 6 off 1. And then as the ball was amongst the cows it was all over. Both teams could have and in fact did win, as to be taken up by time and ever so gently spun around a field for a day must be amongst the greatest victories of all time.

To end with the words of Englishman David Jones (aka Ziggy Stardust)
Time takes a cigarette
Puts it in your mouth
Pulls on your finger
Then another finger
Then on your cigarette
In short
Two games near Cambridge
One game at eastcote sadly cancelled due to pitch conditions
The six aside tournament at North Moreton (near Oxford)
The 20/20 vs MCC at North Moreton
Day 5 at the Oval (for some)

And back home. Below a few pictures of the tour.

Team picture at Moreton Cricket Club in front of Lola the Magnolia (aka Amsterdam Tree)

Team picture at Moreton Cricket Club in front of Lola the Magnolia (aka Amsterdam Tree)

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One of the beautiful grounds we played at. (Newton - near Cambridge)

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And some of us witnessed Moeen Ali take his Hatrick at the Oval!