Who Wants To Be A Multi-Billionaire? England v South Africa ODI, Lord’s, 31 August 2008

I have two abiding memories of this Sunday at Lord’s with Daisy.

They both relate to the charming South African gentleman and his Zimbabwean friend who sat next to us in the Mound Stand. We chatted with them at length in the earlier part of the day.

In particular, the Zimbabwean gentleman explained the currency chaos prevailing in Zimbabwe at that time; sacks full of bank notes to buy basic items, the authorities producing ever larger, ludicrously large denomination bank notes; worthless before they had even rolled off the printing presses.

I asked the gentleman if I might buy some from him for our Z/Yen edutainment boat trip games. He said he had none with him but sack loads at home. He said his wife would bring some for me when she was next in London  (in a few weeks’ time) and refused to take money for them. He did not even accept the offer of hospitality on the boat in exchange.

To his credit, he followed through with his promise. A few weeks’ later a mysterious woman apparently arrived at our St Helen’s Place offices with a large envelope stuffed with billions upon billions of Zimbabwean dollars:

Try for the fifty billion?

This multitude of notes came in very handy in Z/Yen edutainment games for many years and I really am very grateful to the kind man who took so much trouble to respond to a casual request that came up in chat at cricket.

I also remember feeling slightly sleazy about the matter as, given his refusal to take anything in reciprocation, the transaction felt, in essence, as though I had successfully begged for money – albeit worthless money. Janie and I debated that aspect for a while, as I was at that time in the process of preparing my Gresham Lecture on Commercial Ethics.

But I digress.

The other abiding memory was the disappearance of that South African and Zimbabwean double-act as soon as a heavy storm blew across. It was very heavy rain, but it was scheduled to pass quickly and the new drainage at Lord’s is terrific. I even said to them that I thought the game would restart within an hour of the rain stopping, despite the heaviness of the rain.

The gentlemen both said that they had spent too long over the years waiting for Lord’s to fail to dry, so headed off as soon as the rain relented.

Play did resume within an hour of the rain stopping. It proved to be an exciting match in the end.

Here is a link to the scorecard. 

The multi-billion dollar earning aspect of this day is now immortalised on the King Cricket website – click here or below:

England v South Africa Lord’s ODI report from 2008

A Good Month For The Worms, 2 August, 4 August, 9 August, 24 August 2008

Lots of Worm activity (i.e. Janie’s “Wormleighton” family and friends) during August 2008 if my diary is to be believed, but no photographic evidence. For more detail on some of these activities, we might need to ransack the attic and retrieve Janie’s diaries.

Saturday 2 August – Phillie.

My diary also has “Anth” crossed out, so I think the original idea was for Anthea and Mitchell to visit when Phillie was with us, but I think they came the following week and Phillie alone stayed with us at the maisonette and had dinner. Tony was away on business if I recall correctly/

Monday 4 August – Middlesex v Somerset floodlit.

I took Paul (Belmonte) that evening and gave him the pavilion experience for some of the game and also I recall watching a fair bit from the Upper Edrich Stand. I think this was only the second floodlit game at Lord’s; at least only my second experience of it.  Here is a link to the scorecard.

Saturday 9 August – Anth

Not sure what we did but quite possibly Anthea and Mitchell came over for dinner. I think my diary would have more detail if it had been a bigger adventure than that.

Sunday 24 August – Worms

The Monday was a bank holiday of course. This will almost certainly be Hil and Chris; I think we might have all have gathered at their place in Bristol – i.e. including Phillie, Tony and Charlie. I think this was the year that Janie and I went down just for the day – a late lunch barbecue – then drove home. Quite a success I seem to recall.

Barmy Kev Grapples With The Authorities While I Do Some Judging, Middlesex v Leicestershire Days 2 & 3, 22 August 2008

I tended to get strange e-mails from Barmy Kev in those days, while I was editing Middlesex Till We Die (MTWD):

“Can’t get me poll up”…

…being one that caught my eye as I tried to do forensics on my strange diary scribbles and the even stranger MTWD match reporting for some of this match.

Then I found the Barmy e-mail I was actually looking for:

We seem to be just about OK with reporting for 5 days…
…I will attend 1st session Thurs morning.  A strange irony, luckily I realised over weekend my passport has just expired.  I have arranged emergency passport re-issued at Victoria Thurs morning which takes 4 hours. While waiting I’ll be at Lords.  May ask some Leics players if I can help them out while I’m there.
It is very unlikely I’ll be attending another game this season.

The joke about Leicestershire players was born of the feeling at that time that a couple of counties were relying very heavily on the Kolpak ruling to import a great many players rather than grow their own. Frankly, at that time, Middlesex were not doing much better in the home grown v imports department, but at least had been sowing the seeds of a much improved youth system.

Anyway, it seems that Barmy Kev sort-of produced a report and I sort-of filled in the gaps and here is a link to that sort-of report – credited to Kev feat. Ged. 

My diary suggests that I wasn’t at the ground on the Thursday but was there on the Friday… …I think I managed to rejig things a little and get to the ground for some of the day both of those days.

My main task at the tail end of that week was going through the Payroll Giving Awards; an event for which I was chairing the panel of judges at that time. Lord’s was an ideal venue for going through the thick file of applications and that match perfectly timed for the task. I just didn’t want match reporting duties as well.

Unlike the Thursday, on the Friday it seems we had an embarrassment of riches in the reporting department; Daria and Seaxe Man. It seems I had tried to relieve Seaxe Man of the duties but that he had missed the message, so I published two very different takes about the same dull day of cricket – click here.

Derbyshire v Middlesex In Spirit But Not In Person For Half A Day – MTWD Match Report, 12 August 2008

Monkey-face – writer.

Sometimes we found it hard to recruit reporters for every day; especially for away fixtures such as, with all due respect, Derbyshire.

So on this occasion, we “recruited” Hippity and Monkey-Face to report for half a day – click here.

Just in case anything ever happens to MTWD, I have scraped the piece to Ogblog – only click the link below if the link above doesn’t work:

Middlesex till we die – Bunny and Monkey Spend a Half Day in Derby

Astute Ogblog followers might read between the lines and conclude that I perhaps did some work that day and/but was able to spend some of the day at home with the internet radio on…

…there was no happy ending to this match for Middlesex supporters a few days later – click here for scorecard.

Heavy Rollers In Edgbaston and Stirchley, Primarily For England v South Africa Days Two and Three, 30 July to 1 August 2008

We have Charles Bartlett to thank for the most wonderful relic from this trip: a superb stack of pictures – 80 of them – click here to see them all. I’ll pepper this piece with just a few.

30 July 2008

This was one of those rare occasions that the test started on a Wednesday and so we actually travelled up on the first day and watched days 2 and 3.

Thus we gathered for pre match cricket in David Steed’s local park in Stirchley.

Adam was not impressed with his batting performance

Never mind Adam’s body language above, that muck-about game on David’s local green went well for Adam and did not go at all well for me, as evidenced by this page of my jotter.

2006 Muck About Cricket

Nigel “Father Barry” White (and son) did well, as did a local lad, Craig, who wandered along and asked if he could play with us.

Harish (Harsha Ghoble) also had a good go, although I do recall bowling him on one occasion with one of my moon balls which descended vertically onto the stumps. “How are you supposed to play a ball like that?”, complained Harish. Nigel then dispatched my next, similar ball for six. “Like that”, said Nigel.

I also recall lots of bites on my legs afterwards. Yet I was (uniquely amongst those in the following photo) wearing long trousers.

As darkness fell…

…then on to David and Anita’s place for a super barby:

Super barby at Steed Towers

31 July 2008

Chas and perhaps some of the others must have gone for a good walk the next morning, in the grounds around Harbourne House…

Signs of some walking around Harbourne House…

…while Harish and I, great athletes both, exerted ourselves with some morning sports activity:

For those looking in black and white, Ian’s the one dressed in red…
Some signs of mis-spent youth there; not least Ian’s ability to play a little better after a couple of bevvies.
Then the annual Heavy Roller shirt ceremony…
…for some reason Chas got a unique, pink one. As I’m the Middlesex supporter among us, “it should have been me”…
…then off we go to Edgbaston.
All action it was. Could this have been the year that someone started a row with Nigel 20 minutes before the start of play asking him to sit down?

We had the honour of witnessing “that” over from Flintoff to Kallis:

The crowd was just a little bit involved.

We’re all standing now (apart from Hippity and Monkey-Face)!
I think we went to Zizzis that night – correct me if I’m wrong, folks

1 August 2008

We did it all again! But Chas didn’t take pictures that day.

Want to know what happened in the cricket? – here is the scorecard – yes, click here.

I made my own way home by train, as oft I do. Unusually, though, Nigel and Chas stayed on an extra day, having decided to brave the Eric Hollies Stand.

Aftermath – Chas and Nigel in the Eric Hollies

There are plenty of pictures in that photo album, but I’d really like one or both of the lads to write a short side piece describing their very different day “on the other side”…

…the dark side…
…with brigades of Amy Winehouses…
…and extra police protection. Had the fuzz been tipped off that Chas and Nige were coming?

Do tell, fellas.

Postscript: Nigel wrote up the Eric Hollies experience for King Cricket. King Cricket published the piece 8 November 2017 – here.

Indeed, other memories from any of us much appreciated, in the comments section or by e-mail ahead of a post script.