Rain Stops Play

Mystics versus Broadclyst, 3rd August 2008

"..... also, we have a report from Guatemala on whether the rights of women are being ignored in the constitution of the new national body in control of archery; and a feature on whether eating low-calorie salads really does help you fit into those ridiculous jeans you bought."

CONTINUITY ANNOUNCER: Women's hour is at 10 a.m. tomorrow. And on the subject of talking about nothing, we join the Test Match Special team in Broadclyst, where play is about to start.

BLOERS: And we welcome listeners to Radio 4, who join us with the fielding side out on the pitch already, it is very damp here, not at all like you'd expect for an August day the rain just drizzling steadily. Just a quick tidbit of team news - Jim Myton returns for this game, having previously "injured something in his arse". Whether it was part of himself or someone else is, alas, unclear.

BILL FRINDALL: Cccooooocccckkkkkk!

BLOERS: Sorry Bill?

BILL FRINDALL: Just clearing my throat. Incidentally, Matthew Cook needs 29 runs to pass 1000 career runs for the Mystics; his father Chris requires 37.

BLOERS: Is that so. Thank you Bill. Now that appears to be Cook the Elder who has gone out to umpire for what I believe is the first time in his career. Well now really I don't know if that's doing the decent thing surely he'll be tempted to give a decision will he? Perhaps he won't.

ANGUS FRASER: Course he will.

BLOERS: Do you really think so? I can't really believe he'll...

ANGUS: I gave my brother Alistair out every time we played junior cricket. Destroyed his average. He ended up playing 2nd XI at Middlesex. Tosser.

BLOERS: I'm sure you didn't Angus, perhaps it was a little competitive in the back garden or something, but...

ANGUS: I bloody did. Twat.

BLOERS: Oh well that's really very naughty of you but I daresay he's forgiven you by now and probably...

ANGUS: Loser.

BLOERS: ...anyway after a word from Angus it'll be Christopher Martin Jenkins.

ANGUS: Dickhead.

CMJ: I think it's terrible when fathers are competitive and ungracious and unwilling to accept that their sons are better cricketers than they are. Although I'm no expert of course, as I don't have a son. Anyway, it's going to be sometime Mystic Peter Weatherhead to open the bowling, clearly he's going to be keen to make an impression against his former employers. I'm joined by Sean Pollock. Sean, how do you see the subtle dynamics playing out here?

POLLOCK: Well yes, there are some dynamics at play here for sure. And they are extremely subtle. I think the key for the Broadclyst bowlers here on this pitch is to get it into the right areas consistently.

CMJ: Right. Any particular tactic against these two batsmen?

POLLOCK: Well you do need to have specific tactics in mind. You want to be bowling on or around the off stump, preferably on a good length, and do that consistently.

CMJ: Right. What about the damp wicket?

POLLOCK: Well the wicket is damp. So you can cause the batsmen problems if you hit the seam. And get the ball in the right areas. Consistently.

CMJ: Sean, forgive me but you don't actually have anything interesting to say, do you? I mean, ever?

POLLOCK: Nothing whatsoever CMJ. But as long as my comments maintain a consistent line and are all about the right length, I can be successful.

CMJ: Do you not have any interest in this game at all?

POLLOCK: Most certainly I do. I've offered Sid Thomson $10,000 to make less than ten runs.

CMJ: Oh, get out you horrible little prick. So then, Weatherhead with the first ball of the day, oh and that's a beautiful leg glance by Cook for four. Now the umpire appears to be calling for something here, I think he might need a hat or something...

MIKE SELVEY: He's signalling byes CMJ.

CMJ: Is he really?


CMJ: Good Lord, I really must get new varifocals. The tragedy of aging of course. Euripedes would have something to say about that don't you think?

SELVE: I really couldn't give a f... irm opinion on that CMJ.

CMJ: Anyway it's four to the total and not really the start Broadclyst would have wanted. Weatherhead again... and that's a better ball, pushed back by Cook and there's no run. I also - ... (there are several seconds of dead air)

SELVE: Are you alright CMJ?

CMJ: (quietly) ourfatherwhichartinheaven...

SELVE: Christopher?

CMJ: (voice rising) lordacceptmyspiritnowandforgivemysins...


CMJ: He is here! He is come! Finally this is my time! Oh sweet Lord Jesus I bow before thee...


CMJ: Accept me into the light O Lord, for I - .... what?

SELVE: It's not Jesus.

CMJ: Isn't it?

SELVE: It's Cliff Rush. He just got a bit carried away at the hairdressers.

CMJ: Oh. How embarrassing. It's these damned glasses you see. Oh dear. I hope the producer wasn't listening.

SELVE: Don't worry - what's he gonna do, replace you with some idiot from 5Live who knows nothing about cricket? I don't think so. Come on, I'll wheel you to the gents. Here's Aggers.

AGGERS: Thanks Selve. And Cook lets that one go to the keeper. Rush in fact is dealing with a career-threatening knee injury, which he's been attempting to rehabilitate by disco dancing. Not going too well apparently. What about you Geoffrey, any good on the dancefloor?

BOYCS: I hold my own on the dancefloor thank you.

AGGERS: I'll bet you do.

(there is off mic spluttering)

BOYCS: Aye you can laugh, but I'm as good picking up the ladies as I was a batsman.

AGGERS: Everyone else scores quicker than you, you mean?

BOYCS: Listen - I do OK. Picked up a young lass in Exeter last night if you must know.

AGGERS: Slapper?

BOYCS: Didn't have to.

AGGERS: Weatherhead again and Cook drives that for two through the offside. Seemed to time it OK despite the moisture. Now, what about this pitch Geoff?

BOYCS: Well, this is a typical wicket for these parts - no bounce and very slow-paced. Just as well, as my spies tell me young Matthew Cook has gone out to bat without a box on! Heh!

AGGERS: Oh dear... hope he ends up with all his bits intact.

BOYCS: Ask his girlfriend! Eh?!

AGGERS: Triin Troon?

BOYCS: hm?

AGGERS: Triin Troon.

BOYCS: I think someone's mobile phone's ringing.

AGGERS: Triin Troon!!

BOYCS: (Looking round) Whose phone is that??

AGGERS: It's Matt's girlfriend for god's sake!!

BOYCS: His girlfriend's a mobile phone? Crikey! I've heard some funny ones in my time... I mean, I had a cousin who married a cow, but never anything like this.

AGGERS: (sigh) End of the over and it's 6 without loss.

BOYCS: I say married, it were a bit more basic than that.

AGGERS: Thank you Geoffrey. Bridger to bowl to Sid Thomson, and - oh, sweet Jesus it's Viv.

VIV RICHARDS: Yeeeeesss man!

AGGERS: Good to be back in the West Country, Viv?

VIV: Well Jonathan, I had some incredible times here. Me and Both man, we had some amaaazin' days on the West Country grass I tell you!

AGGERS: He means the cricket field, listeners.

VIV: I know what I mean!

AGGERS: That would be a first. I should point out that cannabis can cause brain damage.

VIV: Nonsense.

AGGERS: Go on then, talk us through the over.

VIV: Now this individual, ammm, Bridger, is I think and you would say it is not easy in what is as a matter of fact these conditions, and rightly so where wetness is concerned and although actually there is as we see a run I think in that sense and with no what you would have to call shot, ammm... an amount of being in form whereas the wetness as we are saying previously, does indicate a certain area how AS WE ALL KNOW you would have a ball like that go straight to evidently, second slip, especially with his immaculate line at this stage becoming, ammm... workmanstyle to an extent.

AGGERS: Clear as mud. Talking of which, we have some lovely mississippi mud pie, sent in by a Mrs Jo Sharland of Cutoff Cottage in Dunsford.

VIV: Is that brownies, man??

AGGERS: No it is not. Anyway, a bye and a wide I think Viv was tryiing to say. And - Oh shit! They're coming off for rain!

VIV: Yeeesss Jonathan!! We can talk all day!! I gotta tell you about this nightclub in Weston-Super-Mare, man some of the whores in that town, they were FAT....

CONTINUITY ANNOUNCER: ...AND we leave Test Match Special for now, at least until it becomes bearable again. Instead, here's Melvin Bragg.

MELVIN BRAGG: Good day. The fourteenth century philosopher Daniel Antrobus is little known outside of his native Sweden, and yet his thinking informed many better known names in European philosophy. I'm joined by three world experts on Antrobus' theories - Jean Davidson, could you give us an overview?

PROFESSOR DAVIDSON: Well, in some senses Antrobus was a revolutionary, in that-

BRAGG: No he wasn't.

Chris Healey

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