Bedouins v Celebs – Sunday 6th June 2021
Bedouins won by 8 wickets
When I was asked to play for the Celebs against the Bedouins little did I realise what trauma lie in wait. For those of you who don’t know the history of The Celebs, they were a team of personalities from various parts of the insurance industry, put together by the editor of Brokers’ Monthly magazine, Brian Susman. You will of course recognise that name if you are a Bedouin. He is, of course, our previous chairman.
The Celebs gained a reputation for playing on some of the finest grounds in the country; the Oval, Trent Bridge, Chatsworth House, and New Road, Worcester to name but a few, usually playing against some of the larger insurance companies. On Sunday 6th June, the Celebs came to Enville for a 30-over-a-side match.
Early Sunday, it looked the game would never happen. It rained. A lot. But of course, the sun always shines on the righteous, and The Celebs, with few supporters in tow, descended on Enville from all over the country to find reasonable weather conditions.
Before the game, Celebs skipper Dave Haynes presented Brian Susman with a trophy (as pictured) donated by the Celebs, to be used by the Bedouins in whatever way they see fit. A lovely gesture and a great way to mark the occasion.
The Celebs batted first and seemed to be in little trouble with openers Oakley and Fowles retiring on 30, they made it look pretty easy, as did Tom Evans in at three, who is obviously a class act. He didn’t hang around long before he got to the retirement point of 30. George, Bywater and Bate all toiled hard in the warm conditions but without much success. Aston pulled up abruptly whilst chasing the ball to the boundary. He was soon to depart for home. That made it 10-a-side.
So there I was enjoying myself, when all of a sudden I have to go and bat. I was ready for the ‘bants’ as I got to the wicket. “Look, they’ve sent the tail in!”. What I wasn’t ready for was the sound of ball hitting stumps with my first delivery. Stanier looked sheepish at the bowler’s end. Oh well, I thought, perhaps I could redeem myself with a brilliant bowling performance.
Celebs survived a mini collapse after this. Hames and Parkinson also departed and it was left to Doyle and Wilshire to grab some valuable runs at the end. Celebs finished on 145 for 3. Stanier was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 10 from his four overs. A mention too for Rhys Thomas who had disappeared into the wilderness for a few season, but returned like he’d never been away, with 1 for 29 from 6 overs.
So the Bedouins opened their innings with Branch and Lippitt at the crease. I was asked to open the bowling (poor judgement from the skipper). Here’s my chance, I thought. Make a name for yourself and take a few wickets. No such luck. Andy Parkinson at the other end was economical and beat the bat a few times. Just as well, because at the other end I was getting pummelled by both batsmen. If Parky hadn’t been so tight, the game could have been over after 20 overs.
In a comical mix up, Branch was told to retire although it was discovered afterwards he had only made it to 22. Lippitt retired on the full 30. Then the Celebs brought on some proper bowlers. Neil Hames is an over 70s county player and Tom Evans is as good with the ball is he is with the bat. With that, bedouins lost two quick wickets with Thomas and Hill A. going cheaply.
A much younger Hill, the J version, came to the wicket as did Stanier, and the two set about chasing down the total with vigour. Hames finished with 2 for 21 and Evans 0 for 15 both from a six over stint. At that point it looked like the game had swung the Celebs way.
Then I came back on to finish my spell… It ended with Hill J hitting my last ball over square leg for a well-timed 6. A great shot. I disappeared the boundary with my tail between my legs thinking it couldn’t get much worse. I was wrong. An over or two later, I ‘sprinted’ to save more runs, only to feel that twang as my hamstring waved the little white flag.
Skipper Haynes and Ben Parkinson finished the bowling but by this time most of the damage was done. Hill J and Stanier had both retired and it was left to Bywater and Howells to get Bedouins across the line in the last over, finishing on 148 for 2 and completing their first victory of the season.
Game over, I hobbled from the far end of the ground towards the pavilion contemplating a personally dreadful performance. What was the point? Is it time to give up? Why do we do it? I’ll tell you why, the performance is relatively unimportant, the fact is, despite the low points, it’s enjoyable. If you were there, hopefully you enjoyed it too.
Thank you to Mike George for the photos.