Doing a Fisher

I’m sure we all felt a little sympathy for Ben Stokes at the Climax of the T20 World Cup final. Conceding 4 sixes in an over off your bowling in any game is traumatic for a bowler but did you know there is a technical term for this in the world of the Bedouin?

Originally it was known as ‘doing a Fisher’. It came about many years ago now and the exact details are a little sketchy but during one game, then Bedouin Paul Fisher, was hit for 22 or 23 runs from an over. He held the title for several years until this was surpassed by Mitch Neale who was hit for 24 runs in an over and hence the feat is now known as doing a Neale. How long before it’s known as ‘doing a Spratters’?

In case you missed it, here is Ben Stokes doing a Neale (sorry Mitch).

A Brief Bedouins History

Classic John Warner

Pictured above, classic John Warner batting, who writes below:

It is a great pleasure to write the first item under the title Warner’s Corner. There are probably only a few of you who know where that name came from. I had a penchant for fielding in the same position every week, one that allowed me to perhaps only touch the ball twice in 20 overs. I did however take it very seriously and from memory not many boundaries were scored on my patch. Mind you depending upon which pitch we were using on a particular night, it could be about a quarter of a mile to me, and I had time to walk into position, being guided by team mates who could actually see the ball. We took a sign with Warner’s Corner printed on it on a tour and the name seems to have stuck. Who fields there now or out of respect is it left vacant!

The Bedouins will always be a special part of my life, as I “played” for them over 26 years before succumbing to the damage caused by heavy flak over Nene Sollars.

As many of you know, I was never really a cricketer but someone who always wanted to bowl, but couldn’t, and who used to be terrified of batting, not because of bodyline bowling but the fear of yet another duck. Brian used to indulge me and let me play for both his teams, indeed in my last but one season at the age of 58, I played at Trent Bridge and was caught and bowled by Derek Randall, for a duck of course. That is something that can never be taken away from me.

I hope than when I hung up my bat, I left a few people who enjoyed our times together, and it was great to see so many old chums at the Duck Supper last year.

The history of the Bedouins is quite simple at least the reason it was started is. It began as a team for the Partners and staff of Barry Cottles an Insurance Broker in Halesowen. In 1980 they were challenged to a game by the Royal Insurance Wolverhampton Branch and we played the one game in a park at Wolverhampton. From memory we lost and a good friend of mine, who popped up in later life as a Royal player in the Celeb days, was berated in the pub afterwards for taking too many wickets and scoring too many runs, not the way to treat a Broker.

Barry Cottle ably supported by fellow partners Mike Passman and Geoff Hodgson, were the backbone of the team, and the rest of the players were either Company Inspectors, employees or husbands and boyfriends. I qualified in two ways but not the vital way of being a cricketer. I was 33 and hadn’t played cricket for 15 years, not that it showed!

We played more the following season on a pitch in Mary Steven’s Park, against clients and insurance companies but more of that in part 2 of the History of the Bedouins.

Recollections from afar


Memories from one Bedouin now exiled in Edinburgh:

I was a very occasional player for the Bedouins having served my apprenticeship through the Suspects in the early 90s . I was recruited in a very nepotistic way through “de management”, the heir to the throne (now crowned) got me in the starting line up

Having opposed the Bedouins for so long as a Suspect, it was a great, I can’t say honour, certainly not for my team mates, to turn out for The Beds. My debut was at Romsley, where Head Bed rather optimistically put me in at number 3. Having really annoyed a young fast bowler by staying in without actually putting willow to leather I finally succumbed by flaying my bat at a ball coming at me rather quickly. Never again was I put in at first down.

I was in attendance at the Bedouins first tours to the Sussex coast and West Yorkshire The tour to Worthing I recollect with memories , possibly not all fond . We arrived in Worthing mid-Friday afternoon, having negotiated the M25, I was co-driver to Super Taff, Gareth Callow. Once we arrived we ventured into the glory that is Worthing on a Friday night. Having left people with young families behind in a safe seafront tavern we sampled a few other places. Gareth was wearing his Welsh rugby top, and in one place was congratulated for wearing it by a Scot who stated that he was brave to wear it, not because he was under any physical threat, more that he was standing out from the crowd! It was, he described “A God awful place, full of brain dead people”. I was particularly alarmed by this lad’s state of mind when he said that (he worked for the Inland Revenue) he dreamed of moving to Telford !

Unfortunately I cannot leave my recollections of Worthing behind without mentioning my fielding on the boundary in the first match on the Saturday. Three skiers came my way, 3 dropped in very different, but particularly cowardly and pathetic ways. I chested one, I helped one onto being a six, I collapsed with embarrassment with the other! The evening brought a very competitive quiz in the pavilion, and on returning to the hotel, a potential fight with guests of a wedding taking place at the hotel, and an invite from Vernon to go for a swim in the sea! Despite having had a few to drink, when often my judgement has been impaired, this did not seem a good idea. Fair play to Vern through he took a dip! The sunday game I was not considered for, apart from one awful moment when I thought I may have to umpire, the seriousness of the game warned me that this could be more than uncomfortable! I spent the day having a swim in a indoor pool, talking to Head Beds son’s wife ie Nicki, and playing tennis with Vern, who appeared to be fulfilling his own version of a tri-athlon over the weekend. After the game we headed straight back to Shropshire, which involved having to get through the Sunday night M25 traffic. Overall a highly enjoyable weekend!

The following year we ventured to West Yorkshire to the town of Halifax where 2 games were played over a weekend. It was during the 1994 World Cup in USA, and the weekend when the Colombian footballer Esquabar was shot for scoring an own goal ! It was, a relief for me the same disciplinary measures were not applied by Head Bed for my fielding. We stayed at a great place Jenny Dees, a hotel I’ve stayed at since, now in the guise of a Premier Travel Inn . Again on the Friday night, Super Taff and myself ventured out to a pub just up the hill from the hotel. As it was a warm evening we stayed in the small concreted pub garden, with it’s single table looking out onto the main road into Halifax . Unfortunately the traffic could not drown out the noise which was eminating from the bar. The sound of a burly yorkshireman banging out “Born To Run” on the kareoki machine traumatised me way beyond that Friday night in June 1994.

The first game was played on a slope just outside Halifax with a barn as a pavilion. I think we won the game , but the splinters embedded into our feet making our way up stairs to the showers from the changing rooms was a painful memory of the day. We all retired to the bar at Jenny Dees at night, and were treated to a coffee and bacon sarnie in the hotel after closing time. The following day, I was, as is now tradition, rested, I think due to my complete incompetence. We went to a lovely cricket ground at Warley, perched on the hillside overlooking the Calderdale. As I was rested, myself and Darren retired to the pub, to drown our sorrows at having been overlooked for this clash. However midway through the afternoon, and midway through our session an injury struck the Beds , which required one of us to take the field. I think I was chosen as being slightly less peshed than Dazza. However Head Bed was soon to regret his decision when he placed me on the boundary, down the steep incline from the wicket. A number of balls came towards me , and as a matter of course passed me by on the way to the boundary, and down the valley. Again it was a marvellous occasion enjoyed by all. I did return to Halifax 2 years later , and was nearly called upon 2 years after that, having coincidentally been in the area for a wedding . Fortunately for the Bedouins, this was pre mobile phone days and Head Bed just missed me on the Sunday, having just left my bed and breakfast place in Hebden Bridge .

Before my departure to Auld Reekie in 1999, I played for the Beds around the West Midlands in places like Walsall, Amblecote and of course the hallowed Enville. My highlight was scoring a boundary off Villa, Shrewsbury and England striker Gary Shaw. My best batting and bowling always peeked pre-season at the nets in Stourbridge, my best drinking consumption peeked post season at the Duck Supper in November .

The Bedouins are a fine example of a bunch of blokes wanting a good game of cricket on a summers evening or weekend, wanting to do their best, but mainly to have a laugh and enjoy each others company. It is great credit to Brian, and now Sus, and to the ladies who have provided the teas, and to all other volunteers, that this club has enabled so many people over so many years to enjoy what I only fleetingly experienced.

Best wishes for the new season, and to all Beds past and present.

John Richards

Duck Supper 2004


A re-visit of the days when Bedouins legend, John Warner, was in charge of giving a re-cap of the seasons happenings at the annual Duck Supper. No holds barred…


For some reason, I was asked to resurrect the ritual humiliation of all attending this evening’s event.

Having played only a handful of games this season, i am not best placed to do so. perhaps next year i will be in a position to abuse you all as in days of yore, should my trousers still fit me.

I hope, however, that you will allow me to make one or two comments in my capacity as a very old person and the longest serving, if now occasional, playing Bedouin.

2004 was the start of a new era as at the end of the 2003 season, the team was forced to look for a new skipper.

Brian decided that at the age of 85, it was time to take a back seat. this lasted until the first game when the new skipper, young Michael, decided after pressure from Vernon, to play for his new employer Higgs against his own team. it seemed to be an unfortunate start to his captaining career, but one has to wonder what possessed his employer to be so unreasonable, but history will show that the Beds won anyway.

I had retired for a variety of reasons, including cost, distance, events at the annual quiz and the fact that I felt, albeit with justification, that I was making up the numbers. I didn’t bowl, had lost all confidence with the bat and could often spend half an innings in the field not touching the ball.

It would appear that several other regulars became occasional players this year., and some possibly didn’t make it on to the pitch at all. perhaps we are all ageing together. one only has to look round the table tonight to see several of the Duck Supper regulars missing.

Where is Sean Jones?

Where are the Polecat, David and Rhys Thomas, Carl Aston, Andy Wiseman and Joe Hancox? plus those that I cannot even remember.

My retirement lasted slightly longer than Brian’s and i was called to arms to face Austin’s lot in the second game. it was Mike’s debut and  oddly enough I wasn’t asked to bowl. I did face the last three balls of the match only to be caught off the last one for a duck. no change there then.  My luck was obviously holding.

My next foray into the world of “can you play i only have five players” was against FISSC at Stratford. again Brian was captain and we had a thrilling win. Incidentally I bowled 3 overs, 1 maiden, 2 for 9. the first wicket was from a brilliant catch by Carl and the second was bowled. The figures could have been even better if my friend Jon “dotty” Hurley hadn’t fallen asleep. as I am sure that you can imagine I was as pleased as punch, not only to have bowled, but been asked to by Brian.

Things went steadily downhill when Ii was selected to play on a dung hill in an area made famous in the Burt Reynolds film “Deliverance”. It is fixtures like that game that justify my retirement. As far as I know, having checked my diary earlier this evening, I am tied up should the Beds be silly enough to play the inbreds next season. Incidentally we lost – again. they really are such charmers.

I managed to miss games against such teams as the Arseholes, who travelled home under the misguided impression that they had beaten Mike’s Marauders. We won and the scorebook cannot lie. I also missed the League of Gentlemen or whatever they are called, plus other classics.

As usual the trip up north to Halifax was an interesting experience, although I saw no whippets or flat caps. I also didn’t see the trademark wall behind the bowler, or the dramatically sloping pitch. Where was the repeat of that wonderful 101 for 1 that heralded a famous win at the last venue, which is now probably a shopping mall.

As in recent years, the Warners travelled up for the day and it was like old times. a great atmosphere. Next year is the home leg and I am sure that it will be as successful as usual. Do you remember when they travelled down and we played them on a freshly mown pitch? That was fun.

I am sure that some of you will also remember how Susman tours organised our early trips to Halifax and the bacon sandwiches cooked by Barry Cottle, at Jenny whatever. I remember the Bedouweenies as babies in the family rooms,  drunken players playing in a sandpit in the middle of the night, and two other idiots touring Yorkshire in search of McFlurries.

Some of you will also remember the wonderful trips to Worthing. coach travel enabling us all to get pissed. Quizzes that I never understood, superb barbecues, walks on the beach and pier. playing on a pitch with a tree in the middle, watching the womenfolk in their swimming costumes at London and Edinburgh, bouncy castles, laughs, a Shirley Bassey look-alike, Friday night meals, and i can visualise those superb breakfasts even now.

Wonderful days!

These away weekends built a great team spirit in the Bedouins and it was the springboard to many great victories over the following seasons.

To be honest I don’t even remember this year’s result. I Think that we lost,  as I am under the impression that I was still in at the end and don’t remember being chaired off the pitch as a conquering hero, but there again my memory is rapidly following my ability out of the window. I do know that I actually scored some runs, and  carried my bat.

I know that Andy Wiseman played and brought his family with him. His wife certainly has a way with children!!

I also remember making a right mess of fielding during the game, but I have occasionally done that on and off for years.

It was good to see John Davidson playing this season. Perhaps next year will see the return of Barry, Mike and Roger Farmer. pure nostalgia!!

I honestly cannot berate people for misdeeds on the pitch as I really have to witness them, or at least be aware of them.

Mike has given me some sketchy notes of misdemeanours, but they only cover two games.

Do any of you remember Mark Jones 23 runs off one over? That was either great batting or bowling of the standard of Paul Fisher and Mitchell Neale.

carl aston apparently spending his life on his mobile phone before, during and after matches.

Mike George’s and Rhys Thomas’s awesome, or is it awful ability to drop catches.

The Wiseman family with Andy arriving late and June walking on to the pitch to ask what time he was coming home for tea. now that is style!

Rhys attacking his mother’s wine at Halifax.

As I say it is difficult as a relative outsider, to pick holes in those of you assembled here, but if I do return to the fold next season, obviously with bowling guarantees, perhaps I will return to the traditional annual report. I will return to sit alongside Brian at the Quiz in April and this time will accept no argument about answers. I doubt that I will be at nets if they are held as I have to be in bed early these days.

One thing that I can still do, is to present the annual Bedouin of the Year award.

This year it goes to a new recipient.

He is a player who is quite good with the bat, averagely good with the ball, not bad in the field, and has the ability to find us  players when they are needed.

He has only been with us for a few years but has made his presence felt in a positive way.

The Bedouin of the year 2004 is Austin Gregory

Duck Supper 2002


A re-visit of the days when Bedouins legend, John Warner, was in charge of giving a re-cap of the seasons happenings at the annual Duck Supper. No holds barred…


It is that time of year again, when assuming I have brought the correct notes, I get to have my say on the personal performances of the assembled Bedouins.

As is custom, I will review each of you in turn, and hopefully you will take it in the spirit in which it is given and try harder to impress next year.

I am sure that my words have helped many of you over the years and I hope that this review will be of as much use as past ones.

It has to be said that over the season, we had some spectacular wins, and one or two spectacular reverses. We thrashed Enville thirds, lost to their seconds before thrashing Higgs, being thrashed by the in-breds, thrashing Misys, just beating Avon, thrashing Joe’s lot, thrashing Martineau Johnson, thrashing the Londoners, and finally thrashing CSC. What a season

Looking now at each of you in turn, but to a large degree in no particular order, but starting with the Skipper

As is befitting and as a mark of respect, I will start with the Head Bed, who is the spiritual leader of our sect and part time skipper.

As a man of great age, we obviously expect him to inspire us and see to our every need.

He has been skipper for as long as I can remember and that means at least a couple of seasons.

From memory, in the good old days, he used to be a master batsman but these days due to failing eyesight and the onset of dementia he tends to languish at the bottom of the order. He has become an occasional bowler. Indeed due to his mental state, he has been known to call a player over, tell him that he is showing all the signs of a pulled hamstring and to piss off into the out field. To the bemusement of two batsmen, two umpires and nine other fielders, not to mention a very confused madam scorer he finishes the poor player’s over. It was a sad experience, to see a man who like Mike Brierley had been a leader of men, having to go to such lengths just so that he can bowl to Alan, his chum. I wondered if the game had been fixed. Well when one thinks back to the Avon game, it does make you wonder.

Another sign of his imminent mental problems was when he turned on poor old Vernon just because he ran him out in that strange place called Neen Sollars. So what, I hear you say. So what indeed. Vernon did it as a favour to me and it only cost me a fiver, and as a spectator and a person whom over the years has fallen foul of the big fella’s suicidal runs, I thought it was money well spent. It is always good to see people get their deserved come-uppance.

I suppose that we should have seen the signs of impending problems in the previous game against Mysis. His coordination had gone and he dropped at least one catch, probably more.

He went to a sanatorium the following week and missed the game against Joe’s lot. Having been admitted for observation, he was given a short sharp dose of electric shock treatment, which initially seemed to have the desired effect.

He made a triumphant return against Martineau Johnson. Sadly the treatment gave him Saddam Hussein type traits, which made him power mad and quite out of control. He turned up very late and marched onto the field before dispatching the stand-in skipper to the boundary. His vindictiveness knew no bounds.

He then signalled to me when I was out of earshot and nearly out of sight that he wanted me to bowl.

Whilst I was trying to reach the wicket from the said boundary, he called a team huddle and set a bizarre field for my two overs of purgatory.

From memory our keeper, who was resplendent in his new kit that the skipper had personally bought him, mysteriously dropped a catch off my bowling and Lee Bywater, yes he of the earring, missed two simple balls allowing a boundary and a three.

I finished with 2 overs 0 for 15 and was roundly booed all the way back to the boundary. I have to say that it was only the skipper who was doing the booing, and doing it whilst hopping around on one leg laughing. He is so sad and so vindictive.

He went back to the sanatorium after the game and was missing for the next fixture.

All in all he was obviously carried by the rest of the team, but I hope that he will be back to his usual form next season.

1)    Adrian Susman

Son of Bin Laden did not have as good a season as usual, but I put that down to the pressure of living in the catacombs of Kidderminster, being carpet bombed every night by US Bombers or as Nicola calls it having sex.

Luckily his magic bat still managed to lead a life of its own and many runs ensued, but it was in the field that the trauma really showed. He became a serial catch dropper and one began to wonder if it was a genetic defect passed down to him by you know whom. Who can forget his awful display of butterfingers against Misys?

Another thing of concern this season was his introduction of one of this season’s new boys. For some totally bizarre reason, he introduced an Afghan refugee called Carl Aston to our once select band. Considering how Adrian has always been considered one of the saner, more reliable members of the tribe, it beggars belief that he should introduce his alter ego to Bedouins cricket. I have heard that Nicola was involved and an alleged love triangle has been mentioned.

Adrian’s exploits with the bat were always exciting and his bowling was a joy to watch as so called batsmen were confused as to what the hell he was doing and getting themselves out in the process. His figures may look good but there again, his dad keeps the statistics.

2)    Michael George

This rapidly ageing pipe cleaner that used to be our main strike bowler, often wasn’t considered as a front line operator as in the days when he and the skipper were an item.

He started the season brightly enough but he seemed to slip downhill as it progressed. An example of his apparent frustrations was when he sledged an ex-work mate of his in an uncharacteristic manner, but more of that later. He managed to bowl quite well on occasions, but it was his temperament that was causing us all concern.

Some of you may remember his most un-Bedouin like attitude against Avon, when having stopped a simple ball from trickling over the boundary he milked it for all it was worth, in a most childish way. It was so obvious that the lovely Mary was missing, as she would have withdrawn his privileges for possibly an hour or more.

Thankfully I was away and therefore missed his drama queen performance against the League of Gentlemen or whatever, when he decided to feign an attack of cramp. This was foolish as anyone with half a brain, and that includes most of us, know that you cannot get cramp in a bone, there has to be muscle involved.

His minor plusses included bowling figures of 3 overs 2 for 9 against Enville IIIs, 4 overs 2 for 15 against Misys, 5 overs 3 for 17 against Avon, 4 overs 1 for 9 against Joe, and 4 overs 2 for 8 against Martineau Johnson. Not bad for an old chap, but he is nowadays only bowling to tail-enders and rabbits.

On the back of these figures, and the fact that he was a soft touch, the management asked him to skipper the side against Enville, due to both the proper skippers being unavailable, and no one else wanting to do the job.

He couldn’t or wouldn’t finish the game, possibly because he was terrified of losing. It could however be that due to the weather, his loyal players had started to drift off to the bar and started to eat the tea, and had lost interest in the game. He never really had the respect of the troops, nor the stomach for a real fight.

Still we look upon him like an old retainer, and I for one hope that despite his advanced years, he will carry on for a while longer.

4) Mitchell Neale

Dotty Neale, as his fan has christened him, had a fine season with the bat, and led to making Madam Scorers hair quite grey as she was forced to fill entire lines of the scorebook with dots.

He has certainly mastered the art of five-day matches, and I suppose that we are lucky that he is with us tonight and not in Australia with people who could learn from his undoubted skill. He did sometimes get some runs for example top scoring against the Mishaps providing 37 of the team’s 79 and 33 no against Martineau Johnson, and he did show a compassionate side to his usual dour demeanour by deliberately dropping a catch in his mate’s first game just so he wouldn’t feel too bad about his own howler. We all had a good laugh

An example of his now legendary limited-over style batting, was in the match against the Gentlemen of Soho or whatever, when he and Rhys Thomas amassed 30 runs from 78 balls. By the end of our innings Rhys had reached 60 runs and Dotty had faced 30 balls to reach 7

Luckily despite his wife writing a kiss and tell book and causing him so much anguish, his season was saved by some remarkable bowling performances. In darkest Neen Sollars, he bowled two overs two maidens 1 wicket for 0 runs, and he had Joe’s bionic man, Darlaston caught for 9 in the annual Accountant cull. The other side of the coin saw him involved in the last three overs bowled against Avon in which he bowled 2 of them and Rhys 1. It is reported that they conceded a combined 37 runs.

5)    Joe Hancox

Joe has become an occasional player these days due to a combination of not being available and not being picked.

The skipper did select him for the game in banjo country where he had the strange figures of 8 overs 2 maidens 4 wickets for 8 runs. A pity about the eight runs, as he was dropped for the next game for sloppy bowling. Another thing that sealed his fate was that he turned up late for that match at Goose Pooh Park due to having dined sumptuously with Vernon. Obviously extra ballast works. I must try it some time.

The skipper is also appalled that yet again the Treasurer should dare to play against us. Such was his anger, that from the sanatorium, the beloved one, arranged to send in his storm troopers to give him the slapping that he and his rabble deserved. An 8 wicket slapping, I believe. In that game he was out thought and out played by the alliance forces. To be fair to the large one, he did bowl Moxie for 27. However I think the expression is too little, too late. The story of his life.

6) Vernon Currie

Vernon, despite his age and strange regime of long strolls and altitude training, came up trumps again. He would be even more useful, if only he could arrive on time to matches!

He batted with some aggression this season and was always a surprise package when bowling.

He had some high spots, like running out the skipper in the battle of Little Big Sheep down that long track where Moxy grounded his sump and wont now play. That was one of the champagne moments of the season. This again took place whilst Vernon was still digesting his huge lunch, not that that had anything to do with the run out.

Against Joe’s lot and under the expert tutelage of yours truly, he returned figures of 1wkt for 4 runs off 2 overs and up in Yorkshire he helped in no small way to thump the Tykes with figures of 4 overs 3 wickets for 14 runs.

What else can I say?

7)    Andy Hill

Another inspirational season.

Andy looked so smart in his new gear. He also jolly kept well in it.

Sadly I am sure that so many of us will remember that in the Mysis game, he dropped a catch and then threw a wobbly. Must have been that time of the month.

He certainly saw some success with the bat and hit 26 against Enville in a rain interrupted match, 15 against Joe’ lot and a superb 50 no with a broken bat in Yorkshire.

He normally held his catching chances, as well as stumping and running out errant players.

As usual he was great company.

8)    Lee Bywater

After we managed to convince Darren Taylor that only actors and odd people wear earrings, along comes Austin Gregory’s minder. He sports a fetching stud encrusted with rubies and sapphires set into 22ct gold.

Sadly it is hard to take the deserved piss out of him, as he is built like a brick shithouse and has an ambition to beat the likes of the Rock and Triple H as a wrestler. So he wears an earring, so what? Oh and it is rumoured that he has at least one tattoo. I dread to think where it is but according to Mike George who has seen it close-up, very close-up it says “Welcome to Llandudno a resort to remember”, but I have heard rumour that it only says “Ludo”

His bowling was quick and hostile, and an opening partnership of Gregory and himself must certainly upset the opposition expecting the wimpy, medium slow bowling of Mike George. He can swing a bat and when he has learnt to make contact with the ball, he will be awesome. He has almost mastered the art of fielding with certain lapses that have already been covered. He shows amazing loyalty to the Head Bed, by allowing himself to be conned out of the attack against Avon and pleading injury so I couldn’t bowl him against Joe’s lot.

He is however a good chap to have as a team-mate.

9)     Austin Gregory

The other half of our new opening strike bowling partnership, Austin is still a great competitor with one major flaw, well perhaps two. Firstly he feels beholden to another Club and usually finds it impossible to play for us at weekends. Secondly he works for the Christian Souls Agency or CSA as it is apparently called. He not only has replaced the matchstick man but also has snaffled what loot Higgs and Co had left him after getting his wife out of his life.

An example of bowling is shown in figures of 3 overs 1 for 8 in the first match.

He is a great asset to any side, and I feel privileged to play in the same team. To be honest, I would hate to play against him

10) Phil Kelly

Phil has bravely stood as an umpire despite waiting for his eye and hip operations. He started the season turning up very late using, in the skippers words, the “lame” excuse that someone had broken in at work and stolen some very nice floral patterned tiles. I have to say that I probably agreed with some of his decisions, if it was only that he sometimes counted six balls with unnerving accuracy. It will be good to see him back next season, but having been our “umpire” this year, he may find selection harder next summer.

11) Rhys Thomas

Another superb season with the bat, and not a bad one with the ball either, despite his aberration when bowling with his batting partner, Dotty Neale at Stratford upon Avon.

He was so consistent with the bat, and normally retired not out. He scored what I would consider a hatful of runs including a 60 against the Londoners.

He had the thrill of dropping a catch off his own bowling against Higgs but there again he did finish with figures of 1wkt for 9 off 4 overs.

In the same game he mysteriously retired on 29. Perhaps he knew that Moxie was coming into the attack!

If only he could arrive on time, he would be an even more useful. It makes winning the toss a nonsense as we have to field because our opening bat hasn’t arrived.

12) Mark Jones

The boy wonder could hardly be called an ever-present this season. He was however superb in the field except when he dropped a simple catch on the boundary against those damned southerners.

For some reason the skipper seems loath to bowl him but I have always found him a potent force as the Suspects and Joe’s lot can verify.

As you will hear shortly he has already achieved a much-prized reputation for a quick fire innings.

13) Nick Moxon

Like Rhys, Moxie had another superb season with the bat.

Even against us he scored 32 no, but these were not enough to trouble the mighty Beds Reserves in their match against Moxie’s Higgs XI.

His stylish play and boyish good looks certainly kept the tea-ladies turning up for home games. It always amused me to see their crestfallen faces when told that he wasn’t playing on a particular night. Perhaps I should include Madam Scorer in this too, but I like to think that she would prefer him to have a bit more meat on him and a lot less talent.

He is a superb fielder and an integral part of our team. We are a much, much better side when he plays for us, but for some odd reason he does not get asked to ball that often, but there again nor do I.

14) Julian Fellowes

Julian joined our merry band at the instigation of Dotty Neale.

He has the rare talent of being a half decent cricketer, which by definition must also mean that he is a half crap cricketer. Thankfully we only saw him at his best, if we ignore his dropped catch, which we obviously haven’t. He can bat a bit as well and I believe scored 20 no in his first game.

As a cricketer of note, myself, I always welcome the introduction of fresh blood to the squad, unless of course such an acquisition would herald an end to my illustrious career.

15) Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor was allowed to play occasionally this season. Sex is not as good as cricket, but can he see that?

He was his usual self in the field but since winning the bowling figures a few years ago, his efforts to emulate those heady days have hit the buffers. An example of his decline was when he managed to have three fours knocked off his two overs in the first game when we thrashed Enville thirds. Incidentally they only hit four fours in the whole game.

He is an exciting batsman, an expression which usually means that the player makes runs fast and promptly loses his wicket, as it does in this case. He still dines out on his heroics against Mysis last year, but despite being hen pecked, he hasn’t really lost his touch completely.

16) David Pearson

David hardly played for us this year but is always willing to step into the breech when needs must. He played against the London people and ended up with figures of 5 overs 2 for 18. It was alleged that both wickets came from balls on their third bounce, but surely that would be deemed a no ball wouldn’t it, so perhaps it was only two bounces.

The following match, he travelled all the way to Yorkshire, did not bat, and didn’t get to bowl. I know that situation only to well. Unlike so many of my games, he did have an excuse however, as apparently he was injured.

17) David Thomas

David is instrumental in us playing down the drive from here. He also seems to be instrumental in arranging half of our fixtures. Thank you David, And a big thank you for having the courage in invoke the short run rule against Avon enabling us to win a game that we should have won easily, but which went to that controversial last ball. He also impressed by showing faith in Dawn’s legendary navigational skills, and showing up on time for the Yorkshire game. A pity Rhys isn’t so reliable at turning up on time. I have heard that he had left the previous morning, which shows commitment.

18)    John Davidson

Davo keeps his appearances to the absolute minimum these days. He did however trek up to Dridlington with Dotty Neale, and took up where he left off last season, bowling an excessive number of wides. As he is Madam Scorer’s boss, you will I am sure forgive me if I draw a veil over his joke sick (as against his sick joke) and his diminished ability to bowl. It is always a pleasure to play with this wily old man and I hope that he will deign to turn out a bit more regularly next season; after all he could always replace Joe for the big games.

19) Brian Polehill

Sadly the Polecat managed to avoid playing in any games this season. He did however find time to arrange a game against those awfully nice in-breds in darkest Neen Sollars. I am sure that his desire to fish in that strange land, whose cricket grounds have no facilities and to all intents and purposes no pitch, just a hill that has been mown. It is in this strange Land, where men are quite unpleasant, and women have beards, and where sheep and geese live in fear of being sexually assaulted.

The good news for some of you is that he has already arranged next season’s trek to this strange land.

20) John Warner

This mild mannered man had a very quiet season with bat, ball and in the field. He was however a successful skipper, outthinking and out witting the fat grey fox.

There is little else to add except that he is one of the world’s gentlemen, quiet unassuming, and a very talented cricketer. The skipper seems to remember me missing a ball on the boundary in the Avon game but I am sure that I was either blinded or distracted by the sight of three drunken women tottering around the pitch.

On that subject, did you all notice that they never watched the game whilst sober and gave Madam Scorer no assistance at all. Well done Jo, Sue, and Nicola. Your husbands were I am sure embarrassed at the time and probably are again now as they remember the giggling and farting (especially Sue) as you dreadful women passed us by on your lets sober up stagger.

21) Karl Aston

This is where I refer to someone who is not present to defend himself.

Carl was inflicted upon our exclusive band of athletes by an old school friend of his in the form of Adrian Susman. We then found out that he had worked with Mike George. We also found out that he isn’t that keen on catching balls, apparently it hurts his hands.

He also wears earrings and probably paints his nails, but as he isn’t the same size as Lee and isn’t here to night, I think that I can say that he is likely to be idolised as the late Sean Jones was.

He will, however be remembered for taking the catch off Dotty’s bowling, that dismissed the bionic Darlaston, although in my memory it was me who caught him, with a fine diving catch, but I may be mistaken.

He managed to goad the placid Michael George into sledging him throughout his first game for us, a feat that must have meant that there was some awful hurt suffered by the wily old one, when they worked together.

Perhaps he got Mike sacked or accused him of some vile deed. It must have been serious as it happened about thirty years ago, when Michael was young. Come to think of it, how old does that make Adrian if he and Karl went to school together? The knock on effect is horrendous, because as Adrian is ten years younger than his wife, how old does that make her? It all makes one wonder what on earth possessed Adrian to introduce him to our team, and open this unsavoury can of worms.

That brings us to the end of the end of season report except that I will now turn to a word that strikes fear in my heart. A Duck. No not one of those deformed creatures from Neen Sollars or the geese but an innings noted for a distinct lack of runs.

For the first time in years, I can report on those poor souls who suffered the agony of returning to the bosom of their friends without having managed to get a run, without mentioning my own name.

There were 7 of you this season.

The first one was actually attained whilst playing against us rather than for us, but the circumstances make it noteworthy. It occurred in the Higgs game and an arrogant Moxie ran out the boy Jones. There was no apology, just a sneering comment about the lad’s turn of speed. Smacks of “I am the boss and you’re expendable” to me. Anyway it was a relief for the Beds to see such a good batsman, needlessly culled and the game lost by that action.

We were then treated to the sight of three of our number succumbing in the opium belt of darkest Worcestershire around the area of Neen Sollars. Two of the three put up a desperate fight, Lee Bywater facing 15 balls and Andy Hill 13, before falling to some lucky delivery. David Pearson was much more economical falling after only 3.

The game against those strange coves from “darn sarf” saw two more victims, with both the Skipper and Vernon Currie falling after three balls each.

The last one smacked of my feeble attempts in past seasons. Mike George travelled all the way to Yorkshire to be bowled second ball, but at least he hadn’t travelled from the West Indies to suffer the same fate like that nice Mr Rasche did several years before.

I know the shame that you are all feeling now as I have suffered that cruel fate many, many times. Who knows, perhaps as a result your cricket careers will blossom as mine has done.

Bedouin of the Year

As usual I have been faced with the daunting task of awarding this much sought after trophy to someone who epitomises the Bedouins spirit, whatever that may be.

There is a man whom I have often considered, but for personal reasons ultimately ignored, who has always been the ultimate Bedouin.

He always gives his all. He loves to win. He is ungracious in victory. He always has an excuse in defeat, a thing that I have witnessed first hand. He has certain qualities that make him stand out in a crowd.

Next season will possibly have great significance for him.

Have you guessed who it is? Oh come on It is of course our beloved leader, Brian Susman.

I hope that from the build up you may have thought that I was awarding it to myself, which obviously would have been a popular choice. But no, I decided to reward someone who has looked after the team since just after the war, and who has nurtured the likes of a young Polecat, and an even younger Roger Farmer, into the fine players that they became. He organises little things like the fixtures, the teams, the ground, the teas, and the quiz. This ignores his past organisation of the Duck Supper and the newsletters.

Some of you may realise that due to his great age, he is taking late retirement from Insurance Publishing, and will therefore have a lot more time to dedicate to our well being.

I hope that despite his now well documented health problems, both physical and mental, he will long continue to lead us in our charges over the top for many years to come.

Well done Brian

You have probably noticed an absence of the word fines this year, and this is because I feel that most of you couldn’t afford the amounts levied upon you.

So this year, and this year only, I will let you all off the huge amounts that you would have been charged and ask instead that you each donate £3.00 to be split between the Club and Children in need.

Duck Supper 2000


A re-visit of the days when Bedouins legend, John Warner, was in charge of giving a re-cap of the seasons happenings at the annual Duck Supper. No holds barred…


Welcome to you all at this first Duck Supper in the 21st Century. For those of you who cannot count there are 18 brave souls here tonight.

I am assured that Cornhill’s decision to stop sponsoring England and the Bedouins had no part to play in the Skipper’s cruel and heartless dismissal of our part time friend and good umpire, or should it be good friend and part time umpire, Geoff Mayhew.

It may perhaps be that the “Ruthless-One” as the skipper shall now be known, has decided that as Test Match invites were unlikely to be forthcoming he might as well clear the decks for our new umpire and star turn, Lloyd Hanks.

It may even just be that in his tortured mind he thinks that Lloyd will resurrect our Worthing weekend. Whatever the reason, for this decision, Lloyd is a most welcome addition to tonight’s guest list, as without him there would have been no real guests and therefore no need for a guest list.

I have on an early serious note had the privilege of playing both with and against this man who I look upon as a true chum. He spent most of his time plying his cricketing talents and living in Chepstow before finally biting the bullet and joining his colleagues by moving house to Worthing, sadly two days before London and Edinburgh were taken over. He has maintained a high profile in his chosen profession despite originating from this area. I am personally very happy and privileged to be sitting next to him at this one of my favourite annual gatherings.

Moving on to my review of the season 2000, I have to report that we haven’t attracted any new talent. Nick Moxon, or as he is better known The Toff, made a return to the fold as a player, after a year out recovering from terrible injuries incurred whilst posing for playboy, or is it as a playboy. Some of the existing squad have blossomed, some have just got older and slower and in one case at least, of even less use to the team.

I will leave you to work out whom that may be.

Sadly we saw even less of Andy “sorry I am late, but the rush hour traffic in Glasgow was awful” Wiseman, and his aging father in law Ronnie Kray, sorry Ronnie Bourn.

Luckily, however, we did notice a distinct lack of appearances by the guy who was spirited away by the smoke fairy this time last year.

He was reincarnated as the season went on as a 1920s silent movie type wearing white trousers and a blazer, with yes, a bloody fag in his hand.

It is spooky what smoking and pissing me off can do to your health.

As you can see he isn’t coming tonight, even for the short while he managed last year.

Like last year Vernon arranged for us to have nets at Stourbridge, and these were most welcome although I must admit that the journey there and back for a soft Silhillian like me was a bit daunting, as was getting battered by young quickish bowlers. Thank you Jones minor, star cricketer of the remove.

We had another quiz, which seemed to go down well and the “ Ruthless-one” and I will do one again next March.

Turning now to the subject of humiliation, I have used the wonderful notes provided by last season’s Bedouin of the year Adrian Susman. You have probably already read much of the brilliant Big Match, so you will see that a lot of what I have to say is my slant on his dubious attempts to paint a true picture of the season’s events

We started the season with a very easy friendly against our 2nd XI. As the “Ruthless-One’s” Son and Bedouin archivist has said, the nets made a difference. I would agree, but sadly it made a difference to both teams, as for some obscure reason we share our secret training camp with the dreaded lawyers. Apparently their team were overheard saying, “Have you had an injury, that has not been your fault…” Then rambling on about suing on a no win no fee basis. Well Mr Jones, when you accidentally find yourself accidentally injuring me in the nets, I will use your services to sue you.

The 1st XI set about their juniors with relish, and to their credit, Currie and Jones had the good sense not to score too many runs (a total of two to be precise) and the boy Moxon had the very good sense not to be available at all. Corporal Jones did however show a little naivety by bowling one of our legends and who knows possibly one of his own heroes, Andy Hill, but there again he is young and in love.

Predictably we thrashed them, and I think it was then, that the “Ruthless One” decided that if we should we play them again this season we would take the foot off the proverbial throttle and give the juniors a win or something, that they could gloat about in the dorm after prep.

He said it was important that the young people should taste success but that we should do a convincing job of throwing the game. More of that later.

A little known fact is that the big sneak Jones Major got to hear about this at the All Stars game and tipped off the authorities which has meant that the Ruthless one has had a recent visit from the Indian Police, as he is now suspected of corruption. He will be brought before the Properly Run International Cricket Committee or PRICC to answer these accusations and Jones will be ostracised for being a smoker and a fink.

Our second outing was against sneaky Jones’s All Stars. Predictably the 1999 game had been full of acrimony and thankfully Sneaky had made some changes and dropped the worst offender of the well-documented brawl. It has to be said that it is rumoured that he wasn’t available anyway, but you know how spin is used to con us these days.

A special track had been prepared and it had been decided not to mow the outfield to enable us to sneak on some small players into the bamboo grass outfield to act as snipers, should it become as bloody as the famous Battle of Stourbridge.

The groundsman had obviously misinterpreted the “Ruthless Ones” comment of the pitch being a pile of shit after the last game and for some reason strategically placed an enormous pile of the stuff. To this day we don’t know whether it was of the dog variety or if he had just been caught short whilst mowing the pitch with his blunt wheelbarrow.

Anyway batsmen aimed at the pooh mountain and fielders dived in the opposite direction, especially Mitch who was wearing his new trainers. Amazingly their batsman failed to hit this enormous pile, which speaks volumes for their ability.

Young Kelly did indeed set a new Bedouin record of three dropped catches in one game. Records are there to be broken and it seems appropriate that a young gun like Kelly should be given cult status so early in his Bedouins career. He will henceforth be known as “Oops, sorry again lads” Kelly.

We welcomed the Toff back for this game and his fielding and batting helped us give these upstarts the bloody noses that they deserved.

Game 3 was an eagerly awaited visit to the Avon Insurance Company at Stratford upon Avon, for a Sunday family occasion. It must be said that the previous year’s barbecue had been wonderful and I had been looking forward to sampling Macbeth Burgers and Hamlet hot dogs for several months, or twelve to be precise.

I spotted a lovely young filly sat near the barbecue. Obviously living up to my now legendary status as a stud and cocksman, I moved in. As I sat casually talking to this gorgeous apparition, called Karen (Why are Karens all so beautiful?) and eating a surreptitious third burger, my eyes were for some reason drawn to her magnificent legs. I noticed a tattoo which appeared to be in the shape of a heart with the name Slim Warner across it.

Fascinated I moved closer only to a find that it was a tattoo of a butterfly and then feel the full force of a cricket boot up my Builders bum.

Expecting to find some rough oaf standing over me I gingerly turned only to see the tiny figure of Jones Minor standing over me with his lips curled back in a grotesque look of rage.

I asked him if he had per chance seen who had kicked me and he started shouting, “She’s mine, she’s mine. Why do you handsome bastards keep trying to take her away from me” or words to that effect. I was staggered. Perhaps the sun had got to him. Anyway whoever had kicked me had run off leaving this lad hopping up and down. I turned back to the goddess only to find that she had moved away. A couple of minutes later I overheard her talking to Mark and telling him if he scored over 30 runs and took three wickets he could have her after the match.

Serves him right that he would fail to score that night and I would fail with my spanking new Millennium bat in its first outing of the season, that afternoon. At least he did his best and it wasn’t his fault that I forgot to tell him that the “Ruthless One” had decreed that he should enter the fray at number 6 with no chance of getting a decent score, and would then take him out of the bowling attack after only taking two wickets. Who says life is unfair.

Sadly the opposition conned our leader, when they asked if he minded an obvious ringer playing for them, as they were short. The “Ruthless One” showed a rare streak of naivety, and allowed them to bring this chap out of the stands dressed in khaki shorts and sandals.

Imagine his surprise when he clipped a ball through the slips and this “passer-by” dived through the air and took a brilliant left handed catch. I remember reading of this ploy in a dog-eared tome entitled “Sneaky things to do in Cricket” by Sneaky Jones Major.
I fell to another sneaky ploy when I faced my one and only ball. The bastards’ put a fielder, who could catch; right in the place I was going to hit my first ball, which was destined to be a six.

As a postscript our illustrious leader then invited this fielder to play alongside me in a match on the Wirral. He has a sick sense of humour.

It was also good to see a rejuvenated “Ruthless One” bring himself on to bowl to a sad Sunderland supporter. I remember trying to count the number of well-known North Easterner cricketers there were in the world and after about a minute of thought went back to imagining myself lying on a beach in the West Indies with Karen feeding me grapes and things. Anyway I apparently missed his two wickets, but I had got sand in my trunks or was it a hand!

Other than meeting Karen and eating a lot, the best moment, was when, as we slipped to certain defeat, the leader brought on the Toff to bowl. Avon had one of those cocky, arrogant, talented turds that called a single from a strike where they could have walked a second run. The score was tied.

It became obvious to us that he was determined to end the game with a flourish, possibly at the same time wooing the lovely Karen. However, it was not to be. The Toff took his time and bounded down launching a ten-foot high lob and incurring a no ball.

Hooray we all shouted as the turd slunk back to the pavilion having scored a paltry 45no.

We may have lost but we saved Karen from a fate worse than death.

We returned to Fort Enville for our next encounter this time against Misys.

We kept them down to a paltry 74 due to Hancox’s 4 wickets for 10 runs and Son of Ruthless 2 for 12.

When we replied, our heroes the Toff and the rebuilt Andy Hill, both made 29, with Hill keeping his wicket intact.

The whole evening was however spoiled, for me, by a crime that will put the perpetrator in the same class as the sneak who turned the Leader over to the Indian Authorities.

It was discovered by eagle eyed security tea ladies that someone had taken two sandwiches from the buffet before the game was over. They weren’t just any sandwiches but EGG ones. Who became the obvious suspect? Yours truly. I was taken round the back of the pavilion and stripped searched by Jo and Nick, thankfully I mean Joanne and Nicola not to confused with Hancox and the Toff, before I had electrodes fixed to my dangly bits. After half an hour they still hadn’t made me cough. Sweat and groan yes but cough no. They cruelly abandoned me semi naked in the car park, with my chums walking passed ignoring me because they were convinced that my gluttonous habits had finally caused me to do the unthinkable and remove food before the official uncovering ritual where cling film is lovingly removed and a whistle is blown signifying that “Grubs up”.

There was only one thing for it. I had to find the culprit myself. I went back to the dressing room and having showered and got dressed entered the Club House. It was horrible being shunned by everyone in the room, except for one wonderful little girl called Rebecca who whispered in my ear that she had seen a wizened little man stealing the sandwiches. I couldn’t think who she meant till it dawned on me that there was another person who loved egg sandwiches and who it has to be said is a little wizened old man. It had to be him, but how could I prove it. I looked round the room, and there was a little old man with crumbs and bits of egg on his unshaven chin and down his jumper. I asked Rebecca, if it was the man she saw and she said yes. As I approached a look of fear filled his eyes. Just as I was about to scrag him, Rebecca pulled me back and said loudly that he was very old and probably hadn’t eaten for days.

At this point the Security Tea Ladies stepped in and one look from them convinced him to confess. I think you probably know who was the true villain, and will understand why he will be one of the highest fined members of this gathering. Is the evil polecat still awake?

The next battle was at Harborne against Martineau Johnson. We had only 10 men as an over eager Mike George had turned up 24hrs early. What a prat. We also had to play on a Tuesday, which meant that our reserves were already playing and we were forced to include Jones Major. This was of course before the Ruthless One found out about the sneak’s discussions with the authorities.

We played on a tiny pitch. I had my second innings of the season and crafted a superb 2 which was 2 more than 5 of my colleagues.

Despite one of the opposition scoring 71 runs and taking 4 wickets for bugger all, we saw them off with ease.

The weather was very warm and sunny and as the sun started to set over the gas works, I found that I couldn’t see a thing and sadly I missed the Leader’s two wickets.

On the pitch nearby I saw mime cricket. A man would sprint towards a wicket flailing his arms and the batsman would move his bat, before running between the wickets. It was like watching us but speeded up and apparently playing without a ball, at least I never saw one.

Funny old game.

This left us returning to base to play ourselves or the Suspects as we call the opposition. This opposition consisted of 7 of our boys including the elusive David Pearson who is still dining out on his achievements in Halifax all those years ago. It is rumoured that he could get us a team bus that is a nice runner and only driven by Nuns going to communion, but I can only visualise the type of bus seen in St Trinians films. These second hand car dealers are all the same.

The Bedouins, were led by a new, younger Captain, who believes in allowing his team to assist him, in such matters as field positioning, in order that he doesn’t have to tell people to field over there by the pooh or to the left of the bowler etc. A third of their team were promoted from the 2nd XI.

We batted first and scored 115 for 6 with the Toff and the boy Jones scoring 69 of the total. Playing a captains innings I scored 8.

By using our combined brains we out thought the “Ruthless One” and with clever bowling changes we won at a canter. He personally fell to our quickie Gregory for 7, a feat which probably didn’t endear him to the Leader. Interestingly I outscored him as well. That must have been embarrassing.

Another interesting fact was that I showed faith in The Toff as a bowler and he captured Mike George’s wicket.

The game is very simple really, and though I enjoy winning, it gave me no pleasure to humble my illustrious opponent. Believe that and you will believe that Jones major is my bestest chum.

Sadly he refused the help that I could give him and paid the penalty in the very next game when he wrested the leadership back off me.

For some unknown reason the Leader and the wizened old man had contrived to send us to a Worcestershire backwater that is probably about ten foot under water as we speak, which may be a good thing if it means washing off the goose shit that was so liberally spread all over the strange, sloping pitch. The opposition were the Mishaps, an apt name.

It was here, that Jones major, reappeared in his new guise as a blazered fop.
Six of us had played on this pitch previously and knew that it wasn’t what one would call usual. The lack of changing facilities and toilets meant that for the first time we were unsupported by our caravan. Even worse was that madam scorer was definitely not spending the afternoon in a loo free area, so we had to do our own scoring. Call me old fashioned, but I always feel safer in the knowledge that she who must be obeyed is in control of the figures, particularly in an area of interbreeding as in this particular place. I hear that they are going to film Deliverance 2 there if they can find a sheep that plays the banjo.

We had support of a kind as Ulrika had to make various trips to see us, to pick up her tribe and then come back to deliver a spare set of car keys to Mitch after his lads had locked his own keys in the car.

We played quite well in the early stages of the game and Adrian had figures of 5 for 35 despite having two catches dropped, one by Joe Hancox and the other, a particularly easy one by the leader. Another bowler of mention was the boy Gregory who showed his contempt for the home side, and their shitty pitch, and became a legend by being warned about intimidatory bowling. They should see him in the nets, because I cant.

As the game wore on I found myself stood on the boundary chatting to Christopher George, he of car wrecking fame. As we chatted I became aware of a huge gaggle of geese slowly circling me and making lewd suggestions.

Mike George and Jones Major both looked quite agitated and it dawned on me that jealousy was at the root of it.

After they realised that I really wasn’t interested in them, they wandered off having shit in great mounds all over the top of the pitch.

We broke for a farm fresh tea and after the drugs had taken effect we set about overtaking their 113 all out. Sadly due to hallucinations after our magic mushroom sandwiches and LSD dripping cake 8 of us amassed 7 runs and we fell short by 26 runs.

One of our boys did blot his copybook by giving LBW decisions against George and Gregory. He will remain anonymous, mainly because I cannot for the life of me remember who it was.

Luckily it didn’t rain that afternoon despite storms only a few miles away.

Strangely the two luminaries have decreed that the jamboree will take place again next year.

I can’t wait.

Our eighth game took place at Enville on 5th July. I say this because this was the date that we first saw Bourn and Wiseman. The former continued where he left off last season with figs of 5 overs 1 wkt for 18. It was great to have him back. His son in law captained the opposition and had included the well-known computer expert, Gary Shaw, in his team.

Before the game I welcomed the ex-footballer to our ground and shook his hand enthusiastically. As I had been taught I gripped his bowling hand as hard as I could and squeezed the blood to the tips of his fingers, paused and then squeezed again as hard as I could.

Sadly it didn’t stop him scoring 41 runs but mysteriously he didn’t bowl.

Other mysterious happenings during the game included the lowly batting position of Hill. Things could have been sticky for the leader had we lost and he hadn’t batted.

Anyway it was all academic as we won.

Game 9 was a very contentious game. Firstly it was our third XI against the 2nds, secondly we didn’t get the appalling weather that we are used to at our satellite ground, and thirdly Andy Hill for some unknown reason played for the opposition and took 2 catches. The first removed our hero Dazza Taylor and the second Sneaky Jones. TEE HEE HEE.

Looking back now as the rain lashes down and my blue fingers try to type this rubbish, there was possibly method in the Ruthless Ones undoubted madness. His revenge for the scurrilous allegations. Or it may just have been that he felt that Andy is so straight that unlike the rest of us he wouldn’t throw a game just for the promise of pizza and chips.

As you may have gathered this was the game that PRICC was waiting for, and a look at the scorebook could result in a life ban for our skipper.

Nuff said that we kept them to 92 for 5 before the fix went in. Only Taylor, who obviously missed the point, reached double figures and second highest score on 8 was extras. I hope that I will never be told to play that badly again. It was probably the worst beating we have ever had, and the fact that we were only the 3rd XI doesn’t matter. It was humiliating. 8 players scored a combined 8 runs. I will never eat an Indian meal again.

Moving swiftly on to our tour of the frozen North, or Halifax to be precise. Adrian has covered the weekend at great length but certain people and events deserve special mention. Firstly we welcomed back John Davidson. We had missed his contribution all season and I hope that next year he will be back in the fold. Secondly I heard of a McFlurry. I didn’t see one, but there again I don’t think anyone did. Surprisingly people drive round for hours trying to spot one and Messrs Kelly and Taylor did just that. Thirdly, the normally staid Adrian Susman took up the strange habit or ritual of partaking of Cointreau slammers. This activity apparently numbs your tongue and lips before spreading to your nether regions. In the case of room mates Kelly and Taylor, this was probably a good thing especially the rude bits, but I hear that Mrs Susman was less than pleased at her errant husband’s lack of desire for her in the marital bed. I have to confess to having an early night leaving my wife in the tender care of the Hancoxes and assorted Hills and Susmans. I think she may have drunk a bit by the time she returned to the nest.

The following day was warm and bright and whereas some of our number sloped off for a walk, others of us rested up for the big match.

When we arrived at the meet there was no David Thomas. When we left there was no David Thomas and when we arrived at the ground there was no sign of David Thomas. It would appear, that we were the only people in South Yorkshire, who didn’t see David Thomas.

With his trusty, if blind navigator he had toured Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Cleckheaton, and many other well-known places of ill repute. For some reason he was a bit grumpy when he finally turned up and his trusty companion then hit the bottle big time resulting in a reverse re run on the way home.

Turning to the game we thrashed our hosts, graciously, having totalled 200 for 7 off our allotted 40 overs and restricting them to 154 all out. It wasn’t as easy as the score indicated, as they were on 132 for 4 in the 25th over but messrs Hancox, Neale and Susman A saw them off.

On a high, we then took on the mighty Horwath Clark Whitehill or Joe’s mob, as they are affectionately known. Joe for some reason employs cricketers of a good standard and the master batsman and occasional bowler Darlaston scored 26 and took the valuable wicket of The Toff and caught son of the Ruthless One off Hancox’s bowling. Young Kidderminster player Ralph with 34 not out and “Shane” Warne, 41 finished us off.

Ralph’s 34 was made all the more important as he scored 24 of them in one over. You may ask how this could be. Let us go back a few years when we were playing Policy Master. Paul Fisher, usually a trusty bowler and husband of a partner at Cottles, so an all round good egg, was brought on to bowl from the pavilion end. The batsman was Nick “Ginger Bastard” Pound. Nick was injured and had a runner. His injury stopped him moving his feet at all.

On this particular evening we were playing on the strip nearest the drive and had at least two fielders protecting this leg boundary.

Interestingly enough the star of this season’s story was one of those two fielders. Paul for some amazing reason bowled all his balls down the leg and was hit for 23 runs. We lost the game and afterwards Fisher retired a broken man. We applied to the TCCB for the term doing a Fisher to be entered into folklore where an established bowler fucks up and costs his team the match.

What is the point of this story? Well this season we had an experienced bowler admittedly bowling to a good batsman, get hit for six fours and a wide. We now have had to speak to Lords again but until the Ruthless One has been cleared of corruption charges they will not consider changing it to doing a Neale. Yes we lost and yes of course we blamed Mitch, and the weather, the umpire, Joe and anybody else at hand. The important thing is he is still our mate.

This brings us to what would be the last real Bedouin game of the season. It was the annual match against the Enville over 50s but as we hadn’t played a team of that age for several years they were just called Enville and consisted of eleven players of 2nd and 3rd team standard. As Adrian says in his jottings, despite the loss of the McFlurrys and Austin, we still had a strong side. Mitch and the Toff gave us a great start with the bat and despite the ruthless one and I not making it to the crease we amassed 120 for 4, including a majestic 30 not out from the boy Adrian.

In the field there were some amazing performances. Karen’s bloke Mark took 3 for 22, George 1 for 16, and there was that rare beast a hatrick for Adrian who had figures of about 4 for 17 off 3.2 overs. Another performance worth mentioning was that of Mitch who unlike Fisher did not melt down but came back and bowled 3 overs for 24 and was involved in the brilliant run out by Karen’s bloke. It took guts, and was admired by us all. The wizened one did two superb stumpings to assist Adrian do what only Mike Passman and Mike George have achieved in Bedouins folklore. I would settle for three wickets in a season but one can dream. Predictably we won having them 104 all out. Again as Adrian has written it was a great team performance to finish off a good season that saw us win 8 of our 12 games.

There was an attempt at a Sunday game against a team from the south and I expect as it was abandoned the batting figures won’t count but as I was on holiday do I really care.

We will always remember our losses, Avon Ins, Joe’s mob, Mishaps, and yes the thrashing we got from Higgs, but I will look back on a year of fun, and terrific team performances. I take the piss in my ramblings as does Adrian in his, but neither of us mean any harm, or real offence. If we didn’t enjoy being Bedouins neither of us would bother to try to entertain. The true stories will probably be gleaned from the Skippers statistics in which I will probably be bottom of the Batting averages and, as I didn’t get to bowl, not mentioned in those averages. However, I thank you for letting an old fart like me play with you and enjoy the ambience that is peculiar to the Bedouins CC.

This brings me to the touchy subject of how much you should pay for the misdemeanours of the past season and I have been advised that as one of the worst offenders is a pensioner, we should all be levied a flat rate of 4 x the last pension increase ie £3.00. If however you feel that you should contribute more I am sure that Joe will allow you to increase your donation. Perhaps Joe could arrange for the collection of these monies after I have done one last act.

It has become tradition that I like to indulge myself by awarding a cup named after my late mother to the person that I feel epitomised the spirit of the Bedouins over the past season.

This year, despite lobbying and, yes threats, I have still ignored the credentials of the ruthless one. Yet again I can assure you that the choice is difficult. You have read, and I hope listened to tales of Bedouisms. Most of you qualify as true Bedouins. The fact that you have been a past recipient doesn’t preclude you from winning it again. It is open to all regulars except me so my choice is wide and the decision is difficult as you all contribute in different ways.

As anyone who is or has been involved in the running of a club, will know, there are those who do and those who don’t. There are givers and there are takers.

This year’s winner is a doer and giver. He organises our nets, he finds us players, he is heavily involved with our 2nd XI, he umpires whenever asked and he has even stopped winning the Quiz.

That final act swung my decision.


I would now ask Lloyd Hanks, as our esteemed guest, to make the award on my behalf.

Thank you everyone.

Duck Supper 1999


A re-visit of the days when Bedouins legend, John Warner, was in charge of giving a re-cap of the seasons happenings at the annual Duck Supper. No holds barred….


Good Evening Gentlemen

Welcome to yet another Duck Supper. It is always something I really look forward to, for many reasons. Good Food, Good Drink, Good Company and the usual banter over the events of last season.

May I also welcome our four new boys, namely Mark Jones, Rhys Thomas, Ned Kelly and Austin Powers, plus of course an old timer Nick Peg Leg Moxon, who makes a welcome return to the fold as a non cricketing married man, and heart breaker. The George girls haven’t stopped wearing black yet though in Lisa’s case they suit her and in Kay’s case it makes a change for her to be wearing any.

This year the format has changed. Firstly I get to ruin The Skippers speech by inadvertently stealing all his material, due to us both using the Boy Adrian’s superb, if libellous, set of match reports. Secondly as some of you are above reproach and some of the biggest offenders are missing, you will be fined by the number of times that I mention you. Right lets get on and earn the Club some serious money!!

Firstly, lets go back to those dark early February mid-week nights in Stourbridge, where a lot of us met up in order to do indoor nets. This was the 1st time I had been to such a session and I would reckon others were in the same boat. I think that some of this season’s improved performances were because of those hours of toil in the sports hall. They gave us a foretaste of things to come when we manfully had to face what appeared to be a demonic drug crazed Dazza, launching an Exocet and removing one of only two bits of wood we were trying to protect, in my case with his first ball. Or the Tasmanian Road runner/Austin Powers, as he is known to his chums, whipping in a head height missile in the style of Vernon but with true pace. How batsmen must have relaxed when faced with three softies like The Skipper, Sean Jones and myself. Still it worked and I hope that we will all be there next year and I mean all.

Talking of Dazza, which we probably will quite a lot this evening, have any of you noticed that the universal cries of JESSIE have resulted in him getting rid of his earrings. A great improvement. Well Done! We don’t want any more gender benders in our dressing rooms.

We had our annual Quiz Night, which was well attended, and won by real life anoraks. They even wore the uniform.

The weather at the beginning of the season did not bode well for our heroes, but happily we could play our first proper cricket match of the season against Higgs & Sons or Bedouins 2nd XI as they are also known. The grass was long and eyebrows were raised when the team sheet showed Polehill and Callow, but we were all up for it, and as long as neither player left the square, there was a good chance that they wouldn’t get lost or trodden on by those normal sized players amongst us

At this point, mention should be made, of the sad affliction affecting our beloved leader. It manifested itself when he ran me out yet again.  I cannot and don’t want to believe that he is becoming a serial run out merchant. How can a man whose is born to lead, who is a fine striker of the ball, gazelle like fielder, Gough like bowler, be such a total arsehole when it comes to call a run. Reputedly the South Africans employed him as the run Coach before the World Cup Final, and we even saw his influence there. It has to be said that his problem is now known about all over the country, due in no small way to my delight in telling people in the North West, South East and South West, when his other team, modestly called the Celebs take to the field in these far off climes. Indeed, Geoff Mayhew, an employee of Cornhill, the official Sponsor of the England Team, has apparently been waxing lyrical in Test grounds around the World, about the greatest exponent of the unnecessary Run Out, which he has both witnessed and read about on the Internet. To give you another non- Bedouin example, we were playing on the Wirral this season and a man hand picked by the Skipper for his dogged resist stance to fast teenage bowling, and who after 30 overs had smashed his way to 14 runs, was joined at the wicket by this evil leader who ran him out after 2 balls. It was sad really because we had taken bets on this occurrence and he had stupidly ignored the signs. Mike George and I had both put a grand on, but the odds were so bad that we only managed to buy a bag of crisps between us with our winnings.

Returning to the Higgs Game, it would have been a quite pleasant evening except for Baby Face Giles and Glandular Coleman. These 2 miscreants both scored 14 runs when batting against us and Giles took 2 wickets, those of Ned Kelly and the Welsh Git Gareth Callow, the second being fair game. Coleman even bowled the Skipper’s Son. What a career move!  However, we won so all will be forgiven one day.

Two weeks later we played and won our second game this time against Martineau Johnson. Now I earlier mentioned our pre season training. One thing we didn’t practice was catching, but in this game 4 players, who incidentally all went to Nets, took catches. They were Messrs Hancox, Taylor, Currie and Jones S or Jones Major, as he will have to be known as now we have the much younger and more talented Mark Jones. I just hope we haven’t signed another whingeing Taffy along the lines of you know who. (The tiny guy who ties his glasses on with string because of his strange leek shaped head.) They amassed a princely 74 for 9 with Ronnie taking 3 wickets, Adrian 2, Mitchell and Dazza one a piece and a debut wicket for Austin “Behave” Powers. Only two of their number made double figures. In reply Hancox and Adrian Susman made 30 each and both retired, and we reached 81 for 2. Anyway it was a great game for me to win. Oh didn’t I tell you I scored the winning run, so life can be fair some times. An 8-wicket win seems like a good thrashing to me

After another four weeks and two cancellations including the annual Suspect, and I mean suspect, game we played a rearranged game against the Beverley Sisters, or Claverley. This brought our first defeat, in a game notable for the last over, but more of that later. Things started badly and predictably got worse. Mike George, the Leaders love interest, turned up looking even paler than usual and departed before a ball had been bowled feeling a bit queer. Nothing-new there then. Andy “ I buggered my back playing footie” Hill turned up late for his first match of the season. Ulrika’s secret husband Mitchell Neale had had a part of his body damaged by the 2nd XI in what must have been an unofficial game. Ronnie Bourn and John Davidson were both suffering from “bowlers body” a debilitating disease suffered by those who are called upon to Bowl more than 2 overs a season. Still the magnificent 9 took to the field, running around a lot, in order to appear to be a full XI. Dazza took three wickets and Vernon two. With the bat, our new Aussie head banger and excessive eater Ned Kelly smacked an impressive 31 runs, and Jones Major 20, who had earlier taken a catch. I failed with the bat, but was bowled as against run out by you know who. Which neatly brings us to the last over. Picture the scene. We need 7 runs to win. We have our leader and the boy blunder Dazza at the crease. Most of us are relaxing having done our bit and confident that the lads will see us through to a well-earned victory. Suddenly DISASTER. First ball Taylor is bowled by Lennox, a very ordinary cove, for his third wicket. 5 balls to go. Polehill skips merrily out to the wicket full of confidence naïve old fool. He nudges the ball towards a fielder, but the skipper in his haste to be in a position to score the winning runs calls the old boy down the wicket, they cross and sadly Polehill’s innings is over. 4 balls left. The skipper is poised. A six will tie. The helmeted Vernon strides to the non-strikers end. He looks up and sees the cruel glint in the Skippers eyes.  My god he’s going to hit it out of the ground. The spectators fall silent. Vernon prepares to back up. Come on lads whispers the Beverley Skipper. Lennox shuffled passed Currie and with a grunt arcs the ball towards the veritable giant of a man at the strikers end. Time seems to stand still as the big man fails to middle the ball and it trickles to leg. His mouth opens and the dreaded word RUN slips from the twisted lips of the Serial Run Out Man. Vernon a Veteran of last over battles is struck dumb by the total crassness of this call. Visions of all those times he has stood as an umpire and watched the leader run out the good guys like Lucky John Warner, came flashing back and he knew albeit too late that he was to be sacrificed to the great cricket god David Thomas. He ran, but failed to reach the crease. It was all over. We had lost. Through tear filled eyes he looked back at the rest of the team who were making what appeared to be a gallows and a noose. Oh my god he thought what has the Skipper done? Will he get off the field before being beaten to a pulp by an angry team? The Bevs thumped him on the back. Great game they cried. The Skipper walked proudly from the field as though he had just won the game. He seemed oblivious of the despair and dismay felt by his boys.

Post Script.  Sadly Vernon will always go down as the man who cost us the game against Beverley Hotel in 1999, and the skipper, who is also custodian of all match records, and a bottle of Tipp-ex, will just carry on running us all out. Perhaps he needs counselling.  In the next edition of Famous Fairy Story Fuck Ups we will hear of a match where a team turned up with only one player for a 50 over match only to lose by 3 runs.

In the bar afterwards the Skipper, showing no remorse, and his selection committee, had to pick two teams for the following two Sundays. Firstly he needed 6 stalwarts to play a six a side tournament, and then to enrol a team of volunteers for the Annual Sunday match against our friends from Halifax.

Taking the Six aside first, the committee tried to cajole the younger chaps into representing our Club. When you see the side that played you will see how successful they were in convincing us all of the amount of fun we would all have. It read Susman B and Polehill aged 60+ Warner 50+ and fat, George 40+ and Susman A & Hill both 30 +. The tournament was at a place called Nene Sollas, Where I here you say, God knows is the reply. It is apparently where the Polecat goes poaching. Any way, the barbecue was great if you like a choice of charred or raw sausage. Age not withstanding we did set a record score of 80 runs from 5 overs in the first game which not surprisingly we won, before losing our next 2 games rather tamely. The sides there were very supportive and friendly, and one chap remarked to our main bowler, Mikey, how good a batting side we were but it was a pity we couldn’t bowl for toffee. This comment was obviously meant to be constructive and so in the spirit of things we tracked down his skipper and constructively informed him that one of his players would have 3 Adams apples if he opened his mouth again. All in fun you understand. Mike can get very arsey when he is cross, but their again so can his minder Polehill.

The Skipper has asked, nay told, me to pass rapidly over the facilities, as he has an announcement to make later. Nuff said that on the way there I changed in Adrian’s Hall under the bemused eyes of the lovely Nicola, (It was as though she hadn’t seen a real man before), and went home sweaty, and by holding my water for so long I believe I now have prostate and bladder problems.

The second team to be selected was to take part in a re-enactment of The Battle of the Somme when, like all the poor buggers in the First World War, we blindly have to follow instructions from those who bat lower down in the order and face a Pounding from Kaiser Nick and his chums from CSC Ra. In order to make the whole scene more realistic the Chief God, David Thomas organised torrential rain, but paradoxically this saved many lives. David cut us a new wicket on the edge of the square; we dug our trenches and built field hospitals. At his Captain’s request, Nick had to bowl his grenades with their pins still in. The Bedouins Brigade lost nine wickets in amassing 139 runs with new recruit Rhys Thomas retiring undefeated on 35 runs. Smokin Mike Williams made this season’s debut in Lucky Warner’s No 7 slot but was well caught by Andy Hill for a predictable duck. (Predictable, because it often happens to Lucky when he plays there). Warner made a swift 30 runs before succumbing to a Boche sniper, but he wasn’t run out, mainly due to the General hiding away at no 9. Mind you, Vernon went a long way to being reaccepted into the Bedouins Family by running out the Skipper for a creditable 24 runs (The Skipper that is, Vernon only scored one run but got a lot of satisfaction). As mentioned earlier, Hill played for both sides, as did Hancox who foolishly caught Peter Coleman, who in turn would exact a terrible revenge in a game yet to come. To make some small amends Hancox did see fit to take 3 wickets including Kaiser Pound for 26 and Roger Dervish aka Jim Robinson for 7, which left them a bit up the proverbial trench without Duck Boards. Mike Williams wrapped up their innings bowling G Noctor for 6. They had made 80 for their seven wickets. At this point Vernon was heard to offer CSC Ra batsmen the chance to bat again due to their shortage of players but the thought of a return to the crease of Kaiser Nick was too horrible to imagine and Currie was soundly berated by his Colleagues. He then had to hasten back to the dressing room to protect his underwear from the phantom Ralgex sprayer who surely would have wrought a terrible revenge. Another person who should be mentioned was Chicken Strangler Jones Major and his two violent verbal outbursts. The first was when he was bowled by an innocuous looking full toss and the second was when he petulantly reacted having had a dubious LBW appeal turned down. From where I was fielding on the square leg boundary only 118 yards away it looked as though the ball would have drifted passed the leg stump by a good centimetre so I don’t see what the fuss was about. General Susman tried to make a game of it by asking me to bowl a few overs, an offer I managed to turn down due to the fact that I do have some pride, albeit misplaced, and feigned injury to my shoulder. Another win for the Beds and a win for common sense as far as my bowling was concerned.

We now move on to what used to be the glamour fixture of the season. Now we all wait to see which ringers Andrew Wiseman would bring to this annual feast. This year we had Gary Shaw the ex footballer and Mark Duggan one time hero of Enville. The skipper must have got wind of these ringers as he pulled out of playing, citing a mystery back injury as the problem. Funny how Duggan was playing and the Skipper was off on an 58-80 Saga Sponsored Holiday the following week!
They batted first and Wiseman plus his 2 mercenaries scored all but 20 of their 106 runs. Adrian had an interesting battle with the charismatic brain dead Duggan. They both dismissed each other, Adrian taking a brilliant catch off his own bowling. Rees Thomas took the wickets of both Wiseman and Shaw and even if he was over the moon this quiet man never showed it. He was also at his best with the bat and retired yet again unbeaten, this time on 50 runs. Williams played his second game and sadly even after moving from 7 to 3 there was the same result, a duck. The evening got darker as Duggan predictably got faster. One would think that a bit of intelligence was called for but there again…He finished the game with 3 wickets and eleven less friends. Thank god for the ice cool Ronnie Bourn who showed his contempt for Duggan by smacking him for 2 4s in one over before scrambling the winning run with the help of evergreen David Pearson. Yet another Win

The next report is a bit embarrassing. The Skipper obviously thought that I was after his job, so making sure he was going to be away for the game against Horworth Clark Whitehill, he asked me to captain the side. Unlike Suspects games where he picks both sides and makes sure that he has the stronger, he had no say over Joe’s selection. Instead he must have had meetings with all our team and given them strict instructions on how to sabotage my tactics. Hancox had a Birmingham League Bowler and also a master batsman called Darlaston, whom we have lined up to, play against the Suspects next year.

From the start I should have seen what was happening. I had 10 players but started with 9. There was no Hill, Neale, Taylor, Kelly, Jones Major, Hancox, Williams, Susman B, Bourn, Pearson, Gregory. Eleven players short!! Apparently the skipper had paid them to go out for a meal.  The pitch seemed to be the smallest I had played on since my school days. We started brightly, but the first big blow was Rhys Thomas being caught and bowled for 6 runs. The very welcome return to the team of Geoff Hodgson ended in a duck. Wiseman was hiding down the road and was predictably late, so as skipper I was obliged to enter the fray whilst the Kidderminster bowler Ralph was still bowling at full pace, and my poor season continued with me scoring a gutsy 1. Interestingly Hancox was overheard telling his bowler to take his foot off the gas now that the Fat Man was out. Obviously Hancox had been nobbled as well. Wiseman then wandered out to bat and top scored with 25. Mikey George and Peter Coleman hit 39 runs between them and left us on a creditable 107 for 6. Things then began to go wrong as the absent Skippers influence began to take hold. Like all good Skippers I had a bowling adviser. I had selected Michael George not realising, perhaps naively, that he was part of the plot against me. We decided that we would use our wily slower bowlers, instead of the raw pace, that we would keep in reserve. Adrian, had my conqueror caught in the deep by the excellent Coleman followed rapidly by their third batsman stumped by the Polecat, the first of two fine stumpings. Their middle order collapsed, as did Hancox, bowled by George for a duck. Unfortunately Darlaston was still around and retired on 33. With one other batsman reaching double figures, and still in, the pressure was still on us. George had the splendid figures of 5 for 11, which indicated two things and made me very suspicious as to what was going on. Firstly, he had managed to avoid Darlaston’s howitzer style batting, by putting poor old Adrian in the firing line, and watching him get spanked by the batsman for 20 in one over. Secondly his taking of these wickets hastened the return of the big man, when surely it would have been prudent to keep the rabbits tied down but at the crease. Predictably Darlaston returned albeit at the non-strikers end. Two other conspirators then emerged. Firstly the ever reliable Rhys Thomas, son of God, missed an easy run out which would have won the game, then the ever unreliable Wiseman missed the easiest of catches by his standards. In order to finish off the game and any aspirations that I may have had of glory, my trusty chum George brought a shell shocked Adrian Susman back in the attack to rid us of Darlaston, instead of Thomas who was bowling very coolly and economically. Predictably the big man despatched the other big man with ease and all was lost. A smug Hancox gloated in the bar and there was much gnashing of teeth. I mentioned earlier that Coleman would exact his revenge upon Hancox and he did this with superb fielding following his wonderful batting display. Paranoia or not, I will never be convinced that all these misfortunes weren’t arranged by our absent leader, but one day…

Our next outing was nearly three weeks later when we had a Sunday match against Avon Insurance, a side who normally give us a good hiding. Together with our band of Bedouettes and Bedouinies, we descended on Stratford on a wonderful day. Personally I was a bit tired because I had played cricket on the Friday and been to Fairford Air Show on the Saturday and if anyone hasn’t heard what we did and saw, I can fill them in later, but I was rearing to go. It was great to see our tea ladies out of their pinnies and the lovely Ulrika make a guest appearance. All the families joined in the fun except Madam Scorer who had her usual important job to do, but she made up for it later! It was fun to watch baby Wiseman being forced fed burgers. He should have a figure like his dad by the age of 5.

So to the game. We took to the field first and all of our bowlers, particularly Neale, secret husband of Ulrika, and Thomas, Son of God, did a wonderful job. Big Adrian took 3 wickets, ably assisted by crowd favourite Hill with 2 stumpings. Rhys finished on 2 for 14 from 6 overs. As you may have seen in Adrian’s reports, the Skipper dropped a catch but the biggest gaffe was when Jones Major allowed a ball through his legs for 4.  Despite these hiccups we held them down to 121 for 6.

In reply Avon launched one of their fast bowlers at us but Wiseman in only his second Beds game of the season scored a magnificent 53 no supported by Adrian Susman with 35 and extras 17. These figures saw us home quite comfortably. This was a far cry from our last visit when we were something like 4 wkts for 2 from 2. All in all a great day with swimming, bouncy castle, superb barbecue, football, table tennis, drinks, and a lovely buffet, plus of course a famous victory.

Three days later we dragged our tired limbs out for our last home game of the season. This is always a sad occasion when we view our wonderful settings and look forward to Duck Suppers, nets, quizzes and next season when it will all happen again, my ducks, the skippers run outs, spontaneous humour, and most of all fun and comradeship.  That is next season. First we must thrash the pseudo over 50s without our two star batsmen, Thomas and the errant Wiseman.

Tommo’s dad decided that his Boys should bat first but thanks to superb fielding especially from the lad Currie who has spent a lot of time in our 2nd XI. He managed a catch and two direct hit run outs. We also saw fine bowling from Bourne and Taylor with a brace each, we held them to 106 for 8 (God did not bat)

In reply, Ned Kelly found out why David Thomas is called God and was dispatched for a Warner like duck. The Susman Boys hit a combined 52 and with most batters contributing to the score except George who was run out, for a duck, we scraped home in the last over.  Yet another win.

Happily Madam Scorer and I then went away for an extremely damp fortnight with our Bedouette, and whilst we were away the lads had to play a new fixture against a Jones Major XI. With many players unavailable we had to call upon our 2nd XI, and the local retirement home for players. It was apparently to have been a day/night game but missing out the day bit. After a late start, our bowlers did their bit with wickets for George (2), Davidson, Susman A, Jones Minor and Dazza Taylor. We kept their score to 128 for 6 with two of their players retiring on 25
In reply we had three retire namely Susman A, Jones Minor and Ned Kelly plus contributions from all batsmen. At the end of the game we had another last over thriller. We saw two fours, a run out and a scrambled single to win the game. It appears that there was a little ill feeling in the game, with the old chestnut of hostile bowling in darkness rearing its ugly head. If the fixture is repeated the name of Garbett will be remembered, and retribution sought. This is sad because Bedouin Cricket isn’t about unreasonable play or players, but we look after our own. Enough said.

Around this time our Guest of Honour, the suave and urbane Geoff Mayhew, invited our revered leader to the first day of a Test Match in a desperate effort to be allowed to umpire the Celebs in Bristol, and bum himself an invitation to tonight’s festivities. Having got the old chap to the ground, he wandered off leaving him all alone and unloved whilst he went off threatening England with a cessation of sponsorship unless they autographed a bat for presentation here tonight. The Skipper didn’t see Geoff again but was allowed to listen to him on Radio 3 explaining why Cornhill Insurance would pull out of Test Match sponsorship and pour their millions into an obscure South Staffordshire based team, but there was no mention of the Bedouins by name. Apparently there was reference to a mysterious out break of run outs, but that may not of been referring to Brian! Still he has made it here and if he has his corporate chequebook I welcome him.

This brings us to the last game. We played a game in September against the strong Mysis side at Ombersley. In a low scoring game we batted first on a wicket that for some inexplicable reason had just had several hours of watering. As you will remember we haven’t exactly had drought conditions this summer. Anyway our batsmen slithered their way to 82 for 5, with Adrian Susman on 28 and Jones Minor 20.

The reply was interesting to say the least. Mikey took 2 wickets with his, and our, first two balls, both adjudged LBW by their umpire who was quickly removed by his own team, but the damage was done. Danger man and very small person Walker retired, but having learnt our lesson from the game against Joe’s gang we made sure he didn’t come back and we held them to 78 for 4. Another father and son act, the Thomases had their moments in this match where God punished his son for possible past misdemeanours by turning down an LBW appeal. One cannot imagine Skipper doing that to Adrian, but David isn’t a serial run out man. One enduring memory I shall keep was watching Andy Hill, who like us all was flying by instruments due to the extreme darkness, chasing after a ball that was about 20 yards in another direction. From memory we guided him to the right bearing and a boundary was saved.  It was a great way to finish a season and it was probably one of the most successful we have had.

May I thank our Scorer, the Tea Ladies and all those who umpired this season, and I hope that we will all be playing again next season, plus I hope that we will see the return to our side of Nick Moxon

We played 10 games, winning 8 and losing 2.

Adrian Susman played 10 games, yours truly 9, The Skipper and Michael George 8, Darren Taylor, Brian Polehill and Andy Hill all played 7, Sean Jones and Vernon Currie played 6, Phil Kelly, Mitchell Neale, Ron Bourn and Rhys Thomas played 5, Joe Hancox played 4, Peter Coleman and Mark Jones played 3, Austin Gregory, Mike Williams and Andrew Wiseman played 2 and Gareth Callow, David Pearson, Geoff Hodgson and John Davidson played 1

We used 23 players, many of whom are here this evening.

As far as fines are concerned, I feel that everyone should pay £3, despite my desire to fine some of you ludicrous amounts. I hope that you all agree that those that deserve it have been ridiculed enough.

Moving now to the award of Bedouin of the Year, I have decided not to award it to myself, or anyone not here this evening. The recipient has been in the frame every year so far. He is a quality Batsman, A quality Bowler, A quality Fielder, A great Guy, A great Match Report Writer, an ever present this season.

He is Adrian Susman

Well done my son