Amidst pounding rain and with an atrocious forecast ahead of us we woke up at 5.30am to play a game of cricket. The meet was 6.15am at the SU (Lordy’s “what a surprise Wynn makes the meet place two minutes from his house” elicited an enormous chomp from Tubeman) however Cal rocked up at 6.30am after trying and failing at 5.55am to negotiate a lift from Folky. Fred’s claim the previous night that we wouldn’t feel tired because we’d instead be shocked by the early start surprisingly turned out to be complete bollocks
The first portion of the journey was uneventful although punctuated by occasional moans from Tubeman that he needed to visit a toilet, a fact he also let us know of through the means of convection. I astounded the lads with my knowledge that we were taking an alternative scenic route via Evesham so as to avoid the M5 around Birmingham, a completely unsubstantiated statement. To return to Tubeman briefly, he was dressed in creamy white chinos and boat shoes (no socks), which Lordy correctly identified as resembling Gareth Gates. Unfortunately for us, on our way to Loughborough, we were decidedly not going to the place that’s the best.
We stopped at a service station which I considered to be really good, because while it only consisted of one very small shop, it still catered for breakfast, lunch, alcohol, hot drinks and snacks. When I complimented this culinary option to surface area ratio, Lordy claimed that that makes his fridge a good service station. Which it does, we were both right.
Upon counting the lads back on the bus and wondering if everyone was present Lordy said “Cal’s still walking from Kingsdown”.
You may have detected (or seen on Twitter) a certain level of breeze being spoken from across the squad, and of course when we arrived in Loughborough A. W. Stovold was all too eager to partake. Having walked across a puddle-filled outfield towards the cricket centre, amidst still teeming rain, Stov claimed “I’ve been to your pitch just across the road, and it’s dry”.
The first thing Bee and Milan did when entering the England cricket facility was obliterate two of the toilets in tandem.
We briefly watched the England Women cricket team have a net before settling into a quick game of hangman. Lordy wrote up _ _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _ and Bee immediately successfully said ‘Graham Onions’ which led to widespread astonishment. I came closest to winning with the real headscratcher ‘pink ballon’. While this was occurring the majority of the lads were making full use of the free coffee machine to stock up on hot chocolate, which myself and Cal later agreed had produced the perfect ratio of chocolate to water.
The lads then had a net, quite a rare occurrence for UBCC cricketers recently. Ferg swept a delivery from Bee into his own neck and had to have a 5 minute lie down. After around ninety minutes this died down and we headed over for lunch, for which we had the choice of salmon or sweet and sour pork (per Fred, the salmon “didn’t have a kick, but did have a twang”), and could then help ourselves to vegetables, potatoes and pasta, as well as squash, and fruit. Lovely selection but we had to slum it in the same dining area as the rest of Loughborough University – 7.5/10.
By this point the sun had come out and we enjoyed ourselves on the balcony overlooking the main pitch. Fred was reminded of how much he hates wash-outs and claimed that "they should appoint an independent adjudicator to go round the grounds and decide if it's really f***ing wet", I wasn’t entirely clear how this would work logistically though.
It was at this point that Folky stated “in 50 years time they'll be talking about Newton, Einstein and Folkestone”. As it transpired this was in reference to him creating a new unit for measuring moistness, a Goldthorp. He then decided that he also needed a unit for sogginess, named after the soggiest member of UBCC, which we unanimously agreed was Ishaan. If you want to dig deeper into the science behind Folky’s theories then please feel free to contact him. I believe it revolves around the key central equation Goldthorp = Rajan/metres 2.
Shortly after this we traipsed across to our pitch for a 2.30pm inspection. There were puddles on the square. Aarons (“I’m so pleased I’m 12th man as I wanted to come to support the lads anyway”) claimed that he had definitely fielded on wetter outfields, circa thirty seconds before slipping over under a high catch.
A lady in the cricket centre had told us that there were 2 pool tables in the EHB building so we went off in search for the 2 pool tables in the EHB building. While we were walking around Fred, completely suddenly and randomly, said “I’m going to clip the reds bring it back around the blue and leave it just north of the pack”. We found a building but it only had 1 pool table and it was being used. We sat down and chatted for a while having seemingly given up our pool/snooker related dreams but at one point we fell silent and Wynn out-of-the-blue said very earnestly “Bee, could you google something for me?” Bee said yes and Wynn continued “Could you google ‘Loughborough EHB building pool tables’?”.
We lost at HQ on question 3 because Will Smith did not turn down the role of Jack in Titanic. Bee then used the extra life that Ferg had just given to him, and immediately lost again on question 4.
By this point Pricey had had 3 naps in 3 different locations.
Again we returned to the main cricket centre and Lordy brought up his half-decima of hot chocolates (to be clear, that’s 5) whilst Bee blocked a toilet for the second time that day. Heather Knight expressed surprise that we were still waiting to get a game and Jon Lewis told us to be quieter. Shortly after this Pete unwisely left his laptop attended and his Facebook name was changed to ‘Tube Man’.
Fred departed for the 4pm inspection as we gathered in the changing room. Stov returned to the changing room at 3.55pm to tell us the game was off, and ten minutes later Fred messaged the group chat to let us know the game was off. Five minutes later again Fred finally reappeared. Stov accused him of being late for the inspection but to be fair to Fred it was just that the inspection was early. Why a squelchy outfield needed to be inspected is quite bewildering. When this line of questioning was put to Stov, he replied that the umpires wanted to give the game every chance of going ahead. I retorted that that was like someone justifying jumping on the spot repeatedly as wanting to give themselves every chance of taking off.
We thought that due to bus driver’s hours we either had to leave by 4 or after 6 but then we left at 4.30 so that was obviously complete rubbish. The day of breeze was capped off when Tube Man exclaimed “this outfield is an oxymoron!” despite clearly having very little idea as to what an oxymoron is.
To conclude by quoting Bee “the day could’ve only been better if we actually played crick”.
DOTD: BUCS for awarding 0 points for an abandoned match.