The Gold standard
PUBLISHED: 16:14 05 May 2015 | UPDATED: 16:14 05 May 2015
Our latest blog from Upminster CC
Monday night is selection night at Upminster, sometimes held at a local pub or food establishment.
Teams are picked on a variety of levels from ability and form to whether or not the player has a big enough car to transport 40 per cent of the team.
We work through the lists of absences and excuses for players to avoid playing at the weekend.
Around this time of year the younger players seem to be more focused on their exams or blossoming romances, sadly we all know both situations will only end in heartbreak.
The more classic excuse is ‘sorry skip, can’t play next week I’ve got my girlfriend’s work colleague’s, pet dog’s christening’.
At the start of the season we go through the player contact list which is now a work of fiction with the occasional fact.
We email last season’s wicket-keeper and find out he’s about to have his third kid and will not be available for the next seven years, but to boost selection morale his name stays on the list.
Last season we played South Woodford in a pre-season friendly and they found their opening batsman that morning using Gumtree.
Whilst Peter Kay thinks “Garlic bread, it’s the future, I’ve tasted it”, personally, I think doing selection using online ads and maybe dating apps is the future.
I can see a time when we will be forced to call up the local Pizza Hut and ask if anyone can bowl a bit of left-arm spin for our Saturday 3rd XI, with a deep pan Hawaiian on the side.
The six captains and chairman of selectors sit around and discuss the new arrivals.
“Does anyone know who Noah Kennedy is?” Blank faces from the captains.
“Well, he played a few games for the 6th XI last season, and he seems keen.”
A 5th XI batsman? All agreed.
If anyone were to eavesdrop into our selection meetings and heard the 4th XI line-up of ‘Spongebob, Chuckie and Doggie’ they would think our club has been taken over by a bunch of Nickelodeon characters (although I am sure Chuckie from the Rugrats can bowl a better leg-break than our Chuckie).
The lower down the teams we go the more the teams resemble a Neil Buchanan ‘Art Attack’ collage.
The 5th XI is glued together by more bits and pieces players than a 1990 England Test Team.
I fully expect the ultimate ‘he bowls a bit, bats a bit’ Mark Ealham to rock up at Coopers one week to play.
Who would be a club captain?