Word was out early that nearly 300 jokers were descending on the ground this morning disguised as Richie Benaud. Nothing personal, lads, but I’d rather have the real one here. I’d certainly rather have him on the commentary team. I won’t name names, but the “Julio or Nerd?” segment today was excruciating. [Ed. You and The Prof clearly not Julios]
“Do you reckon that there will ever be someone else that will inspire 300 impersonators?” said The Prof, shielding his eyes from the shaft of sunlight reflected off the collected Richies’ silver tops.
“I doubt it. Can you image 300 Tubbies?”
“Not enough room. You’d never get enough fancy shoes in one city to have 300 Bingas. Those things cost a fortune.”
“Maybe 300 Bill Lawrys?”
“The grass would stop growing with all the shade from the 300 schnozes.”
A quiet chuckle gave way to a thoughtful silence.
“Did he ever read your book, 17th?”
“Richie? I don’t know. He let me know that he had received it, so that’s something.”
“If only those 300 had had to carry your book, now that would be something,” said The Prof, always working the angles.
We slipped out of the dressing room just after play commenced and got down among the Richies. It was quite fun, but whenever something good happened, the cacophony of “Marvelous shot, that” was rather disconcerting. It was if 300 ghosts of Richie Past were stalking the stands, spooking us all out. We spoke to a couple of the Richies, but as they didn’t even recognize us, we gave up on them and returned to the dressing room. [Ed. Any truth in the rumour that you had to show your passes to get back in?]
Oh, there was some play today. Trapper got his ton, feasting on a low full toss to bring up the milestone in a most culpable display of bowling. My Grade captain would have yelled at any bowler for serving up that tripe when building pressure was required. Hollywood piled on another unsatisfying 50 to his tally getting out with a shot not even The Big Show would be proud of [Ed. Shame you didn’t put that money on last night, 17th, you picked it], and Junior Marsh batted solidly with Third Degree Burns to make sure the total was solid.
Wicky responded to some lip from the visitors with a first ball six, while The Natural went crazy at the end, thrashing a rapid fire 25 with Puff’s wunder-bat before the Captain called them in, in a most decisive and sportsmanlike manner. [Ed. Get over it, 17th, no one reads the Letters page in the Herald or the Australian. In fact, no one reads either of them at all.]
Mr Darcy said a few words to Vijay after getting him out in the first over. “Send-offs” are apparently out of favour, so maybe this is the style that shoudl be adopted, as suggested by Flintoff during his insightful commentary in The Big Bash.
One wicket down, 19 to go.
Australia 7/572 dec, India 1/71
This work of fiction © Dave Cornford and Jeremy Pooley