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Test match cricket?

August 17, 2014

I have made it into the England Over 60’s cricket squad. Although now it has become distinctly autumnal, and my thoughts are turning to returning to France at the end of the month, one of the real joys of a very decent English summer has been the opportunity to play cricket again. I have had a few games for Sussex Over 60’s and although I have not made a 50 (49 is my best), I have on occasions been allowed to bowl my loopy leg breaks, and have two wickets to my name already. Who knows, by the end of the season I may have as many a 5! We all know that if it is sunny and warm in England during the summer there is no place like it, until the wasp invasion starts, and I have just seen a few in the last couple of days, but not for the first time, I digress.

In February next year there is an Over 60’s cricket tour to Barbados, and from the squad of players on the tour will be selected two “Test” teams to play for England against Barbados Over 60’s. I have to yell you now that I am in that squad. The fact that the criteria for being on the tour is limited to those over 60 and able to pay their way matters not one jot. I am on the tour and available for selection for England if required. Yes, it is an accredited tour and yes, if selected for one of the two international matches, I shall indeed be wearing three lions on my shirt and play at the Kensington Oval, where only last year I saw the those young upstarts, The English Cricket Team, get thrashed by the West Indies.

There are other joys that hove into view when one enters ones 7th decade. Prescriptions are free but more importantly I have applied for and received my Seniors Railcard, entitling me to a 33% discount on my rail fares. Next I expect pregnant women will be giving up their seat for me. the card worked a treat yesterday when we took a trip down to LA (aka Littlehampton) on The Belle of Arun, a pleasure cruiser that goes from Arundel to this mobility scooter capital of the south coast. There are so many of th infernal machines because the average age of the towns inhabitants is just over 100. I discovered that I was entitled to a £4 discount with my card on the trip, much to the chagrin of That Nice Lady Decorator who is, of course still only 37, which she has been for some years and will be for some more to come.

Yesterday I saw one of the youngsters in the town (she would have been no more than 85) taking her dogs for a walk by tying them to her mobility scooter. The problem was that one of her dogs was very small with very short legs, and was shaped a bit like a pork pie, and it was not so much walking as being scraped around the harbour side at around 15 miles an hour. Now this seems a tad fast to me. In my opinion the redevelopment of the Arun riverside needs to be adapted to incorporate mobility scooter crash barriers. She was utterly oblivious to lamp posts, drain covers, other pedestrians (very few – they are all on scooters) or the smell of smouldering dog and I was glad that there was a substantial wall between myself and my pint of London Pride outside the Empress pub/restaurant on the quayside as she sped by doing a Dinsdale Piranha impersonation on her canine companion.

sleeping dog

A dog avoiding being taken for a quick scrape

It did however give me some ideas about exercising the disaster dog, Banjo, much-loved by the Decorating Operative, and disliked by me. Perhaps I could tie him to the Merc and go for a dash up the A 27? It was a nice idea but the though did not reach my lips as I do not like a slap.

The final fling of summer has started. The Arundel Festival is a splendid event and it started yesterday. 10 days of entertaining mayhem have commenced just as the weather has turned to something more recognisable to people stuck here all year. Today we may trot up to Arundel Castle to witness some of the cricket match between Tim Rice’s XI and the Sussex Martlets, before sloping back to the town for some culture, or more likely more beer to add to those we shall doubtless consume at the cricket and/or at lunch at the George at Burpham. With the festival preceding a Sussex Seniors New Forest cricket tour before heading back to my beloved Valbonne to recommence my efforts for FC Exchange, I expect to be a broken man by the time I arrive.

Chris France

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2014 11:36 am

    miss you!


  2. September 10, 2014 8:16 pm

    Chris. Somebody mentioned you wrote – most enjoyable read catching up on your blog. John Josiah (the slower over 60s leg spinner).


    • September 15, 2014 8:16 am

      Surely I am the slowest leg spinner?


      • September 15, 2014 9:58 am

        I think not, but if you prefer, “the lesser pitching leg spinner”. Kerp writing – look forward to catching up next year.


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