Whalers CC 171 for 9 (Yak 3-20, Fruiti 2-25) beat Quokkas CC 114 all out (Evil 34)
Whale hello there [Ed: that start should make you feel right at home Radio). It’s great to be back in the saddle after what has been a very long and extremely tough winter. They say `to live is to suffer’, and that is especially true if your other half has a penchant for Marvel movies and lame American sitcoms with 144 episodes. I love Mrs Seagull, but you learn new things when you share a small space for a long time. For example, before lockdown, I didn’t know you could put milk in the fridge the wrong way.
Anyway, I hope you are all well and have managed to ween yourselves off the 9a.m. shiraz? Just me then? Well, that’s all in the past now. Time to look forward to a rich programme of Quokkas fixtures, Skip’s hundredth game, The Yaks 100th wicket, Evil Dave conceding 2000 runs and the unveiling of The Driver’s badly drawn panini sticker. First up though, was the Whalers, which rather strangely coincided with Binman’s discovery of stranded whale in the River Thames when cycling home.
As exciting as Binman’s discovery of the Minke at Richmond was, my heart sunk a little knowing another of these beautiful creatures would probably meet their maker. It’s not the first time a whale has ventured up the river Thames, but sadly when they do make navigational errors, the outcome invariably is not good.
Whales haven’t been a particular fascination, but I suspect I’m not alone in thinking the practice of whaling as abhorrent, cruel and unnecessary. The slaughter of long fin pilot whales in the Faroe islands is particularly painful to watch, but in reality, this practice pales into insignificance compared to environmental impact of humans on the marine ecosystem. The fact human survival relies on the ocean, due to its absorbion of over a quarter of CO2 emissions, makes it somewhat alarming that we are doing our very best to kill it. Critically, industrial-scale commercial fishing is decimating fish stocks, but also destroying the complex ecosystem that helps to regulate our climate. In short, if you are eating fish, you are contributing to the end of the world. OK, it might be a little hypercritical for a Seagull to be telling people to cut their fish intake down, but if we can diversify to second hand chips, packets of crisps or whole rabbits, then you can give the calamari a miss and consider a vegetarian curry now then.
I’ve had a long time to consider the opening of the first Quokkas match report of 2021, but highlighting this marine crisis was the best bad idea I had. Climate change and our response to it, is at a critical juncture and if we don’t want to see more whales losing their bearings, we need to take things very seriously indeed.
I can sense your enthusiasm waning like Philip Schofield on his 25th wedding anniversary, so I will get to the cricket report.
With Skip still putting his Level 5 UEFA Pro License into good use, I took the reins once again and for once we had a full quoram of players for an opening fixture. There was a noticeable reduction in aircraft flying over the ground, which made for a more pleasant experience than normal, but duck shit still was more prevalent than ever in the outfield.
Evil, fresh from a Last Man Stands spell that resulted in 59 runs from 20 balls, found a similar groove, going for six an over. Ali kept it a bit tighter, and their efforts were rewarded with a wicket each. The change bowlers of Faggie and Fruiti then put the brakes on our opponents innings. Faggie got some swing, and both offered little room or opportunity to play any attacking shots. Only 42 runs came from 13 overs and at a cost of three wickets, which got us back in the game. The Yak then backed them up with another three wickets on his most productive ground, helped by a half decent catch from Seagull. With just one more wicket to get, The Egg and Binman provided a bit more flight, but with the green pitch offering no turn, not even from the 18th bounce, their three overs went for 35 and our target became a slightly less gettable.
At tea we discussed the Colts’ lack of a left tackle, compared German accents and discussed the need to continually update the game of cricket to meet the changing world we live in. Sam Palmer from the Final Test put it best, `the reason cricket is superior to any other game, is that it steadfastly refuses to cater to any boorish craving for excitement’. With that in my mind, adding glitter and turning the game into nothing more than a slog-fest, is detrimental to its survival…I digress.
Arunav, opening the batting after fully recovering from his broken hand, demonstrated patience, good foot movement and some lovely shots when offered the chance. At the other end, The Driver showed a lack of patience, no foot movement and offered a chance to first slip that he couldn’t refuse. Binman, keen to recoup some of the runs taken from his solitary over, raced to double figures before his nemesis, a full straight delivery, claimed his wicket. Radio took his time, but didn’t last long, Faggie nibbled a wide one to first slip ruining my hopes of an early lead in the Quokkas fantasy league and then Arunav was out after looking, well, like an actual cricketer. At 57 for 5 we were in big trouble.
Over tea, Ali had mentioned that he was `actually more of a batsman and the opener for his club side, and asked if he could get more time in the middle this season. I granted his wish, but then could hardly contain my laughter (when recounting this information to the umpire), after watching him get a second ball duck, bowled playing round a straight one as he attempted the most unsightly heave to cow corner.
Evil Dave and Seagull then steadied the ship, with Satan demonstrating excellent shot selection and punishing every single bad ball, through his favoured on side. Where there is hope, there is often also disappointment, which I felt when dragging a wide full toss onto my wicket, proving once more that shit gets wickets. Fruiti soon followed, leaving Evil with a lot to do. Despite his best efforts, he was eventually caught behind driving. When The Egg was caught at mid-off, also driving, we were all out and 57 runs short. Such is life.
I for one wasn’t terribly bothered. Just getting the opportunity to play and meet up with the Quokkas again was in itself a victory.
Over a few beers we compared fantasy teams and COVID-19 `war stories’, with The Driver’s loss of smell appearing to offer some upside in the form of pain free nappy changing, while day time drinking seems to have helped him make several new acquaintances and bolstered the Quokkas T20 ranks. Todd, facetiming us fresh from a full day’s work, had the temerity to laugh at our misfortune on the cricket field, but I guess that’s as good a sign as any that life is returning to normal
P.S. I wasn’t able to make the tour to Cornwall, but if I had, this would have been my contribution to proceedings:
Confidence is a preference for the habitual marsupial, also known as (Quokkas) Golden ducks can be avoided if you play straight through the line, and then you’d be known as (Quokkas) John's got brewer's droop he gets intimidated by the dirty puddles, they love a bit of him (Quokkas) Who's that Lord Frumpkin, you should cut down on your porklife mate, get some exercise All the Quokkas So many Quokkas And they all go bat-in-hand Bat-in-hand out there, Quokkas Know what I mean? I get up when I want, except on Sundays, when I get rudely awakened by the binman (Quokkas) I put my whites on, have a cup of tea and I think about leaving the house (Quokkas) I feed the Seagull, I sometimes feed the Mantis too It gives me a sense of enormous well-being (Quokkas) And then I'm happy for the rest of the day safe in the knowledge there will always be a bit of my heart devoted to cricket All the Quokkas So many Quokkas And they all go Bat-in-hand Bat-in-hand out there, Quokkas Quokkas (Quokkas) Quokkas (Quokkas) It's got nothing to do with front foot batting technique, you know? (Quokkas) (Quokkas) and it's not about you spinners who go round and round and round (Quokkas) (Quokkas) All the Quokkas So many Quokkas And they all go bat-in-hand Bat-in-hand out there, Quokkas