• The hairdresser’s annual contribution to Quokkadom has resulted in the following set of anticipated fixtures. Perhaps he might turn out and play this year!

    • 11/6/2017 Dolphins – Harpenden 14:00 start
    • 18/6/2017 Wantage – Wantage 12:00 start
    • 25/6/2017 Leigh – Leigh 14:00 start
    • 2/7/2017 Salix –
    • 9/7/2017 Hartfield – Hartfield 14:00 start
    • 16/7/2017 Whalers – Chiswick
    • 28-31/7/2017   Tour to Romania
    • 3/9/2017 Coldharbour – Coldharbour 13:30 start

    Plus the Ashes are being planned for MAY . Exact Date TBD

  • Probably (not) the best start to a season in the world?

    As I move into the second half of my life I think it’s fair to say that I’m not as fit and agile as I once was. For example some light painting and decorating the day before the game left me with two tight hamstrings and a slightly strained wrist. The years have also left me a tad more pessimistic and increasingly leaning towards being a glass half empty kind of guy (yeah I know I was such a happy go lucky person before), so to come away with figures of 0-53 from just two overs [let me give you some time for those bowling figures to sink in], scoring just a handful of runs before played on and (spoiler alert) once again being on the wrong side of a rather lopsided defeat, yet still have a smile on my face all the way back to the People’s Republic of Southsea, just shows how much I enjoy the fixture at Coldharbour Cricket club.

    OK, so my good mood was aided by Pompey losing their fourth division play-off semi -final to Plymouth to a 91st minute goal (if Carlsberg did football results) which will take weeks to lose its shine, but the long and short of it is that win, crushing defeat or draw, it doesn’t get much better than playing Sunday cricket on a glorious sunny day in the Surrey Hills overlooking an area of outstanding natural beauty.

    Hidden gem

    Critical to my appreciation of the day was remembering to print off some directions so as to not get caught out by the Coldharbour Sat-Nav-Bermuda-triangle and then later remembering to take my cricket bag back with me so as to avoid having to repeat the three hour round trip the following weekend.  I did still get a little lost as I made my way through the Sussex countryside, but thankfully the 1 in 5 climb up the pot-holed dirt track to the ground was just about manageable without a winch this year, so we arrived in plenty of time. For some that was just as well as the previous night’s cocktails at hairdressers 40th (yeah I thought he was older too) were still working their magic.

    Having been well beaten last time it was probably wise of Skip to lose the toss for the 38th consecutive time and decide to bowl first. We started the innings well with Satan, The Yak, Smruti and the Professor keeping things pretty tight and beating the bat on a regular basis. However, it was perhaps somewhat foolish of them to take early wickets as those coming in seemed to markedly improve in ability terms compared to those departing. Certainly their number 4 bat wasn’t short on confidence, straight driving a well-pitched first delivery straight back for four. It wouldn’t be the last boundary either, as he went on to score 150 not out, but not before serving up the odd chance or three as he got going.

    Catches win matches

    Far be it from me to criticise the catching ability of a fellow Quokka, but with their star batsman striking the ball so hard it had become egg-shaped, we needed to take one of those chances to have a sniff of victory. A skied edge looked the most inviting but didn’t quite stick and then a flat hit straight drive was spilled right on the boundary. Skip felt that should have been taken, but just as I was trying to explain how fast it was travelling he was able to better emphasise when spilling an identical chance three balls later. Thankfully he only went on to score another 128 runs after that…

    Garlic bread – it’s the future

    Another factor in my enjoyment of the match was witnessing the debut of “the future of the Quokkas”. As you all know for many years now we have relied on the craft of The Yak, the graft of Satan and the guile of The Egg to take our wickets (Ok yes, and a few Fudger long hops too), but now at long last Skip has some youth and exuberance on which to turn to.

    Just watching Kieron mark out his 30 yard run up made me feel old and tired, but it was great to see the next generation of Quokkas coming through and his opening two overs were certainly entertaining with three dropped catches, a series of edges and their opener clean bowled, only to have no-balled.  Whether such talent will benefit from playing alongside the likes of Binman and I is debatable, but for now let’s just enjoy the fact we don’t have to watch so many overs of `bertie basset’s buffet bowling’ from binman or `lollypops interspersed between wide balls’ from me.

    Unfortunately we did have to witness a couple of my overs (no extras from my spell I should point out) and whilst I got game support from Matt and Shub we had allowed our opponents back into the match. Some lusty straight hitting saw the scoreboard tick over rather rapidly at around 5 runs a ball… [yes, that’s correct Egg] which put us on the back foot.

    You found it?

    The rather chastening experience wasn’t totally wasted though. I finally discovered a use for Australian cricketers. With countless sixes making their way beyond the boundary fence into the undergrowth, finding and retrieval skills become essential for a fast paced game. It was here that Locky’s aboriginal-like tracking capability became evident and incredibly useful. No matter how far into and actually up trees the ball went, it would always be found. You don’t caddy by any chance Slick?

    In the end they amassed a sizeable 297, which surprisingly was 14 runs less than they chase down the week before (I put that down to my tight spell) and as all good Quokkas knows, with ten wickets in hand a score like that is very is `gettable’.

    Tea and cake

    What we lack in bowling talent we make up for in eating ability and with a fine selection of cakes we didn’t rush tea. Our laid back approach to the interval gave us the chance to ridicule Compton’s boss eye-induced stance, laugh at Spurs in general and debate whether it was a good or bad season for Bury. Fascinating stuff, but with the shadows starting to encroach onto the outfield it was time for us to bat.

    Having been on the receiving end of nearly 300 runs it was particularly good of their skipper to inform us that with the very tight boundary [it really was short, especially when I’m bowling] it was more like half that amount required, so we took that on face value and set about the task of getting 150…which of course was still far too many.

    As is so often the case we started badly, faded in the middle (I recommend you don’t blink during that section of the innings) and the less said about the end the better. It took me longer to find an umpire’s coat then the time taken for the first wicket to fall, but that said Shub and Doctor dug in well to give us a platform to fall from, Skip hit some horribly sounding, but lovely looking shots through the covers with his new plank (before getting a decent ball that lifted) and then with support from the very straight batting Professor, Evil Dave bludgeoned several balls to the boundary before being caught in the not all that deep [I’d like to expand this section of the write up, but I’d just be prolonging the agony and also painting a false picture as to the length of our reply]. This ensured there was a degree of respectability to our innings, but it wasn’t enough to avoid what felt like an innings defeat.

    Not that the first game of the cricket season needs a silver lining, but the advantage of such a sizeable defeat is that it creates more time for drinking afterwards, which on a warm early summer evening is `Probably the best place to send a Sunday evening in the world’ ©Carlsberg.

    By the way I’m told if you have read this match report it means you are now officially signed up to play next week [don’t bother deleting your browsing history, we just know], oh and do you want to open the batting?

    Ches

  • The Quokkas Cricket Club plays social games for the enjoyment of the sport against various friendly teams in the UK and Australia.

    The UK side is currently looking for new members who are interested in playing some social cricket, having some laughs and enjoying the sport.  Cricketing ability is purely optional.

    Seen here, lack of cricketing ability

    Seen here, lack of cricketing ability

    We don’t really “do” training but “do” enjoy the social side of the game and travelling the UK (and Europe) for friendly games.

    Please contact us via our Facebook page if you want to find out more.

  • Fixture update fury as the Hairdresser has awoken from a pre-season slumber and updated the dates for some of the matches.

    Main update is there no match against Barnes Common on 24th May as their favourite pub in Barnes has run out of scotch eggs/we had the temerity to book their home pitch for another match last year/Hairdresser picked the wrong date*

    *delete as prefered

  • on the agenda

    image1 image2 (1)

     

     

     

     

    ambitions for the season:

    • Faggy get a job
    • Meet some very dark bulgarians
    • Win ratio .500
    • Team RBI 140
    • Plan F to succeed
    • Bring back the bear
    • 1 cockblock
    • A long arduous journey that cements team spirit
    • To hear some pre-pubsecent girls screaming for the binman
    • More sausage
    • Cake of the year competition

    plus some cricket

    here signed agreed minutes of the AGM

  • To the delight of all, the Hairdresser has coiffured a fine set of fixtures for 2015:

    • 10th May – Hartfield away
    • 24th May – Barnes Common – TBC
    • 31st May – St Anne’s Allstars away
    • 7th June – Salix away
    • 21st June – Wantage – TBC
    • 5th July – Whalers away
    • 11th July – The Cotswold Experience – TBC
    • 19th July – ISIS away
    • 26th July – Tusmore away

    All 2pm starts at the moment

  • The Jugged Hare had the honour of holding London’s premier social event of the year, The Quokkas CC Presentation Evening 2014. A small, yet select, list of guests were entertained in the usual manner with tales of sporting ineptitude on the pitch and one or two stories of actual cricketing prowess, punctuated with a smattering of awards for outstanding contributions to Quokkadom this season.

    t20 Award: Dr Martin

    image-3

    Andrew Smithers Champagne Moment: The Skip for arguing with a greek man

    image-2

    Quokkette Award: Slick for general lady entertaining

    image

    Egg Bravery Award: Belinda for baby life saving at the Ashes

    With points awarded for each match, the race for Best & Fairest was wide open again this this year with a number of Quokkas vying for the major prize of the evening. Once the reckoning was reckoned, his satanic majesticness Evil Dave emerged victorious for his role as this year’s leading wicket-taker and pinch hitter extraordinaire.

    image-4

    Darkness rises

    A smattering of season statistics for the data junkies among you

    Results: Played 9; Won 3; Lost 6

    Highest Totals:

    • Quokkas – 216/5 vs Salix
    • Opposition – 237/7 Barnes Common

    Lowest Totals:

    • Quokkas – 101 ao vs Whalers
    • Opposition – 85 ao Hartfield

    Most Runs: Conan The Destroyer – 128 @ 25.6

    Highest Score: Gladys – 78 against Salix

    Most Wickets: Evil Dave – 9 @ 14.9

    Best Bowling: Mr Saucisson – 4/14 against Hartfield

    Milestones:

    • Evil Dave overtook both Shandy to move to 5th on all time leading run scorers (572), and The Egg to move 2nd on the wicket takers list (46)
    • Faggy snook past the Praying Mantis to move to 3rd top career batsmen (741)
    • Tom the Yak powered past The Attack and Binman to reach 4th on the career bowling stats (37)
    • Slick played his 25th game in Quokka Colours
    • Mr Saucisson retired back to the colonies from with the superb record of Played 11, Runs 168@18.7, Wickets 19@9.0
  • François Lelord took Hector on a journey around the world in search for happiness, but I had a feeling a short trip to Corfu, it’s sun, sea, sand and a few games of cricket thrown in would do just the trick. I didn’t quite find time on the tour to finish Lelord’s book and discover what Hector learns, but should he have failed to find an answer by its end I can suggest a Quokka tour might be a good place to look. With a 40th birthday to celebrate this promises to be the best trip yet.

    Day 1

    6am, time for a beer

    6am, time for a beer

    My own happiness commences at the Hotel de Bradley the night before we depart with a Mrs Zoolander-cooked curry, a cheeky bottle of Chateaux du Chesney and the usual question of when Mrs Ches will be put out of her misery with a proposal of marriage. This wonderful hospitality saves me from a 3am alarm call, but the 6am rendezvous at Luton airport still feels a tad too early for the `breakfast of champions’, but it doesn’t stop the majority of the touring party. Guinness it is then and we were are off and running on the 2014 Quokkas tour of Corfu.

    Binman is always on duty

    Binman is always on duty

    I check in and immediately realise that my Quokkas blazer has still to be reclaimed from the local Help the Aged charity shop – an over enthusiastic Mrs Ches having no appreciation of an XXL burgundy coach driver’s blazer’s place in a man’s wardrobe. A fine obviously awaits me. Perhaps the new lime green Quokkas beach towel will have more chance of surviving the next clothes cull. Talking of clothes, it would be remiss of me not to mention that Binman has come dressed as The Fonz. He assures us that shiny PVC bomber jackets are what all the bin men are wearing these days. That might be true, but there seemed to be a missing high visibility vest to his outfit.

    The Quokkas blazers are great because they make us very recognisable, but that doesn’t seem have extended to Quokkas Top Trumps. As we plough our way through the first game I can see that my card has a photo of Mantis on it. Perhaps The Egg felt one of the three groins above Mantis’ head in the photo were mine, but when questioned he suggested I needed to bat for longer, that way he’d have a chance to photograph me in action. Touché.

    cricket_museum2

    Quokkas in awe of the masturbating mannequins

    I digress. For once an Easyjet flight departs on time (yet more happiness) with a huge and excited squad of Quokkas on board hoping to be a little more successful than the last International sports side departing from Luton. An uneventful flight has us arrive in Corfu Old Town just as the heavens well and truly open. Plans of going to the beach are therefore thwarted. Mind you, if we had known at that point that the new Quokkas towels were in fact water-resistant, we may have ventured to the coast anyway. Instead we wet our whistles on the local brew.

    Fed and watered (mostly watered) we search for some afternoon entertainment and following Zoolander’s first (and last) recommendation we opt for the `fifth ranked thing to do in Corfu according to TripAdvisor’, a Victorian museum. Our guide Maria does her best to ignore the comments about all the working manikins all making hand job movements and gives us some insight into Victorian life in Corfu before cricket. Generally speaking, lacking in happiness seems to be the answer. We therefore quickly depart, but not before suggesting in the visitor book for future visitors to drink lots of Ouzo before taking the museum tour.

    cricket_fish_toes

    Quokkas prepare to do battle with small fish

    Our next stop is a strange pet shop that encourages you to torture the fish by putting your feet in their tanks. No one buys any fish, but I think I will pass on the white bait in future. For those against cruelty to animals it was time to sit down for a `quiet’ game of 21s, some cumquat nibbles and pretty much every cock-related double entendre ever heard. As the cumquat liqueur becomes Ouzo and then turns into brine, Zoolander provides the best of these, informing the party that he will “put as much cock in his mouth as you want, but he won’t put that in it.” We don’t argue.

    Having drunk the bar dry, we help the Falklands Islands economy by consuming half our own body weight in calamari. Several courses, bottles of local rose and thumb games later we join the ‘in crowd’ at The Bristol, taking the tone of the place down a peg or two as we drink long into the night.

    The outfield doesn’t seem to be part of the UNESCO World Heritage site

    The outfield doesn’t seem to be part of the UNESCO World Heritage site

    Day 2

    Having discovered that ear plugs and two pillows are simply not enough to drown out the Gymnast’s snoring, I’m thankful that the sun breaks and I have a genuine reason to get out of bed. Collectively we visit the UNESCO World Heritage cricket ground that we are due to play on. With its short square-leg boundaries, Conan, Evil Dave and Tom the Yak are salivating at the potential runs coming their way. For those more used to park pitches, the underprepared outfield helped to make them feel right at home.

    But this is a rest day, so we take the opportunity to ferry across to the `Corfu Alcatraz’, the isolated island of Vidos, where we are assured of finding beautiful secluded beaches. We share three different beaches with just two Germans, but a missing taverna threatens to ruin the day for the thirsty Quokkas. Thankfully the late arriving Slick comes to the rescue, bringing with him a well-stocked bar and nibbles and giving us our first opportunity to taste Vagina beer. Taverna eventually found, we get our daily dose of calamari before catching the last ferry back just as the sun starts to come down.

    Skippy is ready

    With the touring party boosted by new addition, Tom2 – Gymnast’s new roommate and my saviour – we are serenaded by a Jethro (the Cornish comedian) lookalike as we dine. During the break Jethro asks whether we were aware of his non-glove-wearing Corfu wicket keeping great grandfather who appears in Wisden? We weren’t. He then proceeds to ask if we were aware that Corfu once beat England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and were the number one cricket team in the world? Again we weren’t, which is hardly surprising because its bollocks. A quick Google revealed that Corfu’s first international was only in 1997 and despite Australia being pretty crap in the late 90’s, I don’t think Corfu has turned them over since then. I start to get a feeling that Corfiots like to tell the odd porky or two.

    Skippy Love

    With our new friend Goldie-Looking-Chain leading the way, we all squeeze into the world’s smallest heavy metal club, which to our surprise has its very own MCC plaque on the wall. As good as it is to see cricket finding its way into every part of Corfu life, Sepultura and Pantera (EGG note: If only the music was that good) are not to everyone’s taste, so we make our way to the bright lights of Club 54. Here Corfu’s best-dressed revellers poor scorn at the site of Skippy and flip-flops, but they can’t prevent the Quokkas taking over the dance floor to strike their best `blue steel’ poses until the taste for magical potatoes becomes too much to bear.

    Day 3

    cricket_bowling_green

    A beautiful and dry playing surface was found at the bowling green right next door

    It is match day at last and boy is it warm, perhaps hot enough to make Satan feel at home, strange then that every second shop we pass on the way to the cricket ground seems to be selling fur coats. A 3pm start gives us plenty of time to eat all day breakfasts and soak away hangovers in the marina pool. Sadly our much anticipated appearance at the UNESCO World Heritage cricket ground didn’t materialise. Something about parked cars being in danger from Conan smashes. The marina cricket ground is the new venue and it is aptly named as you could sail boats in the outfield – it’s that waterlogged! Thankfully a plastic pitch ensures the batsmen and bowlers won’t drown, so a game of water cricket is on.

    Cricketcorfu

    Some actual cricket

    The home team – Byron – mostly originate from Pakistan and as we were to find out to our cost many of them may have represented their test side in the recent past. They are a friendly bunch, although something is lost in translation when they offered Camp (formerly known as Skip) the option to bat or bowl, only to rescind the offer when he chose to bat. With the toss lost, we are asked to bowl.

    The Quokkas make a surprisingly decent start with Tom2 skidding the ball and himself down the pitch at a decent pace, Blue Steel (formerly known as Faggie) bowling some genuine in-swingers that don’t get nearly enough reward (Ed: that’s enough praise for one season), and Evil Dave using the puddles to his advantage. A nice slip catch from Camp apart, the fielding is of the usual Quokkas standard, but several trips to recover sixes do give the Egg and The Verger time to sow more rice in the outfield.

    Camp consults Zoolander

    Camp consults Zoolander

    Just as we start to get on top, Phil Scolari enters the fray and takes the Quokkas attack apart with a range of powerful blows aimed mostly to cow corner. He eventually takes pity on us and retires. I put that down to boredom as I attempt to take Slick’s most wides in an over Guinness world record set on the previous tour. But the general consensus is that he just got tired of attempting to hit the ball over to Albania.

    Smarter spin bowling from The Egg and Snoop and some top notch straight stuff from Tom the Yak keep the score a fraction below 220, but nevertheless 217 for 7, off just 29 overs, is a pretty sizeable total, especially when taking into account there was not much value for your shots with the outfield requiring fielders to wear life jackets.

    Sludgey into the attack

    Concerns about the failing light threaten tea completely, but umpire Zoolander doesn’t go without meals so knocks an immediate turnaround on the head, besides the Quokkas destroy their solitary ham and thousand island dressing sandwich in no time at all. Where is the bloody cake Nikos?

    In to bat we go and Satan gets us off to a solid start, demonstrating both of his shots to full effect in his innings of 18. He is ably supported by the likes of Slick and Snoop, but inevitably the run rate creeps up as Snoop and Blue Steel attempt to Plan-F each other. Eventually both fall on their Gunn and Moores, but their departures allow Conan and Camp to demonstrate how to run between the wickets. They put on a rapid 60. As the `chainsaw war’ in the neighbouring field threatens go into overdrive, the game is on!

    And then it is off as Camp holes out. With the light fading the home team sportingly turn to pace and this ensures the game will run away from us. However, there was still time for Tom2 to show us his county cricketing credentials, helping us make a respectable 169 for 6, but sadly there is no time for Binman to put his elbow back into place or a Verger cameo.

    Coach drivers out on the lash

    Coach drivers out on the lash

    We drown our sorrows at the marina poolside bar and I find knew happiness in learning of a Saints victory and a Pompey defeat, before we catch the official team bus back to the hotel.

    A roof top terrace bar, strawberry daiquiris and rusty nails beckon, along with Wiggy, our honorary Quokka for the night. Calamari and fried cheese consumed aplenty at the official team dinner, we take our fines for understated attire like men, and then head into town. Almost immediately we must take shelter in The Bristol from a tremendous storm – there are worse places to be holed up. With almost every spirit known to man consumed, we go back to the hotel and dream of wallowing in mud at the marina ground again.

    Day 4

    Skippy and Camp are off to the Casino

    Skippy and Camp are off to the Casino

    It’s not really a surprise when we discover the marina pitch is totally waterlogged and with no alternative available, the second tour match is sadly cancelled. An insistence on a match fee irked the Quokkas somewhat and threatened to derail the planned coach trip to the west coast to get some much needed sun, sea and surf. With blackmail notes delivered, ransoms agreed and hostages recovered, the Quokkas do get to go and have a game of cricket by the sea’s edge. At which Slick showed improved balance with a beer in hand, making several catches in deep water without seawater ingress into can.

    Suitably sunburned and with copious amounts of calamari eaten, it’s time to return to Corfu to drink Greece’s finest red, consume pizza and be eaten alive by real bloodsuckers.

    The night concludes at the nearby Casino, where we must provide professions and fathers names on application forms (professional rally driver and Wendlespaswick if you are asking), before witnessing Binman lose almost exactly the same amount of money as that won by all of the other Quokkas combined. Cheers Binman. €2 White Russians reduce the pain for Binman and keep a smile on the face of the rest of us happy gamblers.

    Day 5

    Only slightly less waterlogged outfield

    A working lift, just about eatable breakfast and a 12pm check out – there is happiness right there – I really must applaud the logistics manager on his hotel choice. The extra time before we are kicked out of the hotel allows us to stock up on Vagina beer, put on our budgie smugglers and once again take to the west coast for more beach cricket.

    On the sand, in addition to endangering local sunbathers, we discuss our top five all-time favourite things (food, beer, food, beer and food seemed to be the general consensus) and the quality of championship football (about league 1 standard if you are watching Birmingham City) before eventually partaking in at least two of our favourite things at the charming Stevens Hotel that overlooks the bay.

    Skippy and the Quokkas await calamari sun at the Stevens Hotel

    Skippy and the Quokkas await calamari sun at the Stevens Hotel

    Having thanked the Greek cricketing gods for what we are about to eat, we do our utmost to make squid an endangered species and then watch the sun go down on both Corfu and the tour whilst discussing the merits of Afghanistan, Israel and the West Indies for the next jaunt.

    Perhaps for once cricket wasn’t really the winner, but with or without bat on willow, happiness can be found on tour. My thanks go to Camp and any other unsung heroes that helped to organise yet another truly fantastic trip. Hopefully I will see you all at the awards dinner, but until then, dock you later.

    Ches

    P.S. With the tour over, my kidneys are much happier.

    Tags: ,

  • mmm... cake

    Great teas at ISIS

    We only had 8 and therefore we lost.

    But it didn’t rain and there was cake, and that was good.

    Guru was making his first return to his former club since we pinched him from ISIS in 2008. Excuses about divided loyalties were swiftly batted away in a solid opening stand with top-scoring Faggy.

    Conan and Yak added some much needed runs, but it was Evil D, who never dies wondering, who made the innings reach a reasonable total.

    The match was actually closer than the scores suggest as ISIS had a man retired hurt and only reached the target of 150 with 2.4 overs of the 40 remaining. The bowling from Faggy, Yak, Guru, Evil Dave, the Voice and Les, on debut, was tight and the batting had created a reasonable platform.

    Thanks to the thoroughly nice ISIS chaps (despite what you hear from Iraq) for the loan of a fieldsman or two to make it competitive.

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