MILAN CRICKET CLUB
You may be of the opinion that the annual Zuoz cricket jamboree constitutes a fine weekend—you may have fond memories of some jaunt in Spain or elsewhere— but if you haven’t been part of VISAS and all its lovely lunacy then I put it to you that you have missed out big time.
It is, however, not for the faint of heart—the game is for batsmen : you bowl 15 inches outside leg stump and you will be penalised with 4 wides … 30 inches outside off stump ? same thing. Ouch. Same penalty for no-balls, too. This game is a 10 over thrash : it is fast, it is furious — no wallflowers here : everybody has to bowl 2 overs, no chance of having a quiet day in the field—and woe betide anyone who drops a skier in front of a raucous crowd at the beer tent !!!!—and you must score runs : anything less than a total of 120 and you are in trouble—let us also remember that the opposition is good—we are talking sponsors, we are talking team coaches, we are talking squads, we are even talking teams with national players in them. Cricket against the big boys, then.
Milan CC is just as famous off the pitch as on, and to ensure that everyone would remember us Mark Goodall, our man in Victoria BC, had thoughtfully (?) provided us with some memorable attire—we played every game wearing ladies’ gardening hats and some extraordinary pants with “Italia” emblazoned on the seat and the tricolore on the other side. One way or other, we were going to be remembered !!!!!
So how did we do ? I will tell you now : we lost all our 7 games—the table below will show you how close we did (n’t) come.
Against MCC score Opposition score Result
You will be asking what the point of it was—in our defence in contrast to our 2006 performance I can say we got closer to winning a game : this time round we managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat rather than being totally outplayed—and I take great comfort from this !
And as the tournament progressed Milan decided to have a secondary goal—if the
match couldn’t be won, then we needed to conjure up a golden moment, a moment
when Milan in their outlandish gear could inflict a moment of maximum
humiliation—so rather than talk you through the games, here is a list of those
golden moments when the opposition was undone by the men in pants and ladies’
Bubbles : vs Sundowners
You may not know this but there is a little-known law which states that all great cricketing occasions have to be kicked off with a bottle of champagne—so while our first opponents were in a huddle talking tactics / stretching muscles and the umpires were irritably tapping their watches, Milan CC cracked open a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, toasted the adoring crowd and displayed their pants—‘nuff said.
The fall of the mighty : vs Dallas
We found ourselves playing a team with a national player in—a chap who opens the batting for The USA …... and we got him 6th ball of the 1st over !!!!
Right - I’ll get you for that : vs Sticky Wicket
1)Ross bowling : gets hit for 6 over square leg : doesn’t panic—simply moves Nand round a couple of yards, next ball the batsman plays the same shot and Nand takes the catch, simple as you like !
2) two wickets for Jonathan in one over ! Good stumping and a great catch taken in the deep.
Go fetch : vs Texas
1) Milan batting : bowler comes in and Jonathan clouts the ball down the ground for 6—Ross exults with the comment “ Yes ! A Chris Morgan special !” —what can I say ? See Chris for details ??
2) Our keeper, not exactly endowed with the classic build of a wicket-keeper and sporting a damaged hamstring an’ all, managed not only to run somebody out but also take a superb leg side catch.
Definition of dejection : vs Isle of Man
A sublime moment — this moment alone made it all worthwhile and will mean something to all of you ….
We decided on the crazy strategy of having 3 slips and a gully for the first ball of the IOM innings—remember this is 6-a-side cricket—so we have a bowler, a keeper, four other men behind the bat and, er, that is it—now you all know that we have tried this on many occasions and 99 % of the time the batsman is so perplexed that he scores no runs. Only this time the unthinkable happened—bowler comes in, bowls what can only be described as an innocuous ball (it certainly wasn’t in danger of hitting the stumps)… and the IOM opener (who just couldn’t deal with the bizarre fielding gambit) waved his bat, took all the pace of the ball and deftly steered it to silly point where Nand took the catch . We all went berserk at this point and indulged in a lot of screaming… but spare a thought for the batsman—I have never seen anybody look so miserable in all their life—it took him forever and a day to walk off as he tried to grasp the enormity of what had just happened to him—out totally unnecessarily first ball, outfoxed by the men in pants. And just in case he was likely to forget we awarded him an MCC shirt—kick a man when he’s down, eh?
In conclusion—a big thanks to Ross for having organised our presence, to our Canadian locals who, by braving the sartorial oddities, risked their reputations : Raj, Chris, Javed and Adam—and a special thank you to Mark Goodall, without whom it would have meant a lot of taxis and early nights !
If the thought of fun and frantic cricket, dark ladies, the Victoria tea parlour known as Fox’s, a good Barbie at the Sticky, and meeting Mr Yabbadabbadoo is of interest to you, then Ross will of course consider applications for participation in VISAS 2010 interfrastically. …and who knows: I might even introduce to the girl with the FMBs (her words, not mine).