Scoop Satire: Tomb To The Unknown Medium-Pacer
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New Zeal Inc Cricket
Tomb To The Unknown Medium-Pacer
The New Zeal Inc. Cricket Council today unveiled a moving testimonial to the scores of medium pace bowlers slaughtered in various cricketing campaigns during the past century.
During an emotional opening address NZICC administrator Martin Sneddon, whose figures of 12-1-105-2 from a one day international against England in 1983 are one of many bowling statistics embossed in gold lettering on the marble face of the tomb, spoke of the “tragic waste” of so many promising medium-pace seamers on tours in India, Pakistan, England, Australia, South Africa, and the West Windies.
“Full of hope and the adventurousness of youth they left these shores, the pride of their families, the pick of their nation, setting forth with uncertainty and expectation, armed with nought but noble ideals of seam-uprighteousness. What was experienced there, the murderous assaults and attacks, the brutal savagery endured on foreign soils, fate has decreed only they shall know.
“But what we can do, indeed what we must do, is remember. So let the names of those bloodied fields and dates of infamy be imprinted in our minds and upon our hearts – Madras 1955; Headingly 1965: Bridgetown 1972; Lahore 1976 …and on and on and on.”
A number of ex-New Zeal Inc medium pacers, including Sean Tracy, Brian Barrett, Richard Webb, and Warren Stott, stood in attendance, head bowed, as Sneddon made his speech.
Reverend James Ryan, a right-armer who was drafted into the New Zeal squad for the 1965 tour of England, then gave an open and moving description of his experiences on his first tour of duty.
“I’ll never forget that first morning at Headingley, when they came at us over after over, over after over…It was just as bad in it’s own way when they weren’t attacking, when they were digging in, because you knew it would be coming soon. It was the waiting to be called up that really wore you down.
“Well my nerves went, and then my length went, and so they posted me to the outfield to pull myself together. I was a wreck I don’t mind admitting. I’m not a religious person but that afternoon I swear I prayed to Jesus please please don’t let them call me up to bowl, please Jesus if you just get me out of this I swear I’ll devote my life to you for ever and ever but just please don’t make me bowl again today. And that’s when Motzie got the breakthrough, which is why I’m a priest today.
“But I was one of the lucky ones. We were fodder for the English, that’s all. Another of the new guys, kid from Te Awamutu, couldn’t take it. He’d just gone for 68 off 5 and started dabbling with heroin down at third man. He ended up fragging the captain and took out half the slip cordon in the process. He was only nineteen.”
New Zeal Cricket also announced that it has plans for a Memorial to the Useless Opener to be unveiled next season.
- The Babylon Express is a satirical newspaper published randomly in Wellington. Copies are so far only available in local shops whose proprietors haven't got sticks up their arses. Those interested in acquiring previous or upcoming copies should contact the editor at email@example.com. Contributions and suggestions are always very welcome. Cheers.