Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Roamin' in the Gloamin'

Berrington gives it some
Fantasy Bob is still recovering from the vibrant Scottish victory over Ireland yesterday in a run fest of epic proportions.  Chasing 321 to win they got off to a flying start but got bogged down a bit until Richie Berrington made every one sit up (including the Irish bowlers who seemed to go to sleep in the sun) with 56 in 23 balls (his 50 in 20 balls is only 3 balls shy of the fastest ODI 50 ever).  although he holed out 9 short of the total, Scotland went on to a 5 wicket victory.  Great stuff.  Let's do the same to Sri Lanka.

But FB will divert from the pleasure of that duel in the sun to have a bit of a rant.  He infers that the ICC (oh no, FB you are thinking, not more about those feckers) have never heard of Sir Harry Lauder.

Lauder's tartan music hall persona may have been responsible for some of the caricature images of Scotland and Scotspersons that, even now, prove difficult to shake off a century after the height of his fame.     But in 1911 he could command a $1,000 a night on his USA tours.  In 1912 he was top of the bill at Britain`s first ever Royal Command Variety performance, in front of King George V.  He was, at one time, the highest-paid performer in the world, and was the first British artist to sell a million records.

These days he would be described as a singer song-writer and in his day he was the equivalent of who? Robbie Williams?  Elton John?    Keep Right on to the End of The Road, written after he received the news that his son had fallen in the First World War remains an inspirational anthem - 'though your heart be weary, still journey on.........................'

Why, you are thinking, is FB ranting on about Lauder?  Because one of his most famous and enduring songs is Roamin' in the Gloamin' whose lyric celebrates the long Scottish evening when, at the height of the summer, cricket is possible until well after 9 o'clock.  As a poet of course Lauder uses the language of love to describe the pleasures of an evening cricket match but FB thinks it is clear, even to the most mutton headed administrator, that when he sings ' roamin' in the gloamin' wi' a lassie by my side' he is describing the feeling of enthusiasm he has in going out to bat with his Gray-Nicolls in his hand in the long slow Scottish evening near the River Clyde.

But this sentiment has fallen on the deaf ears of the ICC who deem that cricket matches must finish by 7pm.  Except day night matches of course where floodlights come into consideration and which are obviously not cricket matches.

This little known rule may well have some merit in countries which go from night to day at the flick of a switch but Scotland - as in so many things - has a superior arrangement as the dimmer switch is turned slowly through the summer. 

The ICC's rule was one of the reasons behind the abandonment of the first of the tri-series matches in Edinburgh this week, despite the fact that at 2.30 when the match was called off the sun was shining brightly and continued to do so throughout the evening.  A reduced overs contest was clearly possible.  FB is not naive enough to expect highly skilled and professional players with AA eyesight and reflexes like quicksilver to match the many great feats that he has accomplished in evening cricket, but at least they could have a go.  But no, the ICC rules prevail and spectators have to be sent home.  They are as usual the last factor to be fitted into the equation - if they are fitted in at all.

This Friday evening FB's Carlton club will play the final of the Masterton trophy - the local T20 tournament -with local rivals Grange starting at 6.00pm -  Roamin' in the Gloamin'.  All are welcome.


  1. Talking of the gloaming, twilight of their years, etc, FB might enjoy this: