Earlier this year the team appeared to have missed the qualifying score set for it by the governing body British Gymnastics. But the team has appealed and an independent arbitrator has pronounced in their favour, agreeing that the qualifying criteria were not clear to them.
Apparently, the team didn't know what length of false eyelash would meet the standard; whether spangles and sequins were required in all disciplines; and how much and which shade of mascara could be applied at key moments during the competition. The team was thus hopelessly confused and the tears and mascara flowed when things seemed to go wrong.
The arbitrator found that the document setting out the qualifying criteria was confusing, particularly to any person who wished to run round a gym on their tip-toes waving sticks with ribbons on them. Apparently even those who had drafted the qualification criteria could not agree what they actually meant.
FB thinks that there is a lesson for all cricketers here. As skipper of Carlton's All Star 4th XI, he regularly has to remind his players of the basic structure of cricket and the process for identifying the winning team. It is not every player who can grasp easily the concept that victory involves scoring more runs than the opposition. Some of his players, after all, have never scored a run ever and this would seem to them an unnecessarily limiting criterion. Mercifully so far, FB has managed to avoid tear-stained appeals to independent arbitrators. He hopes that the example of the GB Rhythmic Gymnastic Team does not become a precedent. He is however seeking advice from the East of Scotland Cricket Association about the criteria governing the use of false eyelashes in league matches. This could be vital in the coming season.