Thursday, 14 June 2012


Sole cricketing torchbearer?
The Olympic Torch came to Edinburgh yesterday.  It was put about that it would pass iconic locations.  But by some piece of misorganisation it failed to pass the iconic locations of go ahead cricket club Carlton's HQ at Grange Loan or FB Towers, head of his worldwide media empire.  It went to places of little interest including the Castle and the Scott Monument.

Long standing, and by definition long suffering, members of Fantasy Bob's worldwide readership will recall his excitement last year when the process was announced for identifying bearers for the Olympic torch on its unnecessary journey around the British Isles.  FB presented his highly credible credentials for this accolade which immediately met with the endorsement of a staggering 33% of his worldwide readership of 3.  He imagines that this alone would have commended itself the committee as guaranteed to bring to the streets an enthusiastic crowd of supporters.

Yet despite this overwhelming claim the organisers of the Torch Fest saw fit to deny FB his rightful position and instead have identified a series of minor celebrities and nonentities of whom FB has never heard to wave madly at the crowds while bearing the sacred flame on its journey.  It is as if the organisers have attempted to   prepare a list of people of whom FB has never heard as the exclusive criteria for the role.  So on the Scottish leg FB has been introduced to such as Emele Sande and John Legend, who FB assumes is a legend for being a legend (ho ho).  FB accepts it could have been worse, Jedward have also been involved for some reason.

As far as FB can see the only cricketer to have been involved in the relay - and since FB has been paying no attention to it he may well be wrong - has been Marcus Trescothick, the English opening batsmen of not so long ago.  Hail to Marcus a hero of our times.

Perhaps the lack of cricketers is because there is little affinity between cricket and torches.  But this can be overcome.  FB is about to seek the approval of the ICC to his new form of the game Cricket by Torchlight. The game is based on many that FB has played in his career.  In its purest form it should be played in Edinburgh's public park pitches at any time between the middle of April and the end of September.   The playing area should be surrounded by dark trees or hedges.

Organisers should ensure an overcast evening is chosen ie any evening in that period.  Teams will be invited to arrive in time to commence play at 6pm.  There is no specification of which time zone this relates to.

By 7pm team one will ensure that it has 4 players and team 2, 6 players so that the toss can be considered.  When the full complements arrive, play will be delayed while barbecuers are asked politely to reposition themselves out of harm's way and the wickets are pitched.  There will be a further official delay while the fourth bail is found at the bottom of the team kit bag.  It will disentangled from the cajun chicken wrap that has encrusted it since it was put aside the previous week.

The match itself will get underway at about 7.30pm and players will be allowed to adopt a leisurely approach to changing ends, setting the field and getting the ball back to the bowler.

Cricket torches
will be developed in a range
of sizes to enable the
junior form of the game to be played
This will ensure that the final 10 overs have to be played in darkness.  It is then that the FB's innovation will come to the fore.  All players will be required to carry a torch and deploy it.  A team without the requisite number of torches will be penalised by having runs deducted from their total and a team who turn up with the requisite number of torches but whose batteries have run down so that there is nothing more than a mere glow from the bulb will be penalised even more severely.  Any bowler who shines his torch directly in the batsman's face as he bowls will be deemed to have bowled a no ball.

FB expects the ICC enthusiastically to endorse his new form of the game and the Maglite Premier League may well be a suitable replacement next season for the ailing English T20 competition.  He understands that there may some concern among ICC members that the new form of the game could give distinct advantage to cricketers of Viking extraction, accustomed as they are to doing things by torchlight (see illustration).  But at the very least if these rules had been observed players could have stayed on the field when they were nonsensically taken off by the umpires for poor light during the recently washed out Edgebaston Test.

A team takes the field for Cricket by torchlight
Cricket by Torchlight - you heard about from FB first.


  1. The organisers of the torch route were probably mindful of FB's well-publicised aversion to all things Olympian and wished to avoid an unseemly confrontation. As far as torchlit cricket is concerned, failing eyesight makes it a no-no for the likes of me but watching FB might be fun, especially if axe-wielding Shetlanders are involved. He might need his miner's helmet for that one.

    1. As those who have been unfortunate enough to have had the experience can tell you, watching FB can be described as many things but never as fun.

  2. The DG is disappointed that, in choosing a picture of a squad of what Silly Point describes as axe-wielding Shetlanders, he did not use one of the squad containing the DG himself.

    1. Regrettably FB's extensive image library did not contain a photo of the DG bearing a torch in Viking regalia (whether for cricketing or other purposes). He had therefore to make do with what he recognises is a far inferior image. No slight on the DG was intended.