Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Crowd waiting for play to start in Venice
Play is not possible in Venice.  The entire ground is under water.  According to those who know about these things it is the worst flood since 1872.

1872 was the year that English cricket experimented for the first time with covering a cricket pitch before play.  The relevance of this to Venice was not realised at the time. Covering the City would help - but not as much as lifting the whole place a few metres above the water line.  Building a City on the marshes and islands may have seemed a good idea at one time, but it has created a bit of a headache to its doughty groundsmen responsible for preserving the unique location and its treasures.  The jury is still out on whether it is still sinking into its muddy foundations and will at some point vanish forever into the lagoon.

Is it this risk to the heritage that explains why Mrs FB seems to have styled herself an honorary Venetian?  Or is it the handbag shops?  Not content with a visit a couple of years ago she has been working hard on a return trip next spring.  FB has been advised that he is not wanted on this voyage.   Mrs FB has pointed out that on FB's last trip to La Serenissima he constantly lamented that  among the many splendid Titians, Tiepolos and Tintorettos he failed to find any representation of cricketing activity.  Accordingly, in Mrs FB's opinion, which is definitive as far as these matters go, he will be much better off at net practice than sipping Bellinis in the Piazza San Marco.

Mrs FB has consulted to runes to ensure a time for her and her chums to visit when the Venetian wickets will be hard and unflooded.  Given recent summers it is unlikely that that dry state will be reflected on Scottish cricket pitches and FB may find himself sipping Bellinis in Carlton's pavilion watching the puddles turn the ground into a fair imitation of Venice itself.  A Tintoretto in the home dressing room may be beyond them, but it will be a disappointment if the authorities at Grange Loan do not ensure that Bellinis are available throughout next summer.

FB will encourage Mrs FB to find time in her schedule to offer support to the Venice Cricket Club.  The club was founded in 2006 and currently boasts the Italian under 15 and under 17 champions.  They have a ground in Campalto an adjacent settlement to Venice itself an area uncluttered by canals.

All that the club needs is a latter day Tintoretto to record their successes.

Tintoretto's Paradise (even if it contains no cricket match)


  1. FB may be gratified to know that his Witterings came out to bat at number 7 when Venice Cricket Club was entered into Google's search engine. Venice does not, on the face it it, lend itself to the hallowed game so perhaps FB is well out of it. Napoleon called Piazza San Marco the grandest drawing-room in Europe but it doubles quite nicely as a swimming pool.

    1. Many thanks. Number 7 might be FB's natural batting position. Interesting that Google should know this.