Fraternal greetings to you, my Doughty Groundsman comrade at Carlton, go ahead cricketing club in Edinburgh. How you? How your comrade Fantastic Bobski - him of the long words?You want know how I am? I am sick in spirit. I need your help and advice. Super pronto.
Trouble start when our bone headed skipper tell me he want early pre-season fixtures. He think playing squad need to have feel of bat on ball in middle. He tell me to get wickets ready. This I do dawn till dusk even though Mother Russia’s winter is still here. Bone headed skipper say no matter 3ft of snow on square and diesel in heavy roller frozen. Get to it. He is right pain in the Urals.So your comrade buckle down and clear snow and wicket look not too bad. No sign of thatch that was problem last season. We have scarifying party in September is why. Even bone headed skipper help by standing around with stupid look on his face. Take me 3 days to remove vodka bottles from middle, but thatch is no problem. Top dressing has settled well. Geiger counter register zero so slight concern about cheap loam from Chernobyl District Cricket Association is dispelled. Winter floods have come and gone only 3 juniors washed away this year. Smell of spring is in the air.
So today I look forward to getting outfield cut for first time and think about some light rolling on square. I am at ground nice and early. I am heating up samovar and listening to some good Pussy Riot music on radio when there is light in sky. Big light. Is like fireworks at end of season when we win 20-20 league for umpteenth time. But bigger. For a moment I think that bone headed skipper has been in the fuel store with his cigarillos. Many times I tell him naked flames and petrol fumes not a good mixture. But door is still locked. Then light get brighter and there is big bang. Even deafest umpire would hear without snicko evidence.I look around and roof is blown clean off tractor shed. I look around again and there in middle of square is a trail of smoke. This is place where trail of smoke should not be – according to ECB pitch preparation manual. I look more closely and there is smouldering lump of rock on a length from the Yeltsin Memorial end. That in itself is not such problem. But rock is sitting in crater 4 feet wide and 3 feet deep. This is problem.
So Doughty Groundsman at go ahead Carlton cricket club help me. I look in said ECB manual and there is zero advice on fixing meteor craters on wicket. Zero. Zilch. I hear you are expert on fixing craters as I hear a senior member’s bowling action digs sizable crater in wicket. I hear rumours that Carlton has lost several juniors in such holes in recent seasons. But your wicket is batting paradise week in week out. You have the knowledge so please tell me how to fix Chelyabinsk crater before first match.