Friday, 15 February 2013


By accident Fantasy Bob received a copy of the following e-mail directed to Carlton’s Doughty Groundsman.  It purports to be from his colleague in Doughtiness and Groundsmanship at go ahead Russian cricket club Chelyabinsk CC

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.


Даути землекоп
Chelyabinsk CC


  1. В течение Осени, я слышу, что отважный groundsman, как известно, поехал за границей. Это должно быть благословляемой помощью от погоды и возможности исследовать методы, используемые в других странах. Возможно посещение Челябинска позволило бы ему распространять его обширное знание к нуждающимся? Возможно, в интересах международной спортивной дипломатии, УС заплатила бы за поездку?

    1. спасибо - очень хорошо - все просьбы о финансовой помощи должны быть направлены на казначея CCC, кто покупает лотерейные билеты каждую неделю

  2. The DG is currently enjoying a pre-season break in the sun as he despairs of ever seeing the sun at Grange Loan again. He, however, thanks FB for passing on the email message and has sent the following reply.

    Greetings Sergei

    Sorry to hear about the meteorite. I saw the pictures on the news. It looked almost as terrifying as big Drummo with his tail up.

    Fantasy Bob appears to be well. He has written a lot of poetry recently which must mean something - but I do not know what. I fear I may have upset him recently by not mentioning his contribution to the new CS website. (Actually his piece was all that was new about it). An inexcusable omission, nonetheless. But that's life.

    Glad to hear you got rid of the thatch. Keep up the good work. Have another go with the scarifier, though not so deep, before the start of the season. Get the bone-headed skipper to sweep up the spoil and take it to the dump.

    As for the crater, it is true that I have had some problems. Bowlers who dig holes in the pitch (or as in my worst case the next pitch) ought to be taken out with the horses and shot. Then we would get peanut lasagne!

    But my problem is nowhere near as severe as yours and I am afraid you will probably have to do without that pitch this season. If you get stuck, Fantasy Bob might be able to give some of your chaps a game in his All Star Fourth Eleven if they can get over here.

    Some unnamed person has suggested that CS, in the interests of sports diplomacy, might agree to fund my coming to advise you in the autumn. I doubt if they will agree, however. I do not possess the correct blazer.

    yours ever


    1. FB is sure that Sergei will be very grateful for this advice.

  3. Encouraging to see acrylic script deployed in a cricketing blog for (possibly) the first time. FB may be relieved to know that, should he have problems with asteroids in the future, effective remedies are available at his local pharmacy.

    1. You are a suppository of useful knowledge..............

  4. I seem to remember that Jenners used to have one of those near Murrayfield stadium. Is it still there?

    1. It may now have been privatised to some super storage conglomerate.