Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Thoughts of Adelaide take FB not to England's selection problems, as if they weren't enough - Bell or Root at number 3 - is Panesar an option - how much will they get for Finn when they sell him on e-Bay?

Nor is he fixated like Doughty Groundsmen the world over on how the famous old ground's new drop in wicket will perform.  FB had the wrong idea about drop in wickets - he imagined it something like ordering a take away to be delivered shortly before play.  FB sees that that would be risky - the Doughty Groundsman might just pop out for some milk and miss the delivery boy. It would take several phone calls to correct things and when the wicket finally arrived it would be stone cold.

But no: FB discovers things are more organised than that - at Adelaide a set of wickets are put in place in September (at the end of the Australian Rules Football season).   As FB's handful of readers will note from the photo, it is quite an engineering operation.
The first wicket is dropped in...

Despite their extensive experience of take aways, lower league cricketers such as FB are unlikely to experience drop in wickets in the playing fields of the East of Scotland leagues since crane driving is not within the skill set of most Edinburgh Doughty Groundsmen.

The publicity majors on how care has been taken to make them as like the original surfaces as possible - a stockpile of soil has been created over many years and so on.  FB remains sceptical on this point.

Be that as it may, in FB's mind Adelaide always reminds him of the great musical show Guys and Dolls. This show is Test Match Quality from start to finish, with an endless run of great songs. 

One of those hits is sung by the character of Adelaide. Adelaide is a night club singer and long suffering fiancee of Nathan Detroit whose constant purpose is to manoeuvre him into a proposal of marriage. In the song Adelaide's lament she alternates between reading sentences aloud from a do it yourself medical book and commenting on what she is reading. She works out that her constant common cold may actually be a manifestation of her resentment over her Nathan's constant assurances of imminent marriage, which he never fulfills. This is as good as a comic number can be. Here it is sung by its originator Vivienne Blaine. 

Fans of Scottish artists will know that Lulu sang the role of Adelaide in a London revival of the show in the 1980s and that in its most recent London revival in 2005 Ewan MacGregor played Sky Masterson (the role taken by Marlon Brando in the 1955 film).

So, who will be lamenting at the end of this Test Match?  Things are looking sticky for England following their thumping at Brisbane - but they have been slow starters in most of their recent series.   It would be no surprise if they come back strongly.  On the other hand, it would be no surprise if they get beaten again.  


  1. Drop-in wickets were, as far as I remember, first pioneered by Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket during the initial period when the regular Australian cricket grounds were out of bounds and other stadia had to be used, including Melbourne's cavernous Australian Rules Football ground. The experiment ended when Sydney Cricket Ground became available and subsequently all other cricket stadia as well.
    As far as the Adelaide Test is concerned, my money is on another England defeat but we shall see.

    1. Thanks. Your money is looking well invested right now.