Friday, 28 February 2014

Stripped of Credibility

Scotland's cricketers, proud in their successful qualification for next year's World Cup, have now been plunged into a torment of anxiety and disquiet.  Something awful may well happen to them;  something few, if any, of them will have the resilience to bear.  It could leave them shattered and demoralised long before the first ball is bowled.
Oh dear
For if Scotland's footballers can be ritually humiliated through being expected to don with equanimity the new away strip launched this week, what can protect Scotland's cricketers?  Fantasy Bob's readers, all 3 of them, may well suggest that Scotland's footballers are long used to humiliation and the latest affront will count as nothing to them.  FB is not persuaded.  Hopeless they may be but they deserve better.
FB found himself recoiling in horror from the pictures of the new strip, wondering how the world came to this.  Even allowing for the fact that the invention of away strips has long allowed shirt designers the world over to demonstrate the cruelty of their sense of humour, this effort takes the biscuit. It is a peculiar and sadistic melange of pastel pink and yellow.  It has rightly been compared to various lollipops and sweets.  Any suggestion that opposing teams will think that there is a serious sporting person wrapped in it is risible.

Scotland's cricketers must unite to fight off such a fate.

They may or may not find it easy.  For the justification of the football strip rests on the claim that the colours reflect the racing colours of Lord Rosebery, who was briefly Prime Minister of the UK in the 1890s and who is claimed as a patron of Scottish football - if so, he was an irregular attender for racing was his passion.  Rosebery is reported to have declared at an early age that he had 3 ambitions in life - to marry an heiress, to win the Derby and to be Prime Minister.  He got he full set.  There is no indication that he also yearned to inspire a nauseous football strip.  He may well be turning in his grave.
 as portrayed in Vanity Fair
At this point FB's readers may find a small bell of a memory faintly and easing their nausea.  Rosebery, they will think - where have we heard that name before? 

They will be calling to mind this post of FB's of some time ago which mentions Lord Dalmeny - Dalmeny was the son of of Lord Rosebery and duly succeeded to the title in 1929.  FB mentions him in his capacity as skipper of Surrey between 1905-07 for whom he was considered an aggressive hard-hitting batsman.   That was his career high for he subsequently found himself in positions of considerably less consquence - he became MP for Edinburghshire in 1906 and  briefly was Secretary of State for Scotland in 1945.  Like his Dad he was a man for the racing and won most of the classics as cricket faded into his past.

The Rosebery link may indicate peril to Scotland's cricketers - the Rosebery colours might be deemed appropriate for them to.  Emergency action is required.  FB suggests a team is put together to investigate 19th and 20th Century aristocrats who had contact with Scottish cricket in an effort to find one whose racing silks lie in the acceptable bluish range of the spectrum.

As a fall back, they may wish to honour Alex Ferguson.  Ferguson is of course neither an aristocrat nor a cricketer, but he is a man of the turf.  And FB understands is racing silks to be a fetching shade of white.

White shirts for cricket?  That would be a novelty!

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