Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Baggy Blue

Not part of the
bowling attack
Fantasy Bob had the novel experience this week of taking to the cricket field leading a side where the aggregate age of his bowling attack stood comfortably above his own age.  For once the only 12 year old in sight was the Macallan behind the bar.

For go-ahead Edinburgh cricket club Carlton had arranged a fixture against cricketers from the Victoria Over Sixty Cricket Association (VOSCO) as part of their epic tour of Ireland Scotland and Iceland.   Fantasy Bob was pleased to learn that over 60's cricket is immensely popular in Australia, where the Victorian Association has over 15 member clubs, and increasingly in other parts of the world.  FB's researches tell him that even Scotland has fielded an over 60s team this season in a tussle with England.

VOSCO tour booklet
It was not clear what act of temporary insanity lead the club's normally level minded administrative supremos to invite FB to skipper the distinguished side.  But invite him they did - and what's more to the point, arranged as perfect a summer's day as ever there can have been at the club's prestigious HQ at Grange Loan.

Those spectators who tumbled into the ground in anticipation of a feast of cricket were not disappointed. Neither were those who tumbled in merely in search of a feast, for the catering throughout the event was of Test Match Quality.

Those among FB's handful of worldwide readers wishing to learn more of the keenly contested proceedings are invited to turn to the match report on the club's excellent website.

Those who have better things to do should nevertheless be aware that before play got under way the skipper of the touring side presented each of Carlton's select XI with a special tour cap bearing the association's badge.

But for FB as skipper they held back something special.  A baggy blue cap from the Carlton Cricket Club in Melbourne which FB wore with pride throughout the afternoon's play.

Senior members of Carlton looked at FB's smart new headgear with more than a hint of envy.  For amongst some of those grizzled seniors the issue of caps is a sensitive one.  Many a visitor to the pavilion, unaware of the history of this controversial issue, has casually passed an innocent observation on the  head gear adorning the team on the field, only to reel from the room several hours later after an exhausting exegesis of the garment's inadequacies.

For there are those among the senior playing members who regard the pale duck egg blue of the currently prescribed cap as inappropriate.  They may accept that it has some utility on a gloomy day at Grange Loan, when its pale glow is often a clue that there is a fielder in the vicinity.  But that, as far as they are concerned, that is the limit of its usefulness.  While they may accept the baseball cap type dimensions the milliner has imposed on the object, they secretly yearn for a baggy to call their own.

But above all, it is the duck-eggness of it that offends these sensibilities.  It is the delicacy of the pastel shade. It is the light blueness of it.  There is no escape from the passive quietness of the shade.

FB's readers can make their own minds up.................
For these unreconstructed minds, this is not a shade which is consistent with digging it in short, or creaming it through the covers, or whanging it in from the boundary.  They see it as a suitable adornment for needlepoint, or lace making, or even cup-cake decoration.  Important pastimes all, many of them Olympic sports in which these senior members on occasion participate with distinction, but outside the cricket season.

But this is no longer an aesthetic issue that FB has to worry about.  For now he has his baggy blue.


  1. I am definitely with FB on this one. Duck-egg blue is not a sufficiently strong colour to be identifiable on the field of play, especially on a dreich Scottish day, and the one pictured here looks rather the worse for wear in any case.In my opinion baseball-style caps should be worn only by Formula 1 pitgirls on race days ( I know how much FB looks forward to those). Australian teams have scorned passing fashion and stuck with the Baggy Green and should be commended for doing so. FB should bask in his newly-acquired headgear in the knowledge that it is a classic

    1. Many thanks - FB's teammates regularly suggest he does enough basking as it is - they might not stand for any more.