Sunday, 21 February 2016


It was a desperate tactic.

Fantasy Bob looked up from his steaming bowl of porridge to see Mrs FB closely examining the weekend supplement's report of the New York Fashion Week.  As she lowered the paper, he knew what was coming.    He would be asked what he thought Mrs FB would look like in Marc Jacob's latest creation.  If it was good enough for Lady Gaga surely it was good enough for her?  The price tag was irrelevant. FB began to panic.

It it's good enough for Lady Gaga.....
A diversion was necessary.  Bluntly he blurted out

'He's some guy, that McCullum...'

Mrs FB looked steelily at him, and then more dreamily.  Thoughts of Marc Jacobs and Lady Gaga seemed to fade.  Her gaze became more wistful.

'Ah yes,' she said with a throaty warmth, 'I used to have a poster of him above my bed when I was at school.....'

FB's mystified gaze must have troubled his partner, for she continued.

'Ilya Kuryakin - now he was the man for me..........' she dreamily intoned, the suggestion that she had ended up with something considerably inferior was left unsaid.

The Man from UNCLE - no cricketing skills
FB recognised a situation which called for the ultimate patience and tact.  He chose his words carefully.

'Don't be so bloody daft,' he said.  'That was David McCallum.  The Man from UNCLE. Never known to play cricket.'

The only response was a sigh.  FB therefore felt emboldened to go on.  'It's Brendon McCullum - his final test match - he hits the fastest hundred in Test history.  He's also now the leading 6-hitter in Tests. He's some guy.........'

He was unsure whether Mrs FB was paying attention as he described the one time he had seen McCullum play.  It was at Leeds last year.  The first morning.  New Zealand had made a sticky start - they were 2 for 2 and had recovered a bit to 68 when Stuart Broad had Ross Taylor LBW.  In strode McCullum.  Broad streamed to the wicket. A full length ball. Bang!  It disappeared into the crowd at extra cover.  Perfect. Heroic. Not Test cricket as we know it.
Brendon McCullum - 100 from 54 balls
McCullum then timed everything and was 41 when lunch came.  The crowd buzzed and looked forward to an afternoon run feast.  The groan when McCullum drove too early at the first ball after lunch to dolly a simple catch to mid-off could have been heard for miles.  Live on the front foot, die on the front foot.

'Yes,' FB edged to the end of his speech, 'he's some guy.  You know, if I was a Test player, I'd be exactly like him....I like to think that when I lead out Carlton's 4th XI the team sees something of the McCullum in me........'

A medical emergency was only narrowly averted as Mrs FB's coffee sprayed in several directions and she collapsed into a coughing fit of what seemed to FB unnecessary theatricality.

McCullum has cause to remember Scotland with affection; although he only played twice there, it was the scene of his highest ODI score.   In 2008 New Zealand took part in a triangular ODI competition with Scotland and Ireland at Mannofield in Aberdeen, scene of some of FB's own first grapplings with the mysteries of leg spin and in swing.  In the match against Ireland he scored 166 off 135 balls, with 10 6s, as New Zealand posted a massive 402 off their 50 overs.  Two days later Scotland managed to contain him to 22 off 24 balls.

FB will greatly miss McCullum from the Test arena.

And if Mrs FB wishes to put a poster of him above her bed, FB would have no objection.


  1. McCullum was reportedly mildly embarrassed about beating the record previously held by his childhood hero Viv Richards. I know that FB feels the same way about Gary Sobers.........

    1. The sources of embarrassment to FB are too numerous to record.

  2. Good god FB, how do you get ANY readers when I can't find anyway to follow your blog? I should hasten to add that I have no clue whatsoever about cricket despite having lived within 5 minutes of Somerset County Cricket Ground for many, many years and I did in fact only find you by searching for a Honeycomb mould recipe (and my grandmother would slap your legs for using a packet mix!). I'm going to make it! I think I'll base it on Delias recipe but substitute the lemon for vanilla, I don't remember it being lemon flavour do you? If I ever manage to find you again I'll tell you how it turned out.

    1. Hi Sarah - if you have trouble following the blog you might want to know that FB tweets on @realfantasybob when he posts more of his nonsense - good luck with your recipe!