Scarborough

It’s close to eleven and something evil’s lurking

In the pitch

Under the light  you see a sight that almost stops

Your heart

You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before

You make it

You start to freeze as horror looks you right between

The eyes

You’re paralyzed

 

‘Cause this is Scarborough, Scarborough festival

And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to

Strike

You know it’s Scarborough, Scarborough festival

You’re fighting for your life on a green pitch

Scarborough today

 

You see the ball pitch and realize there’s nowhere

Left to go

You feel the cold edge and wonder if you’ll ever see

A run

You close your eyes and hope that this is just

Imagination

But all the while you hear Amir creepin’ up

Foster’s Behind

You’re out of time

 

‘Cause this is Scarborough, Scarborough festival

There ain’t no second chance against the Essex attack with

Forty bowling points

You know it’s Scarborough, Scarborough festival

You’re fighting for your life on a green pitch

Scarborough today

 

Essex bowlers call

And the club starts to walk in their masquerade

There’s no escapin’ the jaws of the Foster this time

(They’re open wide)

This is the end of your title hopes

 

They’re out to get you; there’s bowlers closing in on

Every side

They will possess you unless you change the number on

Your shirt.

Now is the time for you and I to cuddle Brian Close

Together

All through the day I’ll save you from the terrors on

The pitch

I’ll make you see

 

That it’s a Scarborough, Scarborough festival

‘Cause I can thrill you more than any ghost

Would ever dare try

Girl, this is Scarborough, Scarborough festival

So let me hold you tight and share a new ball

Scarborough here today

 

That it’s a Scarborough, Scarborough festival

‘Cause I can thrill you more than any ghost

Would ever dare try

Girl, this is Scarborough, Scarborough festival

So let me hold you tight and share a new ball

 

Darkness falls across the land

The Sidebottom hour is close at hand

Batsman crawl in search of runs

To terrorize y’awl’s neighborhood

And whosoever shall be found

Without the soul for getting down

Must stand and face the hounds of hell

And rot inside a Hopps’ toilet shell

 

The foulest stench is in the air

The funk of forty thousand overs

And grizzly bowlers from every tomb

Are closing in to seal your doom

And though you fight to stay alive

Your body starts to shiver

For no mere batsman can resist

The evil of the Scarborough festival.

Elanor Rigby (The England Lions version)

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If a player makes a hundred in a Lions game but nobody is there to see it, does it happen?

Ah look at all the Lions players
Ah look at all the Lions players

Ravi Bopara, picks up runs
In a ground where a Lions game has been
Lives in a dream
Waits for the squad announcement, wearing the face
That he keeps in a jar by the door
Who is this selection for

All the Lions players
Where do they all come from?
All the Lions players
Where do they all belong?

Andy Flower, writing the words
Of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near
Look at him working, updating his laptops
In the night when there’s nobody there
What do the Lions players care?

All the Lions players
Where do they all come from?
All the Lions players
Where do they all belong?

Ah look at all the Lions players
Ah look at all the Lions players

Ravi Bopara, test career died in the lions games
And was buried along with James Taylor’s name
Nobody came
Andy Flower, wiping the dirt
From his hands as he walks from the game
No one executed their skillsets.

All the Lions players
Where do they all come from?
All the Lions players
Where do they all belong?

War of the Worlds (Essex edition)

No one would have believed in the last days before the ashes that the Essex County Ground was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own (the national cricket press); that as men busied themselves about their various concerns about the first class nature of this fixture, they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water from the river Can.

With infinite complacency( about Tom Craddock) they went to and fro over this division 2 ground about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over the local press (who were forced into the elements). It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of county cricket as sources of danger to Ian Bell’s confidence, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea that Essex have some decent players among their ranks as impossible or improbable.

Tom Craddock flies into action and nearly holds on to a Pietersen Chance.

It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most the national press fancied there might be other cricketers in division two, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a cursory paragraph summation once a season.

Yet across the gulf of the A12, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this fixture with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against England. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment as Mills bowled at 94mph….

If…..

(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

If you can keep your wicket when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming their predicament on your slap to point;
If you can trust yourself to take on the short ball when all media doubt your ability to survive,
But make allowance for their doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream of escaping with the draw—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think about the match situation—and not make thoughts about the match situation your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the partnership with an out-of-form Stuart Broad you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build up Monty with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings in the first innings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, just before the 2nd new ball is due.
And lose, and start again at your 2nd innings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To take ball after ball down the legside from Steven Finn.
And so hold on to them when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on! Even if he doesn’t deserve a wicket with such dross”

If you can talk with commentators and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Giles Clarke—nor lose the common touch,
If neither @Bailsthebadger nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of encouragement behind the stumps to a flagging team in the field,
Yours is the England vice-captaincy and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Matt Prior, my son!

If was all England fans had at the start of yesterday's play.

If was all England fans had at the start of yesterday’s play.