April 2009
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Miles Jupp: You cannot be serious

April 2nd, 2009 by Miles Jupp in Miscellaneous

The start of April has seen a surprising number of emails tumble into my inbox inviting me to play for various cricket teams. As I’ve explained before I’m not an especially gifted player of the game. Yet people know that I am keen on the sport and make the assumption that I have an aptitude for it.

It is a wrong assumption obviously. A love of something is no guarantee of any natural ability in that direction. A lot of people that don’t play any musical instruments enjoy going to concerts after all. I’m very keen on pate, but if you laid the raw ingredients out in front of me I wouldn’t know where to begin.

As every summer approaches I start getting excited about playing the game again. I imagine myself dressed in phosphorescent whites on a village green, tucking my bat under my arm and retiring upon reaching yet another century. There is gentle applause, sandwiches with no crusts, church bells ringing etc etc.

The reality sees me exhausted, sweaty and squeezed into the back of somebody’s over-loaded and dog-hair-covered Volvo with a kit bag on my lap and fielding questions on how on earth I managed to miss that full toss, spill that catch, concuss that vicar.

If cricket is not a laugh, then as a player I can no longer go anywhere near it. Two seasons playing at a club where everything cricket-related was taken frightfully seriously has scarred my soul forever. Failure with the bat was greeted with total silence upon returning to the pavilion. Mis-fields would be met by a chorus of loud tutting. One man who missed a straightforward run out chance was visited in the night by men on horseback and dragged to a piece of wasteland where members of the club committee forced a linseed oil-soaked handkerchief into his mouth before taking turns to beat him around the head and body with a short-handled Stuart Surridge 333.

Yet as a spectator I expect nothing but the highest standards and greatest discipline from anyone I watch playing the game. If someone appears to have spent hours gelling their hair into a state of rigid perfection and yet conversely hasn’t found the time to bowl a few loosening overs in the nets then I am appalled. But when I’m playing the cricket really mustn’t be serious at all.

Miles Jupp is an actor, comedian and cricket fan

Posted in Miscellaneous | No Comments »

Kevin Pietersen: I Miss Home So Much

April 2nd, 2009 by Alan Tyers in Alan Tyers, England, Test cricket

It’s not easy being apart from the people closest to you: 11 weeks is a long time for any top international sportsman to be away from his publicist.

There’s so much you give up when you’re on tour. Just the day-to-day stuff, like the morning phone call to discuss marketing opportunities (“Should we endorse such-and-such a brand of dog food?” “Well, how much money is there in it?”).

Then the diary planning of events and personal appearances and fitting that in around cricket, which is my main focus (“Should we go to Auchtermuchty after the close of play to sign some cricket trousers?” “Well, how much money is there in it?”)

Perhaps even planning a trip to Hantshire (spelling?) to be photographed for the official team calendar in a little inset photo captioned ‘absent’: (“Well, how much money is there in it?”)

My publicist has been my rock through good times (landing that three-figure spokesmodel deal with Muller Fruit Corner) and bad (that sexy-yet-tasteful semi-nude photoshoot with Fred Goodwin for Take A Break magazine).

I’m not a jealous person; I’m too self-confident for that. But you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t wonder what he was up to: is he driving Lawrence Dallaglio to a book-signing in Guildford? Is he helping Sam Torrance launch a range of personalised duvet covers? It preys on your mind.

Sure, you speak on the phone and you can pass the time during a Paul Collingwood innings, emailing them and whatever, but it’s not the same and you wouldn’t be human if you weren’t a little worried.

More generally, you think of the things going on at home. The protests in London yesterday: I should have been there among the people, addressing the crowd from the Bank of England roof, leading the nation in whatever it was they were getting upset about. Anarchists, communists, radical anti-consumerists: as long as they’re buying Kevin Pietersen official-branded merchandise, they’re important to me – and I know that they are thinking of me, trapped in this Caribbean hell-hole.

Be strong, we will be reunited soon.

Alan Tyers was nowhere near his local RBS yesterday afternoon

Posted in Alan Tyers, England, Test cricket | 1 Comment »

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