Apologies to any readers disappointed by my failure to produce the traditional* Christmas quiz. We are, though, still in the Christmas period, so here are eight Yuletide brain-ticklers for you. All answers to the usual address by Twelfth Night please (any answers received after 6th December will be discounted and will, additionally, bring you a year’s bad luck).
Q 1. Herbert Sutcliffe raised a few eyebrows at the Yorkshire v Oxford match at the Parks in 1930 when he (with Wilfred Rhodes in the passenger seat) drove up in a brand new …
Q 2. Why did Umpire Syd Buller (centre) need a police escort when he left the field at Queen’s Park, Chesterfield in 1965?
a) He had allowed Fred Trueman to pepper Derbyshire’s Edwin Smith with bouncers, breaking his arm.
b) He had no-balled Derbyshire fast bowler Harold Rhodes for throwing.
c) It was rumoured that he had ordered the beer tent to be shut down, because he thought it was making too much noise.
Q 3. Who wrote –
“My locks have become a bit of a trademark over the years, especially as I grew them fashionably longer at about the time that I got back into the England side. The fact is, I like my hair long, and although it has excited one or two bitter criticisms from traditionalists, it has certainly never adversely affected my cricket.”?
a) Bob Willis
b) Denis Compton
c) Ryan Sidebottom
Q 4. The author of one of earliest “diaries of a season”, with the original caption. He shares his initials with a Fylde Rugby Union player and a French film actress – but who is he?
“Batsman … waits his turn to face the West Indian bowlers after he had sent down a few short-pitched deliveries at them. The anticipation makes it worth putting up with the difficulty of smoking a fag through the visor.”
Q 5. In 1833 a Nottinghamshire newspaper had this to say about the women cricketers of which Leicestershire village?
“Last week at [S…..] feast, the women so far forgot themselves as to enter a game of cricket, and by their deportment as well as frequent applications to the tankard, they rendered themselves objects such as no husband, brother, parent or lover could contemplate with any degree of satisfaction.”
Q 6. Which well-known cricket writer wrote of himself as follows?
“In my own reports of cricket matches, I tried for naturalism. Flippancy was never far absent, because cricketers, especially bowlers, need flippancy to live and avoid going a little queer. I was doomed to affront those to whom cricket is a quasi-religion … some of the Colonels were very angry, and wrote complaining about “inane asides and abominations ” and demanding the immediate return of Sir Pelham Warner and his articles.”
a) Mike Selvey
b) R. C. Robertson-Glasgow
c) Alan Gibson
Q 7. Umpire Frank Chester signalling a leg-bye. During a Surrey-Sussex match in the 1930s a firmly struck straight drive from Freddie Brown from the bowling of John Langridge knocked what part of Chester clean off, so that it smashed first bounce into the sightscreen?
a) His trilby?
b) His right arm?
c) His left leg?
Q 8. In his book “Lancashire Hot-Pot“, an account of the 1946 season by the Hon. T.C.F. Prittie, the serial prison-of-war camp escapee and “former cricket correspondent of the Manchester Guardian” described the only first-class match to have been played in a particular Leicestershire village. He reports that play was frequently held up by cars being driven across the outfield to reach the refreshments tent, that “it was when the Leicester second innings began that some evil spirit took hold of a crowd which, up till then, behaved as one might expect cricket-lovers to do” and having related numerous incidents of bad sportsmanship from the crowd, concluded “Cricket must not … be allowed to become the cockshy of the bucks and bumpkins whose spiritual homes are the prize-ring and the greyhound track.”
But which village was this?
b) Burton Overy
c) Burrough on the Hill.
*An “invented tradition”, of course. I invented it only last year.