Glenn McGrath or Piers Morgan who would you favour?
I have a question for you Piers Morgan or Glenn McGrath? Who would you want to come out on top?
A difficult question. This was the dilemma I faced as I watched a Sir Ian Botham X1 take on a Sir Viv Richards X1 recently at Wormsley. It's not easy is it? The country's least favourite ex newspaper editor (I think that's the safest description) against a former Australia bowler who terrorised us for over a decade and who would never be quiet about a 5-0. Who would you cheer for?
As much as it pains me to say it I cheered on Glenn McGrath. Do you know how difficult that is to say "With three lions on my chest I cheered on Glenn McGrath" on an English wicket.
I couldn't help but think back to the avalanche of bouncers that Brett Lee threw down at him a couple of years ago and thought go on Glenn do your best we would love to see some more pain inflicted on Piers. Go on Glenn deliver the first ball for Andrew Strauss, the second for Alastair Cook and the 3rd to 5th for all of the England cricket fans who have grown tired of his twitter rants and the 6th to shatter his stumps. But make it quick Glenn so I can go back to hating you.
Unsurprisingly, the pair warmed up for the game by trading twitter insults culminating in Piers being informed of the likely location of the ambulance.
Glenn McGrath caught and bowled Morgan 0. Morgan gave him the send off.
Glenn - why did your team have to bat first. It was down to us then to turn the quiet corner of this picturesque ground into a Wormsley 'Bay 13' when Piers came to field in front of us at the end of the over: "Good captaincy that by Strauss, Piers"
"Pies always tend to bring wickets, Piers"
"Pies? I've got the pork pies" said the Lovely Lisa. Yes, the famous lovely Lisa from the Jude, who brought a spot on picnic! Bless her.
But, returning to the cricket, you know what, I accept wickets like that can happen in cricket but Glenn will get revenge with the ball. Surely he will. And so the time arrived. Morgan, the new batsman comes to the crease and captain Warne immediately makes a bowling change and McGrath comes back into the attack. Suddenly a 'charity game' run up became a 'Test match' run up. McGrath is seriously pumped up. This could be fun. The ambulance was ready, the stretcher was ready, the engine had started. The players were ready with their mobiles. Come on Glenn do your best, we're behind you. Up he ran, that same pigeon-legged run up and action which undid Athers and co for years and years. Decent pace but, surely not, Morgan creams him through the covers for four. Glenn McGrath the man who destroyed the mindset of many an England batsmen, the master of the off stump line, has been hit to the boundary by Piers Morgan first ball *sigh*. One could only imagine what Twitter would become that evening. Talk about $hitting on my day. Never support an Australian. Lesson learnt. But, who would you have wanted to win that dual? Be honest.
And if you're reading Glenn (he follows the Addis Army on twitter) why, how, but why?
I guess though you have to have a degree of respect for Piers in that in two overs against Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath he's not been out. Many England batsmen down the years would be happy with that record.
My day wasn't really shat upon though. It was in fact one of my favourite days of the year. Nothing beats watching cricket at Wormsley. If you've not been, do it. It's one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the world. Truly it is.
Situated on the Getty estate, the outfield is immaculate, the pavilion has a thatched roof and positioned alongside it is a red telephone box (we need those back on our streets) and all this with the backdrop of the stunning Chiltern Hills. It's a favourite of the Addis Army for many reasons and we kind of call it our 'home'. Tremers is of course head groundsman which means much time is spent in the groundsman shed helping ourselves to left over food from the corporate buffets and drinking out of date (by a few years) booze.
On this occasion we were watching a Sir Viv Richards X1 take on a Sir Ian Botham X1 (neither actually played) a charity game as part of Beefy's 60th birthday celebration. Whatever your feelings are on Botham no one can dispute the amount of money he raises for charity and this was no different. As the Addis were playing cricket on the outfield (Saint, HQCC's legendary wicket keeper, took six wickets) you could hear the numbers in the charity auction just go up and up. £27k on this, £25k on that. In total over £100k raised for his foundation on a lunchtime auction. Fair play.
Many of my cricketing idols were playing in this game Andrew Strauss, Darren Gough, Simon Jones, big Devon and a few opposition players you didn't necessarily like, but deep down you respected, namely Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath but the absolute highlight was getting to meet Sir Viv Richards, the king. Do Saturday's in July get any better?? Just a shame he wasn't prepared to swap 'hats' with Saint!
Captain Strauss skippered his side to victory. Warne and McGrath were on a losing side in England and the day concluded with an Eric Clapton concert in the Wormsley Opera house, which was replayed over a big screen to an outfield packed full of people having evening picnics or for us playing cricket. This is what an English summer is all about!
A great day, but lesson learnt, never support an Australian. And when Piers Morgan rants just head to YouTube and type in Brett Lee and Piers Morgan. It makes you feel better. Very comforting.
One positive to Piers though, he did retweet the Addis Army to four and a half million of his twitter followers so our Addis awareness was raised that weekend!