Friday, July 26, 2013


I was looking at Ashes news today. For my american readers that means the cricket Test Match series in England this summer between England and our oldest dearest enemies the Australians. 5 Five day games over the course of the summer where you could play them all and still end up with out a single 'result'. Not this summer though as England have won the first two already, the first one of the closest in years the second by one of their biggest margins ever.

But it was something else I found that I wanted to share. This is a little piece of cricketing history that brings a whole world to mind for me. It was the summer of 1977,  August 11th and the opening day of the fourth test. I had just finished my A levels and come to think on it I was on the Isle of Eigg off the west coast of Scotland. I was hiding out from my exam results, looking for some decent beer but finding nothing but cans of McEwans. Counting birds or something I think and hanging out with the local hippie commune listening to Jethro Tull.

 And it came to pass that Yorkshireman Geoffrey Boycott scored the 100th century (a century is a score of 100 or more) of his cricketing career. Not many ever score 100 hundreds and none had done it before in a test match and absolutely noone had done it on his own home ground of Headingley before a largely Yorkshire crowd against our very oldest rivals. And as an aside, anyone who knows Geoffs reputation would be amazed that he scored the century on the opening day of the game. Boycott? 100 runs? In only one day? 

Boycott drives Greg Chappell for 4 runs to complete his 100th first class Century. He went on to score 191in that innings, his highest score against Australia and was the last man out as usual

What I wanted to share is the BBC Radio commentary from Test Match Special on Radio 3 that day. The commentators are Christopher Martin Jenkins (CMJ) and another Yorkshire and England hero by then retired, the legendary fast bowler 'Fiery' Fred Trueman.

Test Match Special, the true sound of an English summer.

Curious Historical Aside
I might have been listening to this on Eigg, I wasnt paying much attention to the rest of the news.  On my return to the world after 3 weeks in a tent. I was astonished to see the headlines in the press concerning the apparent attempted theft of  Elvis Presley's body.  I had to admit that I didn't even know he'd finished with it. He had died August 16th possibly of delayed shock at the news that Geoffrey had scored a century in only one days play.

In the early 21st century its almost impossible to beleive one could be so isolated as to miss that snippet of news for days. But then, no cell phones, no internet and I must admit, little or no Elvis Aaron interest.


  1. Hi Banished! Excellent blog posts recently as ever. I much admire your ability to explain cricket to our cousins; and also your Black Swallowtail catties. Envy consumes me. The old country is having the best summer for a long time, hooray. In 70 years' time, today's children will all be grumbling that summers aren't what they were. All warmest as ever, M

  2. Thank you Martin. Very kind of you to say so. It does look like the summer is being kind over there this year. What do you think? The best since 76? I was on the Pennine Way with my dad that summer and it was a hot one. Those infamous Pennine bogs were like hard-baked lunar landscapes.
    I see those southern moths certainly look to be keeping busy in retirement.