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“2023 Tour Ratings




The Far from the MCC’s second Tour to Suffolk will best be remembered for the apocalyptic Saturday weather, myriad of Ipswich pubs and of course the warm hospitality afforded us by our hosts.


Honouring the epochal ‘Player Ratings’ Inspection of 2008, and those [inferior ones] that have subsequently followed, here is the latest utterly mesmerising and beguiling findings from our delicious 2023 coastal capers….



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‘Dutch Danish Tour Player Inspector’






Name:  Matt Bullock

Rating:  50% Spread Eagle 50% Margaret Catchpole



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Matt’s Tour seemed to exist on two parallel levels. One involved a modicum of cricket and the other leading unwary Tourmates on exciting trips to notable carparks and to terrible pubs based on industrial estates and only accessible by walking for miles in the rain. In fairness, he also did also take us to some very decent boozers. But given there is not a pub in the UK Matt hasn’t been in this is surely the minimum required of him.  




Name:  Geoff Carter

Raging:  Nigella F______ Lawson!






Turned up on Tour with full blown tuberculosis, looking like a poorly zombie and sounding like a phlegm-fuelled metal crusher. Geoff then umpired all 40 overs of our opening game as a cure. Watched with some satisfaction as most of his teammates played very solid Geoffball throughout the Tour, yet demonstrated his versatility with his run-a-ball 3* splatterfest at Battisford. Geoff is currently taking Christmas orders for his handcrafted Shut The Box boxes to be made from illegal mahogany and inlaid with blood diamonds. On Tour he also revealed surprising amounts of rage at cookery programmes, as cooking is just ‘heating things up’.




Name:  Joe Cartwright

Rating:  Sunny Intervals with a Gentle Breeze



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Joe arrived on Tour on the Friday and was the closest thing the Tour actually had to sunshine. Joe radiated enjoyment, batted nicely at Battisford, demonstrated a fine (albeit largely incomprehensible) tenor voice at the Tour curry at The Dhaka and generally carpe-d all the diem he could get his mitts on, including organising a trip to Sutton Hoo. A likely candidate for Tourist of the Year.




Name:  Andrew Darley

Rating:  Ha Dee Ha Ha Ha



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A handy first-up knock at Shotley continued this year’s Darleynaissance as a batsman and, as so often, he was unlucky not to pick up a wicket or two. Taking on skippering at Felixstowe was the cricketing equivalent of receiving a hospital pass and Andy basically inherited a broken rabble. His most notable performance was probably his virtuoso gag show at the Arcade Tavern on a very wet Saturday. Knock-knock. Who’s there? Not Wendy! Ka-boom.




Name:  Richard Hadfield

Rating:  Two Toffee Eclairs and a Mint Humbug



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Debut MAD Tour for Dipswich Hadfield and he sailed through like a pro including a masterclass in the Batting Cage. As skipper, led the first ever (and likely to be last) MAD pre-game stretch at Shotley Peninsula before leading the team on to the field with his stirring pep talk ringing in our ears. Then we got battered. Surprisingly he breezed through the Tour uninjured. Has a handy range of in-car sweeties for long car journeys.




Name:  James Hoskins

Rating:  £10 at 7/4






With the absence of Russ Turner, The MAD saw a new victor crowned at the traditional mini-golf Tournament, with JMO’s 24 strokes narrowly pipping Matt Bullock on a testing nine-holer on Felixstowe’s seafront. Unusually came away from Tour having not funded the entire operation off a thick wad of BetFred-fresh bank notes. According to the back end of at least one East Anglian car: ‘Hoskins is Legend’. How true. The use of traditional cock and balls as punctuation was a tad unkind though.




Name:  Jake Hotson

Rating:  Easy like Sunday Morning



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Hats off and thank you to Jake for organising the whole Tour. A star. He also managed 300% more Tour in 2023 than last year, although surprised the team by revealing that he’d missed the memo about smoking indoors back in in 2005 and was almost removed from the teeny tiny Easy Hotel for midnight vaping. Points deducted for making us aware of Easy Hotel in the first place, but points gained for staying with the rabble while the team aristos suckled at the teat of Premier Inn’s finest luxury.




Name:  Ian Howarth

Rating:  Clear Snake Eyes First, Innit?



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No world class cobs on this Tour, but a fine display of generally drizzling whinging spread over four full days. Insisted on walking half the team 50 miles back into town in torrential rain on the Saturday despite the fact there was a bus stop 20 metres away from the pub. Probably his biggest success on Tour came at the start with some sharp Shut the Box play, indicating there might not have been much for youngsters to do in Cornwall in the winters back in the day.




Name:  Mike Reeves

Rating:  UK Hat Band Size 71⁄4





The MAD treasurer’s face drained of all colour and life flashed before his eyes as Mike realised that Shotley Peninsular were running another honesty bar. He then noticeably cheered up as they actually gave some of the beer away. Notably, it seems Mike’s head is actually too big for a Sutton Hoo helmet, although he does look nice in a toga. 




Name:  Mark Rundle

Rating:  NI No. not Required



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Having Toured as a spectator in 2022, Psycho actually took to the field again this year. A rather good undefeated 22 not out against Felixstowe (almost 32% of our entire total) was mostly overshadowed by the utter uselessness of his colleagues. One massive bonus was the absence of ambulances. 




Name:  Gary Timms

Rating:  Two Legs (One Wet)



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Gary’s fielding display at Battisford was genuinely excellent, his literal capacity to handle drink less so, as seen in calamitous style at The Briar Bank on the Thursday night. At some point the poor man Injured his trousers so badly that he was unable to play on the Sunday. The lucky bastard. Also suffered from Trench Foot due to JMO and others making cars splash him. 




Name:  Russ Turner

Rating:  Not So Much a Man for a Crisis as an Actual Crisis



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Having turned up at Enstone back in April looking not unlike the Staypuft Man, it was great to have Russ on Tour at all. He headed back early for an operation on the Saturday but was excellent company while with us.  Shotley was one of the few games this year where Russ didn’t have to be assisted off the field of play. Rumour has it he is planning to buy the club a boat from Ipswich Marina for us all to live on. 




Name:  Jan Webster

Rating:  Extra Garlic Sauce



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Jan had two basic ambitions for the Tour – to hit a six and to have a kebab. Both were achieved by midnight on Day 1 and he promptly went into decline, failing to book a simple game of Ten Pin Bowling on the Saturday and being so inept on the Sunday that even Spam had words of sympathy over his dismissal.




Name:  Chris Williams

Rating:  Mainly Guinness



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Despite being only marginally less oiled than 2022, Nuno managed to win the Ms Pacman challenges and also come a valiant runner up in the Batting Cage. His batting at Battisford was highly entertaining as it was fairly clear that for his first half dozen balls he had no idea where the ball actually was, before eventually clicking into gear and, as ever, making it all look very easy.




Name:  Kaito Williams

Rating:  Billy Whizz



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Kaito was a genuine rarity in The MAD Tour squad. He wasn’t just quick in comparison to his aging, corpulent, hungover Tourmates, he’s actually quick even in comparison to people of his own age. Watching Kaito field for The MAD is not unlike watching a cheetah who was brought up in a pack of warthogs. Bonus points for being kind enough to come and be Nuno’s carer for the weekend.