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2005 - 2009  |  2010 - 2012  |  2013 - 2014  |  2015 - 2016  |  2017 - 2018 |  2019 - 2020  |  2021 +





Exhibition of Batting Incompetence

Seasons 2005 - 2009






An online page totally devoted to the exhibition, celebration and educational interpretation of classical batting incompetence, as performed and executed by members of the Far from the MCC. Please note there have been countless other examples since the team’s inception back in 1998, but alas a camera wasn’t present to record the event(s).


Many thanks to all the photographic contributions over the years, in particular James Hoskins, who set the benchmark in the middle noughties by mortgaging his house for a zoom lens and hifalutin Nikon. Other luminaires would be Chairman Bullock (one remembers the early Minehead Tours) and of course Mr Howarth, whose investment in a Canon reaped dividends in lieu of his dwindling time out in the middle. Lest we forget Mr Hotson’s analogue work at Garsington and Mr Williams’ modern day claims to be sports photographer of high repute.


All art pieces therein are named and displayed in chronological order, which leaves us to say…. Enjoy!







One-Handed Essex Prod

- S. L. P. Dobner, Cholsey v Cholsey CC. 2005





Here, Steve Dobner has turned to enquire whether the wicket keeper would like to meet him in the car park prior to a book launch, but sadly did not realise that the ball was being delivered at that precise moment.




Tennents Extra Square Cut

- A. Morley, Cutteslowe Park v Marlborough House. 2005





A precious image culled recently from MAD archives, drinking legend Andrew Morley cuts a ball through a vacant area square on the offside. Who cares that he plays the wrong ball.




Expansive Essex Cover Drive

- S. L. P. Dobner, Stogumber, Somerset v Stogumber CC. 2005





The difficulty with playing cricket in a rural setting is the ever-present distraction presented by the spectacular views. Dobner’s attention has been drawn to the herd of sheep on the hillside and, mistaking their plaintive cries for an invitation to meet him in the car park after the game for a book launch, has lost his middle stump. Once might be called an accident, but twice is starting to look like carelessness, Mr Dobner.




Essex Pinball Pull Shot

- S. L. P. Dobner, Timberscombe, Somerset v Timberscombe CC. 2005





The cross-bat pull shot a la Ricky Ponting is a potent weapon in the batsman’s armoury, a statement of both confidence and intent. The body swivels as the ball bounces and veers leg side, the bat striking it sweetly to the boundary. Unless it finds the bottom edge. The backward motion of the leg stump indicates that the idea was right, it was only the execution that was all wrong. No doubt poor footwork is to blame.




Concrete Pull Shot

- J. D. Hoskins, Cholsey v Cholsey CC. 2006





Proof that batting technique is not a requirement to play cricket – in any case, not at this level. Here Hoskins’ usually reliable eye has let him down, and the odds on the back of his shirt are of course ‘on’ that he would get out to this shot. The fielder at square leg is wondering if Hoskins mistook the silver birch on the boundary for the flag on the 18th.




Tiptoe Tragedy

- A. Small, Warriner’s School (Bloxham) v Milton CC. 2006





In this example from the infamous trip to Warriner’s School in 2006, debutant Mr Small impressed all with his quiet efficiency at the crease, and his even quieter return to the pavilion a few balls later.




Fred Astaire Off Drive

- J. D. Hoskins, Pembroke. 2007






When played well, of all cricket strokes it is the off drive which brings gasps of admiration from watching spectators and local piss-heads alike. Dancing out of the crease as the bowler delivers, the batsman calculates the pitch of the ball and strokes it elegantly to the pickets, executing a series of complex but well-practised movements. Sadly, when the off drive is played like a sand wedge, the batsman is usually left stumped and looking like a dick.




French Chinese Block

- M. D. Clarke, Jordan Hill, Oxford v OUP. 2007






Front foot planted firmly forwards, eye on the ball, bat angled down to smother and prevent the return catch, this is exactly the technique absent here as Mike Clarke, perched on his toes, assays a French cricket shot and is plumb LBW to a straight pie.




Oil Drilling Defence (BP Defence)

- J. D. Hoskins, Pembroke v R. T. Harris. 2007






Mr Hoskins stands with legs splayed apart, his head pointed directly at the ground. Note how he has jammed the bat down from an angle as though churning butter. Too late! for the ball has already passed and the stumps are broken. This is a difficult dismissal for any batsman to achieve with any degree of skill, and can take years of being dumped in the lower order to master.




180 Degree Block (Part I)

- J. D. Hoskins, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock v Blenheim Park CC. 2008






Another view (face on) of Dismissal No. 7, but strangely, at a different ground. See how the bat has in this instance made actual contact with the pitch, and the head points backwards, fearing the worst.




Essex Forward Defensive

- S. L. P. Dobner, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock v Blenheim Park CC. 2008





A text-book example of the Exaggerated Forward Defensive. The front foot two and half yards down the pitch to negate the chance of lbw, bat thrust forward another yard, elbow high and straight, head facing directly down the ground. Technically speaking, this is a perfect stroke straight out of the coaching manual, the only problem being, Steve has completely missed the ball and been castled.




Arrogant Essex Hoik

- G. S. Littlechild, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock v Blenheim Park CC. 2008





Here Mr Littlechild attempts the pre-meditated hoik into cow. Note how the eyes follow the projected path of the ball as it leaves the middle of the bat and sails satisfyingly through the air. This is the bread-and-butter shot of all MAD batsmen with any claim to the title, the only problem being, Gary has completely missed the ball etc etc etc.




Everglades Mosquito Defence (The Miami)

- J. Hoskins, Jordan Hill, Oxford v OUP. 2008






Bad luck for James as it seems a pesky fly, possibly two, were buzzing around his gloves at the precise moment the ball was delivered. The ‘swat’ is an unattractive shot at the best of times and some batsmen would do well to remember that technology has moved on and pressurized cans of fly spray are now available, so there is no longer any need to have this technique in the repertoire at all.




The Teetotaller

- A. Morley, Brasenose, Oxford v Lemmings. 2009






Memories of his epic match-winning knock against Milton at Kidlington were still fresh in Morler’s mind as he played this diabolical shot. Technically speaking, the batsman here isn’t drunk enough to see the ball properly.




Arrogant Northern Hoik

- I. Howarth, Brasenose, Oxford v OUP. 2009






Sometimes a delivery is so good that a batsman, no matter how high his skill level, can do nothing about it and must gracefully accept that he has been beaten by a better competitor on the day. This is not the case here. Point of interest: the guy in the background. I used to know him vaguely from outside cricket, though to be honest I can’t remember his name.