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Exhibition of Batting Incompetence

Seasons 2010 - 2012






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!







The Fairy

- J. C. W. Hotson, Horspath. 2010





The most understated way of batting is to tiptoe out your crease whilst nobody is looking and try to hit the ball. In this example, the batsman fails on both counts as a bewildered boy looks on….




Arrogant Northern Drive

- I. Howarth v Wootton & Bladon, Brasenose, Oxford. 2010






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 a token shot in defence. This is not the case here. Eschewing levels of contempt and arrogance W. G. Grace could only dream of, Ian Howarth ignores length and accuracy as he imagines the plaudits of hitting a maximum instead. Naturally, his next action is a cob fuelled walk back to the pavilion.  




Mongoose Salute

- J. D. Hoskins v OUP, Jordan Hill, Oxford. 2010





The Mongoose bat was specifically designed for T20 cricket. Mr Hoskins’ maverick approach to the game has allowed him to ignore conventions and instead blitz his way to success in the longer form of the game, as ably demonstrated on Tour to Honiton in 2010. In this example, James salutes his bat forgetting about the ball. Just a minor aberration.




The Stork

- J. C. W. Hotson, Appleton, Oxford. 2010





Executing any shot in cricket requires a happy marriage of balance and coordination. In this example, Jake Hotson measures his ability by raising the heel of his left foot to balance on his toes. Box ticked. Alas, the coordination of his bat is less successful.




The Ramp

- M. K. Reeves, Brasenose, Oxford v Lemmings. 2010






A prime example of how the 20/20 version of the game has corrupted modern batting technique. Here Mr Reeves assays ‘the ramp’, otherwise known as the dodgy flick over the stumps towards the fine leg boundary. A risky shot at the best of times, its pay off is even less if you get bowled in the process.




The Death-Rattle

- N. J. Hebbes, Brasenose, Oxford v Lemmings. 2010





The nature of cricket is such that a momentary lapse of concentration is all it takes for a batsman to be out. There is unfortunately no record of what Mr Hebbes was thinking at the precise moment he heard the death-rattle behind him, but no doubt it was something like ‘Watch the ball watch the ball watch the ball hmm what should I make for dinner tonight watch the ball’. A salutary lesson: on match day, make sure to leave your mind uncluttered for the task at hand, and that your wife is cooking for you that evening.




Agricultural Smear (Part I)

- C. D. Roberts, Jordan Hill, Oxford v OUP. 2010





Straight from the widely acknowledged Bible of Village Cricket, the Agricultural Smear is a much lauded stroke passed from generation to generation of potato farmers and local drunks. In this perfectly executed example by Tall Bob, the only fly in the ointment is the bat bypassing the ball.




Agricultural Smear (Part II)

- C. D. Roberts, Jordan Hill, Oxford v OUP. 2011





Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice? Eschewing the motto of “if at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again”, Tall Bob tries a variation of the Agricultural Smear and reaps similar dividends as he did at the same venue a year ago.




Aloof Northern Cover Drive

- M. Westmoreland, Aston Tirrold v Astons CC, Oxford. 2011





One of the most elegant and imperious shots in cricket, the cover drive is befitting of only the highest calibre of batsmen. You can of course ignore personal attributes and play the shot regardless, demonstrating an aloof and dismissive attitude towards the bowler. It must be noted that this only works in cases where you actually hit the ball.




The Magic Wand

- T. P. W. Smith, Wootton & Boars Hill v Wootton & Boars Hill CC, Oxford. 2011





Harry Potter or Merlin could wave their wands and conjure up the most amazing spells and special effects. A cricket bat could be likened to a magic wand if it wasn’t for the fact it was much larger and yielded no magic (according to local Soothsayers). In this example, Mr Smith waves his ‘magic bat’ at the ball hoping to dispel that myth.




The “Treble T”

- I. C. Leggate, Brasenose, Oxford v Cholsey CC. 2011





An extremely rare photo of the Hunter S. Thompson patented “Twisted Torso Technique”. The “Treble T” as it subsequently came to be known, allows the batsman the luxury of sledging the keeper whilst playing the delivery blind. The ball is an irrelevance as it is all about questioning the keeper’s marital status.




Public Schoolboy Off Drive

- J. W. Pearson, Brasenose, Oxford v Cholsey CC. 2011





A rare and truly beautiful example of a contemporary Public Schoolboy Off Drive by Mr Pearson. Note the excellent footwork, balance and beautiful follow through. Marks are only lost on the exam paper for failure to connect with the ball.




Undead Essex Poke

- S. L. P. Dobner, Horspath v Horspath CC, Oxford. 2012






If one were to glance through the Wisden Almanack you would be unable to find an example of a zombie who plays, or who has played cricket. Yet in this quite extraordinary photo taken in Oxford in 2012, one can quite clearly see a member of the undead at the crease. Primary flaccidity has given way to rigor mortis, in turn preventing any foot / leg movement whatsoever. Decomposition of the eyeballs further compound the corpse’s problems in attempting to coordinate the bat.




The Hurler

- P. A. S. Mellor, Horspath v Horspath CC, Oxford. 2012






‘The Hurler’ is a cricketing shot native to Ireland, first coming into fruition when the Gaelic Athletic Association decided to try their hand at this most venerable of sports. Disregarding the merits of a delivery and displaying admirable levels of contempt, the batsman instead aims at the rooftops of adjoining houses, succeeding in all but the rarest of cases in getting himself out. The shot is usually followed by groans of derision from his team mates and sizeable fines. 




The McKno Club

- D. Emerson, Jesus College v Appleton CC, Oxford. 2012






The much lauded ‘McKno Club’ is well supported by the FFTMCC and includes everyone who has been skittled by Appleton’s aforementioned northerner, Mr McKno. Probably jealous of his exclusion up until now, Dave Emerson is pictured taking his bat for a walk as his stumps are smashed. Well done, Dave – your membership card is in the post.




The ‘Super’ Dismissal

- D. Emerson, Jesus College v Oxenford CC, Oxford. 2012






Since a ‘Super Over’ is incredibly rare these days (when the regular match has ended in a tie) to actually achieve a ‘Super’ dismissal is a great feat in itself. Fine judgement must dictate which ball is going to hit your stumps and you need a cool head to get everything out of the way of its trajectory (as Dave does here). Well done, Wonky – a rare and no doubt unparalleled achievement.




The Philadelphia

- M. Bullock, Stanton St John v Isis CC. 2012






Back in 1943, the US naval military are alleged to have carried out an experiment in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard which rendered the USS Eldridge invisible. The FFTMCC’s Chairman, Mr Bullock, a keen historian has unearthed missing documents and transcripts relating to the ‘experiment’ and used them to great success on his bat. In this photo, we can clearly see the ball has passed straight through Matt’s willow and onto his stumps. Amazing! No wonder he was chuffed.