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Exhibition of Batting Incompetence

Seasons 2013 - 2014






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!







Rodent Repeller

- R. P. Turner, Horspath v Horspath CC. 2013





In this shot, Russ Turner has heard some pesky mice scrabbling around his crease. Irritated, and losing his concentration, he goes walkabout in a vain attempt to swat the little blighters. Fortunately for him a shiny red ball decapitated the mouse, but in doing so, it deflected it onto his stumps.




Slip Practice

- S. L. P. Dobner, Horspath v Horspath CC. 2013





Proving he’s a cut above the rest when it comes to the much lauded ‘Exhibition of Batting Incompetence’, our favourite MAD artist Steve Dobner, here gently guides an edge to a waiting second slip. Taking the pace off the ball, Steve ensures both he, the stumps and the catcher are all balanced beautifully in the composition. It is a measure of Mr Dobner’s obvious artistry that he is able to conjure up such poetic imagery, time and time again.




Public Schoolboy On Drive

- J. W. Pearson, Wootton v Wootton & Boars Hill CC. 2013





Mr Pearson is master of all things coached at contemporary Public School, and here he ably demonstrates the classic on drive. Please note the excellent footwork, balance and beautiful follow through. Marks are lost on the exam paper however, for failure to connect with the ball.





- D. Emerson, Enstone v Enstone CC. 2013





Having been named POTS two years running, you’d think a certain amount of class, style and responsibility would purvey when batting lower down the order. Alas, this is not the case as Emerson looks to swipe a Moo-like bowler over cow corner, missing completely as the ball pootles onto middle stump. POTS Shots such as these make you think that surely there’s a better option for POTS for 2013? Truly fucking terrible.




Orbital Scoop

- D. Emerson, Jordan Hill v OUP. 2013





Mr Emerson is rapidly making a name for himself in this most lauded section of The Club website. Here, he is captured attempting to set a cricketing record by completing an all-ran 105. That’s right, one hundred and five sprints up and down the pitch whilst the cricket ball goes into orbit. Unfortunately (as it turned out), despite completing his 105th dash between the wickets, the ball finally descended settling snugly into keeper Paddy Mellor’s gloves.




Public Schoolboy On Drive II

- R. P. Turner, Appleton v Appleton CC. 2013





Russ Turner is captured executing a stunning on-drive against real pace. Please note the excellent footwork, balance and follow through, all complemented by a flourish of the wrists. Only the shot selection loses him a few marks.




The Flick

- J. D. Hoskins, Appleton v Appleton CC. 2013





Championed by the elite of Indian batsman, ‘The Flick’ is all about rolling the wrists and peppering the square leg boundary. It is a shot of real beauty, which combines the very best of hand and eye co-ordination with agility of the feet. Here, Mr Hoskins provides a village cricket alternative, preferring to splay the legs in concrete without looking at the ball. 




The Treble “C” (The Captain Caveman Club)

- D. Shorten, Appleton v Appleton CC. 2013





Captain Caveman was a fictional character from the 70s famed for his club and wild nature. Here, Dave Shorten masquerades as his cartoon idol, thrashing his club in brutal arcs as his hair swings ferociously in the wind. Though one can’t quite remember ‘Cavey’ needing a pair of spectacles…?




The Ichabod Swat

- C. D. Roberts, Appleton v Appleton CC. 2013





In this intriguing shot, Chris Roberts attempts an audacious move by firstly removing his head, and then attempting to hit it with his bat against the oncoming ball. He misses, obviously, but is rewarded handsomely in the ‘Ichabod’ ratings for his daring and originality. I’m happy to report Tall Bob’s head was later recovered and stitched back onto his shoulders.


Note: Ichabod Crane is a fictional character who had dealings with the Headless Horseman.




The Blind Pull

- J. W. Pearson, Appleton v Appleton CC. 2013





Much like a nightclub drunk may on the odd occasion get lucky, here Mr. Pearson chances his arm but fails with his technique. Maybe a few extra shots at the bar before trying to ‘pull’ may have helped him?




The ANGER (in capitals)

- M. K. Reeves, Garsington v Garsington CC. 2013





A true GIANT amongst exhibits this one. Sometimes cricket really gets under your skin, aggravating you and totally pissing you off. Time to get REALLY ANGRY! Here, Mike Reeves gets really ANGRY and attempts to smack the ball into nearby Wheatley. He misses (obviously) and reduces his batting average as a result. That makes Mike REALLY REALLY ANGRY!




The Triangular Gate

- J. D. Hoskins, Weston-super-Mare v Belvedere CC. 2013





Good ole JMO, always willing to put aside personal milestones in favour of new works of art for the much revered Exhibition of Batting Incompetence. In this latest exhibit, he has carefully shaped a triangular gap using his legs and the pitch, and by flicking his bat in front of himself, gives the bowler only about a 99.99% chance of hitting the stumps. Much like the most untricky pinball table ever devised, the bowler in this instance, waits for the perfect time to fire the ball and avoid that swinging bat.




The Lightswitch

- T. P. W. Smith, Weston-super-Mare v Belvedere CC. 2013





Modern times have breathed in fantastic lighting for day / night cricket matches, and here Mr. Smith, turns on the lights by reaching with his bat. Alas for Thorn, the bowler was graceless in waiting for him to do so.




Thou Shalt Not Pass

- C. D. Roberts, Keble College, Oxford v Oxenford CC. 2013





Tall Bob, one of our favourite regulars in the EBI section, here makes full use of his height by getting a huge stride in to execute a forward defensive. It is heartening that our perennial number eleven wants to downplay his aggressive tendencies, but just try and play the right line next time, huh?




Grim up North

- I. Howarth, Cassington v Isis CC. 2013





The ‘Grim up North’ cut shot is a very effective and classic batting power-shot. The best exponents would tell any budding youngsters to get their front foot forward to the ball, transfer their weight slightly on the back foot and get their head in line before middling the ball through gully. Seldom seen in the EBI, Ian fails on all accounts apart from being northern.




The Bates Motel

- M. S. Rundle, Cassington v Isis CC. 2013





Here, Mark Rundle aka Psycho [now known as Norman], brings some real horror to the camera lens. Swinging his instrument of death, there is a blood curdling crack behind him. It is another fatality, another victim, of the notorious Bates Motel (of batting).




Chinese Torture

- M. K. Reeves, Islip v Islip CC. 2014





There is nothing worse than a slow lingering death, as demonstrated here by Mr. Reeves after you swing hopelessly at a well-flighted pie and wait, for an eternal length of time, for the ball to trickle off some mud and onto your stumps. Clink. You’re OUT.




Poor Man’s Tresco

- G. Carter, Queens College v Isis CC. 2014





Marcus Trescothick played the ball on length and used to marmelise it over cow corner to great effect. In fact, he still does. Here are very own Mr Carter seeks to replicate the shot only marginally falling short by  a) playing the wrong line  b) playing the wrong length  c) opening his eyes. Other than that….




Homer’s Outside-The-Park Home Run

- R. P. Turner, Appleton v Appleton CC. 2014






In this wonderful example of hitting an ‘outside-the-park home run’, Russ Turner swings from the hip and looks to send the ball high over the outfield fence and into the sewerage works. Alas, the only base he manages to scuttle to is the pavilion.




Essex Forward Defensive – Part II

- S. L. P. Dobner, Jordan Hill v Harwell CC. 2014






Following on from the ubiquitous example of an Essex Forward Example at Blenheim in 2008, here our resident Barrow Boy proves the ageing process hasn’t dulled his talent in the intervening years. Front leg proudly forward, bat at a 45 degree angle – thou shalt not pass. Unless it is straight and directed at the stumps.




Homer’s Day Out

- R. P. Turner, Jordan Hill v Harwell CC. 2014





Normally people suffering from the advanced signs of dementia are kept under close supervision, but in this example, Mr Turner has escaped his hospital ward and wandered out in some stolen cricket whites at Jordan Hill. He is confused by the voices from below the surface and in his own head, and as a result fails to even notice a ball has hit his stumps. Bless.




Arrogant Northern Drive – Part II

- I. Howarth, Jordan Hill, Oxford v Harwell CC. 2014





Just like Steve Dobner before him, Mr Howarth here proves he too has lost none of his formative talents in missing the ball. Elegant foot movement is married with a sublime arc of the bat as Ian holds the pose for the cameras. A true iconic image of unsurpassed beauty.




Bob’s Revenge

- C. D. Roberts, Brasenose College v Appleton CC. 2014





There have been many generous exhibits gifted to the Far from the MCC over the years, but one particular patron holds sway over most others. Step forth Mr Roberts, here saluting his first fifty for the club with both hands.




Batting Order Bewilderment (BOB)

- C. D. Roberts, Brasenose College v Islip CC. 2014





Good Lord! Will The MAD ever learn…? Mr Roberts bats efficiently at number eleven. Eleven is Bob’s position and nobody else’s. It is and always has been, even before Bob played for The MAD. So, imagine his disquiet when being told to pad up and “get the fuck out there” long before the ninth wicket fell on August 3, 2014….




The Death Knell

- I. Howarth, Appleton v Appleton CC. 2014






Once upon a time, Mr Howarth could bat. He combined that particular attribute with his ability to skipper. Here, as evidenced in this lovely specimen, we discover he can now do neither. After inviting the opposition to hammer 230+ on a flat track, he led the reply from the front with a golden duck as the team capitulated to a quite miserable loss by some sewerage works.


Ian would later resign as stand-in captain.