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Club Cricket

Lonely Hearts Club Cricket

by Wisden Staff

The opposition have pulled out due to 
lack of numbers so your team desperately needs a date for the weekend. The internet, with sites like thefixturelist.org.uk and thesundaycricketer.co.uk and club-cricket.co.uk can help, but online cricket dating is complex. Here, courtesy of Alex Odell, is a guide to the rules of the game.

FACEBOOK STALKING

No one goes on a genuinely blind date anymore. Do some digital research to check your prospective date is worth your time and money. Match reports help. Google your opposition. Do they all have nicknames like ‘Big Jizzer’ and ‘The Love Machine’? If so, stay away.

AGE APPROPRIATE

It’s no fun turning up at a restaurant, only to find your date has braces and has brought their dad. Check your oppo are adults. If they are teenagers, they WILL beat you.

SCREENING

“Have you got 11?” is the cricket dating equivalent of “Have you got a job?”. It’s an obnoxious question but it crops up. It’s also a facile question. Anyone with even a loose grasp of how amateur cricket works knows that having 11 players on Friday is absolutely no indication that 11 players will arrive on Saturday. Respond by asking: “Is your wicketkeeper a Pisces?”.

YOUR PLACE OR MINE?

If you have a home ground, you will be as popular as a prohibition hooch-brewer. It might even be worth asking the oppo that originally pulled out to lend you their ground. They owe you, after all.

DEMONSTRATE VALUE

What have you got that the other schmucks don’t? A brand new Dukes match ball? A portable electronic scoreboard? A travelling New Orleans jazz troupe and barrel-aged bourbon? Sell yourself. Norwood Exiles CC, searching for a game on August 16, promised to “bring their sociability”. They get it.

NEGGING

Selling yourself is all very well, but it’s no good looking desperate. Play it cool. Maybe you’re interested, but you’re worried that the ground might be a bit, well… small. Do they have jammy dodgers for tea? Oh. That’s a shame. The club down the road have jammy dodgers. You’ll call back later.

Jammy dodgers: your way in?

Jammy dodgers: your way in?

SPLITTING THE BILL

It’s 2015. People split bills. Or either sex can pay. Or the same sex. You get my point. But would you go on a date with a person who tells you, in advance, that they expect you to pick up the cheque? Hampstead Warriors, based in London, posted for their recent fixture “you need to bring two balls one for each side and £50 tea”. BOTH BALLS. Ballsy.

MEETING ‘THE ONE’

Despite the distance, the age difference, and your friends who said it would never work, it is indeed possible to fall in love over the internet. So when you meet that special someone that makes you feel like you’ve scored a century, you need to hold on to them and cherish them. Laugh and cry and shout “Howzat!” to the smiling heavens. Exchange drunken promises and emails. Make that date for next year straight away. You may never regret it.

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