So it turns out that the work experience boy’s thoughts on Shane Warne were only marginally less of an internet sensation than a man on live TV holding a ream of paper and pretending it’s a computer. However, as can be seen here, it seems the TV guy has previous. As such we were prepared to cut our young apprentice some slack. So now he’s brewed the chocolate teapot and inflated our new blow up dart board, we’ve given him have another chance to shine.
We’ve all been on tenterhooks this week watching the thrilling climax to the County Championship. Seriously, who knew that playing cricket a few days away from October would be problematic? It also occurs to us that creating exciting climaxes to four days matches via generous declarations and forfeiting innings may catch the eye of the odd Indian bookmaker, but that’s probably a discussion for another day. Anyway, after all the spot-fixing has been and gone, Durham have been crowned champions for the third time in six years.
This achievement has surpassed the previous two purely on the basis that they’ve been led throughout the year by 51allout favourite Paul Collingwood. This got us thinking: rarely are gingers anything other than subjects of consistent ridicule, but those that choose a career which requires exposing their freckles and pale skin to over seven hours of UV rays each day probably deserve their moment in the sun.
So with that in mind, here’s our five favourite cricketing gingers:
We’ll be honest and say we don’t know too much about Andrew McDonald except remembering him being ginger and thinking that he probably wasn’t going to play that many tests. 107 runs and 9 wickets later, it turns out we were right on both counts. However, following some extensive research (and a little help from our friends) it appears his debut will be remembered for Dale Steyn knocking his helmet off with a bouncer. The fact he is still with us to tell the tale means he deserves his place on this list.
Anyone who watched any of last year’s Olympics or has spent a few minutes listening to TMS will know that Yorkshire is the centre of the universe and this list is quick to jump on that particular bandwagon. We like Jonny because he fills the tricky second wicket keeper on tour slot meaning potential spaces for better looking colleagues called
Nick Compton Carberry and Ballance.
We’ll like him even more when he learns to use his bat to defend straight balls.
Eoin makes this list for two reasons. Firstly he’s ginger AND Irish and in our personal experience that makes him proper scary mental, which can’t be ignored. Secondly, there’s a member of the 51allout collective who really, really can’t stand him, steam pouring out of his ears every time Morgan does his little up-periscope dance at the crease.
Morgan also handily fulfils the role of ECB supply teacher, filling in when all the proper professionals can’t be bothered or have gone on holiday early to avoid the hike in airfares.
We’re a little confused as to how all African gingers haven’t become extinct given how f**king hot it is over there; maybe Darwin shouldn’t be lauded after all. Pollock is proof that they can still flourish in these tough conditions: with a batting average of 32 and a bowling average of 23 (and over 400 wickets) from 108 tests, Pollock is rightly considered one the best all-rounders of modern times, just behind Mark Ealham. Nowadays he can be heard in the Supersport commentary box, which means Pommie Mbangwa can’t, and therefore he gets an extra thumbs up from us.
And his surname rhymes with bollock, which is comedy gold during those oh-so-hilarious limerick competitions that sometimes break out during rain delays.
What can we say about Brigadier Block (or ‘Weed’) that hasn’t already been said? His rearguard innings in Cape Town and Cardiff are already the stuff of legend (including surviving one absolutely ridiculous over from Steyn at Newlands). Plus he led England to their first international tournament win in the World T20 in the Caribbean, stuffing the Aussies in the final to add the hundreds and thousands onto the icing on top of the delicious carrot cake.
A prestigious fielder at backward point and by all accounts a great influence in and around the dressing room, Colly is the ultimate team man. This culminated in him knowing the perfect time to retire from the national set up – i.e. seconds before he was dropped for not scoring any runs – and then giving a fantastic interview to Sky about what it means to play for your country.
So next time someone mentions gingers, don’t think only of the bird with the massive cans off Mad Men, or the one off Doctor Who with the legs, but instead of those fine cricketers risking epic levels of sunburn to play the game we love.