England's players celebrate winning the Women's Cricket World Cup by lifting the trophy and spraying sparkling wine. Picture: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

MCC and women Part 1

While there was a lot of excitement about the England team’s Women’s World Cup win, there was also attention focused on the empty seats in the Lord’s Pavilion at the final while the rest of the ground was packed. Given that the Pavilion only allowed women not named Queen Elizabeth II in for the first time in 1999, it should perhaps not be surprising that MCC members, the only people allowed to occupy the seats, didn’t pitch up. One MCC member told The Times that, “the club could incorporate a few more female members or members could take women into the pavilion for this sort of final.” Well, imagine that.

MCC and women Part 2

Worse still another MCC member claimed that a reason there were so many empty seats at the final was that the standard of women’s cricket “is a long way below men’s county cricket.” The same member added that his MCC colleagues lead busy lives. “Although women’s cricket is fun, members don’t go for the same reason that they don’t watch minor counties cricket. There is only a certain amount of time to go to Lord’s and they go for Tests, one-day internationals and some county cricket.” What year are we in again, 1917 or 2017?

A plastic affair

There is a very admirable awareness campaign running during The Oval Test to highlight how plastic poses a serious threat to the environment, specifically the oceans. Run by local television network Sky, the ‘Sky Ocean Rescue’ campaign has involved commentators from Sky Sports providing re-usable, biodegradable bottles to the public to reduce the number of plastic water bottles that are used and then thrown away. All very admirable except for the fact that at the end of a day’s play there is a still a mountain of garbage that has to be cleaned up which includes loads of beer cups, mini wine cups, various soft drink bottles, and cups, which are all made of ... you guessed it, plastic.

Fill it up with gin

Of course the bottles were supposed to be used for water, but as Sky’s commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd witnessed on day one of the Test, there was no reason not to use the bottles for other refreshments. “One clever gentleman was seen behind the Bedser Stand filling his up with gin."

‘I was there’

On the occasion of the 100th Test at The Oval, there have been a number of anecdotes recalled of matches played there in its almost 140-year history. Among numerous historical events, that includes the ‘original Ashes Test’ in 1882 and Don Bradman’s last Test in 1948. In that Test a very emotional Bradman, who needed four to finish his Test career with an average of 100, but was bowled by Eric Hollies for a duck, claimed: “It’s not easy to bat with tears in your eyes.” Asked for his memories of Bradman’s farewell match, Arthur Morris, the Aussie opener, provided the following line: “I often say to people, ‘Yes, I was there.’ Were you playing, ‘yes I got 196’.” 

Teething problem

The match referee in the third Test, Sri Lanka’s Ranjan Madugalle relayed a tale about the most bizarre item he’s ever seen an umpire have to hold. “When I played, I saw one of our fast bowlers in a Test against Pakistan in Karachi lose his front false teeth while appealing. The bowler caught his teeth and put them in his pocket, but it caused him to stop his appeal, so the umpire gave the batsman not out.”

Bayo punch

Ethiopian steeplechaser Chala Bayo has been banned for two years after he attacked and punched his coach on learning that he was not selected in the squad for next month’s world championships. Bayo competed in the 3 000m steeplechase at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where he failed to get past the heats. Bayo confronted Yohannes Mohammed, Ethiopia’s deputy 3 000m steeplechase coach, at an event in Addis Ababa where the 40-member squad was announced. “Chala was incensed, he punched Yohannes in the eye and fled,” Sileshi Bisrat, spokesman of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF), said. “He has since been on the run as police are searching for him.”

Sunday Independent

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