Author: Captain Scott

2020 Net Sessions

Net sessions have been now been booked and confirmed from 9:00pm to 10:00pm on the following dates, except for Tuesday 14th April.

1. 9:00pm – 10:00pm on Tuesday 17th March 2020
2. 9:00pm – 10:00pm on Tuesday 24th March 2020 CANCELLED
3. 9:00pm – 10:00pm on Tuesday 31st March 2020 CANCELLED

4. 9:00pm – 10:00pm on Tuesday 7th April 2020 CANCELLED
5. 8:00pm – 9:00pm on Tuesday 14th April 2020 CANCELLED

The Address:
Lords Cricket Ground – North Gate
Wellington Place
St John’s Wood
(The entrance to the ground is via the North Entrance off Wellington Place.)


Please note:

A Dress code applies for all net bookings, participants must wear conventional cricket whites and non-spiked trainers – coloured clothing and shorts are not permitted.

How do we do it justice?

Since Oxford Downs successfully chased down the 185 we set for them, with only three balls to spare, considering they were 98/1 after the first 20 overs, I’ve been pondering the match report. What should be included, what parts should I leave out? Do I try describe the feeling in the change room post-game? Should I write it tongue-in-cheek piece or do I try to successfully convey the tenacity, drive and determination we all felt as we clawed our way back into the match and took it to the final over?

I’ve ruminated over three different openings to the match report, one with Sean (and entourage) arriving late again and playing up to the usual stereotype or where Ben asked to bat at two more than acquitted himself and top scored for Captain Scott with a very respectable 35, or even starting the report with it feeling like a win with the pride in the change room after we so very nearly beat a really strong team by quoting some cheesy reference from somewhere in history.

None of them quite captured the day and I’ve arrived at the conclusion that my amateur match report writing skills will never be able to adequately capture the true essence of the match. I cannot competently describe what occurred on a partly-cloudy and blustery afternoon in West Oxfordshire, where every Scotty who participated, lived up to the Captain Scott Invitation XI attitude of, when out in the middle, always giving your maximum regardless of your cricketing skill.

I can, however, confirm that as every Oxford Downs’ player shook each of our hands, thanked us for a great game and looked every one of us in the eye, you could see the steely-glint of newfound respect.

Oxford Downs may not remember this game, in seasons to come, as one they nearly lost, but for a few of us, we will remember it as one we we almost stole, when we had absolutely no bloody right too.

Detailed Scorecard can be found here.

Always bat first, Always!

Statistics from the Cricket World Cup, which at the time of writing, is three games away from finishing, clearly show the team that bats first has a better chance of winning the game (two thirds of the time) and it’s an unwritten Scott’s rule that you bat first. That being said, with the Skipper late once again (you can blame Kyle Pack, having to be picked up at the train station, this time), Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC deciding to leave the square uncovered over a wet Saturday night and stand-in-skipper-for-the-toss, Jamo-Love, actually winning the toss, it was decided we’d field first. In Jamo’s defence, the nine other players told ordered Jamo to bat first if he won the toss, after they’d all cast an appraising eye over the damp strip.

The Skipper was so horrified by the decision to field first, he decided that he’d only field for the first 16 overs, leaving Jamo-Love to step in as the Jadeja-esque substitute and do the remaining overs. It turned out to be 26 more overs, as it was a timed game and Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC were bloody well going to bat until tea or until all their wickets fell, whichever arrived sooner.

Tight lines, tactical bowling changes and good catching kept Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC to 174/7 dec after 42 overs. 42 overs – what do you think about that Sprat?

Tea was taken and we figured we’d get about 33 over back with the final 20 overs starting at 18:30. 5.3 per over – could we do it? Our first two wickets fell with only 19 on the board. As one of these wickets was the Skipper, and he was off to New York the next day, in love, and having to see his daughter before he flew out, he showered, packed his kit and left a couple of tyre marks as he peeled out the car park, leaving the rest of the team to face the consequences of not batting first. They would have to learn the hard way!

However a third wicket partnership of 72 saw us work our way back into the game. We weren’t far off our estimates as we were going to receive 35 overs in total as they’d bowled 15 by the time 18:30 arrived. The fourth and fifth wickets fell for 113 and 147 respectively, and Prateek was out for 78.

We were also moving along at the required rate, but things were beginning to look rather close. Was the Skipper correct – should we have batted first? Wickets were falling regularly and trips to the change room to pad up were becoming more frequent. But, with Kaps keeping his head and rotating the strike and Ayman hitting a quick-fire 15 from 9 balls, after Jamo-Love fell, restored calm to the camp, well almost. Ayman managed to get himself out with the scores tied; it was up to Mr Pack to see us home with a only single needed from the last three overs. Aidan and Billy, numbers 10 and 11, having loads of faith and composure in their compatriots out in the middle, were furiously looking for their kit and putting it on a fast as they could.

Kyle’s first ball, a dot, his second, a HUGE heave across the line. So big the wicketkeeper had to take evasive manoeuvres and proceeded, just like Kyle, to completely miss the ball, and so a bye was run and the match was won with 3.4 overs spare.

A. Successful. Run. Chase! Though, I can see why the Skipper prefers batting first as the tension cannot always be good for everyone’s heart and fingernails.

One last thing; be wary of an angry Prateek! He felt Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC were taking the proverbial, batting for as long as they did. Our umpire, while at square-leg, got to hear first hand at how incensed he was and left nothing to the imagination when describing their approach to the game. After Tea, he was heard to be saying “Hulk Smash” to himself while putting on purple pants and padding up. After the first wicket fell, he strode out to the middle, like an angry dad stomps into a child’s room to spank their naughty bottoms, and spank them he did! I not sure, but I also think Prateek agrees with the Skipper. Always bat first!

The detailed scorecard can be found here.

Saturday league conditions on a Sunday?!

Coming from all parts and congregating in Wembley, proved more difficult for some and believe it or not the Skipper was early, as were the opposition, who, all of Asian decent, were more interested in warming up and practicing slips catches than getting involved in England’s football team thrashing of Panama.

With regular service restored the Skipper lost the toss and Captain Scott were inserted into the field. Starting only 35 minutes later than scheduled. The opposition started confidently, losing their first wickets for 51 in the 11th over.

While mentioning overs, it’s worth noting, while this is a Sunday friendly game, the over rate, after the first eight overs, was mentioned to the Skipper by one of the umpires. This definitely endeared the opposition to Sean, who gracefully accepted the rebuke (though never quite running from mid-off to mid-off between overs), continued with his game plan.

After the first wicket fell, the others fell regularly and we had them all out for a questionable 172, by questionable, I mean we’re not sure how they got from 130-odd with three overs to go to 172 all out, without anyone quite going at 9s or 10s an over. The scorebook was sparse to say the least, with the bare minimum having been filled out.

I have to quickly mention the great catch Dan Cooke took out on the boundary, which resulted in him completing the catch with a little celebratory jig, which all happened to be in vain, as Ant had overstepped and a no-ball had been signalled. It was a great catch, alas it was not meant to be and Dan has to continue to persevere to achieve his first Captain Scott catch.

The innings was complete, two balls short of a full innings, by 16:25. 35 overs bowled in 2 hours and 20 minutes – let the record reflect 15 overs an hour is not a bad over rate.

Tea was taken and Scotty’s two openers took the field and the game resumed shortly after 5:00pm. This was after the scorebook had been interrogated and it was “calculated” that we required 173 to win.

The Skipper and myself also took to the field, but under the guise of umpires to cover for Xanthe who was in Barcelona (with god-knows how may ex boyfriends – much to Dan’s chargrin) on a photography and art class trip, while Ant did his best to replicate our wonderful scorer’s work, who was living it large at the Hickstead Show jumping in Sussex. When I say replicate, I simply mean record what’s going on in the outfield while hoping it all balances as the end.

It takes persons of strong character and iron will to umpire a game like this. The appealing for LBWs when the ball was merely in the pad’s vicinity or the incredulity that a wide be called when the ball passed the batsman, though in a different post code, was amusing. Let’s not even mention the outcome of a close run out chance. You’d swear this was the final game of a league season and a win was required to clinch the silverware.

Still smarting from being denied the run out chance, it was too much to bear for the keeper and the skipper when one of the bowlers was called for a wide. From my vantage point at square leg, it was very amusing to watch their skipper, all 4’7″ of him, run up to Sean, from fielding in the covers, indignant that a wide be called as the wicketkeeper hadn’t moved while taking the ball (it didn’t matter that the keeper was standing a foot outside off stump and had taken the ball on his right hip and then brought his hands back in from of him) . It looked like a Rumpelstiltskin-lookalike having a mini fit because his circus bear wouldn’t do as instructed and climb upon his little bicycle. This all before we’d reached 30 runs.

Ayman fell with the score on 29, David Watson and Langley put on a 67 run partnership before Chris edged one to the keeper. Rishi and David both fell at 115 and when Prateek fell with the score on 125/5, Sean strode to the crease, with a steely glint in his eye, to set the record straight and add another mark in the win column. Accused of a slow over rate, of not giving a run out and being being further abused by a tall dwarf for calling a wide. Enough was enough!

Sean and Jock added 42 runs, before Jock fell with six runs still required. Jamo-Love then ably assisted his older sibling in seeing the win home. The pièce de résistance, with us only requiring a single to win from six balls, was the skipper deciding he should bowl the final over. He then proceeded to bowl the first ball for a wide, assisting Captain Scott in reaching their target of 173 after three hours and 25 minutes in the middle. 10 overs an hour, no wonder over rate is so closely monitored.

It turns out the cricketing gods do have a wry sense of humour after all.

The detailed scorecard can be found here.

Enough time for a curry?

The Skipper regained his mojo and was back to adding winning notches to his belt. In what is a perennial low scoring affair, the Skipper marshalled the troops to claim a convincing win.

Losing the toss and being asked to bat, at 34-4, plans were being made, by certain Scotties, to book a curry, for 6:00pm, somewhere nearby. Uncle and Langley settled things down for a while, but they both fell after the drinks break for 61-5 and 70-6, respectfully. The skipper batting at seven fell soon after and at 78-7, no one quite sure if it was a good ball or the thought of a good curry that was the Skipper’s downfall. It seemed the bowling was going to have to be impeccable, if we couldn’t post a 130 plus runs.

Enter Dan “Jock” Vale who was playing his first Sunday game in the 2018 season. Those hoping for the 6:00pm curry had forgotten to involve Jock in the plans, so Jock proceeded to work with the wagging tail and see out the 40 overs, he himself adding a red-inked 40 to his name and allowing the team to post a 144-9. The highest batting total by either team from this and the all the other games from past seasons.

After tea, some tight opening bowling by Ant and Jock, forced Sandhurst into playing shots and great rotation of the bowlers, by the Skipper, saw wickets falling regularly. Though, I think it was Uncle’s right-handed snaffle, at the extreme reach of his outstretched right hand, which broke Sandhurst’s spirit, who happened to be sitting comfortably at 75-4. Spirit broken, Sandhurst stumbled to 114 all out. A 30 run win in a low scoring affair is a virtual chasm and a great win.

Walking off the pitch at 7:40pm, celebrating the win, the aforementioned curry long forgotten.

The detailed scorecard can be found here

Long may the run continue

It was an action packed game, with centuries on both teams, a hat-trick and a thrilling final over.

Pitching up at Stratfield Brake Sports Ground, there wasn’t a pitch ready and waiting, instead there was one field with a lush green square, another field with the covers still on and an assistant manager who knew sweet fanny-adams and kept asking us to wait until his manager arrived, who was right round the corner at the local Sainsbury and would be here very soon. Yeah right!

David and Jim (Copeman – Scottie debutant) took the initiative and decided to remove the covers from the square and see if we could get a game started. The opposition captain was eager to get going and obviously had a strong batting line-up as he asked if each bowler could bowl eight overs in a 35 over game – it’s a friendly, so why not… “Sure thing Dave, eight per bowler”. Seeing people removing the covers Dave then asked if we could toss. We headed out and Dave didn’t even look at the square and said, “Ready?”. I wasn’t sure what we should do, but tossed and Dave called tails, tails it was. “We’ll bowl!”, no hesitation or deliberation. Well at least I didn’t need to decide…

The mysterious manager turned up and it appeared that there were no boundary markers or stumps. Kidlington CC had everything locked up and even though you can hire a square, that’s all you’re hiring. To be fair, our awesome President and Tea-Maker had warned me to bring stumps, but a couple of eager beavers packed the car and I forgot the stumps – doh! I did have bails in my bag, as did the umpire. At least it wasn’t 100% village!

With two pairs of plastic stumps found in the nets (one set were buggered) play started while I rushed down the A34 to a Sports Direct, I was assured contained stumps on sale. I arrived and managed to find two pairs of spring stumps (no normal stumps available)… not great, but better than the classy plastic stumps we had.

Two pairs of spring stumps purchased, I then careened back the the ground, only to get there to find the idiotic salesperson had sold me one set of adult stumps and one set of youth stumps… FFS!! And to top it off, the youth stumps didn’t contain any bails. Double FFS!!

Unbeknownst to me, the one plastic set were so rubbish, they were rotating the decent plastic stumps every over. Now at least we had a decent pair of spring stumps and a decent [enough] pair of plastic stumps – rotation was no longer needed.

Most surprising, after all my toing and froing, was the opening pair of Mr Hunt and Mr Daniels were still going strong and shortly after I arrived back passed a century partnership, but it was not to last as one of the Butler fielders held a catch and Jim was gone for 42.

While I was stump shopping, Lisa had quickly [and quietly] arrived and delivered a top-class tea and then did a runner… something about her family being more important than the needs of 22 willow and leather obsessed blokes.

Dan Mitchell, a Sunday game debutant (not a complete debutant, as he has toured with Scotts this year) was in at three and looked to settle in on pitch that took a little getting used too. While Dan was trying to get to grips with the pitch, Paul Daniels was taking the bowling apart and brought up his century in style. Dan, while on 7, hit a great shot that the mid-wicket unfortunately managed to somehow get a paw under while falling over. It was an incredible catch and one that no one should ever feel bad getting out to…

Next debutant Jim Copeman, who’d looked great in the nets, and received a sound piece of advice from centurion Daniels, about having a look first. His first ball was an awful ball down the leg-side that should have been called a wide (umpiring, I’d begun to signal the wide, before I realised he’d hit it), however Jim somehow managed to get bat on it and send it straight down the neck of fine leg. Suddenly the bowler, T Wilson, was on a hat-trick.

In strode Prateek, and Butler’s skipper put all the men round the bat. In ran the bowler and tried a bouncer which bounced and was on it’s way down when Prateek attempted a pull and proceeded to knick it to McCormack behind the stumps who juggled it and almost, put it down, almost, but not quite. The Butler XI were cock-a-hoop. 162 for 1 was 162 for 4 and Wilson had a hat-trick. Wilson, having not yet conceded a run, proceeded to bowl two wides and took no further wickets. The skipper then immediately pulled T Wilson from the attack, stating he was protecting his average.

Mr Stoddart (from Mr Daniel’s Alma Mater) took to the middle and a sense of normality resumed… by normality, I mean the Butler boys dropping catches and allowing Stoddart to continue adding runs. It looked like Paul and David had spent years batting together. The opening bowler returned and Paul managed to play round a straight one and was out LBW for 124. Great innings and one that gave the team impetus.

Jimmy CS and his bat, which had been made from a willow tree in his village, that, one, WG Grace once urinated against just before it was struck by lightening, strode to the middle, proceeded to score a run and then hit it to a fielder. 210 for 6 and only a few more overs to go. Tommy “Panther” Mac looking to up the scoring rate, hit two great fours off sequential overs and then also got caught with nine balls of the innings remaining. Final over and hat-trick boy Wilson is brought back, deciding to bowl spin, instead of his medium pace… first ball and Stoddart edged an innocuous ball onto his stumps, gone for a respectable 28.

Enter Tomlinscote School and Sixth Form College’s newest head-boy, Dan “Cookerooni” Cooke for his second season at Captain Scott. He blocked the first ball, knocked his second for to mid-wicket for a single and then proceeded to tell the umpire at the non-striker’s end, Jim Copeman, that he’d just scored his first ever run! Dan was off the mark in more ways than one. Another single and Dan was back on strike. Dan then hit another ball to mid-wicket and scampered his second run on the final ball of the final over. Two not out, twice the amount of runs scored in four innings last season. Well done Dan, and I hope your cricket career is long and enjoyable. We at Captain Scott look forward to watching you grow in the coming years!

That was tea and the Butler XI had to chase 229 in 35 overs for the win. It was a great tea and I have to admit, I completely over indulged on the prawn mayo sandwiches. They were mighty fine!! Thanks Lisa!!

We started brightly enough with T Wilson, the bowling hero, going for a duck on the fourth ball of the first over. 1 for 1. Enter their dark horse and ringer, a Saffa with an Aidan-esque build, who apparently had his sense of humour removed by immigration when he arrived on these shores.

The game proceeded to ebb and flow, a few tight overs and then the release. We eventually removed Steve McCormack for 56 and it was 122-2, enter their big-hitter who’d pulled his groin while fielding, so was accompanied by a runner. His first scoring shot was a large six over cow, after he’d sashayed (groin and all) down the pitch. Pulled his groin you say… not just a lumber-some cart-horse, who needs a runner to turn singles into quick twos? A single and then a four and then bowled, their big-hitter could rest his injury. 140-3 and in strode Tom Cruise from Risky Business wearing a cricket helmet. A partnership of nine and Tommy Mac was in the wickets again, a large hoick, slick glove work, a foot stuck in the pitch and Prateek had an actual stumping to his name. 149-4.

At this stage I could turn to Magic and asking him their required rate, I was then fed, runs required, balls remaining and their required rate… Who would hold their nerve?

Batsman number six, not very long in the legs, joined the party and after adding two to his name, decided a second run to put the surly Saffa back on strike, was a good idea, obviously hadn’t heard that you don’t run on a misfield. Dan Mitchell grabbed the ball, fired and hit the stumps… stumpy was out and unhappy about it. 156-5.

In strode, the silver fox, David Price QC, of Fleet Street. Tom and Dan were bowling well and bringing a halt to the runs and causing the run rate to increase. At this point there was a load going on and I think it got to a point that they needed 34 from 4 overs. seven runs off the 32nd over and eight from the 33rd over and they needed 19 from the last 12 balls.

My final over, dot, dot, dot, single, dot, wide (doh) and a four, three metre’s from Paulie on the short boundary, but difficult to stop. We were still in with a  chance…

They needed 13 from the last six balls. Dan Mitchell entrusted with the final over… He ran up and delivered the first ball to the Saffa, who’d now passed his hundred but due to his team-mates poor scoring had him on 91, he hit it straight and long, six runs. Seven from five balls. Squeaky. Bum. Time!


Seven from four balls.

They could only manage a single and David was on strike. Six from three.

Dan ran in and David cut it to deep backward point on the boundary, two was the shout. I chased the ball as it rushed towards the boundary, Tommy Mac fielded on the boundary and pushed the ball towards me. I grabbed it and cannoned it back to Prateek who whipped off the bails, David was short of his ground. He was out and they’d only scored a single, 224-6.

Five from two balls and the new batsman was on strike, with the Saffa stranded down the other end, his sense of humour being closely watched by Sajid Javid’s staff. The field was brought up to stop a single or a suicide run.

Dot. Straight into Prateek’s gloves. No chance of a single. It wasn’t over, but we were in the driving seat.

Five from one (a four to tie or a six to win)


The Captain Scott Invitation XI had won by four runs and still had a 100% record for Sunday Friendlies in 2018. The Butler XI were both physically and mentally beaten, they’d snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Bet David Price now wished they had batted first.

Great game and well done to the match day XI. All round great performance…

The scorecard can be found here

A sunny Bank Holiday Sunday, in May?

We thought it was a 14:00 start and they thought it was a 13:30 start, so Kew were a little upset with us, plus the wonderful weather brought out millions of sun-seekers, which snarled London traffic, which definitely didn’t help those who usually plan to arrive with five minutes to spare.

Needless to say with the weather set hot and sunny and four players still MIA, the Skipper had a fifty-fifty chance of winning the toss, he called and once the coin landed, their skipper had absolutely no difficulty in deciding we should field (albeit with only seven players) first. Oh they did offer us a fielder for little while, bless their cotton socks.

Their umpire, who I thought was an official umpire and not a player/umpire, dressed in his civvies, had a minor conniption fit because Danny, running slightly less late than others, took to the field in his shorts. Danny then went to change his shorts for whites and was due to take the field but the umpire refused to let him on, until the end of the over, even though a player can take to the field at any time as long as the umpire is made aware (which he was) and the player doesn’t hold up play (which he wasn’t). In this case the ill-dressed umpire of disrepute, held up the game explaining that it was a local law (which were not discussed at the toss) allowing fielders to only take to the field of play in between overs and thereby forcing Danny to retreat from the field of play again.

After this is was fairly plain sailing. Kew started brightly, quickly scoring 36 in the first four overs, but with a plan set and bowling a tighter line we began to take wickets and Kew’s scoring opportunities were restricted, allowing them to reach 187-9 in their allotted 40 overs.

Surprise find of the game was Jim Hunt’s bowling, which he hasn’t done since he was 16 and he’s bloody 47 now (his words, not mine). He snared two wickets and it should have been more if he and a few other players didn’t shell the ball at opportune times.

After tea, we had 40 overs to chase 188 for the win, we made the task a little more exciting by being being 22 for 3 after not many overs. Danny and Prateek then settled things somewhat and at 95 for 3 after 19 overs, things were looking more favourable. But then again this is cricket and before anyone could fully grasp what was happening, Scotties found themselves at 100 for 6. Not all was lost as Danny was still at the crease, without a bead of sweat or a worry…

The seventh wicket fell at 121 and Billy and Danny then put on an eighth wicket partnership of 52 which saw us to 173 for 8. Danny now bored and wanting to take his daughters on the helter-skelter at the fair across the road, decided enough was enough and quickly dispatched the ball to the boundary a few more times while farming the strike saw us home on an unbeaten 117 from 114 balls.

Kew, graciously, bought us a jug of beer for win and Danny’s century. Danny didn’t drink a drop as he was on the helter-skelter, the cricket forgotten and his and his daughters’ joy unbridled.

The scorecard can be found here

Not only was the weather glorious, but the cricket wasn’t bad either.

The season opener was in the beautiful grounds of Headley Cricket Club on the periphery of Headley Heath in the Surrey North Downs.

Losing the toss and being put into field wasn’t a bad thing as if we’d won the toss, we’d have fielded… Headely started well enough and at 67 for 3 were well enough placed to go on and post a 200+ score for us to chase. However, while they are good batsmen, they simply want to hit every ball for a boundary (as the ground is rumoured to be one of the smallest in the UK, who can blame them), while this has it’s rewards, it’s also high risk.

Their approach in this instant didn’t pay off and from 67 for 3 they were all out for 111 in 28.5 overs. All the bowlers chipped in and Billy Smail removed their high scorer (29) and as well as ensuring the tail didn’t wag. He ended with 5.5 overs, 1 maiden, 14 runs and 4 wickets.

After an enjoyable tea, Sunny and Jim opened the batting and Headley CC were eager to prevent us from chasing the runs down. Unfortunately Jim (19) and Sunny (2) fell with only 30 on the board and Watson Senior (22) and Ryan “Spiceman” Spicer (29) put some of the loose bowling to the sword. At 74 for 2 we were cruising, but Dave missed a straight one and the umpire was left with no option, but to raise the dreaded finger. An unexpected (or expected, hence why we fielded first) wobble and we suddenly found ourselves 100 for 6 with Billy and, the stand-in Skipper, Brett at the crease.

Fortunately for Captain Scott or unfortunately for Headley CC, calm heads prevailed, forward defensives were utilised and the realisation that we required 12 runs in 15 overs allowed Billy and Brett to take safe singles and see Captain Scott home for a 4 wicket victory and a strong start to the season.

The full scorecard can be found here for those that would like to pick at the bones of the game.

Scottie’s Funnyman Abroad

A great article about Tony Brennan, the UK’s Deputy High Commissioner to Australia, a Scottie who would play more if time travel was possible or we had more away games in Australia and also a standup comic.

A diplomat walks into a bar … Britain’s man in Canberra is also a standup comic

A diplomat walks into a bar … Britain's man in Canberra is also a standup comic
A diplomat walks into a bar … Britain’s man in Canberra is also a standup comic