December 11 2013 Latest news:
Laurcene Klein, London24’s Middlesex blogger
Sunday, June 3, 2012
“Who knew?! Toby Roland-Jones can bat. He made his maiden half-century against Sussex at Lord’s, coming in at 10, and it wasn’t your standard tail-enders big score.”
Playing Sussex at home adjacent to the bank holiday is almost like the old days when Middlesex played Sussex at Lord’s at Whitsun, and at Hove over the August bank holiday. I wonder whether this was just chance or if the ECB’s fixture computer, like me, gets misty-eyed about the old days?
Who knew?! Toby Roland-Jones can bat. He made his maiden half-century against Sussex at Lord’s, coming in at 10, and it wasn’t your standard tail-enders big score. I was there when Tuffers got his one and only fifty which was swing and hope, edges flying everywhere, with him and the crowd laughing and wondering how long he could get away with it. TR-J, on the other hand, drove elegantly, defended like a proper batsman and unleashed the occasional big hit.
As I said a few weeks ago, I don’t like shipping in T20 stars for a few weeks and, with Malinga not now coming (though I suppose there’s still time to sign another IPL big name), I hope TR-J can get a chance to play T20 and swing his bat at the end of an innings on the odd occasion when the batsmen fail.
Talking of which, last week, I mentioned Chris Rogers’ below par start to the season and that surely normality will be resumed (regression to the mean as the numbers chaps call it). Well it has, with back-to-back big scores in the Championship. Rogers is slightly built, pale and wears glasses - surely Aussie professional sportsmen aren’t supposed to look like that. He is, though, a contender for opening in my Speccy XI, though there’s tough competition - Boycott, MJ Smith, Roebuck. I’ll have to work on that.
Read, watch or listen to anything media, and, at the moment, all that isn’t Olympics is Jubilee, so it may be apposite to draw attention to the Coronation Gardens at Lord’s - the green patch behind the Warner Stand (whose coronation?). In there are examples of the old benches that Lord’s used to have before plastic seating. Those who can remember that far back will know that there were different styles of benches in different stands.
The only one that’s labelled is the really low one ‘Mound Stand 1899 - 1985’. The others: wide planks, wavy back; wide planks, straight back; narrow planks (but not the curvy ones found in the pavilion). Anyone remember which was where? Lord’s is nothing if not about history and tradition, yet not only are these historic items not labelled but they are in desperate need of a coat of paint before they rot to compost and rust. Like the one in my garden. Must write a stiff letter to MCC’s Clerk of the Works, if he and his job title didn’t go out with wooden seating.