A number of years ago a group of the Salmagundi Gardeners were gathered in the Bonnington Cafe in Vauxhall, a vegetarian restaurant run by a worker’s cooperative that is as “Bohemian as a Romanian fiddler’s elbow” (copyright David Stead). A late arriving Nick Duckett tossed his cap into the centre of the table and headed off to find a waiter to order some food. When he returned to the table he was horrified at the sight of Paul Brasted jumping vigorously up and down on his headgear (now on the floor). “What the bluddy ell d’you think you’re doing!” cried the bluff Lancastrian, fixing to strike his team mate with a punch to the nose. Hurriedly the assembled throng informed Nick that he had thrown his cap onto a candle and the Somerset Shamen was eliminating the conflagration. When the cap, Nick and Paul had cooled down, sometime Gardener and captain of the Players Roger McCann proposed that all Salmagundi Gardeners vs Players matches should be contested for these Ashes. The legendary series continues on Sunday at Barn Elms.
Ah the misery of a rain cancellation. Still, out of such occasions we can derive some good, and we have managed to rework the season to move our first ‘Ashes Test’ vs The Players to 1st August, with the 47 Okes graciously taking an alternative date of 12th September in Greenwich Park. Meanwhile those lovely folks at Cambridge NCI have set up a fixture with us on Saturday 18th September meaning a double header weekend with North Enfield on the Sunday. And our new friends Allstars (who have provided us with reinforcements early season) will be our guests at Greenwich in the season finale on 25th September. Who knows, maybe all COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted by then and we can have a right old tear up.
For all the details, check out the Fixture List section. Salmagundi!
Richard Higginbottom, Captain & Secretary
This year is going to be an attempt to get back to normal … as always we have a full calendar and have made a few changes, including using Greenwich Park for some of our home games. Early season will be bring your own tea, later in the Summer we’ll work out when ordinary catering will resume – and to what extent we go. The 2020 emphasis on bring your own kit is here to stay, mainly because having one person lugging their own kit plus an oversized team kitbag is unreasonable. And if it’s a home game the essentials of stumps, boundary markers, scoreboard, umpires jackets, match and practice balls all add to the burden. I’ll always have some spare kit, but the days of one person being the team pack horse are over. If you need your own pads, bat or gloves, get in touch, I still have plenty in stock and you’ll be charged a minimum amount for them.
I invite you to study the fixture list and plan to enjoy the Summer. Let’s make it great together.
After a season and a bit of Covid-affected (infected?) play, we are now back and playing. Take a look at the 2022 Fixture List and the Match Reports to engage with the new normal.
At the start of Lockdown a number of us were doubting whether we’d get any cricket played this season. And we also wondered whether the somewhat estranged manner in which we might have to play would spoil the game. However, we’re now heading into our twelfth match of the season (I’m quite deliberately including the two T20s and the two-matches-in-an-afternoon experience) and whilst I wouldn’t say it’s been great, it has been tremendously worthwhile. Thanks to all the Gardeners for listening to the instructions and buying into the sanitisation routines. As always we’ve had a lot of different players turn out for us, Gardeners of many years standing and a few newcomers to the Salmagundi cause, but we continue to enjoy the game, respect the opposition, delight in one another’s successes and find fun in our (only too frequent) failures. If you’re casually reading this and haven’t played for a while, or would just like to come along and watch a bit of cricket that is usually a bit flawed but occasionally has some brilliance to it, come along to one of our games (see the fixtures section) for a chat or get in touch with me.
Richard Higginbottom, Captain & Secretary, 4th September 2020. firstname.lastname@example.org
After an incredible number of players being available for the first two games, we’ve got a useful XI for the French House match on 2nd August – but where’s everybody gone on the 8th and 9th? Check your diaries and sign up! Have a look at the two match reports to see how much good cricket we’ve fitted into the two matches so far.
Thanks again to our hosts at Jesus College for enabling our first match of the season. Check out the match report on this link.
Next Sunday (26th July) we entertain our great pals The Players at Parliament Hill. Can we regain the Ashes? Will everyone remember their hand sanitiser? Can everyone cope with having to bring their own kit and refreshments?
I hope all you fine folk are Wintering well. We’ve got weekly indoor nets at Lord’s (see emails for details – if you’re not on the list drop me a line).
Meanwhile whilst the Captain’s cap is lying at the bottom of the drawer in the off-season, the mantle of Secretary has been assumed: to see evidence of this please visit the Fixtures page on this link.
We have three new sets of friends (or enemies to make if I really stuff things up) in 2020. Markyate and Luton Town have filled a gap in our fixture list as Blue Star sadly couldn’t get their host club to release their ground on a suitable date. We look forward to revisiting Blue Star in the future. The Village are a team rather like us who play “home” matches on the Heath … their skipper tracked me down for a game, so it would be churlish to resist. And the Irregular Occasionals have replaced the Sunday Times – whose playing strength had depleted over the years.
Note that I’m still in negotiation for a couple of dates, and the T20s are likely to change a little. The final list will be in place by mid March.
Got an itchy feeling in your spinning finger? Surely that inswinging yorker you used to be able to produce from time to time is still in your armoury … a glorious Cover Drive, watching the fielder run after it in fruitless hope. Summer … a season incomplete without the noble battle between bat and ball. If you’re reading this and thoughts of taking to the wicket appeal, get in touch with the skipper who’ll be delighted to introduce you to all things Salmagundi. Already a player? Forward on to those friends, colleagues and acquaintances who may be harbouring an urge to take to the willow and leather.
Richard Higginbottom, Captain & Secretary
Hat-tricks as we all know are as rare as Lord Fakenham turning up on time on a Sunday afternoon, but at Alexandra Palace on Tuesday our ever improving all-rounder Graham Bruce secured the consecutive wickets of three decent batsmen versus CIPA-ITMA. Read about his sensational exploits here.
Meanwhile we have lots of players available on Sunday, so we’ve loaned three of us to our good friends Woodstock to ensure its 11 vs 11. Here’s our team:
Richard Higginbottom, Captain, 23rd May 2019