My least favourite cricketer

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My least favourite cricketer

Joined: August 19th, 2017, 7:18 pm

November 17th, 2017, 10:43 pm #1

(Apologies for this - if you are disinterested feel free to skip or berate me but it is the off-season and we are not signing anybody and the Ashes are going to be a disaster)

When I was growing up in Yorkshire in the late 70's and early 80's, like every other kid, I used to love the West Indies. They filled my family's Rediffusion black and white TV with brilliant carnival cricket. This love affair I was soon taking to the school playing field. When I was batting I wanted to be the imperious Vivian Richards; with a ball in hand it was Malcolm Marshall. Bat fast. Bowl fast. That was cricket. While this was obviously simplistic and unrealistic, I make no apologies for my 8 year old self. No football fan ever dreamt of being Phil Neville, and no birdwatcher ever held court bragging about seeing a hedge sparrow. Everybody desires the spectacular. In truth, nobody dreams of the ordinary - and if you look in a picture dictionary under the word 'ordinary' there staring back is a slightly pompous, overweight cricketer: Derek Pringle.


To give further context to my grievance, 1986 was perhaps the nadir for followers of English cricket (and boy we have had a few). The three tests against India were deeply chastening. I think I elected to sit behind the sofa and watch through my fingers. With the mighty and dangerous Guy the Gorilla banned for tooting on a Tooting Trumpet in came Derek the Docile. The Indians made us look like fools and, for me, Pringle became the epitome of all that was wrong with the world (despite Bothamesque figures of 3/47 in an innings in the second test I quietly confess). Somehow I decided that he was the reason for unemployment, acne and my failure to lose my virginity. Seeing him trundle in to bowl was a constant cause of despair. He was worse than an interrupted wet dream. His batting was not even as good as that.


In truth, deadly dull Derek was like a pound-shop Botham. He was the Christmas gift you never wanted because you knew there was something far better. While your friends were getting Raleigh Grifters you were getting a roller skate with a missing wheel. When, a year or so later, he was in competition with David Capel rather than the injured Botham, it was like being offered the choice between a weekend in a tent in Grimsby during February or two days in a cardboard box in Bolton during October. There was no answer that didn't feel like being sold a maggot sandwich and being told it was caviar. If the West Indies had been the fantasy, this was the bitter reality. Of course his averages might suggest different BUT I genuinely believed that Pringle was the worst cricketer to play at any level. There have been hundreds of average, ordinary cricketers to fail spectacularly for England since, but none that inspired in me such unreasoned incandescent rage. I have sympathy for the Blakeys, Igglesdens, Iranis that I never found for Pringle. Somehow he had found his way into my subconscious as the sum of all ills. He became a metaphor for the possibility that life may end up as more of a whimper than a bang.


And like the proverbial bad penny he just kept coming back. He did a stupid warm up that delighted the commentators (I can feel the bile rising at the recollection), but this was only ever the foreplay for utter disappointment. I willed him to fail and mostly I was left happy. He injured himself writing a letter (an urban myth I happily chose to believe) and I rejoiced with a salsa around the kitchen. He probably had good games which I refused to notice. He retired and I tried to throw a street party.


In researching this, I notice Wikipedia says that 'Pringle's first class batting average exactly matched his first class bowling average, indicating that he cancelled himself out perfectly'. Well exactly. He wouldn't have got in the team as a batsman or a bowler and as an all-rounder he only just covered his faults. It was like he never troubled a game of cricket.


This piece may have been better concluded with a fulsome apology and recognition that I have been unbelievably harsh. Maybe I could admit to a growing admiration for medium paced dobblers and an appreciation of the workmanlike batsman with no flair who look more out of place than an MCC blazer on a zebra. But it isn't going to happen. While you could argue with me using logic, facts and statistics, I stopped listening when I was 12 years old. I knew my enemy. I knew that if all cricketers were like him that I would rather watch wallpaper.


He might be a great journalist but I will never know. I wouldn't read a word for a footballer's wage. This is possibly my problem rather than his. I should probably ask your forgiveness and his but I am singularly unrepentant. Derek Pringle ruined my childhood. And now my life is once again in tatters, I wake from fevered nightmares of him wobbling in to bowl with the blankets sweat-soaked and tied in knots around my limbs.


This is the way the world ends...
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Joined: June 17th, 2016, 9:04 am

November 18th, 2017, 7:39 am #2

Averaged 15 with the bat from 30 tests in test cricket yet was always called an allrounder! To be fair he was was a decent county player and a big part of Essex's success at the time.Not of international standard though.
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Joined: October 17th, 2013, 9:52 am

November 18th, 2017, 9:19 am #3

(Apologies for this - if you are disinterested feel free to skip or berate me but it is the off-season and we are not signing anybody and the Ashes are going to be a disaster)

When I was growing up in Yorkshire in the late 70's and early 80's, like every other kid, I used to love the West Indies. They filled my family's Rediffusion black and white TV with brilliant carnival cricket. This love affair I was soon taking to the school playing field. When I was batting I wanted to be the imperious Vivian Richards; with a ball in hand it was Malcolm Marshall. Bat fast. Bowl fast. That was cricket. While this was obviously simplistic and unrealistic, I make no apologies for my 8 year old self. No football fan ever dreamt of being Phil Neville, and no birdwatcher ever held court bragging about seeing a hedge sparrow. Everybody desires the spectacular. In truth, nobody dreams of the ordinary - and if you look in a picture dictionary under the word 'ordinary' there staring back is a slightly pompous, overweight cricketer: Derek Pringle.


To give further context to my grievance, 1986 was perhaps the nadir for followers of English cricket (and boy we have had a few). The three tests against India were deeply chastening. I think I elected to sit behind the sofa and watch through my fingers. With the mighty and dangerous Guy the Gorilla banned for tooting on a Tooting Trumpet in came Derek the Docile. The Indians made us look like fools and, for me, Pringle became the epitome of all that was wrong with the world (despite Bothamesque figures of 3/47 in an innings in the second test I quietly confess). Somehow I decided that he was the reason for unemployment, acne and my failure to lose my virginity. Seeing him trundle in to bowl was a constant cause of despair. He was worse than an interrupted wet dream. His batting was not even as good as that.


In truth, deadly dull Derek was like a pound-shop Botham. He was the Christmas gift you never wanted because you knew there was something far better. While your friends were getting Raleigh Grifters you were getting a roller skate with a missing wheel. When, a year or so later, he was in competition with David Capel rather than the injured Botham, it was like being offered the choice between a weekend in a tent in Grimsby during February or two days in a cardboard box in Bolton during October. There was no answer that didn't feel like being sold a maggot sandwich and being told it was caviar. If the West Indies had been the fantasy, this was the bitter reality. Of course his averages might suggest different BUT I genuinely believed that Pringle was the worst cricketer to play at any level. There have been hundreds of average, ordinary cricketers to fail spectacularly for England since, but none that inspired in me such unreasoned incandescent rage. I have sympathy for the Blakeys, Igglesdens, Iranis that I never found for Pringle. Somehow he had found his way into my subconscious as the sum of all ills. He became a metaphor for the possibility that life may end up as more of a whimper than a bang.


And like the proverbial bad penny he just kept coming back. He did a stupid warm up that delighted the commentators (I can feel the bile rising at the recollection), but this was only ever the foreplay for utter disappointment. I willed him to fail and mostly I was left happy. He injured himself writing a letter (an urban myth I happily chose to believe) and I rejoiced with a salsa around the kitchen. He probably had good games which I refused to notice. He retired and I tried to throw a street party.


In researching this, I notice Wikipedia says that 'Pringle's first class batting average exactly matched his first class bowling average, indicating that he cancelled himself out perfectly'. Well exactly. He wouldn't have got in the team as a batsman or a bowler and as an all-rounder he only just covered his faults. It was like he never troubled a game of cricket.


This piece may have been better concluded with a fulsome apology and recognition that I have been unbelievably harsh. Maybe I could admit to a growing admiration for medium paced dobblers and an appreciation of the workmanlike batsman with no flair who look more out of place than an MCC blazer on a zebra. But it isn't going to happen. While you could argue with me using logic, facts and statistics, I stopped listening when I was 12 years old. I knew my enemy. I knew that if all cricketers were like him that I would rather watch wallpaper.


He might be a great journalist but I will never know. I wouldn't read a word for a footballer's wage. This is possibly my problem rather than his. I should probably ask your forgiveness and his but I am singularly unrepentant. Derek Pringle ruined my childhood. And now my life is once again in tatters, I wake from fevered nightmares of him wobbling in to bowl with the blankets sweat-soaked and tied in knots around my limbs.


This is the way the world ends...
Mine was the tubby Durham spinner who mysteriously played for England once or twice. I forget the name.

PS Dunnocks are quite nice when there's not much else about.
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Joined: March 27th, 2014, 1:24 pm

November 18th, 2017, 9:59 am #4

(Apologies for this - if you are disinterested feel free to skip or berate me but it is the off-season and we are not signing anybody and the Ashes are going to be a disaster)

When I was growing up in Yorkshire in the late 70's and early 80's, like every other kid, I used to love the West Indies. They filled my family's Rediffusion black and white TV with brilliant carnival cricket. This love affair I was soon taking to the school playing field. When I was batting I wanted to be the imperious Vivian Richards; with a ball in hand it was Malcolm Marshall. Bat fast. Bowl fast. That was cricket. While this was obviously simplistic and unrealistic, I make no apologies for my 8 year old self. No football fan ever dreamt of being Phil Neville, and no birdwatcher ever held court bragging about seeing a hedge sparrow. Everybody desires the spectacular. In truth, nobody dreams of the ordinary - and if you look in a picture dictionary under the word 'ordinary' there staring back is a slightly pompous, overweight cricketer: Derek Pringle.


To give further context to my grievance, 1986 was perhaps the nadir for followers of English cricket (and boy we have had a few). The three tests against India were deeply chastening. I think I elected to sit behind the sofa and watch through my fingers. With the mighty and dangerous Guy the Gorilla banned for tooting on a Tooting Trumpet in came Derek the Docile. The Indians made us look like fools and, for me, Pringle became the epitome of all that was wrong with the world (despite Bothamesque figures of 3/47 in an innings in the second test I quietly confess). Somehow I decided that he was the reason for unemployment, acne and my failure to lose my virginity. Seeing him trundle in to bowl was a constant cause of despair. He was worse than an interrupted wet dream. His batting was not even as good as that.


In truth, deadly dull Derek was like a pound-shop Botham. He was the Christmas gift you never wanted because you knew there was something far better. While your friends were getting Raleigh Grifters you were getting a roller skate with a missing wheel. When, a year or so later, he was in competition with David Capel rather than the injured Botham, it was like being offered the choice between a weekend in a tent in Grimsby during February or two days in a cardboard box in Bolton during October. There was no answer that didn't feel like being sold a maggot sandwich and being told it was caviar. If the West Indies had been the fantasy, this was the bitter reality. Of course his averages might suggest different BUT I genuinely believed that Pringle was the worst cricketer to play at any level. There have been hundreds of average, ordinary cricketers to fail spectacularly for England since, but none that inspired in me such unreasoned incandescent rage. I have sympathy for the Blakeys, Igglesdens, Iranis that I never found for Pringle. Somehow he had found his way into my subconscious as the sum of all ills. He became a metaphor for the possibility that life may end up as more of a whimper than a bang.


And like the proverbial bad penny he just kept coming back. He did a stupid warm up that delighted the commentators (I can feel the bile rising at the recollection), but this was only ever the foreplay for utter disappointment. I willed him to fail and mostly I was left happy. He injured himself writing a letter (an urban myth I happily chose to believe) and I rejoiced with a salsa around the kitchen. He probably had good games which I refused to notice. He retired and I tried to throw a street party.


In researching this, I notice Wikipedia says that 'Pringle's first class batting average exactly matched his first class bowling average, indicating that he cancelled himself out perfectly'. Well exactly. He wouldn't have got in the team as a batsman or a bowler and as an all-rounder he only just covered his faults. It was like he never troubled a game of cricket.


This piece may have been better concluded with a fulsome apology and recognition that I have been unbelievably harsh. Maybe I could admit to a growing admiration for medium paced dobblers and an appreciation of the workmanlike batsman with no flair who look more out of place than an MCC blazer on a zebra. But it isn't going to happen. While you could argue with me using logic, facts and statistics, I stopped listening when I was 12 years old. I knew my enemy. I knew that if all cricketers were like him that I would rather watch wallpaper.


He might be a great journalist but I will never know. I wouldn't read a word for a footballer's wage. This is possibly my problem rather than his. I should probably ask your forgiveness and his but I am singularly unrepentant. Derek Pringle ruined my childhood. And now my life is once again in tatters, I wake from fevered nightmares of him wobbling in to bowl with the blankets sweat-soaked and tied in knots around my limbs.


This is the way the world ends...
No opinion on Pringle. But that was a brilliant read, cheers!
Call for TKC..
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Joined: June 17th, 2016, 9:04 am

November 18th, 2017, 10:22 am #5

(Apologies for this - if you are disinterested feel free to skip or berate me but it is the off-season and we are not signing anybody and the Ashes are going to be a disaster)

When I was growing up in Yorkshire in the late 70's and early 80's, like every other kid, I used to love the West Indies. They filled my family's Rediffusion black and white TV with brilliant carnival cricket. This love affair I was soon taking to the school playing field. When I was batting I wanted to be the imperious Vivian Richards; with a ball in hand it was Malcolm Marshall. Bat fast. Bowl fast. That was cricket. While this was obviously simplistic and unrealistic, I make no apologies for my 8 year old self. No football fan ever dreamt of being Phil Neville, and no birdwatcher ever held court bragging about seeing a hedge sparrow. Everybody desires the spectacular. In truth, nobody dreams of the ordinary - and if you look in a picture dictionary under the word 'ordinary' there staring back is a slightly pompous, overweight cricketer: Derek Pringle.


To give further context to my grievance, 1986 was perhaps the nadir for followers of English cricket (and boy we have had a few). The three tests against India were deeply chastening. I think I elected to sit behind the sofa and watch through my fingers. With the mighty and dangerous Guy the Gorilla banned for tooting on a Tooting Trumpet in came Derek the Docile. The Indians made us look like fools and, for me, Pringle became the epitome of all that was wrong with the world (despite Bothamesque figures of 3/47 in an innings in the second test I quietly confess). Somehow I decided that he was the reason for unemployment, acne and my failure to lose my virginity. Seeing him trundle in to bowl was a constant cause of despair. He was worse than an interrupted wet dream. His batting was not even as good as that.


In truth, deadly dull Derek was like a pound-shop Botham. He was the Christmas gift you never wanted because you knew there was something far better. While your friends were getting Raleigh Grifters you were getting a roller skate with a missing wheel. When, a year or so later, he was in competition with David Capel rather than the injured Botham, it was like being offered the choice between a weekend in a tent in Grimsby during February or two days in a cardboard box in Bolton during October. There was no answer that didn't feel like being sold a maggot sandwich and being told it was caviar. If the West Indies had been the fantasy, this was the bitter reality. Of course his averages might suggest different BUT I genuinely believed that Pringle was the worst cricketer to play at any level. There have been hundreds of average, ordinary cricketers to fail spectacularly for England since, but none that inspired in me such unreasoned incandescent rage. I have sympathy for the Blakeys, Igglesdens, Iranis that I never found for Pringle. Somehow he had found his way into my subconscious as the sum of all ills. He became a metaphor for the possibility that life may end up as more of a whimper than a bang.


And like the proverbial bad penny he just kept coming back. He did a stupid warm up that delighted the commentators (I can feel the bile rising at the recollection), but this was only ever the foreplay for utter disappointment. I willed him to fail and mostly I was left happy. He injured himself writing a letter (an urban myth I happily chose to believe) and I rejoiced with a salsa around the kitchen. He probably had good games which I refused to notice. He retired and I tried to throw a street party.


In researching this, I notice Wikipedia says that 'Pringle's first class batting average exactly matched his first class bowling average, indicating that he cancelled himself out perfectly'. Well exactly. He wouldn't have got in the team as a batsman or a bowler and as an all-rounder he only just covered his faults. It was like he never troubled a game of cricket.


This piece may have been better concluded with a fulsome apology and recognition that I have been unbelievably harsh. Maybe I could admit to a growing admiration for medium paced dobblers and an appreciation of the workmanlike batsman with no flair who look more out of place than an MCC blazer on a zebra. But it isn't going to happen. While you could argue with me using logic, facts and statistics, I stopped listening when I was 12 years old. I knew my enemy. I knew that if all cricketers were like him that I would rather watch wallpaper.


He might be a great journalist but I will never know. I wouldn't read a word for a footballer's wage. This is possibly my problem rather than his. I should probably ask your forgiveness and his but I am singularly unrepentant. Derek Pringle ruined my childhood. And now my life is once again in tatters, I wake from fevered nightmares of him wobbling in to bowl with the blankets sweat-soaked and tied in knots around my limbs.


This is the way the world ends...
I think you mean Ian Blackwell?
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Joined: August 7th, 2014, 4:58 pm

November 18th, 2017, 10:33 am #6

(Apologies for this - if you are disinterested feel free to skip or berate me but it is the off-season and we are not signing anybody and the Ashes are going to be a disaster)

When I was growing up in Yorkshire in the late 70's and early 80's, like every other kid, I used to love the West Indies. They filled my family's Rediffusion black and white TV with brilliant carnival cricket. This love affair I was soon taking to the school playing field. When I was batting I wanted to be the imperious Vivian Richards; with a ball in hand it was Malcolm Marshall. Bat fast. Bowl fast. That was cricket. While this was obviously simplistic and unrealistic, I make no apologies for my 8 year old self. No football fan ever dreamt of being Phil Neville, and no birdwatcher ever held court bragging about seeing a hedge sparrow. Everybody desires the spectacular. In truth, nobody dreams of the ordinary - and if you look in a picture dictionary under the word 'ordinary' there staring back is a slightly pompous, overweight cricketer: Derek Pringle.


To give further context to my grievance, 1986 was perhaps the nadir for followers of English cricket (and boy we have had a few). The three tests against India were deeply chastening. I think I elected to sit behind the sofa and watch through my fingers. With the mighty and dangerous Guy the Gorilla banned for tooting on a Tooting Trumpet in came Derek the Docile. The Indians made us look like fools and, for me, Pringle became the epitome of all that was wrong with the world (despite Bothamesque figures of 3/47 in an innings in the second test I quietly confess). Somehow I decided that he was the reason for unemployment, acne and my failure to lose my virginity. Seeing him trundle in to bowl was a constant cause of despair. He was worse than an interrupted wet dream. His batting was not even as good as that.


In truth, deadly dull Derek was like a pound-shop Botham. He was the Christmas gift you never wanted because you knew there was something far better. While your friends were getting Raleigh Grifters you were getting a roller skate with a missing wheel. When, a year or so later, he was in competition with David Capel rather than the injured Botham, it was like being offered the choice between a weekend in a tent in Grimsby during February or two days in a cardboard box in Bolton during October. There was no answer that didn't feel like being sold a maggot sandwich and being told it was caviar. If the West Indies had been the fantasy, this was the bitter reality. Of course his averages might suggest different BUT I genuinely believed that Pringle was the worst cricketer to play at any level. There have been hundreds of average, ordinary cricketers to fail spectacularly for England since, but none that inspired in me such unreasoned incandescent rage. I have sympathy for the Blakeys, Igglesdens, Iranis that I never found for Pringle. Somehow he had found his way into my subconscious as the sum of all ills. He became a metaphor for the possibility that life may end up as more of a whimper than a bang.


And like the proverbial bad penny he just kept coming back. He did a stupid warm up that delighted the commentators (I can feel the bile rising at the recollection), but this was only ever the foreplay for utter disappointment. I willed him to fail and mostly I was left happy. He injured himself writing a letter (an urban myth I happily chose to believe) and I rejoiced with a salsa around the kitchen. He probably had good games which I refused to notice. He retired and I tried to throw a street party.


In researching this, I notice Wikipedia says that 'Pringle's first class batting average exactly matched his first class bowling average, indicating that he cancelled himself out perfectly'. Well exactly. He wouldn't have got in the team as a batsman or a bowler and as an all-rounder he only just covered his faults. It was like he never troubled a game of cricket.


This piece may have been better concluded with a fulsome apology and recognition that I have been unbelievably harsh. Maybe I could admit to a growing admiration for medium paced dobblers and an appreciation of the workmanlike batsman with no flair who look more out of place than an MCC blazer on a zebra. But it isn't going to happen. While you could argue with me using logic, facts and statistics, I stopped listening when I was 12 years old. I knew my enemy. I knew that if all cricketers were like him that I would rather watch wallpaper.


He might be a great journalist but I will never know. I wouldn't read a word for a footballer's wage. This is possibly my problem rather than his. I should probably ask your forgiveness and his but I am singularly unrepentant. Derek Pringle ruined my childhood. And now my life is once again in tatters, I wake from fevered nightmares of him wobbling in to bowl with the blankets sweat-soaked and tied in knots around my limbs.


This is the way the world ends...
A very amusing read! I suspect we must be roughly the same age since I also seemed to spend much of my childhood watching Pringle warm up. His biggest contribution to test cricket was blocking up an end while Gooch scored a brilliant century v West Indies at Headingley.
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Joined: October 17th, 2013, 9:52 am

November 18th, 2017, 11:13 am #7

(Apologies for this - if you are disinterested feel free to skip or berate me but it is the off-season and we are not signing anybody and the Ashes are going to be a disaster)

When I was growing up in Yorkshire in the late 70's and early 80's, like every other kid, I used to love the West Indies. They filled my family's Rediffusion black and white TV with brilliant carnival cricket. This love affair I was soon taking to the school playing field. When I was batting I wanted to be the imperious Vivian Richards; with a ball in hand it was Malcolm Marshall. Bat fast. Bowl fast. That was cricket. While this was obviously simplistic and unrealistic, I make no apologies for my 8 year old self. No football fan ever dreamt of being Phil Neville, and no birdwatcher ever held court bragging about seeing a hedge sparrow. Everybody desires the spectacular. In truth, nobody dreams of the ordinary - and if you look in a picture dictionary under the word 'ordinary' there staring back is a slightly pompous, overweight cricketer: Derek Pringle.


To give further context to my grievance, 1986 was perhaps the nadir for followers of English cricket (and boy we have had a few). The three tests against India were deeply chastening. I think I elected to sit behind the sofa and watch through my fingers. With the mighty and dangerous Guy the Gorilla banned for tooting on a Tooting Trumpet in came Derek the Docile. The Indians made us look like fools and, for me, Pringle became the epitome of all that was wrong with the world (despite Bothamesque figures of 3/47 in an innings in the second test I quietly confess). Somehow I decided that he was the reason for unemployment, acne and my failure to lose my virginity. Seeing him trundle in to bowl was a constant cause of despair. He was worse than an interrupted wet dream. His batting was not even as good as that.


In truth, deadly dull Derek was like a pound-shop Botham. He was the Christmas gift you never wanted because you knew there was something far better. While your friends were getting Raleigh Grifters you were getting a roller skate with a missing wheel. When, a year or so later, he was in competition with David Capel rather than the injured Botham, it was like being offered the choice between a weekend in a tent in Grimsby during February or two days in a cardboard box in Bolton during October. There was no answer that didn't feel like being sold a maggot sandwich and being told it was caviar. If the West Indies had been the fantasy, this was the bitter reality. Of course his averages might suggest different BUT I genuinely believed that Pringle was the worst cricketer to play at any level. There have been hundreds of average, ordinary cricketers to fail spectacularly for England since, but none that inspired in me such unreasoned incandescent rage. I have sympathy for the Blakeys, Igglesdens, Iranis that I never found for Pringle. Somehow he had found his way into my subconscious as the sum of all ills. He became a metaphor for the possibility that life may end up as more of a whimper than a bang.


And like the proverbial bad penny he just kept coming back. He did a stupid warm up that delighted the commentators (I can feel the bile rising at the recollection), but this was only ever the foreplay for utter disappointment. I willed him to fail and mostly I was left happy. He injured himself writing a letter (an urban myth I happily chose to believe) and I rejoiced with a salsa around the kitchen. He probably had good games which I refused to notice. He retired and I tried to throw a street party.


In researching this, I notice Wikipedia says that 'Pringle's first class batting average exactly matched his first class bowling average, indicating that he cancelled himself out perfectly'. Well exactly. He wouldn't have got in the team as a batsman or a bowler and as an all-rounder he only just covered his faults. It was like he never troubled a game of cricket.


This piece may have been better concluded with a fulsome apology and recognition that I have been unbelievably harsh. Maybe I could admit to a growing admiration for medium paced dobblers and an appreciation of the workmanlike batsman with no flair who look more out of place than an MCC blazer on a zebra. But it isn't going to happen. While you could argue with me using logic, facts and statistics, I stopped listening when I was 12 years old. I knew my enemy. I knew that if all cricketers were like him that I would rather watch wallpaper.


He might be a great journalist but I will never know. I wouldn't read a word for a footballer's wage. This is possibly my problem rather than his. I should probably ask your forgiveness and his but I am singularly unrepentant. Derek Pringle ruined my childhood. And now my life is once again in tatters, I wake from fevered nightmares of him wobbling in to bowl with the blankets sweat-soaked and tied in knots around my limbs.


This is the way the world ends...
Yes, and after rereading my post I must apologise for my use of the word spinner.
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Joined: October 20th, 2013, 8:03 pm

November 18th, 2017, 11:19 am #8

(Apologies for this - if you are disinterested feel free to skip or berate me but it is the off-season and we are not signing anybody and the Ashes are going to be a disaster)

When I was growing up in Yorkshire in the late 70's and early 80's, like every other kid, I used to love the West Indies. They filled my family's Rediffusion black and white TV with brilliant carnival cricket. This love affair I was soon taking to the school playing field. When I was batting I wanted to be the imperious Vivian Richards; with a ball in hand it was Malcolm Marshall. Bat fast. Bowl fast. That was cricket. While this was obviously simplistic and unrealistic, I make no apologies for my 8 year old self. No football fan ever dreamt of being Phil Neville, and no birdwatcher ever held court bragging about seeing a hedge sparrow. Everybody desires the spectacular. In truth, nobody dreams of the ordinary - and if you look in a picture dictionary under the word 'ordinary' there staring back is a slightly pompous, overweight cricketer: Derek Pringle.


To give further context to my grievance, 1986 was perhaps the nadir for followers of English cricket (and boy we have had a few). The three tests against India were deeply chastening. I think I elected to sit behind the sofa and watch through my fingers. With the mighty and dangerous Guy the Gorilla banned for tooting on a Tooting Trumpet in came Derek the Docile. The Indians made us look like fools and, for me, Pringle became the epitome of all that was wrong with the world (despite Bothamesque figures of 3/47 in an innings in the second test I quietly confess). Somehow I decided that he was the reason for unemployment, acne and my failure to lose my virginity. Seeing him trundle in to bowl was a constant cause of despair. He was worse than an interrupted wet dream. His batting was not even as good as that.


In truth, deadly dull Derek was like a pound-shop Botham. He was the Christmas gift you never wanted because you knew there was something far better. While your friends were getting Raleigh Grifters you were getting a roller skate with a missing wheel. When, a year or so later, he was in competition with David Capel rather than the injured Botham, it was like being offered the choice between a weekend in a tent in Grimsby during February or two days in a cardboard box in Bolton during October. There was no answer that didn't feel like being sold a maggot sandwich and being told it was caviar. If the West Indies had been the fantasy, this was the bitter reality. Of course his averages might suggest different BUT I genuinely believed that Pringle was the worst cricketer to play at any level. There have been hundreds of average, ordinary cricketers to fail spectacularly for England since, but none that inspired in me such unreasoned incandescent rage. I have sympathy for the Blakeys, Igglesdens, Iranis that I never found for Pringle. Somehow he had found his way into my subconscious as the sum of all ills. He became a metaphor for the possibility that life may end up as more of a whimper than a bang.


And like the proverbial bad penny he just kept coming back. He did a stupid warm up that delighted the commentators (I can feel the bile rising at the recollection), but this was only ever the foreplay for utter disappointment. I willed him to fail and mostly I was left happy. He injured himself writing a letter (an urban myth I happily chose to believe) and I rejoiced with a salsa around the kitchen. He probably had good games which I refused to notice. He retired and I tried to throw a street party.


In researching this, I notice Wikipedia says that 'Pringle's first class batting average exactly matched his first class bowling average, indicating that he cancelled himself out perfectly'. Well exactly. He wouldn't have got in the team as a batsman or a bowler and as an all-rounder he only just covered his faults. It was like he never troubled a game of cricket.


This piece may have been better concluded with a fulsome apology and recognition that I have been unbelievably harsh. Maybe I could admit to a growing admiration for medium paced dobblers and an appreciation of the workmanlike batsman with no flair who look more out of place than an MCC blazer on a zebra. But it isn't going to happen. While you could argue with me using logic, facts and statistics, I stopped listening when I was 12 years old. I knew my enemy. I knew that if all cricketers were like him that I would rather watch wallpaper.


He might be a great journalist but I will never know. I wouldn't read a word for a footballer's wage. This is possibly my problem rather than his. I should probably ask your forgiveness and his but I am singularly unrepentant. Derek Pringle ruined my childhood. And now my life is once again in tatters, I wake from fevered nightmares of him wobbling in to bowl with the blankets sweat-soaked and tied in knots around my limbs.


This is the way the world ends...
Pringle was just one of those bits and pieces cricketers whose selection was a tacit admission we weren't any good. Irani, Ealham were probably worse than Pringle, and there may be others I've had surgically erased from memory.I once heard an idiot at a test state that Craig White was the worst player ever selected for England. After I calmed down I asked him how many players he could name between Botham and Flintoff with both an England century and a five wicket haul to their name. I then had to think about it myself. Apart from Craig, the only one I could come up with was Chris Lewis.
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Joined: August 7th, 2014, 4:58 pm

November 18th, 2017, 11:36 am #9

(Apologies for this - if you are disinterested feel free to skip or berate me but it is the off-season and we are not signing anybody and the Ashes are going to be a disaster)

When I was growing up in Yorkshire in the late 70's and early 80's, like every other kid, I used to love the West Indies. They filled my family's Rediffusion black and white TV with brilliant carnival cricket. This love affair I was soon taking to the school playing field. When I was batting I wanted to be the imperious Vivian Richards; with a ball in hand it was Malcolm Marshall. Bat fast. Bowl fast. That was cricket. While this was obviously simplistic and unrealistic, I make no apologies for my 8 year old self. No football fan ever dreamt of being Phil Neville, and no birdwatcher ever held court bragging about seeing a hedge sparrow. Everybody desires the spectacular. In truth, nobody dreams of the ordinary - and if you look in a picture dictionary under the word 'ordinary' there staring back is a slightly pompous, overweight cricketer: Derek Pringle.


To give further context to my grievance, 1986 was perhaps the nadir for followers of English cricket (and boy we have had a few). The three tests against India were deeply chastening. I think I elected to sit behind the sofa and watch through my fingers. With the mighty and dangerous Guy the Gorilla banned for tooting on a Tooting Trumpet in came Derek the Docile. The Indians made us look like fools and, for me, Pringle became the epitome of all that was wrong with the world (despite Bothamesque figures of 3/47 in an innings in the second test I quietly confess). Somehow I decided that he was the reason for unemployment, acne and my failure to lose my virginity. Seeing him trundle in to bowl was a constant cause of despair. He was worse than an interrupted wet dream. His batting was not even as good as that.


In truth, deadly dull Derek was like a pound-shop Botham. He was the Christmas gift you never wanted because you knew there was something far better. While your friends were getting Raleigh Grifters you were getting a roller skate with a missing wheel. When, a year or so later, he was in competition with David Capel rather than the injured Botham, it was like being offered the choice between a weekend in a tent in Grimsby during February or two days in a cardboard box in Bolton during October. There was no answer that didn't feel like being sold a maggot sandwich and being told it was caviar. If the West Indies had been the fantasy, this was the bitter reality. Of course his averages might suggest different BUT I genuinely believed that Pringle was the worst cricketer to play at any level. There have been hundreds of average, ordinary cricketers to fail spectacularly for England since, but none that inspired in me such unreasoned incandescent rage. I have sympathy for the Blakeys, Igglesdens, Iranis that I never found for Pringle. Somehow he had found his way into my subconscious as the sum of all ills. He became a metaphor for the possibility that life may end up as more of a whimper than a bang.


And like the proverbial bad penny he just kept coming back. He did a stupid warm up that delighted the commentators (I can feel the bile rising at the recollection), but this was only ever the foreplay for utter disappointment. I willed him to fail and mostly I was left happy. He injured himself writing a letter (an urban myth I happily chose to believe) and I rejoiced with a salsa around the kitchen. He probably had good games which I refused to notice. He retired and I tried to throw a street party.


In researching this, I notice Wikipedia says that 'Pringle's first class batting average exactly matched his first class bowling average, indicating that he cancelled himself out perfectly'. Well exactly. He wouldn't have got in the team as a batsman or a bowler and as an all-rounder he only just covered his faults. It was like he never troubled a game of cricket.


This piece may have been better concluded with a fulsome apology and recognition that I have been unbelievably harsh. Maybe I could admit to a growing admiration for medium paced dobblers and an appreciation of the workmanlike batsman with no flair who look more out of place than an MCC blazer on a zebra. But it isn't going to happen. While you could argue with me using logic, facts and statistics, I stopped listening when I was 12 years old. I knew my enemy. I knew that if all cricketers were like him that I would rather watch wallpaper.


He might be a great journalist but I will never know. I wouldn't read a word for a footballer's wage. This is possibly my problem rather than his. I should probably ask your forgiveness and his but I am singularly unrepentant. Derek Pringle ruined my childhood. And now my life is once again in tatters, I wake from fevered nightmares of him wobbling in to bowl with the blankets sweat-soaked and tied in knots around my limbs.


This is the way the world ends...
Chris Lewis was phenomenally gifted but sadly had nothing between his ears. Pringle made Lewis look like Sobers.
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Joined: October 17th, 2013, 8:44 pm

November 18th, 2017, 12:16 pm #10

(Apologies for this - if you are disinterested feel free to skip or berate me but it is the off-season and we are not signing anybody and the Ashes are going to be a disaster)

When I was growing up in Yorkshire in the late 70's and early 80's, like every other kid, I used to love the West Indies. They filled my family's Rediffusion black and white TV with brilliant carnival cricket. This love affair I was soon taking to the school playing field. When I was batting I wanted to be the imperious Vivian Richards; with a ball in hand it was Malcolm Marshall. Bat fast. Bowl fast. That was cricket. While this was obviously simplistic and unrealistic, I make no apologies for my 8 year old self. No football fan ever dreamt of being Phil Neville, and no birdwatcher ever held court bragging about seeing a hedge sparrow. Everybody desires the spectacular. In truth, nobody dreams of the ordinary - and if you look in a picture dictionary under the word 'ordinary' there staring back is a slightly pompous, overweight cricketer: Derek Pringle.


To give further context to my grievance, 1986 was perhaps the nadir for followers of English cricket (and boy we have had a few). The three tests against India were deeply chastening. I think I elected to sit behind the sofa and watch through my fingers. With the mighty and dangerous Guy the Gorilla banned for tooting on a Tooting Trumpet in came Derek the Docile. The Indians made us look like fools and, for me, Pringle became the epitome of all that was wrong with the world (despite Bothamesque figures of 3/47 in an innings in the second test I quietly confess). Somehow I decided that he was the reason for unemployment, acne and my failure to lose my virginity. Seeing him trundle in to bowl was a constant cause of despair. He was worse than an interrupted wet dream. His batting was not even as good as that.


In truth, deadly dull Derek was like a pound-shop Botham. He was the Christmas gift you never wanted because you knew there was something far better. While your friends were getting Raleigh Grifters you were getting a roller skate with a missing wheel. When, a year or so later, he was in competition with David Capel rather than the injured Botham, it was like being offered the choice between a weekend in a tent in Grimsby during February or two days in a cardboard box in Bolton during October. There was no answer that didn't feel like being sold a maggot sandwich and being told it was caviar. If the West Indies had been the fantasy, this was the bitter reality. Of course his averages might suggest different BUT I genuinely believed that Pringle was the worst cricketer to play at any level. There have been hundreds of average, ordinary cricketers to fail spectacularly for England since, but none that inspired in me such unreasoned incandescent rage. I have sympathy for the Blakeys, Igglesdens, Iranis that I never found for Pringle. Somehow he had found his way into my subconscious as the sum of all ills. He became a metaphor for the possibility that life may end up as more of a whimper than a bang.


And like the proverbial bad penny he just kept coming back. He did a stupid warm up that delighted the commentators (I can feel the bile rising at the recollection), but this was only ever the foreplay for utter disappointment. I willed him to fail and mostly I was left happy. He injured himself writing a letter (an urban myth I happily chose to believe) and I rejoiced with a salsa around the kitchen. He probably had good games which I refused to notice. He retired and I tried to throw a street party.


In researching this, I notice Wikipedia says that 'Pringle's first class batting average exactly matched his first class bowling average, indicating that he cancelled himself out perfectly'. Well exactly. He wouldn't have got in the team as a batsman or a bowler and as an all-rounder he only just covered his faults. It was like he never troubled a game of cricket.


This piece may have been better concluded with a fulsome apology and recognition that I have been unbelievably harsh. Maybe I could admit to a growing admiration for medium paced dobblers and an appreciation of the workmanlike batsman with no flair who look more out of place than an MCC blazer on a zebra. But it isn't going to happen. While you could argue with me using logic, facts and statistics, I stopped listening when I was 12 years old. I knew my enemy. I knew that if all cricketers were like him that I would rather watch wallpaper.


He might be a great journalist but I will never know. I wouldn't read a word for a footballer's wage. This is possibly my problem rather than his. I should probably ask your forgiveness and his but I am singularly unrepentant. Derek Pringle ruined my childhood. And now my life is once again in tatters, I wake from fevered nightmares of him wobbling in to bowl with the blankets sweat-soaked and tied in knots around my limbs.


This is the way the world ends...
And yet, Pringle ended up as a really good county pro seam bowler. I think getting picked for England when he was just a kid made us dislike him - but he didn't pick himself! Similar story with Ben Hollioake's initial selection, and Rikki Clarke's. Clarke ended up emulating Pringle as a good pro. Hollioake obviously didn't.

I think, as Andy admitted, anything we write in this thread will say more about us than about the player of our non-affection.

In my case, my least favourite England player of all time was (and still is) hugely gifted, a South African who played for Notts, Hampshire and Surrey, when he could be bothered to.
Bowlers win matches
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