Now as you all know, I were – and still am in my eyes – the greatest batsman in t'history of t'game. That's a fact that is. If you don't believe me, read my book – ‘Why I were the greatest batsman in t'history of t'game' (still available from all good charity shops). So you can imagine how disgusted I were when I saw Kevin Pietersen play that reckless shot in t'First Test Match in Cardiff. Pietersen's argument were that Nathan Orritz were such a talented bowler that he couldn't use his feet and so had to resort to slog sweeps. I've never heard such a load of absolute roobish in all my life! Orritz wouldn't get in Batley Pigeon Fancier's Lady Section Third XI! He couldn't turn a corner, let alone a creeket ball. My old Aunty Ethel could hit Orritz out of t'ground wi a stick of rhubarb.
Now I admire Pietersen for having a plan; unfortunately it were a roobish plan. It makes me wonder how these so-called superstars of today would have coped on t'uncovered weekets I played on. I remember facing Deadly Derek Underwood on a sticky dog at Folkestone in '68. We won t'toss and batted first. Deadly weren't just turning it sideways that day, he were turning it backwards! I swear a couple of balls actually pitched and bounced straight back to him! Deadly's plan were to lure me into a false stroke. But I were having none of it and refused to be drawn into a reesky attacking stroke. Finally, just after lunch on the third day, having progressed on to a brilliant 37 not out, and with Colin Cowdrey having cunningly decided to remove all his fielders from the field, leaving just me, Deadly and Knotty out in t'middle, I decided it were time to go on the attack. So I launched into a fearsome check drive which rocketed to where mid-off should have been if he hadn't been playing cards in t'pavillion. A beautifully planned and executed innings, I think you'll agree. Yorkshire were unbeaten that season. Mind you, they didn't win any matches either.
Now some traditionalists were disappointed that t'Test Match were held in Cardiff in t'frist place. But I think it were good that t'match were played in a place where t'locals could count the number of balls in an over on the fingers of one hand. (In some cases, that included wides and no balls as well!). Personally, I would like to see all t'Test matches played in Yorkshire, which, after all, is t'real home of creeket. I'd like to see that Reeky Ponting bat on Cleckheaton Muncipal Parks Pitch Number 8 after a particularly heavy sleet shower!
I'm not one for all these modern fads like computers and t'internet. The only net I'm interested in is a creeket net. These young lads who spend hours on their Gooseberries, or whatever they're called, would be better served getting down to t'nets to fine tune their defensive techniques. However, I were studying t'Lymington website t'other day, catching up on how my prodigy Mark Jackson were doing, and I were shocked to read that Simon Naylor had been awarded t'Player of t'Month award. Well, my first reaction were to ring up PC World to say that my computer had gone all barmy. I mean, this were a lad who were so far out of his depth when he joined Lymington that he contracted the bends on his debut. However, when he first arrived at t'club he were a very average Hampshire County Division One batsman. Since then he's transformed himself into a very average Hampshire County Division Two batsman. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh on the poor lad. After all, he has battled back from a career threatening lack of talent. What amazes me is that they actually let him bowl! My late Aunty Nora could bat against him wi a stick of rhubarb and he still wouldn't get her out in a month of Tuesdays! All joking aside, well done Simon, but just remember that you will never, ever be as good as I were.
Before I go, I would just like to mention what I consider to be the biggest blight on English creeket at the moment... t'Shipping Forecast. I were driving back from my new Rhubarb Bat Making Factory outside Heckmondwike last Sunday and I were listening to t'Test Match on Radio 4. T'match were on a knife-edge: Australia needed just one weeket to win; England needed to hang on for a draw. And then, as the drama reached boiling point... the bloody shipping forecast came on! Firstly, what sort of barmpot goes out into dangerous waters and their only source of information about t'weather is a posh radio station wi dodgy reception after 6 o'clock?! Shouldn't they have some sort of computer or machine for predicting the weather, or a bit of seaweed at t'very least. Secondly, what's the point of broadcasting a shipping forecast to people who live miles from t'sea? I can just imagine it: "Leeds, Stoke on Trent, Walsall: deep depression imminent – high risk of rusty bicycles in canals – crime rate and teenage pregnancies rising fast." Barmy, absolutely barmy!
That's all from me. Just remember my motto: If in doubt, block it out!
Sir Geoffrey Bigott
Sir Geoffrey Bigott played 735 times for Yorkshire and England, scoring 36,947 runs at an average of 36,947.oo. He currently writes a weekly column for the Batley Bugle and is patron of the Sir Geoffrey Bigott Defensive Batting Foundation which aims to send attack-minded young batsmen to ‘corrective' coaching establishments throughout West Yorkshire.