|Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, |
1st Duke of Wellington,
KG, KP, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS
just one of the lads
Wellington besides being soldier and statesman and stuff is a lad for the tidy quote. He is credited with saying that 'the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton' - which is undoubtedly bollocks - Eton had no playing fields at that time. To Wellington is also attributed the remark on inspecting his own fast bowlers, 'They may not frighten the enemy, but by God, sir, they frighten me!' FB knows exactly how he feels as the beamers and long hops fly around his ears in the nets.
'For goodness sake, FB', you are saying with a slight frown of impatience, 'get to the point'. Yes, close run things are a British thing. The English World Cup run was a fine thing, but it is necessary to trump English glory yet again. For when it comes to the number of very close ODIs played in succession, FB is delighted to discover, from a recent analysis in CricInfo, that it is FB's own dear Scotland which holds the record.
In January and February 2007, playing in Kenya in the Associates Tri-Series and the ICC World Cricket League Div 1, Scotland played a sequence of 6 matches, winning 5 and losing one all by a margin of 3 wickets or 10 runs or fewer. Here is the sequence:
Won v Canada by 2wickets (1 ball remaining)
Lost v Kenya by 6 runs.
Won v Canada by 2 wickets (16 balls)
Won v Ireland by 3 wickets (0 balls)
Won v Canada by 7 runs
Won v Netherlands by 2 runs
They had more convincing wins and, regretably, defeats at either end of the sequence and eventually lost the final to Kenya by 8 wickets. But this should not detract from the glory of this record.
England and Ireland trail Scotland in this list with sequences of 4 each - England's run was in 1991. Remarkably Ireland's was in the same competition as Scotland's run. Scotland were Div 1 runners up in 2007, sadly they slipped to 6th in 2009 so failing to qualify for this year's CWC. This just shows how competitive the associates are with each other - and how the ICC has flunked the obligation to give them the opportunity to progress to the next level.
And this liking for a close call of course explains the other record that Scotland proudly holds - that of the population with the most severely bitten fingernails.
|Ex PM's Gordon Brown manicure|