Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Cricketers who have despaired at recent events in Southern Britain, where undisciplined hordes have invaded the outfields, ignored the fielding restrictions and helped themselves to whatever they fancy in the way of material goods, need worry no more.  Help is at hand.

Joan - thrash the kids
For Joan Collins has pronounced.  Society is falling apart because of too much wishy-washy liberal parenting that has allowed kids to grow up in a sexualised culture doing exactly what they want.  Although she does not appear to mention it specifically she may well have in mind such evils as swinging across the line, bowling beamers, not walking when they snick it, hi-fiving when they take a wicket.  They are set on the road to perdition. And Ms Collins opines that if only parents were prepared to stand up to their children and thrash them if they stepped out of line, then none of these ills would have taken place.  She voices these helpful opinions in her latest book 'The World According to Joan.'

Some discipline would do them good....
Fantasy Bob does not know if Ms Collins practiced what she preaches in her own family life, although it is known that her father was a strict disciplinarian.  But discipline of another sort seemed to be on offer in her 2 soft core films The Bitch and The Stud which rescued her languishing movie career in the 1970s and put her on her way to the part of uber-bitch Alexis Carrington in the US soap opera Dynasty and lasting status as a gay icon. FB thinks it is therefore strange that she should criticise sexualised culture.  Ms Collins continues to be highly successful and is to be admired, if not for her opinions, then certainly for her hard work - and her charitable commitments.

But while Ms Collins' views on the breakdown of society may strike a chord, she seems to have little to say on important issues such as whether Test Cricket can survive in the world of the IPL.   This is a shame.  It is also a shame that she has never observed upon the iron discipline showed over 100 years ago by one of her namesakes.

AEJ Collins
For Collins is a name of significance to the history of cricket.  It is one of that clan (although not known to be related to Joan) who holds the absolute record for the highest innings ever recorded.  In 1899 batting in a house match at Clifton College near Bristol, Arthur EJ Collins scored 628 not out.  He was 13 and his innings lasted four afternoons although he was dropped on several occasions.  In its later stages it drew crowds from miles around and was national news.  The match was a bit one sided - Collins' team won by an innings and 688 runs, a margin England got close to this summer.  The poor ink bespattered schoolboy who had to score the innings suggested the scorebook was accurate to plus or minus 20 - FB suspects that he woke up screaming in the night for many years after and was never seen near a cricket scorebook again. 

That innings was the high point of Collins' cricket career.  Although he played at Lords for the Army and scored a half century he never played First Class cricket.  He entered the Royal Artillery in 1902 and died at Ypres in November 1914.  As was only too tragically common, his brother was also killed in the war to end all wars.

 Joan might have admired Arthur - what Arthur would have thought of The Bitch and The Stud can only be speculated about. 

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