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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

All Out Before Tea

Old boy, now it just isn’t cricket;
it’s not how we chaps play the game;
we don’t, as we say, like the cut of your jib,
or the way you court glamour and fame;
and a batsman, no matter how brilliant,
should know that he’s only one man;
his average may be under fifty;
even so, he should do what he can
to ensure that his side’s reputation
is neither besmirched or bemired:
a chap who wears ear-rings and doesn’t fit in
is a chap who just might be retired;
and, when a chap’s spotted in Brinkleys
it fairly well rankles with some
who, thinking the fellow a bit of an arse,
might not be disposed to keep mum.
We’re sorry, old boy, but you’ve blown it;
this time, you have come quite unstuck;
we can’t have you calling your team-mate a ‘doos’;
though we have to admit, it’s bad luck.
If only the word had been ‘nob-head’
you might have avoided all blame:
‘tosser’ or ‘wanker’ or ‘plonker’ or ‘dick’
are allowed in a gentleman’s game.
But, some things, old man, are not cricket;
and we fear that you must bear the brunt:
how dare you compare a team member
to something as foul as a cunt?

© Abigail Wyatt

Author's note: At least one text - sent to opposing South African players - referred to England captain Andrew Strauss as a 'doos'. which has a slang application of 'dumb c***' in Africaans.

The vile texts that mean cricket superstar Kevin Pietersen might never play for England again

Abigail is one of the three founding members of the Red River Poets. The latter will be appearing at the Heartlands Project in Cornwall, 29th September, as part of 100 Thousand Poets for Change. 


  1. Nice one Abigail. I like how class divisions and double standards are hinted at all the way through and then the last line brings in the sexist mindset that sportsmen seem to find impossible to ditch.

    1. Thank you, Hamish. I value your appreciation.

  2. To this Irish opinion that ''game'' is hurling in jodphurs with lots of tea and ribbons on the ladies.. beyond the pale.. but I like your easy run of lines and rhyme and... don't take this s a criticism but anyone who can write verse on cricket has... balls
    well done

  3. I know nothing about cricket politics, but I enjoyed this poem and feel newly informed. I like your rhyming couplets!