We’re talking about Harry Brook this week

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Harry Brook (via ECB)

Well the message is clear: if you want to identify batsmen who will one day go on to play for England, contract a very heavy cold, take time off work and watch a bit of the Under-19 World Cup. You’ll have to endure quite a lot of Alan Wilkins, but at least you’ll also see the future.

D Charlton took this course of action earlier this year, reflecting on Harry Brook’s performance that “there was something about [him] that had stardust on it.”

Similar conclusions could be drawn this week after Yorkshire beat Essex despite being bowled out in 18.4 overs on the first morning. The story of the match is the comeback, but the story of the scorecard is Harry Brook.

To outline this, let’s have the batting podium for each innings of the match.

  • 1st innings: Ballance 22, Pujara 9, Bairstow and Leaning 7
  • 2nd innings: Lawrence 48, Harmer 36, ten Doeschate 18
  • 3rd innings: Brook 124, Bairstow 50, Pujara 41
  • 4th innings: ten Doeschate 34, Lawrence 32, Cook 26

You’re not mistaken – the batting podium really did just become a thing.

It’s tempting to look at which bowlers are doing the damage in these low-scoring matches, but that 124 really is out on its own.

Watching highlights of his various innings, Brook seems to combine exquisite high-elbowed off-side play with gnarly shovels and hoicks to leg.

This is an excellent combination. Who among us hasn’t idly imagined a sci-fi film in which the consciousnesses of Rahul Dravid and Paul Collingwood are each battling for supremacy having been downloaded into the same body?

This is the glorious conclusion to that story. Rahul Dravid realises that Paul Collingwood is a really great bloke and Paul Collingwood realises that Rahul Dravid is a really great bloke and they agree to share the body and workload. They are greatly happier than they ever were living solo.


  1. I don’t like to put a tiny weeny dampener onto proceedings, but I regret to inform you that I personally have never imagined such a sci-fi film scenario.

    I haven’t even in my wildest dreams ever even dreamt that I imagined some sort of sci-fi scenario.

    I must be really weird and different from everybody else. I’d better crawl off on my own to the Caucasus mountains and ponder my lone-wolfishness.

    1. Rahul Dravid and Paul Collingwood inhabiting the same sleeve is a really normal thing to think about.

  2. Didn’t you pitch a sit-com a few years ago featuring Ryan Sidebottom in a flat-share arrangement? I assume it was never adopted as I have avidly scanned the TV schedules ever since. At least it wasn’t adopted in Britain, I can’t claim to have scanned late night TV in Bulgaria or Burkina Faso in case you cut your losses and sold the overseas rights.

    1. “Ryan Sidebottom”

      Which one?

      And of all the cricketers on this planet who I could be asking that question about, why is it someone with such an objectively unusual name?

      1. Who knew? The odd couple sitcom is clearly a staple part of our absent-minded daydreaming.

      2. Comments with multiple links get held for approval (even if it’s the same link twice, apparently).

  3. Trawling the links can occasionally bring up a particularly spectacular golden fish, in amongst all the unspectacular silver ones and the eels and crabs and all that. And hagfish, which are really horrible.

    I’m not sure I’d eat a golden fish though, it seems a bit odd. Although I suppose a cod is golden when it’s been battered and deep fried. So yeh, fair enough, I would eat a golden fish.

    Anyway, The Atheist and his blue tac cricket. Magnificent, especially Ryan Sidebottom.

    1. I hadn’t seen that blue tac cricket vid before, Bert – thanks for sharing – it really did make me laugh this morning.

      That stop motion vid will have taken some serious effort to make – quite exceptional. Does anyone know what The Atheist is up to now? Did he really lose the love for cricket or did he just lose the love for blogging about it?

      1. From memory, the Blu-Tac artistry coincided with a period between jobs.

        In his own words, “personality subsumed by procurement” – he’s doing whatever that is and sometimes writing about it for Forbes.

      2. Those were the days – Are you a left-arm Chinaman?, Suave’s Republique Cricket, Cricket with Balls (whatever happened to that guy), Iain O’Brien’s blog, and of course (ahem) SpunOut, to name but a few…

    1. He really is poor. I was exposed to his commentary during the Pakistan Super League, and he is kind of a pathetic Danny Morrison-wannabe. I felt almost sorry for him. He did the games in Pakistan as well, and people there are so starved of glitzy show-biz cricketing things, that he had to turn down people who wanted to take selfies with him because there were so many.

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