A quintet of classic skippers from the club cricket scene.
He’s a real taskmaster. He demands 110 per cent from everyone – trying your best simply isn’t good enough. You tried to explain to him that 110 per cent isn’t mathematically possible and a bit clichéd but he sent you home from nets and dropped you to the thirds. Your teammates are unhappy. He shouted at your 14-year-old keeper for dropping a catch and made him cry. Your scorer quit after a dispute about the use of different coloured pens. You’ve had enough. Is that the smell of mutiny in the air? This is your HMS Bounty. You are Jack Sparrow aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge. You are Samuel L Jackson en route to LAX. Granted, that wasn’t a mutiny, but the snake situation on that plane really needed addressing. You pluck up the courage. You confront your oppressive leader. You fail miserably and are now looking for a new club.
How did he end up in this position of authority? Donald Trump has won the toss and elected to build a wall. He doesn’t know the names of all the fielding positions and will always bat regardless of how green the pitch is. He never knows where you’re playing and constantly forgets to sort out a scorer. Remember when you all turned up at the wrong ground at the other side of the county and ended up having to forfeit? It wasn’t all bad, though. You wound up going on a team trip to the cinema down the road and despite your preconceived pessimism you quite enjoyed the Ghostbusters reboot. That Kate McKinnon’s funny, eh?
He’s only 17 but he’s a natural born leader. He was head boy at school, captained the county under 15s and has a ridiculous amount of Twitter followers. His bowling changes are inspired, his tactical nous unrivalled. You hate him a little bit, don’t you? He’s learning to drive in his dad’s brand new Audi while you’re stuck getting lifts after your R Reg Corsa conked out on the way back from Glastonbury. You’re stressing about paying your rent on time and what to get your girlfriend for her birthday while all he has to worry about is submitting his BTEC coursework and replying to messages on Snapchat. You begrudgingly admire his leadership but began to doubt him that time he spent the entire tea-break on the outfield playing Pokémon Go.
THE OLD HEAD
He’s seen it all before. He was playing cricket long before you were born and his career has coincided with many events in British history. He’s played under the reign of two female prime ministers; he was playing before the EU even existed. He refuses to toss up with a two-pound coin because: “They weren’t around when I was a lad.” He doesn’t trust electronic scoreboards. When Beckham stepped down as England captain following the 2006 World Cup the old head was halfway through his 20th year at the helm of your club’s fourth XI. He says he remembers the Queen’s coronation. He says he fought in the war. But which war? How old actually is he?
THE LAIDBACK LEADER
She’s totally chill. Sure, she wants to win and takes the game seriously, but she comes across as the most blasé person on earth. She rocks-up in flip-flops, regardless of the weather, and could get out for one or 100 and you’d never be able to tell the difference. The most animated you’ve ever seen her was at the Beyoncé concert at Wembley. It was almost too much for her when she discovered Zara Larsson was opening and she lost her mind when #QueenBey walked on stage. To be fair, you did too.