Great Cricket Drinking Episodes: 2013 round-up

For some reason, the internet at large has been very taken by our re-tellings of the escapades of international cricketers when it comes to booze. For instance, if you Google ‘David Boon’, we come up on the first page. Now, cricketers and alcohol have been back in the news quite a bit recently, so we thought we’d give you a brief update on all things leather, willow and ethanol:

1. David Warner assaults man wearing beard. If you’ve missed this, you’re not really paying attention now, are you? The nation’s current favourite pantomime villain was deported (well, not really, not by the border agency or anything) for assault. Not to Australia, like in the old days, but to Zimbabwe, to spend a few weeks rotting on the ‘A’ tour. What he found in southern Africa was a land of unbridled riches, furnished as it was with a pitch so flat it could probably be used for an attempt on the land speed record. However, we’re more interested in the lead-up to Warner’s banishment.

Let’s set the scene. Birmingham. England have just beaten the old enemy in the confusingly named Champions’ Trophy. It’s 2am, England are out celebrating. The Aussies, perhaps unaware that they’d lost, are also convivial. Perhaps they were just happy to have found a bar that purported to be Australian. So the story goes, our antagonist was drinking Jagerbombs and vodka-red bull, a mix which could have a three-toed sloth dancing the samba, and had ‘had quite a few’ according to the presiding barman, who added unnecessarily, ‘he loves a few jars’. Enter stage left Joe Root, who had obviously managed to procure some fake ID or else come in on someone else’s shoulders (probably Stuart Broad’s).

Now to the final act. Root had acquired a green-and-gold comedy wig, presumably to disguise his age, and was wearing it, because that sort of thing is apparently hilarious. It seems that Root then took off the wig and moved it instead to his chin, in imitation of a beard, the closest thing to facial hair Joe Root is likely to have for around a decade. The reports conflicted as to the meaning of this stunt, whether to impersonate noted beard-wearer Hashim Amla, as Australia suggested, or (in a thigh-slappingly riotous routine) to mock Root’s aforementioned smooth chin, as England claimed. Either way, a ‘glancing blow’ was delivered by Warner, which struck the youngster on the chin. Cue media chaos for about a week, Warner being dropped, banned and then sent packing to the southern hemisphere.

Sources: The Daily Telegraph 13/6/13, The Daily Mail 12/6/13

2. Monty Panesar in headline-writers’ dream incident. If you are not a fan of the cricketing double entendre, we suggest you look away now, because it’s about to get messy. Our story concerns Monty Panesar, England’s loveable backup spin bowler, known for his moderately inept fielding, occasional flashes of bowling genius and match-saving batting. While out late on Sunday night (after 4am, a time at which this writer would be safely tucked up in bed), Monty, as seems to a running theme in this series, had a few drinks (perhaps a few ‘quick singles’). He is alleged to have been ‘bothering women’, perhaps in an attempt to ‘bowl a maiden over’ (trust us, it gets much worse), which is not a great start, and not condoned by us.

Upon being asked to leave his chosen establishment, Panesar then is alleged to have made his way to the promenade above the club. Apparently, he decided to answer the call of nature, for he positioned his ‘short fine leg’ and effected a ‘delivery’ of the liquid variety onto the door attendants below (we would call them ‘bouncers’, but that would be too obvious). Sources do not relate whether this ‘delivery’ exhibited any ‘flight’ or ‘dip’. The bouncers then, one would imagine, retreated to ‘extra cover’, before chasing Monty down and cornering him in a pizza joint. Upon being ‘caught’, Panesar was returned to the club, where the long arm (or perhaps ‘long leg’) of the law attended. He was issued with a fixed penalty notice, before everyone went through the rather dull process of releasing anodyne and bland formal statements. It remains to be seen whether Panesar will be ‘dropped’ by England.

Sources: Cricinfo 7/8/13, BBC News website 7/8/13

3. Sri Lankan player’s in-flight entertainment. We’ve covered this before, but our less regular readers might not have seen it before now. Ramith Rambukwella, while flying back from St Lucia with Sri Lanka ‘A’, was involved in an incident involving ‘an element of alcohol’ (we haven’t yet worked out how many units there are in an ‘element’), at which point, while searching for the toilet, he attempted to open the plane door. He did eventually find the toilet. Rambukwella has since stated that he is, in fact, ‘a natural sleep walker’. A likely story. Not likely enough to stop SLC fining him half of his tour fee. We suspect that being a natural sleep walker is not grounds for such a fine, whereas being sozzled on a flight and inadvertently trying to exit the plane is.

Sources: Cricinfo 2/7/13, Daily Mail 2/7/13, NDTV Sports 18/7/13

And finally, a little homework for you. While perusing the web the other day, we came across the former Irish / English / Australian pace-bowler Martin McCague, who is best known for bowling complete crap at Michael Slater at Brisbane in 1994/5. What intrigued us, besides England’s ever-bizarre 90’s selection policy, was this snippet from Wikipedia:

“According to Steve Marsh’s autobiography, Martin McCague consumed 72 pints of Guinness during a stag weekend in Dublin.”

This bald statement is unattributed. Indeed, elsewhere, such as on McCague’s Cricinfo profile, it is repeated as fact. Now, McCague has confirmed it, in an interview in 2009:

“It was counted,” he says. “Every last one. We got to Dublin on Friday lunchtime and left Sunday lunchtime. We came with 21 blokes and left with 18.”

(According to that interview, he also, in a nice piece of symmetry with the topic of these posts, attempted David Boon’s beer challenge, and may have succeeded but for the damn meddling England management.)

However, we slightly doubt the ability of a man who’d drunk 72 pints to actually count to 72. So, if anyone out there has a copy of Steve Marsh’s autobiography, or can provide further info on this frankly staggering assertion, please let us know. We’ll be more than happy to write a full blog post on it. The internet deserves to hear the truth and a blog with a URL of ’72allout’ is very definitely the place to tell it. 72 all out indeed…

Next time: FREDALO…

Other Great cricket drinking episodes:

No 1 – Headingley 1981

No 2 – David Boon’s half-century

No 3 – The Ashes 2005

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  1. Great cricket drinking episodes, No 2 – David Boon smashes 52 not out in a session | Two Grumpy England Cricket Fans
  2. Great cricket drinking episodes, No. 1 – Headingley 1981 | Two Grumpy England Cricket Fans

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