Saturday, 25 July 2009


What do you do if you play club cricket and you bear an eery resemblance to a noted cricketer? 

I've been turning out for a few twenty over games of an evening [it's been fun, and heavily nostalgic having grown up playing these matches; the dipping sun, the sweetness of the breeze, rushing to get the overs in under giant shadows, the way everything feels different and possible on a cricket ground as the night comes down - it brings a tear to the old glass eye...] and out walked an opener who looked like Robert Key.

In fact, he looked so much like Rob Key I thought for a second that it was, however unlikely it would have been for Keysey to be knocking it around in a village cup miles from home. 

Faced with an evident likeness, the guy had obviously decided to embrace it. He had the helmet on the same way with the hair hanging out just so, he had the ruddy cheeks and the whole vibe down. He stood like Key at the crease, and played the same kind of hearty biffs as well.

I thought about his choices while I was fielding. He could have kicked against it, cut his hair, worn different gear, not opened. But then maybe it was kind of fun, and useful, to look like a pro. I realised that as soon as he'd walked in I'd presumed he could bat. He played well, too.

He wasn't the ersatz pro archetype. He was different. I must have come across a few over the years, guys who'd played up a similarity by buying the same kit, hitting the same kind of shots. It's a rare phenomenon, but an oddly interesting one...


KK said...

I had a classmate in school, who was built along the lines of the Sri Lankan left hander Asanka Gurusinha, and batted exactly the same way, consciously or unconsciously.
The only difference between Gurusinha and my classmate was the fact that my classmate was about nine years old the first time I saw him bat, and therefore lacked a beard.

KK said...

Oh, and this blog is now officially my favourite cricket blog in the world.

Ceci said...

Panic moment in that second para when I thought you were going for the Phil Space award - but the "tear to the glass eye" made me squawk with mirth.

One of my favourite cricket pics is the one by SarahCanterbury of Rob Key bowling and getting a wicket - and out-fredding Freddie in his celebration

Brit said...

There's a fair few Beckham-a-likes about the amateur football scene. Risky business. I remember playing against a chap who fancied himself the spit during Becks's long golden mane period. We kicked him out the game (well you would, wouldn't you?)

The Old Batsman said...

Ha! Has he got the beard now?!

I just saw that Key pic the other day - there's a post in the joy batsmen get from taking a wicket, especially if it's their only one.