Art of Delegation for Captains
Conning people in to doing the jobs that no one else wants to do after the game is child's play for seasoned skippers, but a terrifying prospect for those with no experience. Here's a few top tips passed on to make it all seem so much easier...
1. Getting someone to copy up the scorebook
Easy one to start with this. This goes to the very first person to be changed after the game, but who is coming to the pub. They're not going anywhere, they're just waiting for you and they'll be waiting for some considerable time as a result of their panic. Just make sure they're literate and make sure your stats are correct.
2. Getting someone to do the following week's tea
Hopefully you won't have a guilty conscience as you have to be slightly mean with this one. This job always goes to the one guy in the team who feels most left out or ever so slightly outcast. You have to see this as a way of empowering him - by asking him to do tea you are giving him the opportunity to be central to the game and stand behind the counter and chat to everyone as they walk past with their plates. You're doing a good thing really and he'll be very appreciative.
3. Getting someone to umpire
This is a beginner's tip - you simply pick out the lower order batsmen who can't do the scorebook. Once wickets fall then those batsmen have to join the rotation. The counter-tip is to learn how to do the scorebook as sitting on your arse in the pavilion is far preferable to standing out in the middle taking abuse from idiotic bowlers who think they know best.
4. Getting someone to put the boundary out
Here you have to play on the fears of the batsman/bowler about the boundary being potentially too long/short for them to score/restrict runs. Watch how someone will subtly start to put the flags out, looking up every five to ten paces to make sure the distance is just so. Note afterwards how the boundary shape has moulded to favour the favourite shot of the man putting it out.
5. Organising a lost ball party
Very very simple - at any one stage there will always be several guys already standing up. At least two will be conducting some kind of half-arsed practice meaning that someone is already holding a bat. There you have your ready-made search party. You, and those sitting around you, have little excuse not to help, but those already standing have even less excuse.
6. Getting someone to collect the subs
There's always someone changed in lightening speed because they've got a BBQ, party, 'engagement' of some dull sort to be at, and they can be seen accosting the captain as he has barely finished shaking hands with the opposition with a £10 note in his hand, apologising for rushing off and demanding some change. Berk. You simply explain that you don't have any change on you and that if he wants some he's going to have to get it from someone else's subs. The next thing you know our flustered friend has collected all the subs in record time. Never fails.
7. Getting other people to move the sightscreen
As you're skipper you'll likely be standing at mid-off, unless you're fat and you're positioned at first slip. At the first sign of the batsman looking for the sightscreen to be moved you immediately follow one of two courses of action. Either move to talk to the bowler and look very serious about it (in a fashion that suggests you can't be disturbed) or start making changes to the field and pretend to not hear anything that the batsman says. Watch on smugly as mid-on and extra-cover rush off to move the screen.