Where are they now?
Separated At Birth
The George Club
Mass Brawls
Book Reviews
Umpire Horoscopes
TV Times
Edwardian cricketers
Back issues
Textbook Guides
Sub fielding
Time wasting tricks
Changing rooms
Club cricket stuff


The art of time wasting is a most valuable skill in a village player's armoury. The ability to bat, bowl or field is important obviously, but cute tactics such as time wasting can be at least as worthy as any of those more orthodox talents. Here we study ten of the best time wasting tricks we know of. The list isn't exhaustive, but it does give you a fulsome flavour of some of the more obvious moves. But what are we on about when we talk of time wasting tricks? Well, we've all been in situations when our backs are firmly up against the wall. The opposition are rampant and are well on the way to giving your team the thrashing of a lifetime. Could there possibly be any escape from this imminent humiliation? Well, if it's a timed game, then you bet your bum there is.

EXTRA DRINKS BREAKS - They certainly waste time (about 7 minutes on average), but are only really effective on hot days or when it has been announced that your team has nine diabetics who require intake of frequent sugary drinks.

CAN'T FIND BALL - Your team are taking one hell of a beating. It doesn't seem to matter where you bowl, the batsman simply repeats the Dandy Highwayman, standing and delivering it to all parts of the hedgerows surrounding the ground. And therein lies your saviour. It's reasonable to assume that a team only carries about three spare balls. So as soon as spare ball number three is sent deep into the undergrowth, its time to employ blind tactics i.e. even if you do see it, claim you can't. In fact, better still, cover it up with extra foliage. That's at least half an hour closer to a draw with the added likelihood that the batsmen will tear his shirt trying to find it himself. The desperate twat.

EXCESS FIELD PLACEMENT CHANGES - Simple one this. It just requires a captain who has skin thicker than a pig shit sandwich. After every ball bowled, move a fielder exactly to where the ball was just hit. If the ball sails through to the wicket keeper, pop another slip in. Make sure its long off/on that you move there. At approximately 60 seconds per change, that's 360 seconds per over. So, the usual four minutes per over suddenly increases to 10 minutes. 20 overs will take three hours 20 minutes. Now that should keep the opposition below 200 for a change.

BOWLING ROUND THE WICKET - Subtle yet brilliant tactic especially at poor visibility grounds. When a bowler elects to come round the wicket rather than over, what is the first thing a batsman demands? That's right, asks for the sightscreen to be moved. And how long does that take? Three minutes? At least. Especially if the sightscreen is heavy and the wheels are a bit rusty. Try alternating bowling over/round the wicket every other ball and see how long it takes for the batsman to lose his rag ... and/or his wicket.

ENSURE FIELDERS MOVE MAXIMUM DISTANCE - When trying to waste time, think carefully about blame sharing. It's easy to point the finger at the Captain, but much more difficult (and dangerous) to accuse a whole team of blokes. As Captain, one way you can achieve this is by shrewd field placements. Having your silly point fielder at mid-wicket for the next over offers no chances to waste time. However, moving him to long-off whilst fine leg moves to fine leg, long on to long on, long off to long off and deep mid-wicket to deep mid-wicket opens up a whole new world of opportunities. Why not take it a step further and choose your least athletic, overweight or injured fielders to travel the furthest distance at the end of each over?

CLOCK FIDDLING - Ideally for this to work smoothly, two things need to happen up front: -

1) You use a stand alone clock (rather than a static one, say on a church)
2) The game actually starts early or late and you explain that for ease, the clock is always set at 2 O'Clock when the first ball is bowled

Whenever the clock is "blown over" or "accidentally knocked over" you can, with a little practice, slyly shuffle the big hand round a few notches.

CHANGE UMPIRES EVERY TWO OVERS - This one requires little explanation as it does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a tricky one to get away with though, but then again desperate times require desperate measures. Changing umpires takes time and time is what you've got too much of. Although we would only recommend a change every two overs at most, in dire situations this frequency could be increased to every over. We've yet to see changes made after each ball is bowled, but one day we hope to.

TROT OFF TO SQUARE LEG - A classical manoeuvre performed by thinking batsmen. What you do as a batsman who is keen to waste time, is to simply take a little stroll before the next ball is bowled. Protocol dictates that it'll look a little odd if you march off to anywhere apart from square leg. But that's fine because square leg has the added bonus of housing your team-mate who is fulfilling his umpiring duties. Assuming he's reasonably bright and has cottoned on to what's happening, he'll be standing somewhere near the boundary just to make your walk a long one.

INJURY - Easy one this: Bruising (1 min); Winded (2 mins); Back twinge (3 mins); Cramp (4 mins); Groin Strain (5 mins); Asthma attack (8 mins); Hayfever (10 mins); Pulled muscle (7 mins); Suspected broken digit (12 mins); Exhaustion (15 mins); Hamstring (11 mins); Stomach upset pre-tea (5 mins); Stomach upset post your tea (10 mins); stomach upset post their tea (30 mins).

START A BOGUS ARGUMENT - With anyone. Try and make yourself look raged. For example, try holding your breath to make your face go red/blue and shout plenty of random profanity. This way the opposition will have you down as some sort of dangerous nutter and be less likely to step in and hurry you along.