Thursday, July 23, 2009

Keeping Score: Butcher, Baker, But No Candlestick-maker, Cricket 1884

The Star, Issue 5194, 27 December 1884, Page 3

"A cricket match was played, on the Rangiora cricket ground yesterday, Publicans v. Butchers and Bakers. H. Archer captained the former, and Mr T. Dench the latter. At the conclusion of the game, one score sheet gave the Publicans the victory by two runs, and the other, their opponents by three. The game, therefore, remains undecided."

Won, lost, tied, drawn, these are the accepted outcomes of a cricket match. But undecided?

One can conjecture as to the cause for the scoring discrepancy, with alcohol probably implicated in the scorers' inattention to accuracy.

Kuaka recalls helping make up numbers on a side playing Sunday pub cricket while in his teens. The novel innovation in pub cricket was that every third wicket was a "beer wicket" where batsmen and fielding side of legal age retired to the pavilion for a beverage. Minors were provided with a lemonade (7 Up for today's youth).

The news report is silent on the matter of why the candlestick makers were not invited to make up the butcher & baker side. (You need to know your nursery rhymes to get the reference).


Anonymous said...

I think the candlestick makers had slept in after being up late (by candle-light) the previous night. Butchers of course are early risers and the publicans were all good fellows having all (unusually) abided by the 6pm closing laws.



kuaka said...

Ah, but the publicans weren't such good fellows in 1884. 6 o'clock closing wasn't introduced until 1917, being replaced by 10 o'clock closing in 1967.

Perhaps bad light & some sly-grogging left the scorers "unsighted" enough to come up with a poor tally.