I got a book today called ‘The Wit of Cricket’ which has humorous cricket anecdotes and jokes compiled by Barry Johnston (son of the famous BBC Radio cricket commentator Brian Johnston). It features many of the classic anecdotes and jokes including ones by Richie Benaud, Dickie Bird, Henry Blofeld, Brian Johnston and others (I have to say, what a cast of characters!). I am giving a couple of anecdotes below – two of the best from the ones I read today. You don’t need to know about cricket to enjoy the jokes 🙂
Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie was the flamboyant captain of Hampshire who led them to their first county championship in 1961. Hampshire’s training diet in those days used to be ‘wine, women and song’. Colin was once asked what time he liked his players to be in bed and he said, ‘By nine.’ When someone said, ‘Isn’t that a bit early?’ he replied, ‘Well, play does start at eleven thirty!’
– told by Henry Blofeld
A lovely story is told about Brian Close. He was the youngest person ever to represent England – eighteen in 1949 – and then he went out to Australia with Freddie Brown as the junior member of the side in 1950/51. He made a hundred in the first match and hardly any runs after that – not a great tour for him.
They were going up by train from Sydney to Newcastle, as they did in those days; it was in the evening and there was a girl sitting in the carriage, nursing a baby. The chap opposite her kept looking at the baby and she said, ‘What are you looking at my baby for?’
‘I’d rather not say.’
‘What are you looking for?’ she went on, and in the end he said, ‘All right, I’ll tell you. It’s the ugliest looking baby I’ve ever seen in my life!’
Well, she arose and burst into tears. She was standing out in the corridor, weeping her eyes out and holding her baby, when the MCC team came along on the way to supper. Bringing up the rear was the junior man, Brian Close, who saw this girl and said, ‘What’s wrong, dear. Can I help?’
‘Yes. I’ve been insulted by that man in the carriage,’ she said and burst into tears again.
‘I’ll tell you what,’ Brian said. ‘Before I have supper, I’ll go along to the restaurant car and bring you back a cup of tea to cheer you up.’
She said, ‘Oh, please,’ and burst into tears again.
He came back two minutes later and she was still crying. ‘There you are, dear,’ he said, ‘a cup of tea to cheer you up. And what’s more, I’ve also brought a banana for the monkey!’
– told by Brian Johnston
Hope you enjoyed reading the above anecdotes 🙂