Wednesday, 3 October 2012

450: Gay Cricket 1 - Willie Rushton

From a longer book of humour about cricket, Rushton’s idea of what an historical team of gay cricketers would look like. Nothing very advanced, nor building from anything innate to cricket suggestive of gay behaviour. Really just an excuse for intriguingly converting a load of gay slang phrases into people’s surnames - rather like the similar contrivances in the Radio 4 quiz show “I’m Sorry I haven’t a CXlue2, for which Rushton was a panellist for some 20 years. I do think the “Bumbandit” one is nicely ingenious.


from "Marylebone vs the World", by William Rushton, 1987

Emerging from the second pavilion erected on Lord's ground in 1874 is one of the most extraordinary cricket teams ever assembled. It is thought to be a humorous retort by one O. P. Rogers- Boyes, an intimate of Oscar Wilde and something of an 'aesthete', who had not been selected for the Marylebone team for three seasons. The reason, he suspected, was that he was not a Freemason. It is more likely that his rich variety of Toilet Waters and Unguents upset his fellows in the changing room. However, this team was his revenge. Here it is in batting-order:

1. C. V. P. Brown-Hatter
2. N. J. Shirtlifter
3. Buggery A.
4. S. D. P. Turd-Burglar
5. O. P. Rogers-Boyes (capt.)
6. Bender L.
7. Crouch P.
8. H. O. Roaring-Poofter
9. Fairy G.
10. Bent V.
and bringing up the rear an Indian doctor from the Docklands -
11. R. V. Bumbandit

Tradition has it that the MCC lost rather badly, but all records of the game have disappeared.

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