Guest writer Adam Lawrie divulges all he has learnt from manning the score-hut for many a side in club cricket
Despite being an integral part of the game we all know and love, very little has been discussed about Scorers in their little huts, remaining unseen but very active like a species of goblin people. In the cricketing world, Umpires are king but like the actual royal family they really don’t do all that much apart from counting to six and occasionally make a decision to hurry the game up a bit. Whereas in the shadows, scorers are diligently counting balls faced, operating a decade’s old crumbling shack with numbers on and having to maintain conversation with a rogue’s gallery of the kind of people who spend their weekends scoring cricket matches instead of doing whatever stuff ‘normal’ people do on a Saturday. This is a small dip into some of the people you meet in the underground subculture that isn’t getting a movie franchise with the Rock anytime soon in the dark art of cricket scoring.
The Child Scorer
Often sent by their parents across the country to gain an experience of doing a job and to get them away from the Playstation experiencing what camaraderie is about. Unbeknownst to their well-intentioned parents, they are actually leaving their children on a slippery slope, exposed to underage drinking, multiple trips to fast food restaurants, male nudity, dangerous driving, smoking and being squished in a car between the portly spinner and a kit bag. Macauley Culkin was at least getting paid millions compared to what child scorers have to put up with.
On a scoring front because nobody who knows cricket would let their children hang around with cricketers, they are often unaware of the rules of cricket so it becomes a teaching exercise explaining why leg byes and byes have a different triangle before you give up and tell them to just put a dot in. Without intending to go full yer da, these god damn millennials also have incredibly short attention spans after thirty overs you are having to carry the innings along with the inevitable sugar crash from drinking fizzy drinks and chew bars comes back to haunt them.
The Injured Player
They’d be definitely playing firsts if they didn’t roll their ankle over the winter, they remember the time they scored 50 here when they opened the batting or got a few wickets. The injured player is very keen to tell you that he is good at cricket despite the fact you can google CricHQ on your phone and see that he bats 7 and doesn’t bowl. Best to humour him for risking his fragile self-esteem.
The Good Club Man
An absolute gentleman, he just bloody loves cricket and even though his body won’t let him play cricket anymore he is still happy to score games if nobody else is able to do so, he can offer insight and good stories about the players, club, the universe and beyond. He’ll probably buy you a pint afterwards because he is just that sound.
The ‘Yer Da’ club man
He’s like the previous one except he does everything for the wrong reasons. He loves the club but spends his time heckling the opposition, chainsmoking, and occasionally cracking open multiple cold ones mid game. He is often scoring so he can get his beer money and partly because his missus just wants him out the house. His stories involve him on the sauce, how she turned the kids against him and how ‘that fat, cheating f****** umpire c*** is blind as f*** for f**** sake’. Bonus points if he uses the line ‘I’m not being racist but’ before saying something racist. Buys you a pint as an apology for being pished from the night before.
I mean being a cricket scorer is inherently uncool, it involves numbers, strange symbols, waving and cricket so it won’t ever be socially acceptable despite it being a mandatory part of the game. But the Nerd brings that to new levels of social pariah status. Whipping out a laptop with an unnecessarily complicated format, doing wagon wheels as he goes along, doing that weird version of scoring instead of the standard style, bringing more than two pens, I mean who the hell do they think they are? Will often spend the company explaining his pointlessly complicated methods, how everyone is going to use a computer to score and details of the time they went to watch Iceland versus Mongolia at the under 15s world cup qualifiers.