1. The Salix Batsman (RRP £229.99) – This batsman voluntarily faces the first ball of the innings and he thinks he has the best technique in the team. He tells his teammates that the reason he has a Salix bat because he needed a bat that suited his elegant technique so had to go to the Salix warehouses to get one custom-made. His wagon wheel is largely directed towards third man as he attempts a cover drive almost every ball.
2. The Hunts County Batsman (RRP £150) – The sensible player in the team. A quiet lad but is the only player to realise that you can buy the finest Grade 1 English Willow bat for only £150 compared to £300+ from other manufacturers. The big issue is this bat is a Hunts County but neither he, or his teammates care, as long as he averages 30+ at the end of the season. Happy to field fine leg to fine leg as he knows he will never be involved with the inner circle chat.
3. The GM Batsman (RRP £279.99) (Captain) – He has been batting at number 3 since he was 14 and no one will ever take that away from him. He scored one of the most aesthetically pleasing centuries 5 years ago and has since scored a couple of half centuries a season but often being dismissed cheaply in the 20s. Looks by far the best batsman in the nets, especially on the astro as the ball pings off his overly expensive GM. As the captain, he often sticks to an orthodox 5-4 field with one token slip until he gets told from one of the bowlers he will bowl ‘every ball outside off’. First ball of the over usually runs down to backward square leg for 4.
4. The Grey Nicholls Legend Batsman (RRP £750) – He brings in last season’s £120 Newbery bat to pre-season and gets a bit of chat as the bat has already had two very unsuccessful seasons worth of use. Then just before the second match of the season, he rocks up with the Grey Nicholls Legend bat and holds it like a new-born baby. He tells his teammates he wrote to Grey Nicholls declaring his averages from the last three seasons and they decided to sponsor him. It is in his ‘contract’ that only he can use the discount, so no one believes him. Continues to average 19.
5. The Kookaburra Batsman (RRP £99.99) – Not really a big hitter or a big scorer but still has a confirmed place in the team. No one relies on him so the fairly consistent scores in the 20s and 30s earn him a polite round of applause every time he is dismissed. Doesn’t feel he is good enough for an expensive bat and prides himself on his square-leg fielding for the fast bowlers. He is very reliable to lock up an end with his gentle off-spin in the middle overs, even though not a single ball spins so effectively just bowls right arm slow but he always somehow manages to pick up a couple of wickets.
6. The Puma Batsman (RRP £210) – the best big-hitter in the team who can clear the boundary by 20m over Long On. He hits the first 6 of the innings over the shorter leg-side boundary with a gentle pull shot. Has a genuine swagger as he walks to the crease with his only warm up as he walks out being a skip down the pitch and a simulated swing over Cow Corner. Absolutely dominates the bowlers until he faces the second over from the off-spinner where he spoons the ball up to one of the three fielders on the leg side boundary. Can also bowl some effective military medium to slow down the economy in the middle overs. When not bowling, he is shipped down out to a sweeper position square of the wicket due to his rocket of an arm.
7. The Boom Boom Batsman (RRP £50) – a destructive 46 off 22 balls a couple of years back gave him the reputation as a big hitter. He always swings hard in the nets and hasn’t deliberately left a ball since 2016. Even though he rarely scores many runs out in the middle, he needs to maintain his reputation, hence the purchase of Shahid Afridi’s Kashmir willow Boom Boom bat. He is not the best fielder but without a doubt provides the best banter in the field. Normally fields at mid-wicket. No chance he is trusted with bowling.
8. The Keeper – Somehow finds himself at number 8 in the batting order even though his shots don’t reach the boundary when he finds the middle of the bat. Every team likes to think their keeper can bat a little bit though so can’t be relegated to the bottom 3. Made a joke in the second over which was hilarious but then repeated it four times and lost his confidence with his chat for the remainder of the innings.
9. The fast, but erratic bowler – the fastest bowler in the team but is not trusted with the new cherry as he bowled an 11 ball over last year consisting of 4 wides and a beamer. Comes on down the hill first change but never seems to get any wickets and has an economy over 8. Can’t be dropped though because he is the scariest to bat against and no one in the 1st XI wants to face him when the 1st XI face the 2nd XI in training.
10. The in-swinging bowler – No one quite knows how he does it but has a remarkable natural in-swing when he bowls. He is not the fastest but almost always traps the opening batsman on his pads for at least two LBW appeals an over. They are often going down leg, but he will eventually get one. Reliable at first slip also.
11. The overly tall bowler – Best bowler in the team. Bullies ‘In-swinging bowler’ so that he always gets the end with the slope and ideally the tail wind. He therefore always seems to get great carry and looks significantly faster than he actually is. Less of a wicket taker out of the two opening bowlers but is considerably more popular as everyone wants to keep on his side as they know he has the potential to fire in bouncer after bouncer on the astro nets in training next week.