Below is a transcript of Ollie Doward's speech awarding Louis Harris the 2016 Roger Greenslade Trophy for most Jester-like performance of the season...
There were three contenders for this year’s award of most Jester-like performance of the year, aka the Roger Greenslade Trophy.
The first two involve some unusual practice in the trouser department. Our first nominee is a man who managed to turn up to pre-season nets at Lord’s with his trousers on back to front and bowl for the entire session without realising! Unfortunately Phil Berman isn’t with us tonight.
Our second nominee is a man who turned up to the game against Eversholt on his 32nd birthday, an hour late and without any trousers. He did go on to bowl a fantastic spell in borrowed whites though. Well done Jonny Bridcut.
But our winner, by unanimous decision, also comes from the Eversholt match.
The incident in question took place in the 41st over of a 40 over contest. Eversholt were unhappy with their final total 150 odd for 6 so made the unusual request of asking for a couple of extra overs.
This being the Roger Greenslade tribute match we happily agreed. As skipper, I glanced around the field for some buffet bowling and immediately called upon our winner of this year’s most Jester-like performance to bowl said 41st over.
I should point out that I’d asked him to bowl earlier in the innings but he gallantly refused, urging me to bring back John Murphy for a second spell so he could take his 500th 'career' wicket.
Although not principally known for his bowling, our winner takes great pride in his performance with the ball whatever the circumstances, so the subsequent events can only be described as a humiliating catastrophe.
Before I revisit the full mental and physical breakdown, I should say that their first team skipper had been hiding down the order at number eight and that our winner’s bowling is criminally under-used, under-rated and very much appreciated by the club.
Niceties out the way, here is how the over unfolded...
Ball 1 was a horrible loose pie, swatted away for four.
There were words of encouragement from the skipper and teammates but the idea of these extra overs was to bump up their total to respectability so no one apart from the bowler was unduly concerned.
Ball 2 was the high point - a dot ball.
Ball 3 was worked away for three. No real drama thus far.
At this point the wheels well and truly fell off.
Ball 4 was a full toss that was deposited over cow for an enormous six.
Again, words of encouragement from the skipper as he retreated to the boundary edge along with eight other fielders. Our winner bellowed from the top of his mark: "I AM NOT ENJOYING THIS!"
Ball 5 was a vicious, angry beamer that smashed noisily into the batsman’s grill. Cue shocked silence, a muted apology and a warning from the umpire.
Ball 6 was the piece de resistance, another full toss and a towering six into a villager’s front garden at long on, the ball clattering into a tree and provoking an explosion of red blossom and terrified birdlife. It was a thing of beauty and utter hilarity.
Wisely no one attempted to console the bowler who looked ready to self-combust.
Another no-ball beamer and a two completed a 24 run over.
As our winner stomped off to deep cover, I shouted across that it really didn’t matter because his over had set up a better game of cricket. His response: "YES, BUT WHAT ABOUT MY SELF-ESTEEM?"
I hope this award goes some way to restoring his self-esteem.
It gives me great pleasure to present the much coveted Roger Greenslade trophy for the most Jester-like performance and best Jesters tantrum since James Douse’s assault on a plastic chair to... Louis Harris!