Sky Sports Cricket commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd has recounted the story of a time when a portion of a County Championship match he was involved in was played with 12 fielders on the field.
Lloyd was speaking on a county cricket special episode of the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, alongside Graham Gooch, Nick Knight and Rob Key, when he narrated the tale, from his time at Lancashire – he made his debut in 1965 – when the 12th man in the side accidentally took the field along with the rest of the team.
“It [county cricket] is deadly serious, obviously, but of course, you get your lighter moments,” he said. “We had a captain called Jack Bond, who captained the Lancs before me. And we were playing Middlesex at Old Trafford.
“Picture the scene – it’s the old pavilion, the ground was the other way around, and we’d been going for 20 minutes or so. And the Middlesex captain is Mike Brearley. He walks on to the field with a sheet of paper. We’re going, we’re fielding. And he walks on, Mike Brearley, and he says, ‘Terribly sorry, but you seem to be playing with 12!’.
“And so, we went into our changing room, and on the board – we always used to pin the team up on the board – and we had to bring out the team sheet and go through it all, and it turned out we had a lad called John Sullivan, who is on the list as 12th man. He thinks he is playing. And we’re playing 20 minutes with 12!
“Lovers of county cricket will see this as another slap in the face, that county performances don’t really count with England selectors. That certainly does seem to be the way, particularly when it comes to seam bowlers.”https://t.co/pxItZUuqm8
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) May 30, 2020
We went up to Sully, and said, ‘Sorry Sully, you’ve to go. You’re not playing’. [He said], ‘Oh sorry’, and off he went!”
Despite such moments, he said, the County Championship was a great competition. “You would get that little bit of mirth from time to time. But I can’t get away from how good a competition it is. And I still think it is a great competition. Administrators have just got to box clever to make sure it doesn’t lose its identity.”