Yesterday evening, I was informed that tonight’s opening episode of ‘The Repair Shop’ will not be as advertised after the ECB successfully applied for an injunction preventing the BBC from broadcasting the one previously detailed in the Radio Times. Concealed in the shadow of the Lord Ian Botham Stand, my source then passed me the transcript of that part of the show that those making up cricket’s administrative body are desperate for you not to see. Urged by him to make the information public, I gladly reproduce its contents here.
VOICEOVER: Next into the repair shop are a pair of cricket supporters who have an unusual item in need of restoration. Brian the club cat and Stumpy the team mascot have driven up from Somerset hoping the experts in the Repair Shop can breathe new life into something that has long since seen better days.
[Brian and Stumpy are seen walking through the door of the barn, inside they are met by Jay Blades and Kirsten Ramsey]
JAY: Hello there. What do we have here?
BRIAN: It’s the England and Wales domestic country cricket season.
JAY: Wow! Tell me about it.
BRIAN: Well Jay. For as long as we can remember it has been a much loved part of our lives but in recent years it has been somewhat neglected. As children it kept us entertained throughout the summer holidays, as it did our parents. But in recent years it has suffered some damage and has, as a result, lost its shape and much of its attractiveness.
JAY: What happened?
STUMPY: Sadly, a couple of years ago some vandals got hold of it and defaced it by smearing ‘The Hundred’ right across it. That flattened it in the middle and forced four day games to its edges whereas once they had been spread far more evenly. And now you can’t see the stars that once adorned its centre.
STUMPY: Yes, stars. They used to be visible all over it. Some had already fallen off a while ago when they were given central contracts with the ECB but, after ‘The Hundred’ was daubed on it, it became very much harder to see any stars at all.
JAY: That’s terrible. Why would anyone do such a thing?
BRIAN: We don’t know Jay. We just…[Brian pauses to stop himself from crying]. We just know it makes us sad. [The camera provides a close up of Stumpy’s face and we see a tear form in the corner of his eye].
JAY: I can see it means a lot to you.
BRIAN: [composing himself]. It does Jay. We had hoped to be able to pass it on to our children so that they could enjoy it like we did but it’s now in need of some love and attention if we’re ever going to be able to do that.
KIRSTEN: So what would you like me to do?
STUMPY: Well first of all we’d love it if you could remove the stain of ‘The Hundred’. It’d be great if you could make those stars shine again. And then there is the one day cup aspect of the season. It’s not easy to see these days having faded rather badly. It would be good to see it visible again, interspersed throughout the season with its final forming a bright centrepiece.
KIRSTEN: That should be possible. What about this area here? [Kirsten indicates a particularly colourful area on the item.]
STUMPY: Ah yes, that’s the T20 Blast. We like that but in recent years, as other areas have faded, it has become a little too prominent. And it’s colours have run such that it has tended to coalesce in one area. Could that be repaired too – toned down a bit and spread more evenly again so it adds contrast to the season as a whole?
KIRSTEN: I’ll see what I can do,
JAY: And what about the four day games?
BRIAN: Well we were hoping that you could refill the season such that they were spread more evenly too. As the most important part of the season, red ball cricket should’t be forced to its edges. If you could do that it would be truly wonderful – the icing on the cake!
JAY: It’ll be a challenge, but we’ll do our very best
[Brian and Stumpy leave the barn and Kirsten sets to work. The mark of ‘The Hundred’ is removed revealing once again the domestic cricket season’s former beauty. The stars are restored and, with the help of the Bear Ladies, the whole thing is completely refilled such that when Brian and Stumpy return they can hardly believe how different the season looks with each of the various different formats of the game being once more evenly distributed across it.]
BRIAN: I can’t believe what you’ve managed to do. It’s fantastic. I’m so happy that it’s back to how I remember. Now we’ll be able to enjoy it again. As will our children and their children too.
STUMPY: We can’t thank you enough. It’s genuinely amazing.
JAY: It’s our pleasure.
STUMPY: Can we take it now?
JAY: Of course! It’s all yours.
[Brian and Stumpy pick up the restored domestic county season and make to leave the barn. As they reach the door, Stumpy turns and looks at the Bear Ladies]
STUMPY: There is just one more thing. Is there any chance someone could take a look at my back? I seem to be coming apart at the seams!
Other Repair Shop Blogs:
To read ‘The Repair Shop’, click here
To read ‘The State of Disrepair Shop’, click here
Other Somerset cricket related blogs:
To read ‘A Tale of Two Tons’, click here
To read ‘A Song for Brian’, click here
To read ‘A Cricket Taunt’, click here
To read ‘If Only’, click here
To read ‘How Covid-19 stole the the cricket season’, click here
To read ‘Eve of the RLODC limericks’ click here
To read ‘It’s coming home…’, click here
To read ‘A Song for Ben Green’, click here
To read ‘Enough Said…’, the last section of which is cricket related, click here
A Jack Leach Trilogy:
To read ‘For when we can’t see why’, click here
To read ‘WWJD – What would Jack Do?’, click here
To read ‘On Playing a Blinder’, click here
To read ‘Coping with Disappointment’, click here
To read ‘Somerset CCC – Good for the soul’, click here
To read ‘Longing for the pavilion whilst enjoying a good innings’, click here