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Master Class - The Guest's Guide to the Tactical Tea

Ideally, a host club should have trained tea planners operating as a strategic element in the game under the direction of the captain.

The fully-trained tea-planner will have two quite separate teas prepared; with the decision of which one to deploy held back until after the toss.

If the host side is to bat first, the easily-digested light, spartan, high-energy, tea should be brought into play at the end of their innings, before they go out and field.
This might consist of:-
Glucose-water . . . banana . . . high-energy muesli . . a handful of nuts

If, on the other hand the opposition are batting first, the "irresistible tea" should be deployed. As their last batsmen come off the field to hearty applause, handshakes and cries of "jolly well done" a mug of steaming sweet tea should be put in their hands as they are ushered to a table heaving with: delicious savories: pork pies, hot sausage-rolls, hard-boiled eggs, warm new potatoes dripping with butter, chappatties, couscous, somosas (meat and vegetarian), chicken drumsticks and a wide choice of chutneys. On the sweet site there should be an array of options including: heavy fruit-cake, chocolate sponge, battenberg cakes, eccles cakes etc all topped off with strawberries and cream (and/or ice-cream) with well-buttered scones.

Properly used, a tea such as this can render the most athletic team in the world sluggish and ineffectual in the field.

A key technique in the ploy is to induce the opposition into a state of polite gratitude at the effort you have made - so as to make it seem churlish to decline anything offered. Serious exponents of strategic tea-planning will finess it by deploying the most attractive young women available wearing suitably chosen torso-wear, to take trays of seconds, thirds and fourths around - bending forward with a smiling offer of more and ever more helpings which they modestly claim to have prepared it themselves.

Super-exponents have been known to imply that there is some kind of competition amongst these ladies for whose food turns out to be the favourite.

Such exponents have been known to win matches without a single well-struck ball being fielded at all.

Editors Note - The Casuals haven't quite got the hang of this skill (though we are trying to actively encourage the scantily clad 'tea ladies'). Try as we might we end up eating it all




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