Cricket lovely cricket

We’ve had some unseasonably wonderful weather this Easter, and this has coincided with the first games of the cricket season. Durham went in to bat against Hampshire two weeks ago.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who bemoans the ‘polyesterisation’ of this wonderful game; a game in which the lovely creams of our childhood are now plastered in advertising and look more like pajamas. I long for the look sported by Harold Larwood, scourge of the Australians and working-class hero (see below left).

In the thirties a cricketer wore cotton, wool, leather, and that was about it. Tennis players wore much the same, and it wasn’t much different for aficionados of the rugby codes or association football.

Cricketing creams look fantastic in summer, and I’d encourage any gentleman to slowly build his summer wardrobe from second-hand sources. On the other hand, if you’re jolly impatient, here are some tips for finding the right sort of gear.

Slightly pervy, but rather exciting online store Adult Size School Uniform do a range of lovely cricketing caps in 100% flannel wool. These aren’t too badly priced at £35, certainly not compared with suppliers in the Smoke.

For a little under a ton, the same company will do you a lovely Navy and Royal Blue Venetian Stripe Blazer in 100% wool. You’ll struggle to find a striped blazer of any description for that sort of price, and second-hand ones is often more expensive than brand new.

My own example is actually from The Gap and is made of cotton, though I’d encourage you to avoid this particular store if you purchase new.  Peter Christian is one of the few online suppliers that can provide the classic sweater in wool. But I’d recommend you stick to ebay until you can find something within your price range. You can probably pick up a sweater for less than £30 if you hang in there. Jumpers found in charity shops are normally made of horrible, sticky acrylic so avoid whatever the price.

Pants & Shirts
For flannels and shirts, I’d recommend our friends at Old Town. A pair of Vauxhalls in cream canvas will take some wearing in, but you’ll never have to worry about them ripping as you slide through the outfield after a bouncing cherry, nor worry about bleaching out the red dye from polishing the ball in your inner thigh. After several years of use, these trews will be as soft and personal as a handful of Elbow Grease, and feel just as nice against your groin.

Old Town’s Slimmer Shirt in cellular cotton is ideal for cricket, tennis, Pimms, lounging around or just shouting abuse at the Third Umpire. Not cheap though, so look around for a good quality white cotton number from a charity shop – no breast pockets and button cuffs please, and on NO account go for button-down collars. These are only for skinheads and Americans.

I’ve looked everywhere for cricket boots made the old way. I’ve given up to be honest, though I did find these lovely Indian Army plimsolls at Online Militaria. These are precisely the shoes I wore at school – for cricket, hockey, tennis, rugby AND bloody athletics!

They’re also the very shoes that my Year Head, Mr Read, smashed against my behind when I lifted Cheryl Samways’ skirt in the corridor.

Okay, these plimmy’s are not white, but you can dig out the blanco and give them what-for and you’ll not only have a wonderful pair of daps, but you’ll look the bees-knees.

Any tips for vintage summer sports wear much appreciated by the way, especially when trying to track down those hard-to-find white leather boots.



~ by Lord Leigh Park on April 26, 2011.

2 Responses to “Cricket lovely cricket”

  1. Ahem… pants? Not trousers? It’s just not cricket.

  2. The adult size school uniform site was an eye opener, the prices were worse. I find in Australia though that given the size of the youth inhabitants, one can get school uniforms that will fit most adults.

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