A cricket bat in a fishing programme

3 minute read

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If you’ve never seen Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, it’s a programme where comedians Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse go fishing in scenic spots around the UK, stay somewhere nice, eat food and just generally talk about any old bollocks that comes into Bob’s head.

It is not a demanding programme to watch and if you’ve got a bit of a viral infection of a Saturday evening and you’re kind of drifting in and out of sleep, it’s not the worst thing to put on as it’s calm and pleasant and you aren’t going to miss anything crucial during the periods when you’re not conscious.

Rather unexpectedly, episode one of series five features a spot of cricket.

Let’s take a closer look at the action to try and work out whether Bob or Paul has the greater pedigree as a cricketer.

The players

It’s fair to say that neither man is in peak physical condition. Both are in their sixties and both have had major heart problems. Neither claims any kind of cricketing prowess. Bob does get a few sports ability points for having had trials to become a pro footballer but then instantly loses them as he failed to get a contract due to arthritis.

So we should be generous.

Bob Mortimer’s bowling

While it’s low velocity, Bob’s run-up is actually quite promising.

His body is canted in that distinctive way that indicates he is preparing to get side-on. He holds the ball well in a highly cricket way. His gaze is trained on his target. There’s almost something Warne-esque about how he looks in the image above.

The delivery itself doesn’t quite live up to this. It is pretty round-arm and there is little in his grip that suggests any great volume of bowling over the years. Set against that, maybe the arm used to get a little higher. Maybe that grip used to give a bit of a tweak but he doesn’t feel confident immediately throwing that into the mix without having had a few practice overs.

All in all, not bad. What’s at the other end?

Paul Whitehouse’s batting

It’s worth pointing out that Paul is having to cope with a drastically undersized bat here.

So the generous take is that the retreating back leg stance is perhaps an effort to get a bit lower. It also looks like he brings it a bit more level when Bob actually bowls the ball.

So the jury’s out.

Okay, we’ve seen enough. We don’t even need to look at the shot itself to confirm that Bob Mortimer has greater cricketing pedigree than Paul Whitehouse.

Bob Mortimer fielding

Bob also displays impressive commitment to his fielding and combines that with a good deal of prowess.

See how he leaps like a crested salmon!

And successfully takes the catch.

Faux pas

One thing that shouldn’t be overlooked, however, was this shameful incident during the build-up.

Not with the face of the bat, Bob! Use the end of the handle!

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