Specialism: A pacy bowler who seemed to gain several yards overnight. Or maybe everyone else lost several yards, which does seem more likely.
Profile: Likes nothing more than overshadowing his dad (a bit of a Mallards theme) and arguing with his brother.
Favourite colour: Orange
Age: 24. Like six fours. Or four sixes. None of which has he showed signs of hitting yet apart from in nets (see below).
Specialism: Batting (in the nets). The firm striker of the ball seen in pre-season practice has yet to materialise on the square. Not being afraid of modern coaching techniques we’re thinking of adding a little net to the rim of his cap so he thinks he’s still back there.
Profile: Keen as mustard. His youthful enthusiasm hasn’t been stifled by the team’s dodgy start to the season or his lack of good stats. Give it time and he’ll be as jaded as the rest of us
Favourite colour: Dirty grey (like what nets are)
Nickname: Dusty (Binmore)
Age: 22? As in Catch 22, which is about 22 more than he’s caught so far.
Specialism: Thought he was a bowler but might also be a batsman. Which is generally considered to be showing off if you’re a Mallard. Give it another month and we’ll train him out of that.
Profile: Can get a bit cross. Could be because he clearly doesn’t eat enough in comparison to his more rotund team-mates . Might have to get Tom Browne to bring an extra pre-match pasty for him.
Favourite colour: Red (rag to a bull)
Nickname: Mr Hangry
Age: All these new boys look so young. 14 maybe?
Specialism: Swinging. And he likes to move the ball around as well.
Profile: One of the new posse of young Mallards. Tom impressed so much in the nets that Riding Mill immediately tried to poach him. Now they’ve seen him play on the field they’ve stopped asking.
Favourite colour: Yellow. (Big Coldplay fan)
Age: Probably lower than his batting average
Specialism: Quick runs. Not quick running. In fact he’d prefer not to run at all hence his attempts to hit every ball to the boundary.
Profile: Given the choice he’d open the batting and bowling and probably keep wicket as well. Likes to be involved and is a constant source of advice to whoever the captain is (regardless of whether advice is required)
Favourite colour: Purple (He’s a massive Prince fan, which explains the hairstyle)
Age: Imagine a baby-faced assassin. That’s how old he is
Specialism: The boy can catch flies. Hands like buckets. He loves catching things so much he even caught his head once (see above).
Profile: Ali is living proof of the triumph of Nurture over Nature as anyone who has seen his dad play will testify. Ali is a brilliant fielder, a promising batsman and we are eagerly awaiting him getting a chance to turn his arm over next season. None of these things apply to his old man.
Favourite colour: Green (Due to his novice status in the team. At his current rate of progress up the team’s form ratings we may soon have to change this to Gold)
Nickname: Butterfingers (Those who believe that irony is dead have never read the Mallards website)
Age: With that much hair he can’t be any older than 30
Specialism: We haven’t yet found anything he can’t do well. He’s like the Denis Waterman of Mallards. If we ever need a theme tune he’d probably write it and sing it.
Profile: Used to be the quiet man of the team but since the recruitment of his partner-in-crime Ankush we’ve discovered that he’s actually quite a chatterbox. So much so that he recently became the umpteenth captain of Mallards this season. Rain saved us that day so if he never does it again Hamid can claim to be the only unbeaten captain in the club’s history.
Favourite colour: Green
Nickname: Those movie star looks mean it has to be Bollywood
Age: Don’t be fooled by the cherubic face, he’s way older than that
Specialism: Somewhere in there is a good something-or-other. Whether it’s a batsman, bowler or tidy all-rounder we’re not sure. The experiment goes on.
Profile: Having sired two very competent cricketing sons, Si realised that if either or both were ever to achieve England test status, it was time to step in as a role model and give them that final spur. Hard work in the nets, as one of the few regular attendees in the last couple of seasons has paid off handsomely and he now only gets bowled by them every third ball.
Favourite colour: With that surname it has to be Orange
Nickname: Si-Ko (Killer)
Age: His first schoolboy crush was Gracie Fields and he can remember queuing round the block for his ha’penny Saturday Matinee ticket just to see her latest release.
Specialism: Giving wicket-keepers diving practice with his left-arm swing-bowling which starts on middle, swings to leg and keeps on going. And going. And going. He can also recall the “good old days” with astounding clarity.
Profile: Far and away the longest serving and still active member of Mallards, the only remaining founding father and an ex-team captain to boot. After 40 years he has finally remodelled his 15-pace, almost stop, shuffle, two more paces bowling action by deleting the first bit. Nowadays he divides his time between the north-east of England and Montreal, the latter enabling him to develop his ice-cricket skills, where his left-arm swing bowling starts on middle, swings to leg and keeps… (see above for further details).
Favourite colour: Maple Leaf Red
Nickname: The Flashing Blade (though following a police caution he would now prefer to be known as just ‘The Blade)
Age: We would like to be precise but our resident legal eagle has an injunction in place preventing disclosure of the actual number. Suffice to say he is fairly close to raising his bat in triumph.
Specialism: Variety. Liaquat can produce six completely different balls in one over, all from different run-ups and at different speeds. His batting style can best be described as ‘busy.’
Profile: Initially brought in to offer legal advice to Mallards in a dispute over attempts to deport the club despot to Afghanistan (which, unfortunately, he managed to prevent), Liaquat forced his way into the squad by providing some top-class Samosas at the annual barbeque. He has proved a fine addition but has still to learn that shouting ‘Objection’ at the Umpires’ decisions is unlikely to earn favour.
Favourite Colour: The law is famously colourblind (lol!)
Nickname: Lee – nobody in the team has ever even attempted to pronounce ‘Liaquat’