The 2020 Hindsight

Report by Daniel Mortlock:

The 2020 Hindsight was set to take place in mid-July, with all our regular fixtures locked in well ahead of time. However, the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus throughout the UK resulted in a national lockdown in March, and effectively meant that all cricket was "cancelled until further notice". As a glorious spring turned into a lovely summer, it went from likely to certain that our standard tour would not be happening.

That did at least give the Hindsight a chance to live up to its name, with would-be FAS tourists given no choice but to look back on past glories - and horrors. The focal point was the FAS WhatsApp group, with regular tour-centric cricket trivia challenges:

After several months of this, the resumption of recreational cricket on July 11 technically meant the tour suddenly became viable, at least in theory; but very few clubs were in a position to get going straight away. After lots of deliberation there was a gradual convergence to a two-part tour spanning the August bank holiday and the following weekend . . .

. . . which, remarkably given the backdrop, went off pretty much without a hitch. We got three games on the Cotswolds leg, based at Mill Dene as usual (but largely camping on various lawns rather than squeezed into attic rooms), followed by a two-game mini-tour based at Joss's new family home at Slip Mill in Kent. And, other than the use of industrial quantities of what we hoped wasn't just out-of-date lube every six overs, the games felt pretty normal - in particular in terms of results, with FAS once again undefeated. We started slowly, warming up with a rather tame draw at Temple Grafton, got into gear by beating Fladbury, Shipton-under-Wychwood and The Grannies by 5 wickets, 29 runs and 9 wickets, respectively, before winding down with what was in theory a relaxing internal game.

Early in the tour it was the old hands dominating: Jim Streeter was the stand-out batsman with 154 runs at 51.33, all but doubling the next best tally; and the bowling was dominated by Joss Dare (9 wickets at 11.11) and Joe White (6 wickets at 6.33), with possibly their best returns from any tour. You might think it couldn't last - and indeed it didn't, as the internal game seemed to be a bridge too far for many, as the tour finished with most tour veterans hobbling between their positions at the change of ends, all of which made Harry Houlder's sliding stops and flat throws stand out even more than usual. One result was that the youngters finally got a chance to shine, as Jamie Dare (78*) and Toby Reynolds (56*) made their first and second FAS half-centuries, respectively - and largely at the expense of their older relatives.

Still, given where we were a few months ago, a few aches and pains were a welcome sign that we'd actually got to play some cricket, something all the more appreciated given everything else going on in the world.