Drowning your sorrows, lads?

Middlesex players including England batsman Dawid Malan after their defeat to Kent

The Middlesex team had the small matter of a 342-run defeat to Kent to ponder yesterday.

Five players repaired to the Seven Stars where they sat quietly around a large table yesterday evening just as England’s 20-over match against Australia was about to start on the pub’s tvs.

Among them was England middle order batsman Dawid Malan, who had bagged a pair in the day/night four-day County Championship match, which was over in three.

Thanks to six wickets from Harry Podmore, including that of Malan’s, Middlesex were bowled out for 124 in their second innings having scored just 56 in the first.

Kent had earlier put in totals of 241 and 281, the second innings score the product of a 100-run partnership between Grant Stewart and Ivan Thomas, of which the latter scored just one.

Ed Griffiths, an administrator at Middlesex CCC

One onlooker at the Seven Stars said: “The Middlesex boys looked pretty glum.

“They were talking about individual scores and, who knows, maybe even worrying about their places in the team.

“Some of them had a beer, but Malan stuck to the mineral water.”

The players then watched England get off to a superb start against in the T20 international as Jason Roy with 44 and irrepressible Jos Buttler with 61 made the early running.

Midway through the England innings Ed Griffiths, a behind the scenes figure at Middlesex who has a history of sports administration behind him, appeared at the pub.

Griffiths is an intriguing figure in sport. He was the chief executive of South African Rugby Union when Francois Pienaar’s men won the Rainbow Nation’s first World Cup in 1995. He has also worked with Saracens in the UK.

The cricket writer Will Macpherson described Griffiths as: “Austere, uncompromising and shy of speaking on the record, he has quickly become the players’ counsel; a familiar sight during the Champion County match was of him ambling laps of the boundary with individual players, chewing the fat and clutching his notebook.”

Griffiths arrived at the Stars to tell the players that “today was bad day for Middlesex cricket and German football”.

He was not wrong on either count.


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