cover

CONTENTS

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Introduction

GENERAL

ANGLING

BAT AND BALL

Baseball

Cricket

BOATS

Powerboat Racing

Rowing

Sailing

BODY SPORTS

Athletics

Biathlon

Gymnastics

Weightlifting

CUES

Pool

Snooker

COMBAT

Boxing

Martial Arts

Wrestling

EQUINE

Horse Racing

Polo

Show Jumping

FOOTBALL (SOCCER)

FOOTBALL (OTHER)

American Football

Australian Rules Football

Gaelic Football

ICE AND SNOW

Bobsled

Curling

Ice Hockey

Luge

Skating

Skiing

Snowboarding

IN THE POOL

Diving

Swimming

Water Polo

MIND GAMES

Bridge

Chess

ON THE COURT

Basketball

Volleyball

PLAYING THE GREEN

Bowls

Croquet

Golf

RACQUETS

Badminton

Squash

Tennis

RUGBY

Rugby League

Rugby Union

STICKS

Hockey

Hurling

Lacrosse

TARGETS

Darts

Shooting

WHEELS

Cycling

Motor Cycling

Motor Racing

Selected Bibliography

Index

Copyright

About the Author

Former sports journalist Geoff Tibballs has written nearly 100 books, many of them on sport and humour, with titles including The Mammoth Book of Comic Quotes, Great Sporting Eccentrics and Great Sporting Mishaps. An accomplished armchair sportsman, he believes his life-long devotion to Millwall Football Club has enabled him to appreciate the ridiculous.

About the Book

‘He dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn’t like it – you can see it all over their faces’ Ron Atkinson

‘Rugby is a good occasion for keeping thirty bullies far from the city centre’ Oscar Wilde

‘This is an interesting circuit because it has inclines – and not just up but down as well’ Murray Walker

‘Two-piece snooker cues are popular these days but Alex Higgins doesn’t use one because there aren’t any instructions’ Steve Davis

‘They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken’ Raymond Floyd

Covering the full gamut of the sporting spectrum and featuring over 4,000 quotes, The Bowler’s Holding, the Batsman’s Willey is the definitive collection of sporting wit, from participants and observers alike.

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INTRODUCTION

In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, whether they are over the moon or sick as a parrot, we hang on the every word of our sportsmen and women. And it’s hardly surprising, because frequently neither we – nor indeed they – have any idea what is going to come out of their mouths next. It could be a witty comment, destined to feature in books of quotations for years to come, or some garbled nonsense that is almost as baffling as a Garth Crooks question. In a true labour of love, I have collected over 4,000 of these sporting gems – sharp one-liners and unintentional howlers, not only from participants and coaches but also those whose solemn duty it is to cover the action for the media. Spanning more than 50 different sports, the quotes range from the incisive wit of Brian Clough, Lee Trevino and Muhammad Ali to the studied observations of John Arlott, the colourful phrases of Sid Waddell and the gaffes of Murray Walker, Dan Maskell and their fellow commentators. It was Clive James who once said of the doyen of the gaffe, David Coleman: ‘Just by being so madly keen, he helps you get things in proportion. Anything that matters so much to David Coleman, you realise doesn’t matter so much at all!’ In truth, the same can be said for virtually every sporting utterance, but, as I hope this book shows, sometimes it can be fun to revel in the trivial.

Geoff Tibballs, 2007

GENERAL

 

Have you noticed that whatever sport you’re trying to learn, some earnest person is always telling you to keep your knees bent?

~ DAVE BARRY

I’m glad to say that this is the first Saturday in four weeks that sport will be weather-free.

~ DAVID COLEMAN

The more violent the body contact of the sports you watch, the lower your class.

~ PAUL FUSSELL

Performance-enhancing drugs are banned in the Olympics. OK, we can swing with that. But performance-debilitating drugs should not be banned. Smoke a joint and win the 100 metres, fair play to you. That’s pretty damn good. Unless someone’s dangling a Mars Bar off in the distance.

~ EDDIE IZZARD

The Olympics. Not a sport but several peculiar sports, each of which only commands your attention every four years, like a dental appointment.

~ DAN JENKINS

When it comes to sports I am not particularly interested. Generally speaking, I look upon them as dangerous and tiring activities performed by people with whom I share nothing except the right to trial by jury.

~ FRAN LEBOWITZ

There’s a simple recipe about this sports business. If you’re a sporting star, you’re a sporting star. If you don’t quite make it, you become a coach. If you can’t coach, you become a journalist. If you can’t spell, you introduce Grandstand on a Saturday afternoon.

~ DES LYNAM

I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense.

~ H.L. MENCKEN

The ball is man’s most disastrous invention, not excluding the wheel.

~ ROBERT MORLEY

The ribbon-waving rhythmic gymnasts are in. The shuttlecock-chasing badminton players are in. Even the ice-sweeping curlers are in. And poker’s out? That’s like throwing a party for mankind’s greatest inventions and forgetting to invite indoor plumbing.

~ POKER WEBSITE, WWW.POKER.NET, BIDDING TO MAKE THE CARD GAME AN OLYMPIC SPORT

The only thing on the level is mountain climbing.

~ EDDIE QUINN

Men forget everything. That’s why they need instant replays in sports. They’ve already forgotten what happened.

~ RITA RUDNER

Son, when you participate in sporting events, it’s not whether you win or lose. It’s how drunk you get.

~ HOMER SIMPSON

If the Bible has taught us nothing, and it hasn’t, it’s that girls should stick to girls’ sports, such as hot-oil wrestling, foxy boxing, and such and such.

~ HOMER SIMPSON

Sports are the reason I am out of shape. I watch them all on TV.

~ THOMAS SOWELL

A sports journalist is someone who would if he could but he can’t, so he tells those who already know how they should.

~ CLIFF TEMPLE

An astonishing number of international games were invented by the British, who, whenever they are surpassed by other nations, coolly invent another one.

~ PETER USTINOV

Binge-drinking and teenage pregnancies are the only games the English invented where they are still ranked number one in the world.

~ MIKE WALTERS

I always turn to the sports section first. The sports page records people’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.

~ JUSTICE EARL WARREN

Of course I have played outdoor games. I once played dominoes in an open-air café in Paris.

~ OSCAR WILDE

ANGLING

 

Fishing is the sport of drowning worms.

~ ANON

Even a fish wouldn’t get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut.

~ ANON

Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.

~ ANON

A fisherman is a sportsman who catches fish sometimes by patience, sometimes by luck, but most often by the tale.

~ LEO BAKER

The formal term for a collection of fishermen is an exaggeration of anglers.

~ HENRY BEARD

Don’t take advice from people with missing fingers.

~ HENRY BEARD

The fishing was good, it was the catching that was bad.

~ A.K. BEST

My biggest worry is that my wife [when I’m dead] will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it.

~ KOOS BRANDT

If fishing is like religion, then fly-fishing is high church.

~ TOM BROKAW

Fishing, with me, has always been an excuse to drink in the daytime.

~ JIMMY CANNON

Three-fourths of the earth’s surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.

~ CHUCK CLARK

I love fishing. It’s like transcendental meditation with a punchline.

~ BILLY CONNOLLY

All fishermen are liars; it’s an occupational disease with them like housemaid’s knee or editor’s ulcers.

~ BEATRICE COOK

Even eminent chartered accountants are known, in their capacity as fishermen, blissfully to ignore differences between seven and ten inches, half a pound and two pounds, three fish and a dozen fish.

~ WILLIAM SHERWOOD FOX

Fishing seems to be divided, like sex, into three unequal parts: anticipation, recollection, and between them, actual performance.

~ ARNOLD GINGRICH

Fly-fishing is the most fun you can have standing up.

~ ARNOLD GINGRICH

Give a man a fish, and he can eat for a day. But teach a man how to fish and he’ll be dead of mercury poisoning inside of three years.

~ CHARLES HAAS

Anglers exaggerate grossly and make gentle and inoffensive creatures sound like wounded buffalo and man-eating tigers.

~ RODERICK HAIG-BROWN

Anglers think they are divining some primeval natural force by outwitting a fish, a creature that never even got out of the evolutionary starting gate.

~ RICH HALL

Fly-fishing is a very pleasant amusement; but angling or float-fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other.

~ GEORGE W. HARVEY

On fishing shows they always throw the fish back. They don’t want to eat them. They just want to make them late for something.

~ MITCH HEDBERG

Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.

~ ERNEST HEMINGWAY

He’s just perfect for mounting.

~ FISHERMAN MIKE HULBERT ON HIS 8LB 3oZ SON

An angler is a man who spends his rainy days sitting around on the muddy banks of rivers doing nothing because his wife won’t let him do it at home.

~ IRISH NEWS

Fly-fishing is like sex: everyone thinks there is more than there is, and that everyone is getting more than their share.

~ HENRY KANEMOTO

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.

~ DOUG LARSON

It is to be observed that angling is the name given to fishing by people who can’t fish.

~ STEPHEN LEACOCK

Fishing is the only sport where sitting on your butt under a tree looks like a concentrated activity.

~ JEFF MACNELLY

The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t.

~ PATRICK F. McMANUS

There is no greater fan of fly-fishing than the worm.

~ PATRICK F. McMANUS

What a tourist terms a plague of insects, the fly-fisher calls a great hatch.

~ PATRICK F. McMANUS

Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher’s salary.

~ PATRICK F. McMANUS

Fishermen and hypochondriacs have one thing in common – they don’t have to catch anything to be happy.

~ ROBERT ORBEN

A trout is a fish mainly known by hearsay. It lives on anything not included in a fisherman’s equipment.

~ H.I. PHILIPS

Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend.

~ ZENNA SCHAFFER

Calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job.

~ PAUL SCHULLERY

It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.

~ JOHN STEINBECK

There is no use in walking five miles to fish when you can depend on being just as unsuccessful near home.

~ MARK TWAIN

Fishing is such great fun, I have often felt that it really ought to be done in bed.

~ JOHN VOELKER

There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

~ STEVEN WRIGHT

Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish.

~ STEVEN WRIGHT

The chief difference between big-game fishing and weightlifting is that weightlifters never clutter up their library walls with stuffed barbells.

~ ED ZERN

Fly-fishermen are born honest, but they get over it.

~ ED ZERN

BAT AND BALL

Baseball

FRED PATEK WAS so small when he was born that his father passed out cigar butts.

~ JOEY ADAMS ON THE 5FT 5IN PLAYER

If horses can’t eat it, I won’t play on it.

~ DICK ALLEN

When we played softball, I’d steal second base, feel guilty and go back.

~ WOODY ALLEN

Me carrying a briefcase is like a hotdog wearing earrings.

~ SPARKY ANDERSON

I only had a high-school education and believe me, I had to cheat to get that.

~ SPARKY ANDERSON

Choo Choo Coleman is quick on the bases, but this is an attribute that is about as essential for catchers as neat handwriting.

~ ROGER ANGELL

Orel Hershiser is the only Major League pitcher to have two consecutive pronouns in his surname.

~ ROGER ANGELL

Confucius say, baseball wrong – man with four balls cannot walk.

~ ANON

If at first you don’t succeed, try playing second base.

~ ANON

I like my players to be married and in debt. That’s the way you motivate them.

~ ERNIE BANKS

If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there is a man on base.

~ DAVE BARRY ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN

Right now I feel that I’ve got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned.

~ BO BELINSKY

Slumps are like a soft bed. They’re easy to get into and hard to get out of.

~ JOHNNY BENCH

I was thinking about making a comeback, until I pulled a muscle vacuuming.

~ JOHNNY BENCH

England and America should scrap cricket and baseball and come up with a new game that they both can play. Like baseball, for example.

~ ROBERT BENCHLEY

One of the chief duties of the fan is to engage in arguments with the man behind him. This department of the game has been allowed to run down fearfully.

~ ROBERT BENCHLEY

The only thing my father and I have in common is that our similarities are different.

~ DALE BERRA

It seems like déjà vu all over again.

~ YOGI BERRA

Baseball is 90 per cent mental; the other half is physical.

~ YOGI BERRA

We made too many wrong mistakes.

~ YOGI BERRA

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.

~ YOGI BERRA

If the people don’t want to come out to the park, nobody’s going to stop ’em.

~ YOGI BERRA

You’ve known me all these years, Jack, and you still don’t know how to spell my name.

~ YOGI BERRA, RECEIVING A CHEQUE THAT SAID ‘PAYABLE TO BEARER’

I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.

~ YOGI BERRA

You can observe a lot just by watching.

~ YOGI BERRA

Slump? I ain’t in no slump. I just ain’t hittin’.

~ YOGI BERRA

Better make it four. I don’t think I can eat eight.

~ YOGI BERRA, ASKED IF HE WANTED HIS PIZZA CUT INTO FOUR OR EIGHT SLICES

I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.

~ YOGI BERRA

It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.

~ YOGI BERRA

Never answer an anonymous letter.

~ YOGI BERRA

The Mets are overwhelming underdogs.

~ YOGI BERRA

No one goes to that restaurant any more. It’s too crowded.

~ YOGI BERRA

There’s one word that describes baseball: you never know.

~ YOGI BERRA

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

~ YOGI BERRA

I really didn’t say everything I said.

~ YOGI BERRA

—Reporter: Has first baseman Don Mattingly exceeded expectations?

—Yogi Berra: I’d say he’s done more than that.

—Fan: What time is it?

—Yogi Berra: You mean now?

More than any other American sport, baseball creates the magnetic, addictive illusion that it can almost be understood.

~ THOMAS BOSWELL

Baseball is not necessarily an obsessive-compulsive disorder, like washing your hands 100 times a day, but it’s beginning to seem that way. We’re reaching the point where you can be a truly dedicated state-of-the-art fan or you can have a life. Take your pick.

~ THOMAS BOSWELL

He should be nicknamed ‘Chicken’. Get it? Chicken Catcher Torre.

~ BOBBY BRAGAN ON JOE TORRE

If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out.

~ GEORGE BRETT

There was never any question about his courage. He proved it by getting married four times.

~ JACK BRICKHOUSE ON ENOS SLAUGHTER

It’s a good thing I stayed in Cincinnati for four years – it took me that long to learn how to spell it.

~ ROCKY BRIDGES

There’ll be two buses leaving the hotel for the park tomorrow. The two o’clock bus will be for those of you who need a little extra work. The empty bus will be leaving at five o’clock.

~ DAVE BRISTOL, MANAGER OF SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, TO HIS STRUGGLING TEAM

The clock doesn’t matter in baseball. Time stands still or moves backward. Theoretically, one game could go on for ever. Some seem to.

~ HERB CAEN

What does a mama bear on the pill have in common with the World Series? No Cubs.

~ HARRY CARAY ON CHICAGO’S LACK OF SUCCESS

Montreal Expos fans discovered ‘boo’ is pronounced the same in French as it is in English.

~ HARRY CARAY

It’s a partial sellout.

~ SKIP CARAY

How can we keep the [Atlanta] Braves on their toes? Raise the urinals.

~ DARREL CHANEY

When we [England] have a World Series, we ask other countries to participate.

~ JOHN CLEESE

Last night’s homer was Willie Stengell’s 399th home run, leaving him one shy of 500.

~ JERRY COLEMAN

Hi folks! I’m Gerry Gross.

~ JERRY COLEMAN CONFUSING HIMSELF WITH ANOTHER SPORTS ANNOUNCER TO LISTENERS OF A SAN DIEGO RADIO SHOW

Baseball fans love numbers. They love to swirl them around their mouths like Bordeaux wine.

~ PAT CONROY

A baseball fan has the digestive apparatus of a billy goat. He can, and does, devour any set of diamond statistics with insatiable appetite and then nuzzles hungrily for more.

~ ARTHUR DALEY

I want all the kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I want all the kids to copulate me.

~ ANDRE DAWSON

The doctors X-rayed my head and found nothing.

~ DIZZY DEAN

Fans, don’t fail to miss tomorrow’s game.

~ DIZZY DEAN

The runners have returned to their respectable bases.

~ DIZZY DEAN

There is a commotion in the stands. I think it has something to do with a fat lady… I’ve just been informed that the fat lady is the Queen of Holland.

~ DIZZY DEAN

Could be that Bill Terry’s a nice guy when you get to know him, but why bother?

~ DIZZY DEAN

Sure I eat what I advertise. Sure I eat Wheaties for breakfast. A good bowl of Wheaties with Bourbon can’t be beat.

~ DIZZY DEAN

Ballplayers and deer hunters are alike. They both want the big bucks.

~ LARRY DOUGHTY

We used to pray the White Sox and the Cubs would merge so Chicago would only have one bad team.

~ TOM DREESEN

What are we at the park for except to win? I’d trip my mother. I’d help her up, brush her off, tell her I’m sorry. But Mother don’t make it to third.

~ LEO DUROCHER

I made a game effort to argue but two things were against me: the umpires and the rules.

~ LEO DUROCHER

I never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes.

~ LEO DUROCHER

I believe in rules. Sure I do. If there weren’t any rules, how could you break them?

~ LEO DUROCHER

If you don’t win, you’re going to be fired. If you do win, you’ve only put off the day you’re going to be fired.

~ LEO DUROCHER

I’ve seen better hands on a clock.

~ MEL DURSLAG ON ERROR-PRONE SHORTSTOP BILL RUSSELL

I told Roland Hemond to go out and get me a big-name pitcher. He said, ‘Dave Wehrmeister’s got 11 letters. Is that a big enough name for you?’

~ EDDIE EICHORN

Bruce Sutter has been around a while, and he’s pretty old. He’s 35 years old. That will give you an idea of how old he is.

~ RON FAIRLY

He couldn’t hit a curveball with an ironing board.

~ BOB FELLER ON MICHAEL JORDAN’S PLANS TO TAKE UP BASEBALL

Congress today conducted an undercover investigation of steroids in baseball. Their conclusion: the Chicago Cubs are just months away from getting nuclear weapons.

~ CRAIG FERGUSON

I watch a lot of baseball on the radio.

~ GERALD FORD

I occasionally get birthday cards from fans. But it’s often the same message: they hope it’s my last.

~ EX-UMPIRE AL FORMAN

A baseball park is the one place where a man’s wife doesn’t mind his getting excited over somebody else’s curves.

~ BRENDAN FRANCIS

I don’t put any foreign substances on the baseball. Everything I use is from the good old USA.

~ GEORGE FRAZIER

I can see the sun OK, and that’s 93 million miles away.

~ UMPIRE BRUCE FROEMMING, AFTER HAVING HIS EYESIGHT QUESTIONED

They shouldn’t throw at me. I’m the father of five or six kids.

~ TITO FUENTES

Rick Burleson is even-tempered. He comes to the ballpark mad and stays that way.

~ JOE GARAGIOLA

Billy Loes was the only player in the majors who could lose a ground ball in the sun.

~ JOE GARAGIOLA

Nolan Ryan is pitching much better now that he has his curveball straightened out.

~ JOE GARAGIOLA

I went through baseball as ‘a player to be named later’.

~ JOE GARAGIOLA

A great catch is like watching girls go by – the last one you see is always the prettiest.

~ BOB GIBSON

I’m throwing twice as hard as I ever did. It’s just not getting there as fast.

~ LEFTY GOMEZ

When Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, he and all the space scientists were puzzled by an unidentifiable white object. I knew immediately what it was. That was a home run hit off me in 1937 by Jimmy Foxx.

~ LEFTY GOMEZ

I’m a four-wheel-drive pickup type of guy. So is my wife.

~ MIKE GREENWELL

Baseball is very big with my people. It figures. It’s the only time we can get to shake a bat at a white man without starting a riot.

~ DICK GREGORY

Sometimes they [journalists] write what I say and not what I mean.

~ PEDRO GUERRERO

If it turns out that Barry Bonds used steroids to bulk up and add muscle mass, he could get four to eight years as governor of California.

~ ARGUS HAMILTON

Lew Burdette would make coffee nervous.

~ FRED HANEY

Crowd? This isn’t a crowd. It’s a focus group!

~ FRAN HEALY DISAPPOINTED BY THE POOR ATTENDANCE AT A GAME IN MONTREAL

I wish I could play Little League now. I’d be way better than before.

~ MITCH HEDBERG

Don’t forget to swing hard, in case you hit the ball.

~ WOODIE HELD

All I’m asking for is what I want.

~ RICKEY HENDERSON

I shall tell my doctors that baseball has more curative powers than all their medicine.

~ HERBERT HOOVER

I don’t want to play golf. When I hit a ball, I want somebody else to go chase it.

~ ROGERS HORNSBY

People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.

~ ROGERS HORNSBY

The only reason I don’t like playing in the World Series is I can’t watch myself.

~ REGGIE JACKSON

He’s not going to get sick. Germs are scared of him.

~ REGGIE JACKSON ON A BURLY TEAM-MATE

I hate baseball. It’s dull. Nothing happens. It’s like watching grass – no, Astroturf – grow.

~ JEFF JARVIS

Gary Maddox has turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he’s miserable and depressed.

~ HARRY KALAS

It’s permanent, for now.

~ ROBERTO KELLY

Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water, the other one-third is covered by Gary Maddox.

~ RALPH KINER

This time he grounds it on the ground.

~ RALPH KINER

Some guys are inwardly outgoing.

~ RALPH KINER

The Hall of Fame ceremonies are on the 31st and 32nd of July.

~ RALPH KINER

Half of Jeff King’s extra-base hits last year were extra-base hits.

~ RALPH KINER

The reason the Mets have played so well at Shea this year is they have the best home record in baseball.

~ RALPH KINER

Chuck Hiller was a helluva hitter, but he had iron hands. You couldn’t play him on rainy days; his hands would rust.

~ ED KRANEPOOL

You can be stupid once, but idiotic to do it again. I’ll settle for being stupid.

~ ST LOUIS CARDINALS MANAGER TONY LA RUSSA, REFUSING TO MAKE ANY MORE PREDICTIONS THAT HIS TEAM WOULD LIFT THE TITLE

If Mike Scioscia raced his pregnant wife he’d finish third.

~ TOMMY LASORDA

There goes Rick Monday. He and Manny Mota are so old, they were waiters at the Last Supper.

~ TOMMY LASORDA

The average age of our bench is deceased.

~ TOMMY LASORDA ON VETERANS VIC DAVALILLO AND MANNY MOTA

By the time he gets a sign from his brain to scratch his groin, he’s made $1,600.

~ JAY LENO ON KEN GRIFFEY JR’S $8.5 MILLION-A-YEAR CONTRACT

Major League baseball has asked its players to stop tossing baseballs into the stands during games, because they say fans fight over them and they get hurt. In fact, the Florida Marlins said that’s why they never hit any home runs. It’s a safety issue.

~ JAY LENO

Do you know what I love most about baseball? The pine tar, the resin, the grass, the dirt – and that’s just in the hot dogs.

~ DAVID LETTERMAN

Most of the time you send them a bottle of Dom Perignon when they win their first game. But our kids are so young, you send them a can of Ovaltine.

~ FLORIDA MARLINS’ JIM LEYLAND

I’m not going to panic about results – I’ll panic if my kid flunks math.

~ JIM LEYLAND

Tonight, we’re honouring one of the all-time greats in baseball, Stan Musial. He’s immoral.

~ JOHNNY LOGAN

The secret to keeping winning streaks going is to maximise the victories while at the same time minimising the defeats.

~ JOHN LOWENSTEIN

Umpiring is best described as the profession of standing between two seven-year-olds with one ice-cream cone.

~ RON LUCIANO

If it’s true you learn by your mistakes, Jim Frey will be the best manager ever.

~ RON LUCIANO

Pudge [Fisk] is so old, they didn’t have history class when he went to school.

~ STEVE LYONS

He could speak in eight languages, but he couldn’t hit in any of them.

~ TED LYONS ON MOE BERG

Stan Musial’s batting stance looks like a small boy looking around a corner to see if the cops are coming.

~ TED LYONS

I hated to bat against [Don] Drysdale. After he hit you he’d come around, look at the bruise on your arm and say, ‘Do you want me to sign it?’

~ MICKEY MANTLE

It’s not that he’s a bad outfielder. He just has trouble judging the ball and picking it up.

~ BILLY MARTIN

The rule book is only good for you when you go deer hunting and run out of toilet paper.

~ BILLY MARTIN

I’m one of those people who’s not really turned on by baseball. My idea of a relief pitcher is one that’s filled with martinis.

~ DEAN MARTIN

Many fans look upon an umpire as a necessary evil to the luxury of baseball, like the odour that follows an automobile.

~ CHRISTY MATTHEWSON

His reputation preceded him before he got here.

~ DON MATTINGLY

When owner Charlie Finley had his heart operation, it took eight hours – seven just to find his heart.

~ STEVE McCATTY

Always root for the winner. That way you won’t be disappointed.

~ TUG McGRAW

My best advice to any player? Don’t park in the spaces marked ‘Reserved for Umpires’.

~ JOHN McSHERRY

Statistics are like loose women: once you get them, you can do anything you want with them.

~ WALT MICHAELS

Trying to hit Phil Niekro was like trying to eat Jell-O with chopsticks.

~ BOBBY MURCER

Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire’s eye or on the ball.

~ JIM MURRAY

Sandy Koufax’s fastball was so fast, some batters would start to swing as he was on his way to the mound.

~ JIM MURRAY

The only difference between the Mets and the Titanic is that the Mets have a better organist.

~ JIM MURRAY

When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a baseball player and join the circus. With the Yankees, I’ve accomplished both.

~ GRAIG NETTLES

The club didn’t mind the added weight, but it gave him two weeks to get down to his playing height.

~ SCOTT OSTLER, AFTER KEN GRIFFEY JR TURNED UP FOR PRE-SEASON TRAINING 20 POUNDS HEAVIER AND TWO INCHES TALLER

Contrary to popular belief, I have always had a wonderful repertoire with my players.

~ DANNY OZARK

Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

~ DANNY OZARK

It is beyond my apprehension.

~ DANNY OZARK

How is our morale? Morality at this point isn’t a factor.

~ DANNY OZARK

His limitations are limitless.

~ DANNY OZARK ON MIKE ANDERSON

There’s nothing wrong with the Little League World Series that locking out the adults couldn’t cure.

~ MIKE PENNER

I seldom refused autograph seekers unless they were old enough to look like collection agents.

~ JOE PEPITONE

The last time I smiled so much was for a jury.

~ PASQUEL PEREZ, AFTER A RUN OF SUCCESS

When you win you eat better, sleep better and your beer tastes better. And your wife looks like Gina Lollobrigida.

~ JOHNNY PESKY

Would the lady who left her nine kids at Wrigley Field please pick them up immediately? They are beating the Chicago Cubs 4-0 in the seventh inning.

~ RADIO DJ

Statistics are to baseball what a flaky crust is to Mom’s apple pie.

~ HARRY REASONER

He’s the world’s quietest person. The night he broke Lou Gehrig’s record, he went out and painted the town beige.

~ BILLY RIPKEN ON BROTHER CAL

Dan Napoleon is so ugly, when you walked by him your pants would wrinkle.

~ MICKEY RIVERS

Me and George [Steinbrenner] and Billy [Martin] are two of a kind.

~ MICKEY RIVERS

The wind was blowing about 100 degrees.

~ MICKEY RIVERS

Imagine having to tell a salesgirl that you’re buying them for a wife who is six foot two and weighs over 200 pounds.

~ BILL ROBINSON, BUYING LADIES’ TIGHTS FOR HIMSELF FOLLOWING A PULLED MUSCLE

Therapy can be a good thing; it can be therapeutic.

~ ALEX RODRIGUEZ

How can anyone as slow as you pull a muscle?

~ PETE ROSE TO TONY PEREZ

It’s a round ball and a round bat, and you got to hit it square.

~ PETE ROSE

I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball.

~ PETE ROSE

If you slid into bases head first for 20 years, you’d be ugly too!

~ PETE ROSE

Hating the New York Yankees is as American as apple pie, unwed mothers and cheating on your income tax.

~ MIKE ROYKO

Bobby Bonilla looks less comfortable donning a glove than anyone since O.J.

~ STEVE RUSHIN

All ballplayers should quit when it starts to feel as if all the baselines run uphill.

~ BABE RUTH

I had only one superstition. I made sure to touch all the bases when I hit a home run.

~ BABE RUTH

We were given a choice. We could either run around the field three times or around Tommy Lasorda once.

~ STEVE SAX

He’s one of the hardest workers on this team. He’s had his ear to the grindstone all season.

~ MIKE SHANNON

Defensively the Red Sox are a lot like Stonehenge. They are old, they don’t move, and no one is certain why they are positioned the way they are.

~ DAN SHAUGHNESSY

Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.

~ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

Trying to throw a fastball past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak sunrise past a rooster.

~ CURT SIMMONS

I’m not blind to hearing what everybody else hears.

~ ZANE SMITH

Anything that goes that far ought to have a stewardess on it.

~ PAUL SPLITORFF, ON A GEORGE BRETT HOME RUN

David Cone is in a class by himself with three or four other players.

~ GEORGE STEINBRENNER

I’m not a win-at-all-costs guy. Winning isn’t everything. It’s second to breathing.

~ GEORGE STEINBRENNER

I got a kid, Greg Goosen, he’s 19 years old and in ten years he’s got a chance to be 29.

~ CASEY STENGEL

Look at him. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t chew, he doesn’t stay out late, and he still can’t hit 250.

~ CASEY STENGEL

This has been a team effort. No one or two guys could have done all this.

~ CASEY STENGEL AFTER THE METS LOST 120 GAMES IN A SEASON

The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.

~ CASEY STENGEL

They’re very much alike in a lot of similarities.

~ CASEY STENGEL

A lot of people my age are dead at the present time.

~ CASEY STENGEL

I am the most loyal player money can buy.

~ DON SUTTON

As a teenager, Gonzo [Luis Gonzalez] was so skinny he had to take steroids just to be on the chess team.

~ GREG SWINDELL

Toronto pitcher David Wells was so disgusted with the Sports Illustrated cover depicting him as a big fat slob that he ate the first 50,000 copies.

~ TERRY TOLL

I call my hairstyle the ‘Watergate’. I cover up everything I can.

~ JOE TORRE

The last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series was in 1908. The last time they were in one was 1945. Hey, any team can have a bad century.

~ TOM TREBELHORN

Nick Etten’s glove fields better with Nick Etten out of it.

~ JOE TRIMBLE

What have they lost, nine of their last eight?

~ TED TURNER

My doctor tells me to drink lemon juice after a hot bath, but I can never finish the bath.

~ BOB UECKER

I’ve never criticised my players in public, and I’ll never do it again.

~ BOBBY VALENTINE

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a worse defence than Pearl Harbor.

~ ANDY VAN SLYKE

As an umpire, you’re expected to be perfect the day you start – and then improve.

~ ED VARGO

Baseball is the only thing beside the paper clip that hasn’t changed.

~ BILL VEECK

Baseball is the only game left for people. To play basketball, you have to be seven foot six. To play football, you have to be the same width.

~ BILL VEECK

Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can’t get you off.

~ BILL VEECK

I have discovered in 20 years of moving around a ball park that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats.

~ BILL VEECK

I was a victim of circumcision.

~ PETE VUKOVICH

Steve Carlton: one of the all-time greatest players of all time.

~ BOB WALK

I see three baseballs, but I only swing at the middle one.

~ PAUL WANER ON THE PERILS OF DRINKING

Baseball is like church. Many attend, but few understand.

~ WES WESTRUM

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.

~ GEORGE WILL

Baseball is the only field of endeavour where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.

~ TED WILLIAMS

For the parents of a Little Leaguer, a baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown in innings.

~ EARL WILSON

Why did I get married in a ballpark? My wife wanted a big diamond.

~ MOOKIE WILSON

It went quickly, but it was like an eternity.

~ DAVE WINFIELD

You don’t get your first home run too often.

~ RICK WRONA

You don’t want to have to walk back to the dugout with your head between your legs.

~ DMITRI YOUNG

Cricket

A VERY SMALL crowd here today. I can count the people on one hand. Can’t be more than 30.

~ MICHAEL ABRAHAMSON

Strangely, in slow motion replay, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer.

~ DAVID ACFIELD

When you’re an off-spinner there’s not much point glaring at a batsman.

If I glared at Vivian Richards he’d just hit me even further.

~ DAVID ACFIELD

Like an elephant trying to do the pole vault.

~ JONATHAN AGNEW AS HEAVYWEIGHT PAKISTAN CAPTAIN INZAMAM-UL-HAQ FALLS OVER HIS OWN STUMPS AT HEADINGLEY IN 2006

This has been completely and utterly limp by England. They’re playing with all the intensity of my drunk aunt playing Cluedo at Christmas.

~ JONATHAN AGNEW

Botham just couldn’t quite get his leg over.

~ JONATHAN AGNEW AFTER IAN BOTHAM LOST HIS BALANCE WHILE ATTEMPTING TO HOOK CURTLY AMBROSE. AS HE TRIED TO AVOID TRAMPLING ON HIS WICKET, BOTHAM STEPPED OVER THE STUMPS BUT IN DOING SO FLICKED OFF THE BAIL

He [Shane Warne] really is the big bad wolf, isn’t he? Even the three pigs and their brick house would have blown down with his huffing and puffing.

~ JONATHAN AGNEW

As I look around the ground I can see about 30 young girls all wearing Dutch caps.

~ JONATHAN AGNEW AT A HOLLAND GAME

I’ve never got to the bottom of streaking.

~ JONATHAN AGNEW

Umpire Fenwick just twitches his nose, instead of putting his finger up in the usual way.

~ PAUL ALLOTT

Bill Lawry is a corpse with pads on.

~ ANON

The only bowler ever to require the services of a runner.

~ ANON, ON INJURY-PRONE CHRIS OLD

I feel I have had a very interesting life, but I am rather hoping there is still more to come. I still haven’t captained the England cricket team.

~ JEFFREY ARCHER

It is rather suitable for umpires to dress like dentists, since one of their tasks is to draw stumps.

~ JOHN ARLOTT

What we have here is a clear case of Mann’s inhumanity to Mann.

~ JOHN ARLOTT AT A 1948 TEST IN WHICH SOUTH AFRICAN BOWLER ‘TUFTY’ MANN WAS CAUSING PROBLEMS FOR ENGLAND BATSMAN GEORGE MANN

He approaches the wicket like Groucho Marx chasing a pretty waitress.

~ JOHN ARLOTT ON THE CROUCHING RUN-UP OF PAKISTAN’S ASIF MASOOD

Like an old lady poking with her umbrella at a wasp’s nest.

~ JOHN ARLOTT ON THE BATTING OF AUSTRALIAN ERNIE TOSHACK

Ken ‘Slasher’ Mackay is the only athlete I have ever known who, as he walked, sagged at ankles, knees and hips.

~ JOHN ARLOTT

Clive Lloyd hits him high away over mid-wicket for four, a stroke of a man knocking a thistle top with a walking stick.

~ JOHN ARLOTT

The umpire signals a bye with the air of a weary stork.

~ JOHN ARLOTT

Bill Frindall has done a bit of mental arithmetic with a calculator.

~ JOHN ARLOTT

He played a cut so late as to be positively posthumous.

~ JOHN ARLOTT

Umpire Harold Bird, having a wonderful time, signalling everything in the world, including stopping traffic coming on from behind.

~ JOHN ARLOTT

[Ray Jennings] was to orthodoxy what King Herod was to child-minding.

~ MIKE ATHERTON ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN COACH

It looks more suitable for growing carrots.

~ ANDY ATKINSON, ICC GROUNDS INSPECTOR, ON BERMUDA’S NEW PITCH

If the Poms bat first, keep the taxi running.

~ AUSTRALIAN FANS’ BANNER DURING THE 1994-95 ASHES SERIES

Tufnell! Can I borrow your brain? I’m building an idiot.

~ AUSTRALIAN FAN TO ENGLAND SPINNER PHIL TUFNELL

Leaving out Dennis Lillee against England would be as unthinkable as the Huns dropping Attila.

~ AUSTRALIAN TV COMMENTATOR, 1982

Well, Andrew Strauss is certainly an optimist – he’s come out wearing sunblock!

~ AUSTRALIAN COMMENTATOR DURING THE FIFTH TEST IN ENGLAND’S 5-0 WHITEWASH, 2006-7

The first time you face up to a googly you’re going to be in trouble if you’ve never faced one before.

~ TREVOR BAILEY

The Port Elizabeth ground is more of a circle than an oval. It is long and square.

~ TREVOR BAILEY

There are good one-day players, there are good Test players and vice versa.

~ TREVOR BAILEY

On the first day Logie decided to chance his arm and it came off.

~ TREVOR BAILEY

I don’t think he expected it, and that’s what caught him unawares.

~ TREVOR BAILEY

We owe some gratitude to Gatting and Lamb, who breathed some life into a corpse which had nearly expired.

~ TREVOR BAILEY

No captain with all the hindsight in the world can predict how the wicket is going to play.

~ TREVOR BAILEY

This series has been swings and pendulums all the way through.

~ TREVOR BAILEY

Lloyd did what he achieved with that shot.

~ JACK BANNISTER

The traditional dress of the Australian cricketer is the baggy green cap on the head and the chip on the shoulder. Both are ritualistically assumed.

~ SIMON BARNES

I bowl so slowly that if I don’t like a ball I can run after it and bring it back.

~ J.M. BARRIE

England trained and grass grew at the MCG yesterday, two activities virtually indistinguishable from each other in tempo.

~ GREG BAUM

It was an excellent performance in the field marred only when Harris dropped Crapp in the outfield.

~ BBC COMMENTATOR ON A MISSED CHANCE OFF BATSMAN JACK CRAPP

Batting is a major trial before an 11-man jury.

~ RICHIE BENAUD

The hallmark of a great captain is the ability to win the toss at the right time.

~ RICHIE BENAUD

He’s not quite got hold of that one. If he had, it would have gone for nine.

~ RICHIE BENAUD DESCRIBING A JUSTIN LANGER SIX

Gatting at fine leg – that’s a contradiction in terms.

~ RICHIE BENAUD

Laird has been brought in to stand in the corner of the circle.

~ RICHIE BENAUD

He’s usually a good puller – but he couldn’t get it up that time.

~ RICHIE BENAUD

His throw went absolutely nowhere near where it was going.

~ RICHIE BENAUD

I think the batsman’s strategy will be to make runs and not get out.

~ RICHIE BENAUD

This shirt is unique: there are only 200 of them.

~ RICHIE BENAUD

There were congratulations and high sixes all round.

~ RICHIE BENAUD

That slow-motion replay doesn’t show how fast the ball was travelling.

~ RICHIE BENAUD

How can you tell your wife you are just popping out to play a match and then not come back for five days?

~ SOCCER MANAGER RAFA BENITEZ STRUGGLING TO COME TO TERMS WITH THE CONCEPT OF TEST CRICKET

England’s pace bowlers are making the helmet go out of fashion.

~ SCYLD BERRY

If they want me down to 12 stone, I would have to cut off a leg.

~ IAN BLACKWELL

In the rear, the small diminutive figure of Shoaib Mohammed, who can’t be much taller than he is.

~ HENRY BLOFELD

It’s a catch he would have caught 99 times out of 1,000.

~ HENRY BLOFELD

If the tension here was a block of Cheddar cheese, you could cut it with a knife.

~ HENRY BLOFELD

Flintoff starts in, his shadow beside him. Where else would it be?

~ HENRY BLOFELD

Ashley Giles trundles in to bowl rather like a wheelie bin.

~ HENRY BLOFELD

I don’t think I’ve actually drunk a beer for 15 years, except a few Guinnesses in Dublin, where it’s the law.

~ IAN BOTHAM

Pakistan is the sort of place everyone should send his mother-in-law for a month … all expenses paid.

~ IAN BOTHAM

He arrived on earth from the Planet Loony.

~ IAN BOTHAM ON DICKIE BIRD

I’d rather face Dennis Lillee with a stick of rhubarb than go through that again.

~ IAN BOTHAM AFTER BEING CLEARED OF ASSAULT CHARGES AT GRIMSBY CROWN COURT

I don’t ask my wife Kathy to face Michael Holding, so there’s no reason why I should be changing nappies.

~ IAN BOTHAM

It couldn’t have been Gatt. Anything he takes up to his room after nine o’clock, he eats.

~ IAN BOTHAM ON THE MIKE GATTING BARMAID SCANDAL

This can only help England’s cause.

~ IAN BOTHAM ON HEARING THAT GEOFFREY BOYCOTT IS TO COACH THE PAKISTAN BATSMEN BEFORE THEIR 2001 TOUR OF ENGLAND

A few years ago England would have struggled to beat the Eskimos.

~ IAN BOTHAM, 2005

[Ian] Chappell was a coward. He needed a crowd around him before he would say anything. He was sour like milk that had been sitting in the sun for a week.

~ IAN BOTHAM

I’ve had about ten operations. I’m a bit like a battered old Escort. You might find one panel left that’s original.

~ IAN BOTHAM

If I’d done a quarter of the things of which I’m accused, I’d be pickled in alcohol. I’d be a registered drug addict and would have sired half the children in the world’s cricket-playing countries.

~ IAN BOTHAM

After their 60 overs, West Indies have scored 244 for 7, all out.

~ FRANK BOUGH

Life without sport is like life without underpants.

~ BILLY BOWDEN

Get a single down the other end and watch someone else play him.

~ GEOFFREY BOYCOTT, ASKED HOW BEST TO HANDLE GLENN MCGRATH

The face of a choirboy, the demeanour of a civil servant and the ruthlessness of a rat catcher.

~ GEOFFREY BOYCOTT ON DEREK UNDERWOOD

On present form Waqar [Younis] and Wasim [Akram] could bowl out the England team with an orange.

~ GEOFFREY BOYCOTT

I reckon my mum could have caught that in her pinny!

~ GEOFFREY BOYCOTT ON A DROPPED CATCH

He could have caught that between the cheeks of his backside.

~ GEOFFREY BOYCOTT ON ANOTHER DROPPED CATCH

He carried on like a small child whose mother would have smacked him.

~ GEOFFREY BOYCOTT ON SHANE WARNE’S TANTRUM AFTER AN APPEAL WAS REJECTED

I feel so bad about mine now I am going to tie it around the cat.

~ GEOFFREY BOYCOTT, DISMAYED AT THE AWARD OF AN MBE TO PAUL COLLINGWOOD FOR SCORING 17 RUNS IN THE 2005 ASHES SERIES

I’m glad two sides of the cherry have been put forward.

~ GEOFFREY BOYCOTT

Richie Benaud simply says ‘out’ with the grisly finality of the hangman.

~ TONY BRACE

Playing against a team with Ian Chappell as captain turns a cricket match into gang warfare.

~ MIKE BREARLEY

Why is Tufnell the most popular man in the team? Is it the Manuel factor, in which the most helpless member of the cast is most affectionately identified with?

~ MIKE BREARLEY

The prospect of staging an Ashes Test in Wales may be slightly less appropriate than holding an eisteddfod in Bulgaria.

~ STEPHEN BRENKLEY

[Geoffrey] Boycott and controversy have shared the longest opening partnership in the game.

~ TERRY BRINDLE

Merv Hughes always appeared to be wearing a tumble-dried ferret on his top lip.

~ RICK BROADBENT

[Kevin] Pietersen is big and brash and as subtle as colonic irrigation.

~ RICK BROADBENT

Too high? If the ball had hit his head it would have hit the bloody wickets!

~ ALAN BROWN, DENIED AN LBW APPEAL AGAINST 5FT 3IN HARRY PILLING

After years of patient study I have decided that there is nothing wrong with the game that the introduction of golf carts wouldn’t fix in a hurry.

~ BILL BRYSON, DOWN UNDER

It [cricket] is the only competitive activity of any type, other than perhaps baking, in which you can dress in white from head to toe and be as clean at the end of the day as you were at the beginning.

~ BILL BRYSON, DOWN UNDER

I am quite certain that if the rest of the world vanished overnight and the development of cricket was left in Australian hands, within a generation the players would be wearing shorts and using the bats to hit each other.

~ BILL BRYSON, DOWN UNDER

We had one or two disagreements but once he realised that he was wrong and I was right we moved on.

~ SURREY COACH ALAN BUTCHER ON WORKING WITH SON MARK

Ed Smith has been an endless source of amusement, especially for the Yorkshire boys. They have never heard anybody speak like Ed. At the crease he looks a million dollars, which is probably what he has got tucked away somewhere.

~ MARK BUTCHER

Billy Bowden should be in a circus and not the Elite umpires’ panel.

~ CALCUTTA TELEGRAPH

I am more inclined to believe that the Pope is guilty of multiple bigamy than to believe Hansie [Cronje] is guilty of being involved in bribery and corruption.

~ CALLER TO A SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO SHOW

A snick by Jack Hobbs is a sort of disturbance of a cosmic orderliness.

~ NEVILLE CARDUS

A Yorkshire cricketer is one born within the sound of Bill Bowes.

~ MICHAEL CAREY

I once delivered a simple ball, which I was told, had it gone far enough, would have been considered a wide.

~ LEWIS CARROLL

I can’t really say I’m batting badly. I’m not batting long enough to be batting badly.

~ GREG CHAPPELL

A Test match is like a painting. A one-day match is like a Rolf Harris painting.

~ IAN CHAPPELL

The other advantage England have got when Phil Tufnell is bowling is that he isn’t fielding.

~ IAN CHAPPELL

In my day 58 beers between London and Sydney would have virtually classified you as a teetotaller.

~ IAN CHAPPELL, AFTER BATSMAN DAVID BOON DRANK 58 CANS OF BEER ON THE FLIGHT FROM AUSTRALIA TO ENGLAND

It’s tough for a natural hooker to give it up.

~ IAN CHAPPELL

Three bad days does not mean you’re a bad team overnight.

~ PAUL COLLINGWOOD

—David Gower: Do you want Gatt [Mike Gatting] a foot wider?

—Chris Cowdrey: No, he’d burst!

The Queen’s Park Oval, exactly as its name suggests – absolutely round.

~ TONY COZIER

Now Botham, with a chance to put everything that’s gone before behind him.

~ TONY COZIER

Angus Fraser’s bowling is like shooting down F-16 aeroplanes with sling shots. Even if they hit, no damage would be done. Like an old horse, he should be put out to pasture.

~ COLIN CROFT

The ball came back, literally cutting Graham Thorpe in half.

~ COLIN CROFT

Who could forget Malcolm Devon?

~ TED DEXTER, COMPLETELY FORGETTING DEVON MALCOLM

Cricket is the only game that you can actually put on weight while playing.

~ TOMMY DOCHERTY

My wife had an uncle who could never walk down the nave of an abbey without wondering whether it would take spin.

~ ALEC DOUGLAS-HOME

Oh God! If there be cricket in heaven, let there also be rain.

~ ALEC DOUGLAS-HOME

He would lumber up to the wicket and toss up the ball in a take-it-or-leave-it style, as if he cared little whether it pitched between the wickets or in the next parish.

~ ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE ON W.G. GRACE’S BOWLING ACTION

We used to eat so many salads there was a danger of contracting myxomatosis.

~ RAY EAST ON A COUNTY CRICKETER’S LIFE

I can’t bat, can’t bowl and can’t field these days. I’ve every chance of being picked for England.

~ RAY EAST

He could do all the right things superbly, but when he broke all the rules the ball still ended up at the fence.

~ BASIL EASTERBROOK ON DENIS COMPTON

It’s difficult to be more laid back than David Gower without actually being comatose.

~ FRANCES EDMONDS

Ian Botham is in no way inhibited by a capacity to over-intellectualise.

~ FRANCES EDMONDS

He’s got a reputation for being awkward and arrogant, probably because he is awkward and arrogant.

~ FRANCES EDMONDS ON HUSBAND PHIL

—Reporter: What are you looking forward to most when you get home from India?

—Phil Edmonds: A dry fart!

You should play every game as if it’s your last, but make sure you perform well enough to ensure that it’s not.

~ JOHN EMBUREY

Dickie Bird was the first umpire to combine the distinct roles of top-flight umpire and music-hall comedian.

~ MATTHEW ENGEL

Derek Randall bats like an octopus with piles.

~ MATTHEW ENGEL

We sometimes argue about the cricketer we would choose to bat for one’s life (consensus answer: Don Bradman for your life, Geoff Boycott for his own).

~ MATTHEW ENGEL

Another day, another dolour.

~ MATTHEW ENGEL, AS ENGLAND STRUGGLE IN THE WEST INDIES

Waugh! What is he good for? Absolutely nothing!

~ ENGLAND FANS’ SONG DURING THE 1993 ASHES SERIES

I’ve not been to bed yet. Behind these sunglasses there’s a thousand stories.

~ BLEARY-EYED ANDREW FLINTOFF AFTER THE 2005 ASHES TRIUMPH

It means I can drive a flock of sheep through the town centre, drink for free in no less than 64 pubs and get a lift home with the police when I become inebriated. What more could you want?

~ ANDREW FLINTOFF ON BEING GRANTED THE FREEDOM OF PRESTON

I’m completely different from Pietersen. He would turn up to the opening of an envelope.

~ ANDREW FLINTOFF

It’s far more daunting than bowling to Ricky Ponting or facing Shane Warne.

~ ANDREW FLINTOFF ON NEWS THAT HE WAS TO DUET WITH ELTON JOHN

I’m ugly, I’m overweight, but I’m happy.

~ ANDREW FLINTOFF