Michael Lumb's unbeaten 82 as he steered the Sydney Sixers to a 10-wicket Champions League Twenty 20 Final victory over the Lions of South Africa in Johanesburg this week reminded me of the day in South Africa when I ended up wearing a hideous shirt previously worn by Lumb, with a humiliating add on.
This was ten years ago when Lumb was playing for Yorkshire and I had been invited to play for them on pre-season tour in South Africa. The man who went on to shine in England's World Cup T20 final victory two years' ago was then a rising star in a Yorkshire team featuring the likes of Vaughan, Gough, Sidebottom et al.
On tour each day the person deemed to have been made to look the most stupid had to wear a hideous Hawaiian shirt that night as the boys went out to eat and, invariably drink. Each day an extra addition to the look had to be worn. Lumb had already twice been the recipient but help was close to hand. Yorkshire played Boland, a South African province, in Hermanus in what was an overs game. I batted Number 4 and somehow managed to put on a 3rd wicket partnership of 88 with Anthony McGrath. Now that sounds quite good until you understand that I contributed just 14 of them before being clean bowled.
After a while I sensed that McGrath was trying to run me out, hence a suicidal quick single that saw me dive full length for the crease, somersault, drop my bat and stand up, covered in dirt, attempting to appear as if nothing had happened. Back on the boundary the captain, David Byas, responded with one word. "Shirt." And so it came to pass that on the night we went drinking at Billy the Bums bar in Cape Town, at one time part-owned by former Springbok and all-round good egg Bobby Skinstad, a sports writer masquerading as a cricketer appeared in a red Hawaiian shirt, a ridiculous hat and a diver's mask. Nobody was happier than Michael Lumb!