Our fielders put wind up Charlie

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 February, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 February, 1994, 12:00am

IMET an interesting character while Hong Kong were playing Bermuda called Charlie. He is in the Bermudian squad but missed the game through illness.

He went to hospital with stomach pain in the early hours one night. Ahead of him in the queue at the casualty were six other cricketers.

Stomach bugs have been a problem with all the teams since their arrival here. David Cross ran from the field on Tuesday like an express train, pointing to his rear. He returned and was immediately asked to bowl from the pavilion end with the wind.

Charlie was on the boundary, shouting instructions to the batsmen ''keep going baby'' was a favourite. Another Bermudian was dancing with his personal stereo on and there were plenty of happy faces.

Bermuda had bowled well and fielded brilliantly to dismiss Hong Kong for 154. They were sounding confident.

I introduced myself to the most vocal man at the ground thinking he may have been the Bermudian coach. Wrong! He was Charlie, just a member of the squad who had to sit out the match.

His instructions continued. ''Plenty of time Baby, stay there''. Every ball he bellowed out encouragement of some kind.

The Hong Kong side were given a nice fillip by Charlie. At 60 for three, he announced ''keep going, there's nothing left after you two''.

The Hong Kong boys picked up on this. Jonathan Orders shouted ''one more wicket and we're into the tail chaps''.

Six runs later Leigh Beaman took an astonishing tumbling catch at mid off. I honestly haven't seen a cricket ball go higher.

Rain then stopped play and Charlie was a lot quieter in the pavilion waiting for the team bus.

Hong Kong, led by Atko (Steve Atkinson), were in good voice on our bus back to the hotel. There was an excited feeling of optimism in the camp. The boys owed it to their captain Pat Fordham, who played a top class innings on a difficult wicket, to do well. . . and they so nearly managed another famous victory.

Dermot Reeve is Hong Kong's coach in Kenya