English church cricket team apologises for losing to Germans
The bell has yet to toll for English cricket as a whole - but a village side were left-red faced after their church eleven lost to German rivals, prompting an apology to locals in the parish magazine.
St. Symporians Cricket, from the southern town of Worthing, slid to defeat against a visiting side from their twin town of Münchberg in Bavaria, who limited them to just 36 runs despite having little grasp of the rules. The Germans had earlier managed 81 all out.
The parish magazine apology read: "In affectionate remembrance of St Symphorians Cricket. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances, RIP. NB - the bails were cremated and the ashes taken to Germany."
"At first it seemed like the match would never start, with the rules repeated several times by different people in different languages," said Match organiser Michael Winter.
"Münchberg won the toss and elected to bat first - although they didn't know why. Once the match started it didn't look pretty with wayward bowling, dodgy fielding and inept batting."
The hosts' batting was especially dismal. "It started badly," Winter admitted. "Most were out for a duck and those who did score didn't stay in much longer. The Germans eventually realised they had won and cheered. Later that evening they were awarded the ashes."
A rematch is scheduled for next year in Germany.