A short history of the 20minuters Cricket Club

In the summer of 1918, the young men of England and the Commonwealth only had two things on their minds: giving the beastly Hun what for, and cricket.

Mick Mannock

Major Edward Corringham (Mick) Mannock, VC, DSO and 2 Bars, MC and Bar

Major Edward Corringham (Mick) Mannock, VC, DSO and 2 Bars, MC and Bar, was one such young man. One of the great fighter aces of the first show, he went on to achieve 73 confirmed kills.

But for all his love of sending Jerry sizzling to the ground, his greatest passion remained the beautiful game (originally a reference to cricket, regardless of what Saint and/or Greavsie would have you believe).

His cavalier attitude in the air was in stark contrast to his solid - some would say stodgy - approach when at the crease. After a slight movement to leg, it is said, he would come forward, bat and pad in perfect symmetry, and play a classic forward defensive and hold the position - once for more than three hours owing to cramp.

When Major Mick met his untimely end later that year, bravely doing his bit to protect cowardly Belgium's independence, his legend lived on through countless war histories. But what looked like it might have died with him was his invitational cricket XI. And, for many decades, so it seemed.

That was until the summer of 2003, when a group of young men, none of a particularly military bearing, joined together to reform Major Mick's club.

In the first matches of its renaissance, it was a proud but lengthily monickered Major Mick Mannock, VC, DSO and 2 Bars, MC and Bar Invitation XI that took to the field in its whites, plus a few creams and greys, and was soundly thrashed.

Confusion amongst opposing teams led to a new name: the 20minuters. This combined the legend of Major Mick, a cultural reference to the popular 20th century comedy Blackadder Goes Forth and the expected lifespan of a typical innings (team, not individual). So it has come to pass.

The 20Minuters' private polling indicates that it is amongst the most successful teams of its type. Not in results, for few - if any - of the players would focus on anything so vulgar, so foreign. No. It is in terms of pride, of spirit and of passion that we derive our victory over whatever life has to throw at us.

The 20minuters welcome new fixtures, new players, new opportunities. However, none should be of the particularly competitive nature, because we've had a few.

Alius cadit.

Please note, much of the early part of this official history is not entirely true, at least in the literal sense, but the management of the 20minuters CC would like to assure the public that no offence is intended.