Dear Shed... your favourite agony uncle... replies

To obtain free advice from the worlds most understanding agony uncle click here.

Dear Shed,

My captaincy is suffering because I have become irritable and short tempered with my players. I put my recent moodiness down to sexual frustration. The problem is that my girlfriend always seems to have a headache and as a result I am not getting my leg over very often. I don't want to be unfaithful but things cannot go on like this, especially as it is affecting my cricket. Can you advise me of a solution?

Shedley says,

This is a common problem but thankfully a very easy one to solve. The following method always works for me: When your girlfriend next retires to bed with a headache powder your "love muscle" with aspirin and give her the choice of taking it orally or as a suppository - either way it should relieve both her headache and your frustration in one easy go!

Dear Shed,

What is your opinion with regards to sledging on the cricket field?

Shedley says,

I don’t suppose it can do much harm in the winter, though you should always ask permission from the groundsman. Mind you I don’t know of many cricket grounds with a sufficient slope for sledging!!


Dear Shed,

As captain I was recently criticised by some of my team-mates for allowing a member of the opposition to have a runner. There was some doubt as to the extent of the player’s injury. What would have been your policy in such circumstances?

Shedley says,

I believe that the batsman should have the right to ask for a runner at any time, though funnily enough your situation reminds me of a recent incident involving myself. Having run a quick single in two consecutive overs, I was understandably in some considerable distress. However upon asking permission for the use of a runner the opposition captain became totally irrational and abusive. "You don’t get a runner for being a slow, unfit, lazy, fat t**t" he shouted. Obviously he was jealous of my athletic prowess and cricketing talent and he was a bad sport as well.


Dear Shed,

My relationship with my girlfriend is suffering because of the large amount of cricket I play. I don’t want to cut down on my cricket, but equally I don’t want to lose my girlfriend. Is there anything you can recommend?

Shedley says,

You need to share your love of cricket with your girlfriend more. I suggest that you should encourage her to:

I am confident that if you share these activities with your girlfriend, then she will come to love the game as much as you do. Don’t be selfish — give it a go !! It always works for me.

Dear Shedley

Whilst enjoying several gin and tonics a large east coast city's premier nightspot, I espied a comely if rather robust young wench unencumbered by male attention. Feeling empowered by the not inconsiderable quantity of alcohol coursing through my veins I decided to go for the jugular, or in her case, both of them. I casually moseyed over to her and opined:

"you must have a mirror in your knickers"

"Why is that?" She enquired guardedly

"Because I can see myself in them tonight" I triumphantly closed.

During the next two months in traction I spent after her unexpectedly physical response, I pondered much, but fruitlessly, on where I went wrong. Perhaps Shedley you can offer an explanation and point me in the right direction for future success?

P.Achyderm, Hampton

Shed says:

Having little experience in dealings with the opposite sex myself, Vice-captain Mark 'Big Cheese' Fettes will instead give you the benefit of his wisdom.

Big Cheese says:

Thank you Shed; I have just enough time before my next round of golf to provide a few pointers for P.A. in his encounters with the ladies.

On a recent sojourn to the Far East I had plenty of Gin, too, but inebriation need not be an impediment to you 'copping off' with a tasty young filly. Dialogue such as 'me English, you sucky cockee' and ' I love you long time' (a real clincher), followed by a small financial transaction, always did the trick for me.

So there you have it P.A: If you want to score, (a)go to Thailand and (b)pay for it.

Job sorted; now I really must be going as the chaps become frightfully browned off if I am late for a fourball

Dear Shed,

Do you think the writer of the previous letter swallowed a dictionary beforehand?

W.Self, London

Shed says:

Yes and if he changes my mobile phone on to German again he'll be swallowing my fist as well

Dear Shed,

I am writing in the hope that we will meet again as I am now 16 and legal.

I miss all those little quirks you have and didn't realise at the time what a cricket star you were. Who would of thought that a beer drinking shed who made such a fashion statement in his pyjama blue striped top would go on to do exercise. Of course by not supplying my identity I realise that you could struggle in remembering my name as there were so many under age. When I read the aka I realised your favourite was not included, Spunky Monkey. This will hopefully jog your memory.

Name witheld on request

Shedley Says

I don't know what you're talking about - and I strongly suggest that no attempt at blackmail is made, I have plenty of experience dealing with matters of this kind....

Dear Shed,

I got honourably drunk after one of our team's rare victories, and made the foolish mistake of escorting a (very) young lady home. Unfortunately, the young lady in question is undeniably fat and ugly (shut it, we've all been there). The problem is, I now find that I have become obsessed with her, and it is affecting my game, as she comes to watch the team play. Not only do I find this distracting, but it is very difficult to conceal my passion from my team mates, as when I see her I tend to become very agitated, if you know what I mean, and I find I tend to miss a really easy ball / catch and then I throw a tantrum. How do I concentrate on the game and overcome this terrible affliction before my mates find out?

Emma???? Kirkby Malzeard

Shedley Says

I'm very glad you asked me that question as I have had considerable experience in these matters myself - I find the solution is to attempt this every night with a different young lady, that way they all become a bit of a blur and obsession with one is avoided.

Dear Shed,

As a bowler of limited ability I foolishly tried to take one of my teamates head off in practise last Saturday. This merely resulted in a back injury that has probably rendered me slower over 100metres than our captain is over 22 yards.

In a vain attempt to cheer myself up I drank heavily all evening at the Queens Head to alleviate the pain, everything was going great until the local village idiot came and sat at our table. I wanted to push his face through but instead I had to sit there listening to his waffle.

What can I do?

B.J. Ripon

Shedley Says

As for your injury don't worry, 22 yards should be achievable in an absolute maximum of 35 seconds. Of course this can be extended to allow for classic stroke play and pace of the ball off the bat.

Sprinting between the wickets is an absolute no!no! it merely indicates to the fielders that you are scared of them and worried about the run rate. A SLOW WADDLING JOG IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO SHOW CONTEMPT FOR THE FIELDING SIDES ABILITY.

As for your village idiot be nice to him, I too was a village idiot for many years and found that I was vastly undervalued for my contributions to village life. A bit like my astute, firm, confident cricket captaincy is nowadays!

Keep your chin up (You wont spill any beer that way!)

Dear Shed,


Before going in to bat, I get extremely nervous and on occasions I have been physically sick with worry. Is there anything I can do to help me relax ?



Shedley says,


Funnily enough I used to suffer similar experiences myself. At the prospect of facing anyone quick, I used to spend my time before batting sitting on the toilet and on several occasions, against the fastest bowlers, I even suffered "little accidents" out in the middle (very embarrassing when you are wearing cricket whites !!). However I overcame these problems by the following method :


As soon as I become the next man due in, I immediately drink at least four double vodkas to help me unwind. I then concentrate 100% on my own playing ability. After all, whatever nerves I am suffering cannot be anything when compared to the nerves felt by the bowlers who have to bowl at me, KMCC's captain and master batsman. With my dazzling array of attacking strokes, the bowler knows that any ball only slightly off line will be summarily despatched to the boundary ropes. It's all a question of mind over matter. Let the bowlers do the worrying.


I hope this helps you. It certainly works for me as testified by my performance only last Saturday. Up against the fastest bowler in our division, initially I concentrated on merely shielding Duane (as he was being consistently beaten for pace) before I cut loose and carted the bowling all round the park for 19 glorious runs..

Dear Shed,

I am slow between the wickets and in the field I have been described as being "over stiff in the arse" when running. The problem is that I suffer terrible piles and they cause me severe pain when I run. I am too embarrassed to tell my team-mates about this and they think I am just being lazy. Is there anything I can do?

Shedley Replies

You've come to the right man for help because I too used to suffer from nasty dangle-berries. Then I discovered "anusol". Apply this soothing cream liberally onto your throbbing grapes and the pressure around your ring-piece should soon be relieved. It certainly worked for me and I am now fielding like Jonty Rhodes again. Anusol is available from all good chemists.

Dear Shed,

Having recently broken my index finger in an Evening League match I am very embarrassed to say that my team mates think I am a Bit of a Jessie. I did play through the pain barrier and completed the game but still they ridicule me. Can you advise the best course of action.

Name Withheld

Shedley says,

I m so glad you asked that question. It sounds to me that we have a similar attitude towards playing through the pain barrier. Only recently I set off for a quick single after playing a beautifully timed cover drive dissecting the field. As I shuffled down the wicket three of the pods of pain that mar my very existence went pop. Popping piles are a constant threat to the well-trained athlete and I prudently guard against them with liberal applications of Anusol. As the warm liquid ran down the inside of my thigh I gritted my teeth and soldiered on to reach a Captain s innings total of 17 off ten overs. As regards you re teammates don t worry they re right!

Dear Shed,

As a fellow carpenter and leader of men, I hope you will be able to empathise and advise on my problem. This season I have not been fielding well and in a cup game the other night, things came to a head.

Stationed on the long-on boundary, a lofted drive headed in my direction. I did not have to move at all, but as I brought my hands into the catching position, the ball inexplicably went straight through and I failed entirely to make contact. It was almost as if there were holes in my hands! Well, as you can imagine, the team absolutely crucified me for that miss, especially as the ball went for six.

My predicament is this, how do I improve my fielding, before I lose the respect of my players?

J.C. Nazareth

Shedley Replies

Have faith my son, all is not lost

Firstly congratulations on putting yourself on the boundary, - it is obviously the ideal place for a captain to direct operations. As for your fielding errors, do not worry unduly. The solution is to improvise. If you cannot catch with your hands, use another part of your anatomy.

For example, just last week I was quite literally caught with my pants down: Patrolling the point boundary, the old Nobby Stiles started giving me jip. I whipped out the Anusol and began to give my grapes a liberal application. Seconds later, to my horror, the batsman skied it towards me. Sizing up the situation I realised that catching the ball with my hands covered in slippery lotion would be impossible. Quick as a flash, I turned around, bent over and clenched the ball between my butt-cheeks. In one fell swoop, the batsman was dismissed, whilst the balls impact shoved the dangleberries back up out of harms way.

I hope this anecdote will inspire a second coming in your fielding and redemption in the eyes of your team.

Dear Shed,

My boyfriend and I recently visited our local cricket club and had sex on the cricket square, after several drinks you understand. Unfortunately It seems that he only wants to do it now in a cricket environment. He is a keen follower of the game and this is the only thing that arouses him at the moment. Can you offer up some venue ideas???

N.R. Ripon

Shedley Replies

May I suggest a world tour of test venues will rekindle your flagging romance. Enjoy a sweaty romp in humid Calcutta, liberally apply sunscreen in arid Perth (to avoid severe buttock reddening), take it easy on the concrete tracks of the West Indies (to avoid carpet burns) and finally the piece de resistance return home to the mecca of cricket (the KMCG) and see if the famous "Duncan Ring" really lives up to expectations.

Dear Shed,

I just don't know what to do. I'm at my wits end! Can you help me??

The problem is that my captain is crap and has not got a fucking clue especially when it comes to Field postionings, Batting, Motivating his team members, Selecting a team, organising matches and generally just playing cricket. As vice captain it is frustrating to hear my team mates berating him so much and the fearful thing is that I agree with them. I've stood in a few times for him already this season and the players feel so much better. Our Captain has only had one reasonable game with the bat and really doesn't warrant his place in the side. Please, please, please help as I can not bear it much longer! I am even contemplating suicide or worse still going to play for Galphay.

Yours Sweating Gonads

Shedley Replies

It seems to me that you and your team mates are deluding themselves, your captain is clearly a tactical genius and a master of all things cricketing. I suggest you all take a good long look at yourselves and then follow in his fine footsteps.

Dear Shed,

As Captain of the Local Village Cricket team I pride myself on fair team selection based on Ability, Mental Attitude, Batting Prowess, Bowling Consistency, Agility and Previous Performances.

Unfortunately I have let myself go over the past few years and now find myself in the embarrassing situation of not being able to make the team.

Should I drop myself? I don't want to!

Please Shedley help me you are my only hope.

J Lardass.

Sheds Says

Don't highlight you're inadequacies distract attention from you're waddling run and slow reactions in the field by astute captaincy, constantly tut loudly when somebody else makes a cock up, it will make them uncertain and less likely to criticise you.

If a batsman is out cheaply, deride him and drop him down the order. The effect of this will be twofold. 1 there is no pressure on you to out score him as its his fault the Bowlers so fired up. 2. He will be that angry with himself that the aggression will go inwards and not be directed at yourself.

When getting changed after the match point at the next fattest person to you, hold in your belly and declare that at least your not in as bad shape as he is.

I know that this seems to be a petty, spiteful way of maintaining you're team place but don't forget, you're the boss and don't let them forget it either.



Dear Shed,


As a fellow captain I would greatly appreciate your advice. Over the last couple of seasons my form with the bat has been patchy and fielding errors have crept into my game. I feel that I may be losing the respect of my fellow players and that I may be becoming a figure of fun. Should I consider dropping myself from the team?


Shedley says:


No!! Do not even consider such drastic action. Always remember that form is temporary, class is permanent and that the captain is always the classiest player in the team. Every player suffers a bad trot with the bat at some stage. Take my own case. Since the golden summer of 1994 (when I averaged over 12.5 with the bat), my form would appear to have dipped. However averages do not tell the full story. They do not record the numerous poor umpiring decisions I have received, the various freak dismissals that I have suffered, or the many times I have been run out due to the poor calling of my batting partners (only last week my partner ran the ball down to deep third man and called me for a suicidal single - inevitably I was run out by almost half the length of the pitch). Despite the averages I know that I am still the best batsman in the team. My recent swashbuckling innings of 17 (off only 62 balls) confirms this belief and it can only be a matter of time before my average soars into double figures again.


Do not worry about your fielding as it is the captain's job is to direct the other players and it is their job to field the ball. I suggest that you position yourself very fine at first slip. If the batsman nicks it, the keeper is likely to dive in front of you to take the catch and you are unlikely to ever touch the ball. While I am fortunate that fielding is one of my big strengths (I am at my best patrolling the covers), I have been known to use this fine first slip position myself if I am still pissed from the night before the match i.e. whenever we happen to be fielding first.

Dear Shedley,

Has your style of play been modelled on any particular players? Also which cricketers would you advise youngsters of today to study in order to learn as much as possible about the game?

Shedley says,

I am very pleased that you have asked these questions because my game has been compared to that of many other great cricketers. For instance, it has been said that I have the ability of Devon Malcolm with the bat, the nimbleness of Arjuna Ranatunga in the field, my running between the wickets has often been likened to that of Inzaman-Ul-Haq and I am also considered to be as thoughtful and unselfish a captain as that great "team player", Geoffrey Boycott. Indeed Boycott has been my role model off the field as well as on it. In particular I really admire the way he treats his women and I am proud to say that I have always treated my girlfriends in the same way.

With regards to which players kids should watch, I am sure that there can be no better example than myself and I strongly recommend that they come and study me at the KMCG (see fixtures page for details of our matches). For a small consultancy fee (two pints of John Smith’s) I will also make myself available after each game to talk strategy and tactics to the youngsters with a particular emphasis on the art of captaincy.

Dear Shedley

As an opening batsman of limited ability, I am concerned about my teams forthcoming cup match. The problem is, I have heard out opponents have a West Indian quickie guesting for them and I am worried over how to play his short pitched ball.

J.N. Yeovil

Shed says:

Funnily enough I had a similar experience myself recently, so you have come to the right man. As I bravely faced a vicious opening spell from square leg I decided the best policy was to play back right in front of the stumps to his first full length delivery. Strangely, I was given out leg before immediately, but I had done my job in drawing his sting. Exhausted, he was carted for 23 runs in his next 14 overs before eventually taking his 10th wicket.

Dear Shedley

I am not the most athletic of people and I do not want to become a liability when fielding. Can you suggest any ways to improve?

K.N Wakefield

Shed says:

A fitness regime to improve pace and agility seems the best bet to me. Firstly exercise - do not get a lift to the pub, drive yourself. Think of how much energy you will expend changing gear, turning the wheel etc. Secondly, diet, and this is very important. Cut down on your volume of drinking, instead of 12 pints of John Smiths just have 8 and then go on to the shorts - loads less volume, probably. Also, eat healthier. Try butter on your bread rather than lard when you have a bacon sandwich. I know its strict, but it works for me and I'm not known as Garfield for nothing....

... apparently Garfield is a cat so I assume my teammates reckon I'm as agile as one.

Dear Shedley

As a fellow captain, I am sure you will understand my dilemma. Although I am always right and am undeniably the best player in the worl.. team, I am worried about my popularity. Some of my subjec.. players recently disagreed with my decision to annexe Poland after winning the toss. I noticed that most of them are short and do not have blonde hair. Have I a problem with discipline or am I merely schizophrenic?

S.W Berlin

Shed says:

Dying your hair black with a side parting and growing a small moustache should improve your popularity

Dear Shedley

I write poorly disguised abusive letters about teammates to 'agony columns' much like yours. Am I a sad twat?

P T middlesex

Shed says:

Yes Simon