Ideally, a host club should have trained
tea planners operating as a strategic element in the
game under the direction of the captain.
The fully-trained tea-planner will have two quite separate
teas prepared; with the decision of which one to deploy
held back until after the toss.
the host side is to bat first, the easily-digested light,
spartan, high-energy, tea should be brought into play
at the end of their innings, before they go out and
This might consist of:-
Glucose-water . . . banana . . . high-energy muesli
. . a handful of nuts
If, on the other hand the opposition are batting first,
the "irresistible tea" should be deployed.
As their last batsmen come off the field to hearty applause,
handshakes and cries of "jolly well done"
a mug of steaming sweet tea should be put in their hands
as they are ushered to a table heaving with: delicious
savories: pork pies, hot sausage-rolls, hard-boiled
eggs, warm new potatoes dripping with butter, chappatties,
couscous, somosas (meat and vegetarian), chicken drumsticks
and a wide choice of chutneys. On
the sweet site there should be an array of options including:
heavy fruit-cake, chocolate sponge, battenberg cakes,
eccles cakes etc all topped off with strawberries and
cream (and/or ice-cream) with well-buttered scones.
Properly used, a tea such as this can render the most
athletic team in the world sluggish and ineffectual
in the field.
A key technique in the ploy is to induce the opposition
into a state of polite gratitude at the effort you have
made - so as to make it seem churlish to decline anything
offered. Serious exponents of strategic tea-planning
will finess it by deploying the most attractive young
women available wearing suitably chosen torso-wear,
to take trays of seconds, thirds and fourths around
- bending forward with a smiling offer of more and ever
more helpings which they modestly claim to have prepared
have been known to imply that there is some kind of
competition amongst these ladies for whose food turns
out to be the favourite.
Such exponents have been known to win matches without
a single well-struck ball being fielded at all.
Note - The Casuals haven't quite got the hang of this
skill (though we are trying to actively encourage the
scantily clad 'tea ladies'). Try as we might we end
up eating it all