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It All Began At Hambledon

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

At Hambledon, upon this spot, high up on Hampshire’s chalk,

A million, trillion years ago, the dinosaurs did walk.

The great Gattingosauruses – short-legged with thick necks

That fearsome giant carnivore, Bothamosaurus Rex.

Across this very turf they strode – one short and fat, one tall –

And came across an ancient pub they call the Bat and Ball.

Declared Gattingosaurus – ‘There’s a field and a pub,

It’s the Ice Age and it’s raining – we should start a cricket club’

So it all began at Hambledon, a billion years ago –

Brian Johnston saw it, and Brian ought to know.

Bothamosaurus Rex then found a Pterodactyl’s egg,

And rubbed it on his scaly tail, so it would swing to leg.

He went and pulled three trees up from a nearby Hampshire thicket

And cried ‘Look Gatt – the wheel’ Gatt said ‘Rubbish that’s a wicket’

And then Gattingosaurus found a club of slate so vast,

So long and wide from side to side no ball could get past.

Bothamosaurus Rex then took the obvious revenge,

And made the wickets bigger – which is how we get Stonehenge.

Yes it all took place at Hambledon, as the world began to wake,

And Brian Johnston watched while eating prehistoric cake.

They batted through the Stone Age, the score became colossal

Boycottodon was in so long he turned into a fossil.

They said ‘If only we had Hickthyosaurus in the side,

But he hasn’t been here long enough, and isn’t qualified’

Eventually the dinosaurs of Hambledon got sent

A letter postmarked London (which was forwarded from Kent)

‘The Mammoth Cricket Club (that is the MCC to you)

Is happy to inform you that your membership’s come through.’

And so the dinosaurs marched off to London in their hordes

They’re not extinct at all – they’re alive and well at Lord’s.

They sleep in the pavilion, dreaming Neolithic dreams

And ev’ry now and then wake up and pick the England team.

But it all began at Hambledon – it did – I do declare –

Brian Johnston told me, and knows, ‘cos he was there.

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