Harrow County School for Boys

D'Arcy cricket™

Paul Danon (pupil, 1966-73) reflects on the real reason why Rt Hon Mr M D X Portillo deserves to be remembered for all time.

When, on 9 June 2006, we see a triumphant Michael and Carolyn Portillo waving from the steps of 10 Downing Street, let us not forget the real reason why the former will be for ever remembered—the invention of D' Arcy cricket™.

This game could be played by boys of all ages and abilities though, tragically, the essential piece of equipment required for the game (viz Mr G W D'Arcy BA) is no longer available. May he rest in peace.

To play, all you need is a pencil, a rough-book and a loose knowledge of the scoring-system (see table below). When a boy's name is mentioned, that boy is what is technically known as in. Thereafter, each time one of the characteristic phrases or gestures is used, that boy scores the corresponding number of runs. When another boy's name is mentioned, the current run-scorer is out and the new boy is then in.

Obviously, it is in boys' interests to have their names mentioned as often as possible without actually being asked to leave the classroom (or pitch).

D'Arcy cricket™ scoring scheme

Characteristic phrase or gesture Runs
"In fact" 1
"All right" 2
Running of finger down back of head 2
"Stop the talking" 3
"Incidentally" 3
Pushing of glasses up nose 3
"Now look, lad" 4
"Today we are, in fact, going to press on" 4
"Yes, Gilbert?" 4
Forward pointing gesture with whole hand 4
"Now look, lad" with hands on hips 6
"Very real" please see separate page on Avery cricket™

It is inadvisable to play this game while sitting at a desk at the front of the class. The consequences may involve having to stay behind afterwards to explain rules of aforesaid game to Mr G W D'Arcy BA, as the author discovered to his cost in 1970.

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