In the flat lands of Cambridgeshire, a brace of BBC production units were at a loss to determine the nature of the largely immobile figures in the out-field of Thriplow cricket ground. In an arc from point round to square leg seven fielders lingered unmoving, with a startling resemblance to the Terracotta army. Almost totally rigid for much of the afternoon, changing position at the end of each over was about as much as could be accomplished; reaching down for a ball below the knee was unthinkable; restricting twos to singles quite out of the question.
Just as the crowd (and batsmen) got comfortable with the Terracotta fielders’ immobility, life was perceived in the shape of grazing mammoth. Not very much more mobile, it has to be admitted, but definite movement. Unfortunately for the bowlers toiling in the wind, this mobility tended to consist of gravitating towards neighbouring fielders for a quiet gossip between balls or even during the entire over, thus enlarging the already substantial gaps in the field. Stragglers at their finest and sharpest.
Fortunately the mammoth herd was accompanied by a small group of close fielders, who could run and proved able to catch just about anything.