|That tiger won't be getting up again|
“There we were, at 47 all out, when suddenly the old bill drove into the grounds shouting, ‘Run like fuck, there’s a tiger on the loose! And it’s white’,” recalled brave Mark Spreader, 19, with a shudder. “South Wilts, who had just gone in to bat, screamed like girls and ran for their lives. But I had a ball in my hand and a spare in my pocket, and I was feeling lucky. So I told our wicky, ‘Stay put, I’ve got this covered’, and I swear the next thing I saw was a snarling white tiger standing right in front of him, its three legs poised to spring at any second.”
What happened next was a bit of a blur, says the plucky hero, but he swears he struck the powerful feline right between the eyes at least eleven times – a claim confirmed by wicket keeper Bob Scrumpy, who says he jumped for joy each time.
“Now the police are saying their helicopter crew found a cuddly toy in the woods,” said Mr Scrumpy, “But I know that if it wasn’t for Mark’s skilful bowling, I’d be a dead man and we’d have lost for sure.”
The umpire, Col. Redvers Raglan, 93, was unable to confirm Mr Spreader’s daring deed as he was rummaging furiously in the pavilion for his trusty elephant gun at the time.
A spokesman for Hampshire Police was unable to comment, however, as all available officers were assisting the coastguard in a race-against-time search for an unspecified number of amateur yachtsmen who were reported to be in difficulties after ill-advisedly sailing for the land of the Jumblies in a sieve.