Richie Benaud, Twelfth Man and Patron of The Primary Club of Australia, has issued an open letter to members of the Primary Club (UK) and his own Club relating to the current Ashes Test Series in the UK.
Dated 17 June 2009, Richie says to Derek Underwood, Patron, The Primary Club, Beckenham Kent:
We’ve come to that wonderful time in a cricket supporter’s life when England plays Australia for the Ashes on your home turf. Such a magnificent occasion provides a great opportunity for our respective charities to raise funds through the misfortune of players on each side failing safely to negotiate the first ball on their innings – the dreaded ‘Primary’, or ‘Golden Duck’ as we call it in Australia.
In fact, the members of the PCA will be very happy if your club can raise plenty of money as a result of the misfortune of members of the English team throughout the Ashes Series. In fairness, at the PCA, we will be cheering whatever fundraising opportunities come our way even if it happens to involve a similar number of Australians.
I have ‘convinced’ members of the PCA to pay a bonus for each English Primary. Of course our members will still be up for our standard fee of $5 for each Australian Golden Duck, but a bonus fine of $10 will also be levied for each English Primary during the Series.
Here’s a challenge. If you think there is a chance of any Australian Golden Ducks then you might want to open your wallets and make the required bonus payment of four pounds to your club. Beware Rule 5(c) though, hiding away in the small print. The one that would require you to pay a small fortune if by chance there is a dangerous run on English Primaries.
A Primary and Golden Duck bring misery to the victims but good times to our charities. Making a duck is bad enough and I recall at Headingley in 1961 Fred Trueman knocked me over for two ducks, but when he came into the dressing room after England had won, he consoled me with a gentle, ‘never mind old son, it would have bowled even a decent batsman!’
Here’s to a great Ashes Series played in the proper spirit.
With my personal best wishes.
Yours sincerely, Richie.
A copy of the original letter is available here –