Ted Dexter and the Incomparable Beauty of Modern Dress

Can’t be too long now before the start of the season, as this month’s Wisden Cricketer comes accompanied by the Equipment Supplement.  In fact, it isn’t called that anymore, but – in homage to that puzzlingly popular motoring programme on the telly – the Good Gear Guide.  It also features some character known as “The Don” – apparently a professional cricketer employed to test the bats, who wears a helmet to hide his identity and is introduced thus – “Some say he’s one ball short of an over … some say he bowls round the wicket all we know is he’s called the Don“.  For Heaven’s sakes …

I’m past the age now when I’m likely to be buying any new equipment, but I do like to keep up with the latest trends.  The supplement also, I think, provides an explanation for the alarming slump in form of Craig Kieswetter – clearly down to having to play on through the enormous discomfort caused by having poured a pot of boiling hot tea down his chest.  If only someone had explained to the poor colonial boy how to use a teacup, all of this could have been avoided.

   

The kit on offer seems reasonably restrained this year, with nothing that makes the players look – as most one day kit tends to – like the employees of a branch of Minnesota Fried Chicken.  I can’t help but pine, though, for the days when England cricketers presented themselves to their public like this –

A.E. Stoddart

 rather than this (strewth, there’s a bloke down there with no strides on etc.) –

Paul Collingwood

But surely it must be possible to achieve a compromise of some sort – a synthesis, if you will – between elegance and practicality, style and function?  Well, of course, one man did try – who else but Ted Dexter, a man never afraid to think outside the abdominal protector.  Knock off an elegant cameo 65, back to the pavilion, off with the flannels and on with a pair of houndstooth Daks slacks and a floppy velvet bow tie and it’s look out ladies!  Ding dong!

This year's collection from the House of Dexter

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