Mushy Ate My Credit Card

Cricket, as we know, can be an all-consuming passion. For every casual punter who makes his annual pilgrimage to Lord’s in May, there is another who follows his county week in and week out over the course of a long, arduous, and inevitably rain-splattered Championship season. In Mushy Ate My Credit Card, Mark Brailsford gives a glimpse of this diehard world as we follow Sam Smith – named after his father’s second-favourite brewery (after Harvey’s of Lewes, naturally) – through Sussex CCC’s triumphant season of 2003. Described as ‘cricket’s answer to Fever Pitch’, Mushy is a study in devotion, to cricket, to Sussex, and to the bearded master himself, Mushtaq Ahmed. After the death of his cricket-loving father, and expecting his first child at the end of the season, Sam follows his team at Hove and away as he becomes progressively more embroiled in Sussex’s fortunes over the summer of 2003, when – after a wait of 164 years – Sussex finally won the County Championship. Mushy is a show with terrific heart and tremendous skill. Brailsford is an outstanding actor, portraying every character from Sam and his wife to his fellow devotees Barry and Garry, the narcoleptic Archie and the perfectly-observed ‘Spidery Mess’, keeper of scorebooks and owner of a range of multi-coloured pens and arcane historical statistics. Light-hearted video sequences on the history of cricket and Sussex CCC are interspersed amongst the action, allowing Brailsford to show off even more of his range, and providing a breather in the rollercoaster of Sussex’s season. When we reach the crescendo of September, as Murray Goodwin cracks the ball to the rope to bring up Sussex’s third, championship-winning, batting point, the disembodied voice of John Lees rings out to celebrate the moment of victory. At that moment, we understand Sam’s passion, his headlong rush from the birth of his children, and the sheer delight that Sussex’s victory inspires. We follow cricket through the wind and the rain and the trials of the elements for moments like this, for the unrestrained joy of our tribe victorious in the most genteel of games. Cricket inspires love and literature like no other game: moments in history live long in the hearts of its most devoted followers, and the fond memory of Sussex’s march to the Championship is beautifully evoked in this terrific show.

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The Blurb

Cricket's answer to 'Fever Pitch'. One sports fan's epic journey to follow a cricket team to glory, whilst juggling a pregnant spouse and a dwindling credit limit. www.treasonshow.co.uk

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