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Bomb Crater Park

Cricket umpire's wife denies cash for favours

"Let me make this clear, I am not toasting Redfern's dinner with a supermarket brand toaster. Bring me a four-slice Breville or the deal's off."

A newspaper has alleged that the wife of umpire Redfern Quigg promised to arrange 'umpiring favours' in return for gifts.

In what is billed as a "shocking expose" of Hoggshire cricket MAG (mothers and grandmothers) corruption, the Hoggshire Bugle claims that Abigail Quigg frequented the notorious bingo halls of Bomb Crater Park, trading false promises of easy wickets and not-outs for household goods and designer cleaning products.

Central to this is an admission from the grandmother of Green Fountain CC's rising star Bernie Pinches that she bought Mrs. Quigg a cake mixer on the understanding that her husband would "engineer a hatful of wickets" for her grandson.

Bernie Pinches cuts a downcast figure as he is forced to watch his team mates from the sidelines.

"I should have realised Redfern was unaware of the arrangement when he took exception to my grandsons 'New Romantic' inspired looks and refused to let him play in the first match of the season because he thought he was a girl," said Elsie Pinches.

"I had to produce his birth certificate before he could take the field the following weekend."

Mrs. Pinches had initially hoped that the umpire's actions were part of a clever ploy to distance himself from the family.

"I ignored the mutterings from members that Redfern had it in for Bernie because of his mildly effeminate appearance," admitted Mrs. Pinches.

"I naively assumed I was dealing with a criminal mastermind and that this was all part of a grand plan."

Mrs. Pinches realised all was not well when her grandson finally got his chance to bowl.

"Redfern 'no-balled' him for throwing five-times in his first over," said the disappointed grandmother.

"Two of those balls would have otherwise claimed wickets yet his captain had to take him off and let someone else finish the over.

"I decided to go public when Abigail refused to return the cake mixer."

Mrs. Quigg admits accepting the 'gift' but dismisses accusations of wrongdoing.

Redfern Quigg with Miss Hoggshire 2011, Mandy Dobbs.

"Redfern has his faults but dishonesty isn't one of them," she said.

"Elsie was foolish to try and grease his palm through me and has found out that crime doesn't pay."

While quick to defend her husband's professional reputation she is far less guarded about his personal shortcomings.

"I don't think people fully appreciate how much of a strain it is being married to an umpire," bemoaned Mrs. Quigg.

"Women are forever throwing themselves at our husbands and we are under constant pressure to look our very best to stop them from straying. It is especially hard for me as my housekeeping money is a pittance and I must look lovely for next to nothing."

So does the Queen of MAGs have any advice for looking glamorous on a tight budget?

"I use Brillo Pads for absolutely everything," Mrs. Quigg revealed.

"When I'm having a bath, checking for lumps, removing makeup or unwanted hair, even cleaning my teeth. And when they are well past their best I use them as hair curlers."