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Top 10 tips for beating the cricketing credit crunch

Ouch! The global economy is in freefall. Unemployment, poverty and repossessions are the order of the day. PDCC's expert guide to beating the credit crunch will help you make your way through the monetary maze.

As Kevin Pietersen's squad of cricketing pirates prepare to help themselves to Adam Sandford's bottomless pit of Twenty20 cash, it's easy to forget that for the majority of cricketing folk the credit crunch is biting very hard indeed.

This week the ECB announced a number of cost cutting measures that reflect the economic instability facing the sport. The most controversial of these was the news that all third-umpire decisions are to be 'outsourced' to a call centre in India. The contracted company, based in a Delhi industrial estate, promise "95% accurate decisions within 30 minutes or your money back" but it is yet to be seen if they can actually deliver the goods. A further ECB belt-tightening initiative will see 'tea intervals' replaced by 'tap water intervals'. And it's not just the ECB that are feeling the pinch; the usually conservative Umpires Association have responded to the growing crisis by stating that batsmen will be charged £1 per guard taken from next season.

Where it will all end is anyone's guess but there are a few hints and tips that can be utilized to help players and officials beat the credit crunch blues. PDCC has spoken to some of the world's leading financial experts to compile a Top 10 of ways to make the pound in the pocket of your flannels stretch a little further.

PDCC's Top 10 tips for beating the cricketing credit crunch.

    picture of slob
    Cutting out fancy buns and unnecessary hair care products can save £££'s
  1. Hospitals throw away tons of rubbish every single day. An hour or two spent going through the bins outside your local A&E can yield some very productive results - all for free. Why not have a look for discarded surgical gloves? They can easily be padded out with old bandages to make a perfectly good pair of batting gloves. And umpires: an old doctor's coat rescued from the incinerator is almost identical to a top-of-the-range umpires jacket.

    Body parts can have their uses too. Don't worry, we're not advocating cannibalism, but who can resist playing a few practical jokes along the way to keep spirits high during these austere times? A severed finger never fails to amuse when an umpire raises it to fire out a batsman - only for it to appear to drop off seconds later. And if you really want to upset a stubborn tailender don't waste cash on jellybeans. He's more likely to make a mistake if it's a child's ear that's suddenly appeared at the crease.
  2. It's always annoying when rain stops play - or at least it used to be. A few strategically placed buckets will collect enough water to make the tea, fill the drink bottles and there will still be enough left over at the close of play for everyone to have a refreshing wash.
  3. Forget Sobers, forget Botham and forget Freddie Flintoff: vinegar is the greatest all rounder of them all. A large bottle of ASDA's own brand vinegar costs less than 32p and it will clean your bat, remove stubborn stains from pads and gloves, keep your whites whiter than white, provide a delicious drink (hot or cold) and is damn tasty, thinly sprinkled, between two slices of bread.
  4. The club pavilion can be a lonely place after the season ends. Lonely ... and empty. So why not maximize your club's finances by turning it into a home from home for asylum seeker types? You'd be surprised as to how many you can squeeze in! Councils all over Britain are struggling to meet the demand for accommodation and are happy to pay top dollar for somewhere to put Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Foreigner.

    If your local council can't help then contact counties such as Leicestershire or Northants. They need places for the new batch of Kolpaks arriving every day and where better than in their very own club house?
  5. picture of typical PDCC soiree
    Going to pubs and restaurants can be an expensive business. Try entertaining friends at home instead. Ask them to bring a bottle or two so to share the costs.
  6. Social Services everywhere are always on the look out for new foster parents to provide temporary homes for children who have been abused or who are experiencing family problems. Fostering is a lucrative business; some foster parents can pick up over a grand a week. Teenagers can be troublesome but a baby or toddler fits easily into a cricket bag and if you ask nicely the twelfth man or third umpire should be able to keep an eye on the pesky little blighter for you when you are in the field. There's more money if the child is disabled or retarded so don't forget to ask for one of those when you make your application.

    And if you have got kids already then put them into care over Christmas. It works out a lot cheaper and it's a great way for them to make new friends.

    Pets are a luxury that few can afford anymore. It's time that these domesticated layabouts start facing up to the real world. There are plenty of jobs out there for pets which will bring in much needed extra cash. Dogs have a noble tradition of policework; in fact Deputy Dawg even rose through the ranks to run his own department. Contact your local constabulary to see if they are currently recruiting.
  7. Personal Injury compensation has become a multi-million pound industry in the UK over the last decade with hundreds of thousands of lucky claimants receiving fat cheques for getting injured at the workplace. So why not get in on the act yourself? Accidents are fairly easy to stage and need not be painful. Try secretly tampering with the bowling machine and taking one on the solar plexus. Just blame someone else and head straight for the offices of Injury Lawyers 4U. Gosh, the pavilion steps are looking slippy today. Good job no one was around to see you take a 'tumble'. It's easy!
  8. If you are an international cricketer playing in a pointless tournament with £1 million at stake as prize money why not try to win it, instead of sulking and belatedly worrying about your public image.
  9. picture of camel shadow puppet
    Making your own entertainment is both rewarding and fun. Shadow puppets can keep a county Under-17 squad amused for days.
  10. Shop around! Most supermarkets offer two-for-one deals on selected products every week. Now is the time to take advantage. This week Tesco goes 2-for-1 on batting grips whilst Safeway offer a very tempting 3-for-2 on stump gauges. Groundsmen should head straight for Sainsburys to load up on their half price range of loam seed fertilizers and watering cans.

    Meanwhile lady umpires might be interested in George at ASDA's new collection of 'She-Ump' underwear. It combines femininity, functionality and terrific value. The bras have a built-in light meter whilst the knicker range all come with six counting beads in a specially reinforced gusset.
  11. Modern one-day cricket audiences demand that a player's name is written across the back of his shirt. Paying by the letter makes it a very expensive business especially if you have the likes of Ryan ten Doeschate or Sri Lanka's ridiculous Uwa Walawwe Mahim Bandaralage Chanaka Asanka Welegedara playing for you. Forget long-named foreigners for the time being; let's see if CB Fry is available. A carefully selected team of short monikered players can save you a small fortune.
  12. Benefit Years are usually lucrative affairs than can set up a player financially for life ... so why not award yourself one? You just need a couple of mates to move through the crowd rattling a tin and soon you wont be able to move for 50p pieces. It's a proven fact that no-one remembers whose benefit year it is and yet always feel obliged to put a bit of shrapnel into the pot. Make up some lies about golf days, charity auctions and sporting dinners, sell as many advance tickets as you can and then quietly forget all about it. People will be too embarrassed to ask for their money back. Don't forget to keep mentioning that a percentage goes to charity ... yes, The Royal Society for the Protection of your Trouser Pocket!