Is it Cricket? and Howzatt?? - reviews of two cricket strips.

Is it Cricket? - See The Victor issue 592 (24th June, 1972) - issue 603 (9th September 1972).

Probably reprinted in The Victor possibly in the issues prior to the reprinting of Howzatt?? see below.

Howzatt?? - See The Victor issue 662 (27th October 1973) to issue 675 (26th January 1964).

Reprinted in The Victor issue 993 (1st March, 1980) to issue 1006 (31st May 2008).

Writers and artists for both strips:- The Victor editorial team? Artist:- Mike Dorey for both strips and the Victor Annual story.

An episode of this strip also appeared in the Victor annual 1976. The Little Pudlington cricket team stop off en route back to England, in Sri Lanka (formally Ceylon), for a game of cricket with a tea plantation team. However, complications arise when the team learn that a tiger has escaped. Colonel Clutterbuck wants to shoot it as a trophy, whilst Ginge doesn't want it killed. A good story (complete with a game of cricket) and a happy ending.

Main cast:- See the image below of the Little Pudlington cricket team. The man on the extreme left is the Captain, Sid Crocker, who is the odd job man for the team's manager, Colonel Clutterbuck, who is second from left in the picture below. From The Victor issue 662.

© D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.

Time period:- early 1970's.

Is it Cricket?

Sport was the third element in any issue of The Victor along with war and adventure stories. Football (or soccer), was the most popular sport to be featured in the comic. As soon as one footballing story finished another one started. (This was also the case in The Hornet). The next most popular sport to feature was suprisingly, boxing. Cricket and other sports trailing behind in a distance third place. The number of cricket strips to appear in both comics were very few and far between.

Aah, the sound of cricket ball against bat, polite clapping, scrumptious afternoon teas and a hard fought, but fair game of cricket. All these ingredients and more feature in these wonderful humorous strips. The village of Little Pudlington, along with other English villages are competing in a knock-out competition to become the Village Cricket Champions of All England. Can the team win the competition? There are many trials, personal fears and plenty of thrills to be overcome before the winning team can collect the trophy.

In the story featured below Little Pudlington are up against an opposing scheming captain who's team are enjoying rather a lot of suspiciously dodgy umpiring decisions at Little Pudlington's expense. Is there dirty work afoot and if so how will Crocker and his team deal with the situation? Story from issue 598.

Artist unknown. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist unknown.© D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist unknown. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd


Having won the title of Village Cricket Champions of England, Little Pudlington were then invited to tour the Australian outback playing against local teams. It's only when they reach Australia that they realise that no hotels have been booked and that they are expected to live and travel around the outback by coach. As the Secretary of the Australian National Cricket Association of Western Australia said,"You'll be touring the 'Outback', see. And there is no other means of doing it", [except by coach].

Another wonderful series with some interesting over the top plots for example, a kangeroo that can play cricket, playing in the rain (with the wicket under a large tarpaulin) and so on. Their final match of the tour is against an all Australian side, a sort of village test match. Unfortunately, I haven't got the final issue so I have no idea what happened. (But at a guess I would say that Little Pudlington won by the odd run)!

In the featured story I've selected below the team have fallen captive to an angry tribe of Aborigines. A cricket match ensures and its made very plain that Little Pudlington had better lose or else! Will this be the first match that the village loses on the tour or will they lose their heads instead? Story from issue 667.

Artist unknown. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist unknown. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist unknown. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist unknown. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

For those readers of this site who would like to know more about the game of cricket, please visit the following site:- England and Wales Cricket Board website

© Adrian Banfield, 2008.