Cornershop Man watches every single cricket international he can on his satellite TV under the counter—and, unlike me, he fails the Tebbit test. At the start of the week, I asked him: “Suppose you’re looking forward to whupping England’s backsides?”
“Hmm,” he inhaled, “I don’t know. You’ve got some good bowlers with you. You could give us a run for our money.”
As I said to my dad later on, he neglected to factor in England’s seemingly infinite capacity for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
I’m turning the radio off now.
When I was a lad it was the taking part that really mattered. Well that’s what we told the plucky darkish foreign chaps in the good old days when we won against them rather a lot.
What a joy it was in those far off times to applaud generously (and hardly at all patronisingly) one of their good shots safe in the knowledge that it was unlikely to affect the result….