Test Match Special was the soundtrack to my summers. I remember the shipping forecast, Brian Lara smacking English bowlers around the ground, the sheer tenacity of the Barmy Army and singing along in the car on our summer holidays. I love cricket. Any sport that can have two consecutive matches go down to the penultimate ball of the final day is something special. I spent Tuesday within hearing distance of the radio. All of it. It didn’t finish until nearly 10 past 7, due to time being added on for rain. Those last 10 minutes cost us the match, in the end. Jimmy Anderson made a truly heroic stand, but in the end it was the second longest duck (out without scoring a run) in history. Had he made it another two balls, or had they finished an over earlier, it would have been the longest stand with no runs without being dismissed.
He was gutted. I was gutted. I have frothed at the mouth about that match for the last two days. Cricket has been all I could think about. Angelo Mathews’ utterly astonishing innings, the Broad hat trick he didn’t even notice, Plunket getting a five-fer, the third English batsman this series to get a ton in his second innings, two consecutive balls giving us wickets made in Yorkshire (bowler and catcher both Yorkshire players), and the applause given only to those three Yorkshire men.
Fortunately, my family and my best friend are all as cricket mad as me. Unfortunately, the series has now come to an end, and by the time the next one starts I won’t be here.
Another fortunate thing is that it’s cricket, not football. The football goes on a lot longer. If I followed football I’d never get anything done.