Monday, 20 July 2009
I am doggedly translating a single sentence of 27 pages (this must be the new world record, even for Mr K, beating his own old world record by almost fifteen pages) but I have Cricinfo running on the tool bar just above the text, and watch the wickets-down figure rise and the name Flintoff recur.
Look, I am a Hungarian, and it took me seven years to understand cricket (1963 on Brighton beach, if you want to know, listening - not watching - as Cowdrey went in to bat with a broken arm and Brian Close strode down the wicket to Hall and Griffiths), and I know from the withering looks I have received from the true-born English, even the true-born Anglo-Welsh, that it is not my place to comment on that which has not been in my blood for at last three generations. Nevertheless, sneakily I have kept an eye on the sport while keeping my mouth shut, but the Flintoff story is, well, rousing. The blond giant, the green man, the stout-hearted boozing dare-devil combination of Little John, Samwise Gamgee and Henry V, is injured but bowls the spell of his life, consistently over 90 mph (that's almost as fast as the nuns in the story below) to take five wickets. The big-hearted boy that is for ever pastoral England wins it.
As to the win, excellent of course, though it would be even better if it had not been for a few questionable umpiring decisions. But then it is the first England win over Australia at Lords since 1934, so damn the quibbles, and back to the 27-page sentence with a new bounce in my stride.