It’s 7:30AM on Thursday morning and I’ve been awake for an hour, lying on the couch, watching a repeat of yesterday’s cricket in New Zealand (NZ versus Sri Lanka) and reading C. L. R. James’s Beyond a Boundary. I watch Jayawardene batting beautifully, lots of lovely attacking shocks, including some quite exquisite cover drives while C. L. R. James (I love using all his initials) bitches about defensive, boring batting in the 1950s. (His theory: it was because the 1950s was boring.)
I’m having a lovely morning, not just because of wall to wall cricket (I’m also checking scores around the world on my laptop), but because I don’t have to feel guilty about it. The last few months have been work, work, work. But now I’ve met all my deadlines. I turned in the anthology last week and the latest rewrites on Magic Lessons (sequel to Magic or Madness) last night. For the next few days, before my pesky editors get back to me, I can do whatever I damn well please and I choose cricket.
Especially as it’s just this second gone live: the fourth day of play has begun. And even more especially because in just over a week I’ll be stuck in that cricket-free zone: the US of A with little hope of getting to England to watch Australia destoy them in the Ashes. So here’s to inswingers, yorkers, googlies, cover drives, front-foot play, back-foot play, silly mid-on, short square leg and french cuts. And to W. G. Grace, Ranjitsinhji, Learie Constantine, Peggy Antonio, Sid Barnes, Weekes, Worrell and Walcott, Keith Miller, Garfield Sobers, Dennis Lillee, Viv Richards, Micheal Holding, Bruce Reid, Zoe Goss, Makhaya Ntini, Adam Gilchrist, Steve Bucknor and Belinda Clarke. How I shall miss you all!
Sydney, 7 April 2005