“Exactly, but perhaps they’re thinking of the weather, or maybe Janis Joplin is just too out of it even to walk out on to the field at the moment. No-one really knows.”
“Yes, well I suppose that could be the case. Anyway, we turn our attention to the action as we see that Byron has finally hobbled his way out to take up the challenge of facing Hadlee, a task I hear that he won’t particularly relish, is that right John?”
“I gather so Dennis. Like a lot of spin bowlers, Byron himself is a very good player of spin with the bat. In fact for his own club – Foot Club, I believe he is actually their specialist batsman when it comes to playing spin.”
“Well, I must say I find it most intriguing and bewildering that he should come out to face Hadlee in full flight – I suppose that an out of it captain tends to us mere mortals.”
“Indeed, but let’s turn our attention to the game as in comes Hadlee now from the Railway end. He runs past one of the ever increasing seagulls, who quickly flies in the opposite direction, and he bowls to Byron who …!!! Oh! And there’s a loud appeal for L.B.W. the umpire has a close look, and yes! He’s out! Byron just couldn’t move his feet quick enough and the result was that the ball went straight past the bat and into the pad of Lord Byron’s bad leg and he was trapped right in front of the wicket, and Hadlee has his utu!”
“A well deserved, if somewhat fortuitous hat-trick for Richard Hadlee – and that, by the way, takes him into the lead again with his tussle with Ian Botham for a five wicket bag. Botham caught up level with him in the last series with Australia, but now Hadlee has played twenty-eight games in which he’d taken five or more wickets and Botham twenty-seven.”
“Yes, a fine performance and I wouldn’t wish to take anything from the great Richard Hadlee, but watching Byron make his way back, one can’t but feel that there was a certain inevitability about the whole incident- even a hint of sadism, although it would be wrong to persue that line of thought.”
“Well, it was certainly unusual – one can only guess at the thoughts of George Gordon – sixth Lord of Byron.
I want another go! An uncommon want
I didn’t like my innings so I’d like a new one
But all cricketing rules and gazettes say I can’t
“A second innings in a one-day game is not a true one.”
All very well for those with two healthy legs to flaunt
But for those with a foot like mine, it is a ruin –
I think all those bastards who make rules for others,
Whilst in their prime,
Should be sent to the devil somewhat ere their time
“No doubt there’ll be some small, vitriolic Byronic stanza making its way through the tunnels and over the synaptic bridges of the great western mind as the poet’s train of thought carried it towards its final station – the poem on the written page!”
“How very eloquent, I take back all I said bout you being merely a mouthful of statistics, Dennis!”
By now the great mind of Malone was entering a kind of slip-stream-of-consciousness following Brendon The Navigator, or so it thought, into who knows where. Two dark faces turned in the flare of the Eden Park lights. Who’s dat, the P.S.M. replied, thinking there may have been a question. Rewi and Paul Calvert said a voice. We come to see you bro, here have a beer. Rewi, Paul, is that yourselves now and the P.S.M. raised itself in salute – come on mind your steps. The threesome moved down towards the sign “GENTLEMEN” and P.S.M. followed his friends to the toilet and then whistled his lath away among the pillars. They passed the joint nervously under their slack archway.
Rewi turned to P.S.M. and asked”
Well, Paddy. What is it, e. what’s the trouble. Wait a while. Hold hard. With gaping mouth and head far back he stood still and, after an instant, sneezed loudly.