I don't know whether anyone has noticed but I haven't been around for a while.
If I wanted to sound a little pretentious, I'd say I'd been suffering from 'writer's block'. I've had ideas for pieces, and on one occasion I even started to write something. But it didn't flow. The familiar ritual of transmitting my thoughts to the page felt forced and clumsy in a way that it never used to. In the manner of a batsman (something I've never really been, but I've watched a few good ones and I have a vivid imagination) going through a bad trot, my timing was off. My drives were slicing off the inside edge and my pulls were top-edged. My feet weren't moving and the runs weren't coming.
If I wanted to sound a bit less pretentious and a bit more realistic, I've just been bloody busy. Sadly, my day job doesn't involve writing about cricket. About a year ago I moved to a different role in the same office I've worked in since David Gower was still playing. My new job, while much more satisfying than my old one, is also much more demanding. At times recently I've wondered what the inside of my house looked like, and, when I finally found out, I certainly wasn't in the mood to sit in front of a computer trying to say something original and perhaps just a little bit poetic or resonant.
And if I wanted to be completely honest, well, there hasn't been a lot around that's really held my attention. The World T20 came and went, mostly while I wasn't in front of a television, and, as for the Champions League, I know it's been going on but I've found it impossible to muster any interest in it at all. I might have checked one of the scores the other day but I can't really remember.
This encapsulates the difference between those who are fortunate enough to be able earn a living from writing about cricket, and those of us who, in the (hopefully far from immortal) words of the unlamented Kenwyn Williams, remain 'unlicensed'. If we don't want to write about something, we don't have to, but, if we do, nobody's going to give us a cent for doing so.
Some people, though, are kind enough to read and comment, and I look forward to making their acquaintance again over the coming months, because things around the world are about to become a lot more interesting.
As Chris over at Declaration Game has pointed out, the forthcoming series between India and England could be a minor classic. To use an age-old cliché beloved of 'licensed' journalists and bloggers alike, both sides are, to some extent, 'in transition', but, while India will enter the series with the confidence which home advantage and English opposition will bring, there is a dark cloud on the horizon.
If Sachin goes on failing, they may be about to enter the period of transition to end them all.