(Not) Being There

A nice piece from Siddhartha Vaidyanathan's excellent, varied blog.

This must strike a chord with anyone who's ever struggled to follow cricket as they go about the rest of their crowded lives. It certainly did with me.

With all the major cricket events of my lifetime I can instinctively remember where I was. And, while there are many exceptions - The Oval, 12th September 2005, Shane Warne's hat-trick in Melbourne, the Broad-Trott stand, Michael Vaughan's 197 at Trent Bridge - more often than not I wasn't there.

I was often in front of a TV set, which is the next best thing, but I've frequently been in all kinds of other places - exam rooms, weddings (not my own), hospitals, trains, planes and automobiles. For the last twenty years, during which period I've had a full-time job which only occasionally allows me to listen to the radio, I've mostly been at work, at least in body.

Apologies to anyone with whom I've had a work-related discussion while my mind was elsewhere. And equal apologies to my colleagues for the odd disappearing act down the years. As Brian Lara was gaining on 365 at St.John's in April 1994, I retreated to the toilet with a radio and nobody knew where I was for about half an hour.

As you get older it gets harder and harder both to follow the cricket exclusively and to convince people who don't know or care about the game that you have as much interest as they do in what's going outside the Test match bubble.

But I like it that way.

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