The Game Carried On

The Game Carried On – 1st January, 2015.

When you get your cricket by the BBC,
you get it on the understanding that there is
usually something more important happening
that you will have to accommodate gracefully.

Growing up, you would get a full morning
at the test, and then the afternoon would be
cut through with Ascot, Wimbledon, the Open,
whatever was on Grandstand at that moment.

You would wait, and the game would move on.
I suppose the producers assumed that the
cricket would still be there whenever they
returned from wherever they had been.

Still today, for our listeners on Radio 4
long wave, its time for the shipping forecast.
If there was cricket on BBC TV, I suppose
it would pause for an urgent repeat of flog it.

And it’s this that I remember after a match
between the Prime Ministers and Archbishops.
A big match. Winner goes to the grand final
as heavy odds favourites to be champions.

Three overs left of the Archbishops’ run chase.
They are just slipping behind the run rate,
collectively holding their nerve, hoping for a
piece of individual genius like Pitt the Younger

scoring eighty five in thirty one balls. Thomas
Cranmer is still at the crease. Either team can
win. The swans from the lake at St. James Park
are keeping a keen eye on the proceedings.

Then, the phone goes and it’s family. And it is
more important than what we are doing. So
I take the conversation upstairs and I am happy
to chat and wish the best of New Years wishes.

As the conversation dies down, the boy umpire
comes in with news. The match has finished.
It is a victory for state over church by five runs.
And as I return downstairs, he shows me how

he has done my job in keeping score, completing
the paper scorecard. He managed it all.
Something more important happened and
it was accommodated; the game carried on.

Simon Travers (c) 2015

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