So it is second match of world cup after England lose, as anticipate by everyone, first match to world conquering Australian team. Next game they play Old Beckhamians XI from near Croydon who enter on ICC ‘wild card’ and have kit fund by mysterious Indian donour, who coincidentally win billion dollar in bet that Old Beckhamians will make surprise appearance at world cup. The world still reel from the surprise. In England camp is terrible funk because all players at near death, still not recover from pre-tournament practice, including team bonding trip to Basildon where they are pelt with faeces by near-ape. In commentary box is still gather old pros with young magician and former cricket player Kevin.
‘Look boys,’ say Kevin. ‘I can make spell.’
‘What you talk about Kev?’ ask Mr Flintoff.
‘I can make spell which will enable each of us to once again play cricket for England as if we are in youth, or not sacked by petty idiot.’
At this everybody guffaw, and Kevin get angry. ‘I not joke.’
Appear in doorway next to Hayhoe-Flint is Mr Brearley, revere former England captain. ‘Kevin,’ say Mr Brearley, who is now psychoanalyst, ‘what is this spell of which you speak.’ And suddenly all of room stop guffaw and take seriously, such is power of Mr Brearley.
‘It is magic spell,’ say Kevin, ‘which for duration of tournament will transform us all into fit young men, matchwinners.’
‘Go for it,’ say Mr Vaughan, running hand through hair too hard so wig unstick and fall off.
Kevin do spell and there is whizz-bang, and much smoke.
As smoke clear all look at each other. They then start to speak and shout, in total confusion.
Mr Brearley call for hush … only he is not Mr Brearley, but Mr Flintoff, because, as he realise … ‘Kevin it was a bold spell but rather erratic in its execution. We are indeed young men again, but not in the right bodies.’ And Mr Brearley was right, because rather like one of Kevin’s top edged reverse sweep shots that not entirely pay off, motley crew of former greats were now locked in wrong human form! And not only this but Bob Willis was in form of Liz Hurley who had sneak in to commentary box to sit on lap of Mr Warne (who was now Mr Gower). ‘Struth,’ say Warne-Gower … ‘I am not me.’
What am I to say about Basildon? This evening I did spend several hour waiting in police station for relative who have spot of bother with the law. That there was no heating was primitive but I understand. Britain have heart which is colder now than I remember. I expect no more. Basildon is however beyond belief, like bad dream I once have of world with no windows or door. I see nothing I like apart from sign which say London. Even criminal is most pathetic I have encounter anywhere. Young man turn up for bail interview and forget if this is right day. He also forget what he has done and so custody officer have to play game with him to try and remember. He does not so young man goes home. Maybe he will remember and do crime again so he not forget.
Basildon, oh sorry place. So, to ease my horror of this town I write poem, but is too sad to say here. I show to my cat, Donald, and I believe he weep. even if he not weep he turn around and scratch it backward with hind leg, as if burying excrement. I say to him: ‘Donald, why do you not like my poem?’ He look at me and I recognise telepathically he say: ‘This is true poem of Basildon, which capture it cold, awful heart. And for this reason I must destroy it as like Medusa face for any living soul to read upon it would be turn to stone.’ Donald is wise and mystical cat when he speak like this.
If there is mistake in my typing here I apologise but fingers are frozen as if I am dead.
Cricket world cup is start but I am distracted. Today it is Valentine (quick update: Woakes drop easy catch, idiot, and Australia marmalise English bowlers as expected. Perhaps will be good batting from England. This sometimes happen but now is like in about 1990 when I watch cricket and am remind of boring film on Sunday afternoon with surprise exciting moments). SEE ALSO first episode of my science fiction cricket drama idea for World Cup as unveil maybe two days ago.
But now Valentine and my lady friend Patrushka from Moscow ballet is by luck in London for performance. But I cannot decide what I wear for date, my wardrobe is so extensive. I have of course suit from many, many era in my closet, and may even today ring tailor to supply special number for this evening, but in all that is honest I am rather concern. What does man of my age wear for Valentine date which does not feel as if I wear before? In playful mood, perhaps I might wear ‘cat suit’ provide by my good friend Valentino (appropriate!). This would please cat, Donald, who seem rather under weather today. Cat suit is like any other fine suit but with small design of cat on sleeve button. I like this one and perhaps I wear. Or maybe I wear robe which Mr O’Toole present to me after he star in Arabia film, and I arrive for date like sultan. No, I think in current climate this might have risk attach. I shall go and read Donald story, and then make up mind.
Today I did receive various documents which look not unlike documents issue by organisation like Stasi, with photograph of my car which say I must pay fine of over seventy pounds, or half of this if I pay early (bargain) … and then on other piece of paper I see writ words to effect: if you pay £2.50 within fortnight all is forgiven because we, idiot as we are (apologies but I garnish with this), have without warning stop using toll both at lovely Dartford bridge and make it look like they are broken, not being use, so you drive through, get photograph and fine instead. Then we send you pin-head letter which direct you to web site, illegible nonsense which take several go to use, utterly useless. In truth in my rage I would have done as I did to Nazi officer in Amsterdam one time. Only how do you do this to computer? Actually they do not say much of this, but you get message, I imagine. It is scam, of no help to anyone. Typical scam load with fear and persecution by government. I am this afternoon to see minister for transport to discuss privately. I am outrage.
So Apple, computer company, have made watch. I would enjoy watch which look like apple, as this could have practical value, or aesthetic like hat, or be use to contain thing like cufflink or even biscuit – more if this was tiny refrigerator. But I do not need computer as watch. I see presentation where ‘big sell’ is that it tell me to move every hour so I do not sit around, get cancer and grow fat. This is stupid. I have cat which keep me move, or dog, and alarm clock, or mine own brain which say: ‘Kasimir, move away from idea of Apple watch.’ I look at man who run Apple and I think he look pasty, ill and in need of good walk in sunshine.
Shun by international cricket establishment best batsman in world Kevin is forced to find alternative career. After various slur, lie and ill-advise semi-autograph novel (‘THEM’), he is forced to become children entertainer, with magic, clown show and final bed-time story. Irrepressible as ever though Kevin bounces back to be best children entertainer in Australia (where he end up after shun by English association of clown and magician). So, we find ourself on eve of International World Cup and news break of calamity in England camp: all cricketer have collapse with exhaustion after final training session.
‘It is mystery,’ say England coach Mr Moore. I ask them to do 100 lap of Sydney cricket ground to round off session and they collapse, vomit, almost die. None of them is fit to play so we must forfeit game. Heh-heh.’
Picking up on strange final word of Mr Moore (Heh-heh) roving journalist Mr Morgan ask: ‘Why you laugh Mr Moore?’
His colleague, who have somehow miss hideous chortle sound, look at Mr Morgan in amazement. ‘What you talk about,’ say ordinarily astute and reasonable fellow Mr Agnew.
‘He laugh like bitter demon,’ say Mr Morgan.
In split second blinding light appear from eye of Mr Moore and Mr Morgan vapourize. And Mr Moore utter again: ‘Heh-heh.’
‘Where he go?’ ask Mr Agnew.
All shrug and go to have beer, soon forgetting incident. All apart from one, for at back of marquee tent where this happen is discreet figure wrap in cloak, with hood, who shuffle from exit quickly and make way through surreptitious route of secret tunnel and passageway only know to him to Sky commentary room where commentator lament terrible fate of England team.
Mr Botham is about to raise toast to last frail effort of fast bowler Anderson, who curse and puff, try to haul self over to net after hundredth lap for final net session order in secret by Mr Moore (after he learn Mr Anderson survive run hundred lap of cricket ground), and to ‘absent friend’ Mr Stoke, young cricketer sent to penal colony in Russia instead of be named for World Cup team after he give ‘funny look’ at practice session … when he hear voice, loud and like HAMMER OF THE GOD (with South African):
‘What is this?’ say Mr Botham, about to clout figure in cloak for disturb civility and somber moment.
‘Steady on,’ say Mr Gower, let us see what the fellow have to say.
Mr Bumble laugh incorrigibly and for no reason and friend of all, Shane Warne, dress as big shark to avoid recognition and accusation of consort with enemy, cock eye watchfully. In corner, Mr Flintoff who have already maybe have one too many ale sit up straight, and lean in doorway, motherly but tough presence of Heyhoe-Flint clap hand: ‘what all this about then?’
Figure in cloak cast aside cloak and all gasp as they see who stand before them: ‘It is I,’ he say. ‘Kevin.’
‘Kev, mate,’ say Mr Botham. ‘What you doing? Where you been?’
‘I have been entertain children and learn in process better humility, tolerance of idiot, more self-aware and some magic trick.’
All sigh, somehow move by figure who look remarkable but also vulnerable and who wear cricket white. ‘He pull at white shirt and say: ‘This is in my soul. Even beneath cloth of wizard I am cricket player to core. And I am here to save England world cup.’
Mr Flintoff weep. ‘Is too late, Kev. They all wash up.’
‘No,’ say Kevin, ‘is never too late.’
END OF EPISODE ONE
It is with great pleasure I watch episode of TV drama SPIRAL. It remind me of crime series I write in 1970s for West German TV which was call TANGLEWIT. Star of Tanglewit was Inspector Bruhoffer, and sidekick was Taffy, Welshman, on attach from Cardiff police. With them was also Big Bruno, dog handler with big heart. He have Alsatian dog call Satan. Satan was peaceful dog who would not bite, and this create many dilemma, as sometimes Bruno have to use creativity instead, while Taffy run and Bruhoffer work out solution from special wheelchair, like Ironside. Bruhoffer was disable after get shot by mistake.