Offbeat August 5, 2011

The global ‘ashes’ tour

Most of us (well, most readers of this site) live for cricket

Most of us (well, most readers of this site) live for cricket. Retired British accountant Stanley Johnson, who died recently in New Zealand while watching his favourite sport, seems to have redefined the phrase. His will stipulates that his ashes are to be scattered at 12 cricket grounds in eight countries across the globe, beginning with The Oval in London during the final Test of the England-India series.

A report in the the Times says eight friends will receive envelopes of the ashes, and proceed on "Stanley Johnson’s Ashes Tour", scattering them at various grounds across New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies, apart from England. Each friend will toast Johnson with a local brew as the remains are scattered. The last envelope will be strewn over the turf at Church, a cricket club where Johnson once played.

Johnson’s family said he’d watched around 230 Tests in his lifetime, all the while building up funds to finance his posthumous “ashes” tour. A standing ovation, please, as he walks back to the pavilion.

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo