A suitably silly trophy
Emma John has an amusing article in the Guardian about the mace presented to the top Test team in the world. She wonders whether the ICC decided on a mace as a prize since it signifies "authority, power, medieval concepts of feudalism".
As prizes go, the mace is gloriously bonkers, a surreal reminder of just how trivial a concept sport is. Congratulations, you have won a purely fictitious battle, whose outcome is of no lasting consequence – now have this ludicrously expensive replica of an ancient bludgeoning instrument. And yet, given the chance to have my photo taken with any sort of trophy or even – crikey – hold one, I will go weaker at the knees than Ben Foden at a Saturdays gig. Maybe it's because they're markers of permanence in an otherwise impermanent and ultimately meaningless milieu. As Keats said, a thing of beauty is a joy for ever. And a mace is for life, not just for Christmas.