Wednesday, 2nd February Thanks to the miracle of Twitter, we have learned more about cricketers than we ever could have from the mountains of unreadable biographies and hours of televised cliché-swapping that were once our only window on their world. For example, pre-Twitter we might have suspected that the average cricketer had the mentality of a 12-year-old schoolboy. Now we know it for sure.
Or do we? There has been a flap about the recent Twittertiff between a man named Warner and a man named Geeves, but the media have only given us half the story. I have obtained the as-yet unreported tweets that cast these two distinguished gentlemen in a rather different light. It all started when a post-match dressing room discussion spilled over into cyberspace:
@geevesyb: It is my contention that of all the ancient schools of philosophy, it is the Stoics who offer mankind the greatest consolation
@lil’dave: I respect your views, sir, but have myself always preferred the Epicureanism of Lucretius
@geevesyb: You are a learned chap, but if I may be so bold, would you not agree that Lucretius was rather a depressing reductionist?
@lil’dave: No, I would not. indeed, I would contend that it is your Marcus Aurelius who brought everyone down with his tedious Meditations
@geevesyb: You may well contend it but that is because you is an ignorant
@lil’dave: Who u callin ignorent. U carnt even spell it u muppet
@geevesyb: U want me to come down and break your f&*^* bat!!!!!
@lil’dave: Ooooh I’m scared! An ur name sounds like pee
@geevesyb: Yeah well no-one likes u ne way, davey no friends
@lil’dave: I have too got friends, you is just jealous
@geevesyb: Talk to the hand cos I aint listenin…
Sadly we have been unable to obtain the rest of the Twitter debate, which is a shame, because I understand that they went on to engage in a most stimulating dialogue that touched on subjects as diverse as the modern-day relevance of Aristotle’s Poetics, the nature of art and the perennial question of whose mother was the ugliest.
Thursday, 3rd February Apparently there is a possibility that the ECB will be asked to pay back the £2 million they were given as part of the Stanford fiasco. But don’t worry. I understand that the ECB have already sought legal advice and they have a watertight case for keeping the money allegedly embezzled from innocent creditors by a man currently awaiting trial for major fraud. And who can blame them? If a mugger snatches an old lady’s purse and, in his hurry to get away, gives it to you for safe keeping, then why should you give it back to her? Finders keepers, after all.
However, I do happen to know that there is another legal action pending against the ECB that they may find harder to sidestep. It is alleged that for many years they have been running a variant of a Ponzi scheme known only as “county cricket”. Unwitting England cricket supporters hand over money that is ploughed into apparently legitimate businesses or “counties”, which turn out not to be businesses at all but front companies. As the counties make no money, the system requires larger and larger investments to maintain before it eventually collapses in a mess of overgrown pitches, unemployed South Africans and huge unsightly red hospitality oblongs.
Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England