I don’t know if non-British people reading this blog read Bill Frindall’s Playfair annual, but if not then you’ll almost certainly have heard his familiar, languid and slightly depressing voice on the radio. He is the statto’s king, and his Playfair annual is a genuine must-buy for all English fans. Small, pocket-sized & cheap – great for train journeys, and conspicuous enough to read it in public without being laughed at!
Anyway. His 2005 annual is available for pre-purchase (click on the cover above), and each year a different English player is featured on the cover. He spends (as far as I know), quite some time deliberating over who should be on it: I think the requirement is, in the main, “Who do I think will make the biggest single contribution on the summer’s international season?” Thing is, Frindall’s jinxed us and the player in question on numerous occasions. Thorpe, Ramprakash, Fraser and many more have all fallen foul of the Frindall-crystal-ball – and this year, Bill’s outdone himself by choosing none other than Stephen Harmison.
Frindall – what are you playing at? We all know England need Mr Harmison back to his lethal best – and, come on, he’s not exactly Beckham-esque in terms of loving the cameras. We will not forgive you if you are wrong. We will love you if you’re right.