England take on Sri Lanka tomorrow in the first of five one-dayers. In doing some little research for the series preview, I worked out (bollocks I did, sorry, I’m lying – Robin did. Thanks Robin. But he knew it off the top of his head, as well I assumed he might) England have a minimum of 19 matches until the World Cup. Oh dear.
Glen Chapple (32) is injured; so is Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff, Simon Jones, Ed Joyce and probably more that I’ve forgotten. So the significance of this series, and tomorrow’s match, should not be underestimated for both sides. Every one-day match henceforth is a potential “sighter” for next year’s World Cup. And for all Andrew Strauss’ remarkable confidence in the quotes that came out today, even he would admit that England are in dire one-day form.
I’m making my debut too, tomorrow; it’s my first international for Cricinfo, a little under 12 months since I joined. Couple of friends (bonjour, C&N) who I met with the other night asked “Did you ever imagine you’d be doing this?” I don’t think I ever did seriously contemplate it, although aged twelve we did a roleplay exercise during a French lesson where we had to pretend we were speaking to the TV camera as “something”. One bloke was a horseracing commentator (even at that age, his knowledge of the horses was phenomenal; he’s now either stinking rich or bankrupt, I imagine), another at Twickenham, Wembley, Wimbledon and so on. I was at Lord’s! And I distinctly remember thinking “well yeah – it’d be nice, but it’s so not possible.”
My ambitions of becoming a doctor were also dealt a blow aged 13 when I nearly blew the school up. Chemistry and Physics weren’t my strong point, although I enjoyed disecting a pig’s eye and liver in biology. Sadly that’s not a requirement, or even a benefit, to become a quack over here.
Anyway. Enough ramblings. I’ll post thoughts of Saturday’s game on Sunday, and there will be a post up tomorrow for you to leave your comments etc. Until then, then.