They say that simple thing amuse simple minds – well, please excuse this smidgeon of self-indulgence …
This morning I was up, as usual, around 1.00am and came to my laptop with a pint mug of black expresso coffee. My first act after signing is always to conjure up the Radio 5 website, click on the ‘activate’ button, don my headphones, and tune in to Up All Night – the programme than runs from 0100 to 0500 hours.
About forty minutes in, for the first time I listened properly to one of the sports round-ups that follows the hour and half-hour news. Included in the bulletin was a piece on England extraordinary three-day (innings and 54 runs) victory over India in the current Test Match at Old Trafford. Referring to the 4 wickets for 39 return of spin bowler Moeen Ali, the male sports reporter commented:
“This makes him the fastest English spinner to reach 20 Test wickets …”
A moment or two passed. I did a second take. Had he actually said those very words?
Yes, I was positive – he had.
It was a surreal moment, which left me speculating idly as to which of Wilfred Rhodes … ‘Titch’ Freeman … Tony Lock … Jim Laker … Fred Titmus … Derek Underwood … Phil Edmonds … Phil Tufnell … John Emburey … Ashley Giles … and, of course, Graham Swann … might have sprinted in and turned their arm over with the greatest velocity.
My hunch – probably Derek Underwood.
Pleae write your suggestions or entry for this singular honour on a postcard and send it to the usual address …