Fantasy Bob is widely respected for his eclectic cultural interests. However his appetite for conceptual art is limited. Frankly, he thinks much of it is a con perpetrated by assorted flash harries of little talent. To label this stuff art is, in FB's opinion, an insult to the great batsmen of the past such as Titian and Tintoretto. He accepts that this opinion will reduce his invitations to sip the Pinot Grigio at gallery openings.
Notwithstanding this view, Fantasy Bob takes a close interest every year in the Turner Prize, whose shortlist was announced this week. It contains the usual range of cross-bat shots in the form of piles of things on the floor or hung at strange angles to the wall or even not there at all. As usual it has excited much comment in the sporting press.
Fanstasy Bob does not understand why the great New Zealand batter Glen Turner endowed this prize. Perhaps it was in atonement for his own relentless batting style. That was a form of conceptual art in itself, similar in its transfixing quality to Douglas Gordon's frame by frame presentation of Hitchcock's Psycho over 24 hours, a previous winner of the prize.
But FB was greatly disappointed by this year's shortlist. He had high hopes of success when he submitted to the competition jury his 'Cover Drive'. This monumental work carried the endorsement of several critics, including that great artist Fraggle Watts.
Resplendent in trousers of a colour worthy of any conceptual artist, Fraggle commended FB's work, 'It's smoking,' he said. He elaborated, 'Fantasy's cover drive is an epochal example of the neo-realist-quasi-surreal-ironic style that has come to be known throughout the art world as the Carlton school. Its subtle blending of concept, line and material is reminiscent of the work of that great all rounder Pablo Picasso. It is of nothing, but of everything; it matches the shattered universe with the paucity of daring.......er.... how much more of this guff do you want......................... as I said, it's smoking.'
Alas for FB, that outstanding endorsement from one of Scotland's leading artists was not enough for the judges whose understanding of cricket must therefore once again be questioned.