Geoff Miller played 34 Tests for England before becoming a selector. Otherwise, Mrs FB is probably the best cricketer among the lot of these birthday boys. And even Geoff Miller might have difficulty dealing with Mrs FB's overspun underarm lob. Particularly when it comes at him from behind the drying washing.
|Geoff Miller |
struggling to deal with Mrs FB
There is of course a mystery about Mrs FB's age. Mrs FB properly takes her cue from Oscar Wilde's Lady Bracknell who said, '35 is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained 35 for years.'
Like those women of Lady Bracknell's acquaintance, Mrs FB, though not in London society, has been 35 for years. The remarkable thing is that Mrs FB's elder sister and many of her girlfriends have also been 35 for years.
FB has on occasion tried this approach with his batting. To start one's innings on zero is so commonplace. It is positively dull.
FB will therefore face his first ball confident that his score, his freely chosen score, lies on 60. For 60 is such an attractive score. It is near enough 100 to be interesting but indicates that some further application is required. It is the kind of score of which Lady Bracknell might approve. FB is sure London society is full of batsmen who have been on 60 for years.
FB will take his guard. He will scan round the field acknowledging the recognition in the fielding side of a batsman on 60. A batsman in his prime. He will take his stance, look up and see the bowler begin his run.
There is no memory of what happens next. For when his eyes open he is on his way to the pavilion. 'To lose one stump may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness,' as Lady Bracknell might have remarked.
But when FB closes his eyes again, he is still on 60. He always will be.
Happy Birthday Mrs FB. 35 again.