Charles Colville – …so the lights are not available for this match. It’s either a new ICC regulation or a playing condition agreed for this series. We’ve set Benedict on it and he’ll be back with the answer very soon. In the meantime, should the Bahrain Grand Prix be run this weekend?
Nick Knight – Well, yes and no.
Sir Ian – Personally, I don’t have a problem with it. The government have cracked down on the protesters the way we used to in this country when Mrs Thatcher was in charge. That’s why the Bahrainians voted for them and you cannot, repeat, cannot, let the wreckers win.
Bumble – Bah rain eh? That’s what they’ll be saying in Accrington tomorrow. First game of the season up there for the clubbies – you don’t want a sharp one early on in the slips I can tell you. They make tough up there mind – real tough. Rain or shine, well just rain in April, they’ll all have a pint of proper beer once the game’s done and look forward to seeing Lancashire defend their title. Lanky eh lads? Who’d have thought that then? Lovely lad Glen. Knew him when he were this high….continues.
Bob Willis – Frankly Charles it’s just not good enough. The ICC have moved to Dubai precisely to deal with this kind of issue, but yet again we see Giles Clarke and David Morgan spinelessly kowtowing to the power of the BCCI and their puppet Bernie Eccleston. It’s just not good enough Charles, it really isn’t.
David Gower – I’ve a little pied-a-terre in Dubai Bob. Damndest thing to get a decent Martini out there.
Nasser Hussain – This is the kind of question that often came up when I was playing against the likes of Graham Thorpe and Alec Stewart for Essex Schoolboys down at Ilford or Southend, and I can tell you those lads could really play even then. On those pitches it wasn’t easy – you had to really watch the ball all the way on to the bat. When Duncan Fletcher came into the England dressing room, he had a way of dealing with moral dilemmas. He had these sayings, “You bat for money and you bowl for glory” (or was it “You bat for glory and you bowl for money” – can’t remember right now, but it’s in his book). That’s what Duncan brought to the party and Bernie could do a lot worse than hiring Duncan as a consultant on matters like these.
Vikram Solanki – What does it matter what I say? Everyone’s too transfixed by my good looks, my beautifully modulated vowels, my effortless charm, my command of language, my wicket-keeping – okay maybe not that. Gee life’s tough when you have everything going for you.
Dominic Cork – No – let me finish Charles. Bernie has got to step up to the plate, take one for the team and ride out the storm. It happened to me once in the Derbyshire dressing room in 1998. Kim Barnett was…
Mark Butcher – How many roads must a man walk down / Before you call him a man?
Ian Ward – So is the question really, what should the world do about Bahrain? Are we just missing the point Charles? Can anything be done? Do I ever say anything that isn’t a question?
Geoffrey Boycott – Look at this policeman here. He’s in a decent position to deal with the protester, but as soon as he raises his baton, his feet are going nowhere, his head is moving, his eyes aren’t level and the baton’s coming through from about second slip to mid-on and it’s no wonder he’s only got him with a glancing blow across the head.
Michael Atherton – The roots of this issue lie deep in the past, in the fabric not just of this troubled backwater of a troubled region, but in the history of The West, of -perhaps – mankind itself. The question we must ask ourselves is, what is the question we must ask ourselves. Once we solve that riddle, we can move on to the kind of answers that must exist there, somewhere, to solve this problem in which there are no winners – least of all, the game of cricket.
Charles Colville – I’m hearing that there’s an inspection at 4.30pm. Gus?