LARWOOD’S LEGACY

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, 17th May 2006, 00:00

As long as cricket still is played
upon that oval ground,
the memories will flourish,
the anecdotes abound.

For there we won the Ashes
on that September day,
and caused the braggart Aussies
both anger and dismay.

For some had freely boasted,
quoted figures in advance
of games they’d take from Pommies
who would not stand a chance.

“Attack, attack!” our captain urged,
“and give their team no quarter,
but dose them with their medicine,
that stops not far from slaughter.”

“As Larwood did in ‘Thirty-Two
with tactics much akin,
provoking with his ’bodyline’
crowd fury internicine.”

We bounced balls off their helmets,
we peppered arms and chests,
ignoring imprecations
as if they were but jests.

We used our secret weapon,
applied psychology,
and did as they were wont to do
to us in their country.

Supported by the jocund crowd,
some twenty thousand strong,
who barracked without mercy,
the others drowned with song.

And when their top class spinners
employed their clever tricks,
we’d score another boundary
or sky the ball for six.

Oh yes, we won the Ashes,
won by unusual play,
which some may think unethical,
far from the English way.

And have us take that treasured urn,
and from it ashes tip,
replacing them with embers
of British sportsmanship.

T. C. Hudson

© T. C. Hudson.
This work may not be reproduced without prior permission of the author.

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