The game of Life

I guess it must have been said often enough, (don't know where, when or by whom), but the game of cricket really is a microcosm of the game of life. In that case followers of England calling themselves the Barmy Army are feeling right now as a combination of how they felt when they found their first lady (or gentleman), finally attained that long held, long sought personal ambition, checked their lottery ticket and ... as old Bill Shankly of Liverpool FC once put it, 'This game (football in his case) isn't life or death. It's more important than that'.

Today, the final day of the third test match, our eleven 'whinging poms' have those brilliant, arrogant, rude Australians on their knees and praying for rain. Wonderful; how are the mighty fallen. England must take eight more Aussie wickets and have 420(?) balls in which to do it. Game on, game over!

But look out. In real life one victory doesn't entitle you to another. And should you dare to think otherwise life will surely turn around and bite you, we all know that.

If England really do pull it off today I personally hope that, in spite of the history, those twenty two men out there in the field of action will act like the gentlemen that they may or may not, by backgound or by nature, be. I realise it's quite unfashionable - almost laughable in these days where one of the worst of insults is to be called a 'loser' - to talk about good grace in victory as in defeat, but that's what I hope for. As Rudyard Kipling put it, 'If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two impostors just the same ... you'll be a man, my son.'

And remember this: we are, all of us, 'losers'. Because the only certainty is that in the end we all lose the game of life itself, do we not?

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