Today I travelled to London to see London Road at the National Theatre. London Road is a piece of musical theatre in response to the tragic Ipswich murders which took place over the Christmas period in 2006. The production attracted controversy when it was first announced, with many publications, including the Evening Star, deeming it crass and distasteful. The production isn’t actually the Ipswich Murders: The Musical that some billed it to be, and actually looks at the effect the events had on the residents of London Road, where the girls worked and where the killer lived.
Saturday 13th August, an historic day. After being the laughing stock of world cricket for so many years, after the countless false dawns the England Test Match Cricket team are finally the number one ranked side in the world. As many of you will know, I have been a massive cricket fan as long as I can remember. My first memories are of the Atherton years, when England lurched from defeat to defeat, caused by poor management, mediocre players and inconsistent selection. Nasser Hussain and Duncan Fletcher brought in some success (including beating the West Indies in 2000 and Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2000/1) at the turn of the century, but this was short-lived. Michael Vaughan scaled a huge peak in 2005 in regaining the Ashes after 18 years, but that proved to be the end of the road for a promising side, as injuries and retirements pulled the team apart. Only now does England have a real squad, have achieved a series of successes and look like the genuine outfit. I am thrilled that England have finally made the summit, and hope that they can maintain that ranking.
Rather than continuing in that bland fashion, I felt that I should share something that I first wrote in January 2000. At that time, a teacher at St John’s Primary School in Ipswich encouraged my love of cricket and happily discussed it with me, and I wrote him these England Cricket Alphabets. It is very obviously written by an eight-year-old, but it does sum up the “bad old days”:
At the moment the England team are:
I would like the England team to be:
I think, eleven-and-a-half years later, we have finally got there.