Before Kingston, before Adelaide, even before Kennington, they were playing cricket on this, the very first ‘Oval’ hewn from a hillside on the north side of the Ribble Valley with its dramatic view of Pendle Hill.
From this frequently windswept vantage in September 1870, Gerald Manley Hopkins apparently watched the Northern Lights and from it, if the reader could look back over the photographer’s shoulder, he or she could see, uninterrupted by anything higher, a spot many miles inland from the coast of French Guiana. Now there is a thought for a Christmas morning.
As the England and Australian cricketers make their way to bed, Third Man would like to thank those kind enough to read and contribute to his ramblings on this most peculiar social phenomenon called cricket with its power to reveal character, to instil joy and to make us think deeply about the nature of our existence in a brief, intriguing and captivating interval of time and space.
As the players take the field for the fourth Test, indeed as anyone of us takes the field in cricketing days to come, as we step across the boundary rope to mark our run or take our guard we utter, “What I do is me: for that I came.”*
But there is more.
* from As Kingfishers Catch Fire by GMK