Monday brought a surprise early morning call to the Great House from Downing Street. It was quite like old times.
In the days of the old Queen, God Bless Her, Melbourne would often send a messenger down to the Great House for the scores and some little tittle-tattle concerning the escapades of one or two of the players with which to amuse the Young Victoria during an Audience and take her mind off The Worsening Situation.
It was satisfying to learn, then, that on Monday morning the present PM was rushing round the second most famous Street in the land to find anyone who could tell him Bell’s average for this series and the last.
It might have been thought by the commentariat that he would be busy with matters concerning Greece, Libya and sentencing, but it seems he has learnt something from the old roué. There is more than a passing resemblance you understand.
Or is it possible that Her Majesty is thinking of placing a wager on the chances of England dominating India again this summer? (TM chooses the word hesitantly.) And was sounding out Her principal adviser?
Third Man was not able to listen in to the conversation between the PM and the Squire but it is reassuring to know that cricket still matters in this way. Expect a more robust line on Greece, Libya and sentencing in the coming days.
Her Majesty is a shrewd sportswoman who knows that statistics seldom lie. England’s top six are on sparkling form. (Just follow the links above). And the bowlers are jostling for selection and revelling in the conditions.
Mr Hill for one is offering 5/4 England, 7/4 India and 5/2 a drawn Test series.
Do we really have to have all these ODIs first?