At 3pm local time yesterday, Kevin Peter Pietersen came out of the Empty Quarter into the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi only to return to the The Rub’ al Khali precisely 51 long minutes later, weakened further by the crossing of this waste land.
Pietersen is a man for whom time is running like sand through an hourglass. He is disorientated mentally and physically. In defence, which was all that was on view when he opened for England in their first ODI with Pakistan, he showed his full chest to whichever bowler cared to torment him, his right heel raised like the latter-day Achilles he has become.
From this position the bat must skirt his hip and descend across the ball. When in doubt, or out of form, assume the sideways approach of a hermit crab on the exotic shoreline of the Persian Gulf.
The Squire and Third Man passed Pietersen’s stooping shadow on its return journey missing the Liwa Oasis by as wide a margin as he missed Alfridi’s leg break.
The two visitors to Abu Dhabi had enjoyed the drive down the Al Ain Road, entering the Emerite in 2030.
Usually the future is embargoed for time travellers, but in this special place the future has been rendered so freely by BSD (Big Swinging Dick) Architects and Master Planners that it is common knowledge, free from copyright and available for followers of Third Man to experience here:
Time is of the essence for Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Spring is on its way and the ruler must deliver to the ruled the promised land now.
It is believed that the Sheikh and Andy Flower, for whom success in the sub-continental environment is also an imperative, have enjoyed a number of meetings during England’s stay. The two leaders have much in common.
Meanwhile, Third Man can report that the Squire continues to enjoy himself. He has invented a new game; identifying England players with iconic buildings, built, nearly built and virtual, just like their careers.
Eon Morgan, he declares, resembles the National Exhibition Company’s CapitalGate Tower– the most leaning building on earth which is designed to show no symmetry outside or in.
Zara Hadid’s Performing Arts Centre calls to mind the cultured Cook.
The solidity and occasional displacement of Trott, who went first ball yesterday, is evident in the spiraling Helix Hotel.
Stuart Broad is the obvious muse behind the World’s First Positive Energy Building.
There is something about Jimmy Anderson in the Saucer Shaped Building, don’t you agree?
The chaotic lines of Craig Keisweter’s batting must certainly have inspired Frank Gehry’s latest building for the Guggenheim Foundation.
The twisting tendons in Ravi Bopara’s bottom hand finds representation in the Shumacher Tower.
And finally, the gazelle like tension in Steve Finn has an obvious affinity in the Empire Island Tower.
When next you fill up the battered Ford or the tatty Toyota, be proud that your commitment to the infernal combustion engine is making this extraordinary experiment in Metropolitanarianism possible.
Meanwhile, the Squire is tied up in the marina for the foreseeable future. It’s a tough life following the England Cricket Team.