We go to liberate a lost trophy not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in the village. We are entering Sedlescombe to free our family from the shame of last year’s loss and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them. There are some who are alive at this moment who will not last long at the crease. Those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send. As for the others I expect you to rock their world. Go after them aggressively if that is what you choose. But if you are ferocious in battle remember to be magnanimous in victory.
Sedlescombe is steeped in history. It is the site of the Queen’s Head, of the Brickwall Hotel and the birthplace of Brabazon. Tread lightly there. You will see things that no man could pay to see and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the villagers. You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they may have lost. Don't treat them as refugees for they are in their own village. Their children will be shocked at our victory, but in years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you.
If there are casualties of the game then remember that when they woke up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to get out that way. Allow them dignity in the fall of their wicket. Clap them properly to the pavilion and mark their scores in a fair and honest fashion.
It is my foremost intention to bring every single one of you out to a victorious post match celebration, but there may be people among us who will not be able to stay and see the end of this match. We will put them in their cars and send them back. There will be no time for a beer.
The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction. Show them no pity.
It is a big step to take another’s wicket. It is not to be done lightly. I know of men who have given their wickets away needlessly in other matches, I can assure you they live with the Mark of Cain upon them. If someone surrenders their wicket to you then remember they have that right under international cricket law and ensure that they return to the pavilion unharmed.
The ones who wish to play, well, we aim to please.
If you harm the family or its history by over-enthusiasm in taking wickets or in laziness in the field, know it is your family who will suffer. You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest for your deeds will follow you down through history. We will bring shame on neither our team, nor our family.
As for ourselves, let's bring the trophy home and leave Sedlescombe a better place for us having been there.
Our business now is just to the south of the village green.
Your Captain and Keeper of the Fixtures & Fittings
Wow. I am definitely coming. That is a real call to arms
Posted by: Ruth | March 12, 2009 at 03:38 PM