Will Gore: Remember when you could go days while on holiday without knowing the Test score?

Outside Edge: Summer breaks were interlaced with discussion of how the Test at Trent Bridge might be playing out

There is not a lot of cricket going on in Majorca – now or at any time. Spain play in Europe’s Third Division. The mainstays of the team are not Spanish by heritage.

In the garden of the house in which I’m staying, in the foothills of Majorca’s gutsy northern mountains, there is what appears to be a cylindrical cricket bat. An omen perhaps? Or maybe a large, broken rolling pin.

For cricketing obsessives, foreign vacations are not what they were. For a child of the Eighties, family summer breaks were interlaced with discussion of how the Test at Trent Bridge might be playing out. Or how, at Headingley, if we won the toss, would we have put the Aussies in, bearing in mind that we’d picked Ilott as well as Bicknell? Then again, would young Athers’ leg-spin transfer from Fenner’s to Lord’s? Walks in the Dolomites were dominated by discussion of England’s likely batting order.

At a Tyrolean pass in the early Nineties we might spy a man in a white floppy hat. An Englishman if ever there was one. “Grüss Gott”, we would say, for good form, before asking him if he had possibly seen a newspaper recently. He had? “Why yes, The Independent from two days ago!” England were batting and Atherton had made 40-odd (no surprise there). We were seven down at the close, as far as he recalled.

This was gold dust. Lord alone knew what had happened in the two days since but we could ponder the permutations and be happy. Happier, indeed, than if we knew the truth.

No such thing now, of course, in this internet age and holidays may be the poorer for it.

Let’s hear it for Pankaj, the genuine enthusiast

All that having been said, I can at least file this column from the stifling heat of the Balearics without telegramming in from the nearest telegraph office. Even better, the internet also brought me the joyful and instantaneous news of Pankaj Singh’s first Test wickets on Saturday.

In a world of often identikit cricketers, Pankaj is a hero. He tries, he smiles in the face of adversity, he bats like Devon Malcolm (minus specs), he has a proper off-cutter. And he has waited a long time for a crack of the whip at the top level. No prima donna tactics from Pankaj. Despite not getting a break, he kept at it for over after over in Southampton, then Manchester. And at last he was rewarded. Twice.

There is, to be blunt, no finer cricketer than Pankaj right now. He already has a cult following and, while he is something of a throwback, many a modern player could learn from his attitude towards and appetite for the game. If things keep going England’s way and M S Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher pay the price for failure after this series, the cry of “Pankaj for captain” must begin.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable