As The Ashes trundle on, I’m reminded of an odd link between myself, my late grandfather and snowy-headed ex-cricketer David Gower.
To explain, while it probably wouldn’t be the case in most families in Glasgow, in our house cricket wasn’t an elitist, toffy pastime. Both my grandad and I played for our respective schools.
Sadly, however, many Celts feel the sport is a little too redolent of rural, six-of-the-best boarding schools, sun-dappled village greens and, tragically, Morris dancing. It’s seen as effete; a bit posh; extremely English.
Talking of Gower, he made his name elegantly swinging the bat for his country. So well, in fact, that after watching his Test debut against Pakistan on TV, my grandad turned to me and said: “That boy will captain England one day.” He was right, of course. Although, had he known what kind of a silly ass that poised young starlet would become, he might have kept his mouth shut.
This week Gower told Reader’s Digest that “townies” should have to sit exams on country ways and, if they failed, would not be allowed to vote in general elections.
He said: “I live in the country and find it irritating when issues that affect it are decided by city dwellers, many of whom love Tarmac, are allergic to grass and find it hard to understand where Morris dancing came from.”
Well, David, I may be a townie, but I remain indifferent to Tarmac. Grass? Depends on the strain, dear.
And I know exactly where Morris dancing came from. And it needs to go back there sharpish. With its bells between its legs…