Written after Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff was dropped as vice-captain of England’s World Cup cricket team for falling drunk from a pedalo boat whilst celebrating by cricket authorities whose memories clearly don’t extend as far back as the 1980s and Ian Botham.
Cricket is a noble sport.
No drunkards are allowed.
Cricketers must hold their heads up high
and be by hangovers unbowed.
It’s just not cricket to carouse
or to laugh and sing and drink
and then fall out of a pedal boat
and very nearly sink.
Cricket is a splendid sport,
a celebration in itself.
No cricketer should take liberties
with its reputation (or their health).
It’s just not cricket to be hammered
or have any sort of fun
even when the tournament’s
been quite completely won.
Cricket is a genteel sport
and no player shall forestall
with alcohol its calm and grace.
Leave that to men who kick the ball.
It’s just not cricket to be rowdy
and excitable and young.
Cricketers can taste alcohol
but not let it pass the tongue.
Cricket is a divine sport
for men who take things slowly
This cake is my body. This tea is my blood.
Cricket should be holy.