I still hate football, but I got turned onto cricket (as a spectator sport) in the early 80s. Spectator sport? Listener sport, more like. I used to carry around a transistor radio, tuned to BBC 3's ball by ball Test commentary.
I'm not sure I can explain it. Yes, cricket's dull, cricket's slow, but these are things I like about it. I'm not interested in the faster one day game. I love the tension and suspense of the five day Test Match. I guess it appeals to the same thing in me that loves Tarkovsky.
I've followed England through thick and thin. There's been a lot of thin over the past 20 years. But right now we have a winning team. Later this summer we play the Aussies, and for the first time in ages we're in with a chance.
The first Test of the season is against Bangladesh. It's going on now. Every so often I'll stop whatever I'm doing and go sit in front of the TV. It's not a great match- Bangladesh have only been playing at this level for 5 years and they're hopelessly outclassed- but, even so, once I'm settled in front of the screen I find it hard to tear myself away.
One more ball. I'll turn the thing off off after one more ball. O lovely- what a beautiful stroke! That was worth waiting for. Wouldn't it be good if he did it again? Maybe I'll hang around for a couple more deliveries just in case he does.....