A semi-regular feature in which we ask a fella going by the name of Prince Prefab about cricket – even though he hates cricket. We are in bold. Prince Prefab is not.
King Cricket: We’re speaking now on the eve of the County Championship and I am all the way excited to hear how this competition impacts on your life.
It does not. Unless there are crying Australians I’m not interested. Although I do love counties. I like to look at maps of the counties. Might get a county map and get it framed.
It literally has zero impact?
I’ve honestly never given it a single thought. Probably thought about badminton more. And I’ve never thought about badminton.
The only thing I know about county cricket (and I suspect that it probably isn’t the case any more) is that Yorkshire are the only team to have players only born in Yorkshire play for them. Was that ever the case?
That was the case until not quite as long ago as you’d probably imagine. Okay, let’s talk about crying Australians then. How did that whole thing seem to you, viewed from your position ‘outside cricket’?
Brilliant. Great fun. A right laugh. Didn’t understand the crying. I’ll cry at anything; I’ve cried at a wedding in Neighbours but if I intentionally set out to do something and then got caught doing it and then decided to apologise for doing it, I don’t reckon I’d cry.
Also, why was that lad’s dad there when he was saying sorry and crying? I reckon 12 is the cut off point for having your dad with you when you’ve fucked up.
We should probably try and pin that down actually. Here in the UK, 12 means high school for most people – maybe the first year, maybe the second. We need to imagine a high school scenario where you’re in pretty major trouble for dishonesty to work out whether or not it still makes sense to have your dad there for the apology.
Well, for context, (although this is not about dishonesty) I was about ten, playing football in the street with my dad. I was taking a penalty against our neighbour’s drive and he was in goal and I scored an amazing goal but the ball kept rising and smashed our neighbour’s garage window. Now, bearing in mind it was my dad’s fault for letting the ball get past him, and I was TEN, he ran inside and made me go and knock on the neighbour’s door, show them the damage and apologise. He watched this from behind our curtains. That, I believe, is proper parenting.
So what you’re saying is that by the age of ten, your dad felt it was absolutely legitimate for you to face the music alone? I think that’s only part-way conclusive though because maybe his involvement influenced that decision. Would it be fair to say that if he hadn’t been in nets, he might have accompanied you for the apology? (By the way, our favourite detail in this story is that he felt it necessary to return home at speed.)
Yeah he legged it. You know what, I’ve changed my mind. If you want your dad there, fine. Quite touching in a way. This isn’t about masculinity, this isn’t about being strong, burying emotion; like I said I love a good cry. Men should cry, it does you good to have a cry now and again, but I don’t understand what the tears were for here. In fact I don’t understand the whole thing. Cheating in front of 20 cameras. What did they think would happen?
Well this is the thing. Some feel that maybe they were up to lower-grade no-good previously or were up to the exact same sort of no-good but had previously managed to avoid being detected. We’re of the opinion that even if they’d never done this exact thing before, it would be weird if the sandpapering were an absolute outlier.
We suppose the crying was a moment of clarity. Kind of: “We lost sight of the bigger picture and now we see how annoyed everyone is, we kind of feel bad for letting everyone down.” Does that ring true?
Yeah, I can see that. Also, I’m not saying it wasn’t intense. The whole world laughing at you, accusing you, your prime minister’s having a go – bet it was horrible. I mean, even I was interested and as you know, I have no interest in cricket.
This seems like a bit of a non-sequitur at this point in the conversation, but you say that I have to ask you this. Which is the worst county?