In praise of….. ‘The Fear’: a feeling known to many English cricket fans.

With apologies to St. Paul..



Though I speak with the tongues of cricket fans and citizens of the DPRY, but have not bumptiousness, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of reverse-jinxing, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all of Hope’s contact details, so that I could remove mountains (or at least Cosgrove), but have not confidence, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to take wickets via commenting on a cricinfo live scorecard, and though I give my body to be burned by many a captain who wants to bowl me into the ground, but I have not The Fear, and it profits me nothing.

The Fear suffers long and is kind; The Fear does not envy; The Fear does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil (except of the chances of my cricket teams that i support); The Fear does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth that the 1980s & 1990s brought; The Fear bears all things, believes all things (that could go wrong), hopes all things, endures all things as Hope leaves us dazed and confused once again.

The Fear never fails. But whether there are prophecies of an England win, they will fail; whether there are tongues preaching English supremacy, they will cease at least once in a given series; whether there is knowledge that informs Hope, it will vanish away in a spell of mesmeric bowling by Dale Steyn . For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face at 6am in the morning as England are 92-5. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide Faith, Hope, The Fear, these three; but the greatest of these is The Fear.