Works in the Herald 1935

The present dictatorial attitude of the Australian Cricket Board of Control, sometimes toward players over whom they have no control, leads one to foreshadow the day when all cricketers must secure a special licence from the Board granting permission to play and, with special sanction, to travel abroad.

(A sentimental ballad, old style to be sung to any suitable tune with great dramatic feeling.)

As I came to a playing-field on happy summer day
Two strudy youths I did espy; at cricket they did play.
   One had the ball, one had the bat, and, with a right good smack,
   As one tossed up the crimson sphere, the other smote it back.
Now, as I reached the bowler's end, I saw the young man quail;
His hand they shook, his knees went crook, his face was ashen pale;
   Then, with a gulty kind of look, he cast the ball away,
   And in a weak and trembling voice these words to me did say:
   (In a tearful, pleading voice, with plenty of temolo and shivering grass.)
         "Don't tell them that you saw me,
            Or that I misbehaved.
         Their methods over-aw me;
            But I would not be enslaved.
         I love my freeders, msiter, as much as any man;
            But, oh, I love my bit of cricket, too.
         And I dearly love to bowl,
         But the great Board of Control,
            They would chain me to their chariot if they knoo."
         (Adopt severe judicial manner, frowning darkly.)
"Young man," I said, "it grieves me this state of things to find,
For it is all too clear to me you have the crim'nal mind.
   Thus to play without a licence and the noble Board defy
   Is very reprehensible.  "Tut, tut!" I said, "Fie, fie!"
With salt tears streaming from his eyes, he bowed his head in shame.
"Come, come," I said, "there's hope for you.  Buck up and play the game."
   Then I eyed the other stripling; but, much to my dismay,
   In tones most ungrammatical these words I heard him say: --
   (In ringing, defiant accents, full of roughneck pride.)
         "Go tell them that you seen me;
            Go bowl it in their ear.
         But no Board won't come between me
            An' the game I 'old so dear,
         I don't want to go to Indier or England with no team,
            Fair Ostral-i-ar is good enough fur me!
         I will never sell me soul
         To no crool Board of Control;
            For me favorite game is ping-pong, an' I'm free!"
         (Finish on sustained top note, bowing deep to long and loud applause.)

Herald, 22 August 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004-07