Quick single: the KP recall board-game
There’s a board-game revival (1). A thriving sub-culture exists of folk sitting at a table, rolling dice, moving counters and turning over cards that might support or seal their fate.
I would like to pitch an idea to the manufacturers riding the crest of this unlikely trend: the KP recall board-game. The objective of the game is simple: to get KP to play at Lord’s, or failing that, Headingley. Between the start and the desired destination lie a series of favourable and adverse factors. Think of them as snakes and ladders, or ‘CHANCE’ cards that might send you to jail, or to collect £200 at the ‘Go’ square.
The snakes, or cards you want to avoid, would include: ‘accept multimillion contract to play in IPL’, ‘succumb to knee injury’, ‘old adversary appointed to senior ECB post’, or ‘journalist tricks you into talking candidly about your potential England teammates’.
But there are also ladders, or good cards. ‘Coach with whom you have clashed is sacked’, ‘new chief of English cricket appointed’, ‘play in county championship cricket’ all move you in the direction of Lord’s. ‘Bell shuts hand in car door’ and ‘Aussie appointed to coach England’ are like rabbits pulled out of hats.
You would have to negotiate match situations. There you would dread ‘face three slow left arm bowlers’, but feel pretty satisfied with ‘opposition attack spearheaded by one-cap wonder’. And you would want to tuck away the ‘dropped in slips’ and ‘dropped off skier’ for use at a crucial moment. The ‘score a triple-hundred (290 more than the second top score)’ card might be a bit far-fetched to make it into the version that goes into production.
With a mix of good fortune and sound judgement, you could navigate KP all the way to the home of cricket and a Test match recall. On the other hand, bad luck or carelessness could see KP become a T20 mercenary.
As with our great game, there’s another possible outcome, other than the win or loss. Because it’s a board-game, this outcome is the big boot that crushes our little playing pieces, scatters the dice, grinds the cards and ends the game for good.
KP is meeting Strauss, whose boots could end the game, this very evening.
Note 1: Evidence of the existence of a board-game revival can be heard here: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/audio/2014/nov/26/board-game-tech-weekly-podcast