Indeed. On that day, for the final day of this game between England and Pakistan, I was at Lord’s, photoing photos like this:
You can see what I was trying for there. A nice uninterrupted photo of that Space Pod Lord’s Media Centre, with that Spirit of Cricket sign in the foreground. The spirit of cricket having undergone a lot of modernisation lately. Something along those lines.
Only this blond-haired bloke strode past and got in the way, and it took me three goes before I had a photo I could crop down into what I was going for.
However, Boris Johnson was even then a celeb, and he grinned happily at me as I photoed him. I knew, and have known ever since, who this chap in my photos was. So, absurdly blurry though his face is, that is definitely him. Just like me, he had been watching the cricket.
Which rather gives the lie to this piece in The Critic, by John Joliffe, with this subheading above it:
What happened to Boris as a child that he hates cricket so?
Backed up by this in the text, in which Joliffe speculates, without really meaning it, why the Johnson government has smothered cricket in social distancing regulations:
One wondered about the motives of a government which was willing to foist these futile regulations on a harmless amateur game. It seemed unlikely that Simon and his sanitiser was all that kept us from an early death. Perhaps 40 years ago at Eton, Boris Johnson was overlooked to play for the Colts 4th XI on Agars Plough and has never forgotten the slight or forgiven the game.
If Johnson has hated cricket ever since he was a kid, he had a weird way of showing it back in 2006.
I don’t think Johnson hates cricket. More likely, he hates what he has been doing, for over-riding political reasons he was and is powerless to resist, to cricket and to the country, because of this damn Plague, and what both the press and the “experts” were and are still telling him he has to do about it. As a Prime Ministerial predecessor of Johnson’s is said to have said: “Events, dear boy, events.”
The third and deciding game of this summer’s weird test series between England and the West Indies begins tomorrow morning. Weather permitting.