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Mike Selvey

Mike Selvey played cricket for Middlesex, Glamorgan and England.

Diary: Dumping Gower

Mike Selvey, 24 September 1992

Like a slender white ocean liner slipping beneath the waves, the most elegant international cricketing career of this or perhaps any generation was finally scuppered at Lord’s on 7 September.

Diary: Jetlagged Cricketers

Mike Selvey, 8 January 1987

I write at the end of a week in which Mike Gatting overslept in his hotel room and pleaded jet lag, in which England finally managed to overcome an Australian state side but there was nobody there to see it, when the Palmer Report on Cricket was discussed at the full winter meeting of the Test and County Cricket Board, and when Ian Botham’s rib injury failed to respond to treatment in time for the third Test in Adelaide. Never let it be said that cricket writers are short of topics.

Dangerous Play

Mike Selvey, 23 May 1985

Do you forget things? I do, more and more. My ailing, failing memory was sorely tested the other day. ‘Do you remember who won the Grand National?’ I was asked. Of course I did. It was the most exciting race for years, won right at the post by … Then came the blank. I’d sat and watched the race, goddam it, but the winner still eluded me, just as it had at the time. By the same token, quiz me about last summer’s cricket and my response would be sketchy at best. However, I’m of the school that believes it doesn’t matter if you forget facts providing you know where you can lay hands on them when needed. I found the result of the Grand National in a pile of old newspapers. Last summer? Well, that problem was solved last week when the Gospel according to St John, all 1300 pages of it, beat the dust out of the doormat.

Bother

Mike Selvey, 7 February 1985

Anyone browsing through the Sunday papers the other week would have noticed in one tabloid a large photograph, candidly snapped, no doubt with a lens like a drainpipe, and captioned ‘the picture we’ve all been waiting for’. The picture showed a wistful George Best, garbed in prison overalls, serving his time. It certainly wasn’t my cup of Typhoo (was it really anyone’s?): but it set me pondering about how we treat our heroes. Best’s own case has been well documented, and he is possibly the saddest case of a sporting megastar who has come a cropper through his own and other people’s excesses. Now, instead of remembering the genius, we are reduced to inserting the boot when the man is clearly out for the count.

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