These were indeed cricket’s darkest days, when the hallowed halls of the Lord’s pavilions came under the control of the grey arm of the Soviet Union’s ‘Cricket Comintern’ after the successful storming of the Grace Gates by the crew of the Battleship Protemptkin.
That dark period ‘as the stormclouds gathered’ is shrouded in mystery; unsurprisingly almost all records of that time have been expunged from the Lord’s museum and the M.C.C.’s archives. Little physical evidence remains to remind us of those days, the hammer and sickle wind-vain that stands were an effigy of old father time allegedly once stood, the Borscht and Boiled Cabbage Soup still served at the Lord’s Tavern to this day, and English cricket’s interminable reliance on five-year plans, these small things are all we have.
Until now that is, because Professor Günter Simmermacher chief lecturer in Cricket Archaeology at the Alabama Institute of Reactionary Studies in…
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