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Miles Jupp: The fan driven to Freemasonry

October 16th, 2008 by Miles Jupp in Australia in India, England, Stanford Twenty20 and tagged , , ,

For the last few weeks my mornings have followed a similar and depressing routine. I board the train, I open my newspaper, I turn to the sports section, flick through its pages once, maybe twice and then sigh. I fold the paper, I fold my arms and I fold my brow.

This is a frustrating time for the cricket fan. It is all very well for players to talk of their need for rest and recuperation, but for fans it is a different matter. We don’t want a rest from the game. It’s the lack of coverage I resent. No proper cricket fan can ever be truly satisfied by Sport In Brief.

If the papers can find space to keep us up to speed on the exact details of Craig Bellamy’s recent visit to a tattoo parlour, then you would think that they could also find some corner to print a little more than the scorecard of the India-Australia series.

I find myself desperately wondering how other news might affect cricket. Will Steve Harmison’s state of mind be altered by Newcastle’s current woes? And what about the housing market? I’m sure I read somewhere that Ryan Sidebottom has a few buy-to-lets. I don’t want him to come back from injury only to be immediately felled by a sombre phone call from his mortgage lender.

I did get briefly excited about the possibility of the Stanford Twenty20 thing getting cancelled. It would have been a colossal embarrassment for a lot of people. All the hype, fluff and money would have simply drained away and we’d have been left with some confused and unlikely memories. Did a helicopter really land on the pitch at Lord’s? Did the likes of Morgan and Moores sit nodding while an American described Test cricket as boring? Was Alastair Cook actually in the Twenty20 squad?

The game could turn out to be terribly dull, and in a way I hope it is. For the players, to play the game of their life with that much cash on the table would create a bad impression about their real motivations.

In the meantime, my appetite for cricket discussion has to be sated by any means possible. I’m currently trying to drop a cricket reference into nearly every conversation I have in the hope that someone will take the bait. Ideally you do it in such a way that if the person you’re talking to isn’t a cricket fan then they don’t notice what you’re doing, but it’s a hard thing to nail. Twice this week people that I’ve only just met have said, “you talk about cricket a lot, don’t you?”

I’m not deterred by such failures though, because when you can identify them, cricket lovers will stick together. We’re like the Freemasons. Recently I went to an audition for a small part in a film, and once I’d had a go at the script I thought I’d unleash the secret handshake and so dropped in a cricketing reference. While everyone else in Soho panicked about the credit crunch and sent out for sushi, the two of us stood and talked about cricket.

And it worked. I got the part. And so it was that on Sunday morning, I was sitting nervously on the steps of a London gentlemen’s Club waiting to film a scene with Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. I’d like to think that the reason I was there was because another man and I have exactly the same concerns about Michael Vaughan.
Miles Jupp is a comedian, actor and cricket fan

Posted in Australia in India, England, Stanford Twenty20 | 3 Comments »

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