On giving up cricket

Damn, I do miss playing the old game. I heard this poem on telly, it was read most beautifully and in the spirit of the Ashes I shall post it here. Try reading it out loud…


I shall play cricket in heaven
in return for the afternoons
gladly given to the other
pleasure of others’ leisure.

I shall walk, without haste, to the wicket
and nod to the angels kitted
in their whites waiting to discern
the kind of batspirit I am.

And one stroke in heaven, one dream
of a cover drive will redeem
every meeting of bat
and ball I’ve done without.

And I’ll bowl too, come on to bowl
leg-breaks with such control
of flight and slight changes of pace
that one over will efface

the faint regret I now feel.
But best of all I shall field:
alert in the heavenly deep,
beyond the boundary of sleep.

– Michael Laskey, from ‘Thinking of Happiness’ (Peterloo, 1991).

Leave a comment


  1. Jan

     /  16 July, 2009

    How funny! I’d been thinking about that poem all day so thought I’d google it and you’d put it on only an hour or so ago. I agree it was read really well on the telly and in the right spirit.
    Thasnk you for putting it online.

  2. Mervyn

     /  16 July, 2009

    Absolutely endorse Jan’s comment. I heard it on the radio a few days ago without catching the details and the BBC couldn’t/wouldn’t give them me. Then it was on tv last night and I got the title – and, thanks to you, the words.

  3. Thanks for the appreciation.

    I copied it from the website http://www.poetrybusiness.co.uk where it is this week’s “Poem of the day” (Don’t ask me how that works!)

  4. Sue Ryan

     /  11 November, 2009

    Just watched a recording of a “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and this poem came on afterwards advertising Radio 5 Live and the start of the First Test. I agree it sounded beautiful. I have copied it and sent it to my sons who have both given up cricket (playing).


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