18 October 2012

Steve Waugh's holy handkerchief

For all its bluff and sandpapery qualities Australia can also be a terribly sentimental place, not least when contemplating an image of itself that seems to entwine with the finer cricketing qualities: a green-tinged notion of Australian grace and Australian youthfulness, present in reverence for its cricketing cathedrals, the seasonal rhythms of its Test schedule, and of course the recent and terribly sombre cult of the baggy green cap. Only the most tearfully self-mythologising of cricketing nations could, in all seriousness, enshrine a shred of Steve Waugh's red snot-rag in its cricket museum within, not 100, or 150 years, but two years of his retirement. Let us congregate now over these minor soilings, this recently crystallised mucus, as though He were still with us now bestriding our fair land. Oh. Sorry, Steve. Didn't see you standing there.

- Barney Ronay, 'The Spin', Guardian, 16 October 2012
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