From a Jamaican debut to an empty Lord’s in 2020 the job has changed so much but I always did struggle for an intro
Just one more intro, that’s all that’s needed … “It was 31 years ago that I joined the Observer …” No, no, that’s not so snappy; it’s ancient history and on a par with one I sent off early in my time as its cricket correspondent which began with two riveting words: “Last Wednesday” (thankfully there was an intervention by the desk).
How about: “It’s hard to write with tears in your eyes”? Just a couple of drawbacks here. It’s a tad over the top – this is for sport for heaven’s sake, not the review section – and it’s not true either. I’ve never really believed Don Bradman had tears in his eyes when he was bowled by Eric Hollies at the Oval in his last Test innings in 1948 and as I stare at a disappointingly empty screen here my eyes remain stubbornly dry. (How can I be so presumptuous to summon up a parallel with the last days of the Don? It must be time to move on.)