I've never been into cricket. It always seemed like a tedious waste of a day. Nothing ever happened as far as I could tell, bowlers spent all the time polishing the ball and throwing it every now and then. Even the highlights were dull.
Then, while on holiday in Australia I sat down and actually watched one of the Ashes tests (the third one as it happened) and couldn't believe what I was seeing. I never appreciated the tension, the skill, the concentration required, the grit and determination you need to win. I hadn't even watched a single match before and it was clear I was completely wrong about cricket.
Unlike football, where you can make a mistake and rectify it with a lunging tackle or by scoring a goal, there's no margin for error in cricket. You can be batting for hours, receiving ball after ball, and if you lose concentration for a second you're out – and there are no second chances. My good lady and I were on the edge of our seats watching Australia demolish England and it was awesome. And like that I was hooked.
Of course, if you want to watch cricket in the UK, you need to subscribe to Sky TV and as regular readers will know, I cancelled that the other month. So it was with no regret at all actually that I phoned up to renew my subscription and within an hour I was able to watch the Simpsons and football any time I like again. Life without Sky was a brave experiment but in the end a fruitless one, especially as my love affair with cricket has just begun. And I always try to follow my heart!