The Constant Factor

(It has been claimed that a contributory factor in the defeat of England in the 1974-5 Ashes series in Australia was the presence of wives, while the West Indies team of 1975-76 lost because they were sex-starved…)

When England’s team made such a hash
And lost that Urn containing Ash
In Tests a year ago,
One heard the stout opinion aired
Their batsmen would have better fared
Without their wives in tow.

But now the gloomy men of Lloyd
Have been decisively destroyed,
And likewise leave shamefaced.
On wickets plum as feather-beds
Collectively they lost their heads –
(It’s claimed) ‘cos they were chaste.

Three teams, two series, tourists yield
To Thomson, Lillee of the Field,
And end as shattered wrecks.
Whatever factor we should damn,
The constant factor is NOT ‘Femme’,
So rule out thoughts of sex!

No citing Freud to help save face
Conceals both tourists lost to pace.

With kind permission of THE CRICKETER

Note: this was my first piece of verse to appear in The Cricketer. It was also, apparently, the first ever in that magazine to touch on the risqué theme of SEX. Spring Annual, April 1976. p.54. My friendly Editor was David Frith, he who later helped expose Desmond Miller’s hoax, which ended up as my article plus verses:- Jack Hobbs’s Box.

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