Tom really started supporting England in the wave of euphoria after the Gatting tour of 1986/7 although he remembers Gower in 85.

He bought Botham’s Ashes on new fangled video tape, discovered 81 in retrospect and green shoots of obsession popped up. But he was beginning to wonder whether England could ever actually win a match again and then came Gooch and his 333 and 123, Kapil Dev’s four consecutive Eddie Hemmings’ sixes to save the follow on, the boy Tendulkar’s running catch and the unbridled joy at Fraser’s sweaty control of line and length - all in the same bloody match! (Ed: wasn’t the running catch in a different test?) His life was decided.

Despite no athletic ability whatsoever, he rose to the heights of captaining his 3rd XI at school and then on to opening the bowling for the 3rd XI of the Old Alleynians. This was mainly achieved by chucking down 543,781 balls in the nets through puberty.

Only 19 of those balls swung. His ambition is to eventually have a garden big enough to house a full size net including room for his, some might say unnecessary 14 pace run-up.

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