Jonathan's interest in cricket commentary stems back to a fascination with the unusual timbre of Trevor Bailey's voice, which he first heard in 1968, before most people were born.

In those days cricket interrupted the usual programmes on Radio 3 for the whole day and this was a metaphor for Zoob's lifelong passions for cricket and serious music.

Whereas he attained a decent standard as a pianist, he remained a truly dreadful cricketer, forever scarred by having to face a tearaway fast-bowler armed with a leather ball in the back garden without pads or box.

This phobia caused his invariable step towards the square leg umpire (did Mike Denness have such an excuse in 1974/5? ).

A love of the game sprang up nevertheless and finally found its outlet as a Brearley-like captain of the Old Alleynian 3rd XI, winning many games with his astute powers of observation, cunning use of tactics and once or twice, sharp practice of which Bailey would have been proud. Now that his decrepit back is liable to go into spasm at any exertion, he restricts his cricketing activities to the sofa.

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