The Dreams of a Perpetual Twelfth Man
(After Leigh Hunt's 'Abou Ben Adhem)
I whose batting average stands at nought
Awoke one night from dreams in which I thought
I'd seen God writing out a list of blokes
Accompanied by England's Captain, Stokes.
And to these deities I boldly said,
What do you write? The Almighty raised his head;
The list of those to play in next week's game.
We're almost done. We need just one more name.
As Village Groundsman and team's staunchest fan
Long hoping for promotion from Twelfth Man
I humbly begged them, Please, I pray,
Write mine as one who longs, just once, to play.
The Godheads laughed and vanished. Then next night
They came again with broad smiles shining bright
And showed the names picked for the Second Test.
And, lo! My own led all the famous rest.