The Passion of Steven Smith.
On the day before the Gabbath, Steven, along with two of his mates, was accosted by members of the local press.
‘Were you the one with the sandpaper,’ one asked.
‘Do you know the man they call Davie Warner?’ demanded another.
Steven was sent to the Australian Cricket Board. They didn’t know what the fuss was all about so they asked the media.
‘I find no charge against this man. What do you want us to do with Steve?’
‘Ban him!’ they shouted. ‘Ban him!’ they shouted again. ‘Ban him!’ they again shouted.
So they took Steve to the place otherwise known as the Press Conference and crucified him with cameras, microphones and stupid questions. Steve cried out in anguish.
‘I’m so, so sorry. Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani. Forgive me and give me the chance to resurrect my career.’
And with that, Steven wept.
The Resurrection of Steven Smith.
On the first day of the first Test, the wicket was rolled and no stone left unturned. The eleven entered the ground and inspected the wicket. There was no sign of Steven.
But then, from 122-8, rising through the Birmingham smog amidst cuts, pulls and straight drives, came the batsman they knew as Steven Smith.
‘Look at my quick hands and my perfect footwork, mate!, cried Steven. ‘Don’t be afraid.’
But the eleven were startled and frightened and consequently bowled a load of pies and half-trackers. One of their number, James of Burnley, was so alarmed he ran away.
Later, Steven acclaimed his glorious hundred with his bat raised to the heavens.
‘And I will score another on the third and fourth day so everything that is written about me is fulfilled!’
And with that, Steven nearly wept again.
Steven Falls, and Falls Again
On the third day of the next test, Steven was approaching another glorious century.
But in front of the Pharisees and high priests of Lords, who jeered and mocked him, so it came to pass that Steven was wounded by the man known as Jofra of Archerthea and he fell to the ground, clutching his arm.
His brow was wiped. Weary with pain, Steven continued his journey, but he was struck again and fell for the second time.
And nearly wept again.
To be continued…