Throughout the Ashes, I'll be watching the Prime Ministerial website for cricketing references in John Winston Howard's media interviews. I'll also be keeping score on the number of references he makes to Darfur or any other major African conflict. (As regular followers of this blog will already be aware, the number of times that John Howard has used the word "Darfur" in public as recorded either in Hansard or in the pm.gov.au transcript archives currently stands at zero.)
Let's kick it off with JWH's interview with Virginia Trioli at 2BL ABC Local Radio Sydney on November 13:
TRIOLI: England was humbled by your selected XI a few days ago. Alright, so does that mean The Ashes are ours?
PRIME MINISTER: No, I think England could be a combination of a bit of foxing and a bit of jetlag merging into practice games.
TRIOLI: Keeping their powder dry, you think?
PRIME MINISTER: Well you never know. I have seen many touring sides, that famous West Indian side all those years ago under Frank Worrell, perform very badly before the first test and it was an absolute corker and ended up being a tie.
Howard appears to be game-dropping the West Indies' tour match against New South Wales at the SCG played on November 25-27, 1960. A NSW team, with nine players who eventually represented Australia, defeated the Windies by an innings and 119 runs, two weeks before the immortal Tied Test at the Gabba.
Howard was a 21 year-old law student at the University of Sydney at the time, so I have no doubt that he attended the match. I just want to know whether he went home when the WI were 5/16 on the first morning after Frank Worrell won the toss and decided to bat...
Scoreline: Ashes 1, Darfur 0.