The Cricket Test
Luton Town & Indians Cricket Club
– Ameek, India-Luton
“A large proportion of Britain’s Asian population fail to pass
the cricket test. Which side do they cheer for? It’s an interesting test.
Are you still harking back to where you came from or where you are?”
– Norman Tebbit, 1990
In the crease, I’m native here.
There is love in my spin bowl,
in the nuance of leg and off.
They call me ‘The Sikh of Tweak’,
‘The Beard to be Feared’.
On hot summer afternoons,
I put on my whites, tie my uncut hair
into a plum-coloured patka,
and take to the field
to polite applause, the smell
of freshly mown grass
mingling with rhododendrons.
The wicket keeper claps his mitts;
I polish the ball on my thigh;
the nervous batsman
adjusts his pads and helmet,
sunlight gilding the stumps.
I am the flowering
of distant playing fields;
an England never more English
than in India.
James Davey is from Bristol. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and is currently working toward a PhD, also in Creative Writing, through Manchester Metropolitan University focused on critical-creative approaches to the representation of ‘home’ in poetry. His poetry has appeared in various journals, including Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review, Stand, Ambit, New Walk, and the Interpreter’s House. His debut poetry pamphlet, How to Parallel Park, was published by V.Press in 2018.
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