It is the 10th of July, 2013.
A young boy named Nick is lying on his bed, listening to the soft drone of Jim Maxwell and Jonathan Agnew as they prepare for…the Ashes.
This is the first series that he will be fully invested in. The first time he will experience the joy of trying to stave off sleep to see if Australia can make that crucial breakthrough.
He drifts off to sleep as Alastair Cook is out, caught Haddin bowled Pattinson.
The next morning, he wakes up, sees the score, and then copies it in to something special.
96 pages of pure knowledge.
Informative pieces from the likes of Maxwell, Stephen Brenkley and Gideon Haigh.
Twelve pages of meticulously composed statistics from Ric Finlay.
And, best of all…
Five blank sheets, ready to be filled in.
He does this.
On Wednesday night, much the same will happen.
I will, again, be lying in bed, and, again, will be listening to Maxwell and Agnew.
One thing will be different, though.
For the first time since the 1930s, no book has been made for an Ashes series in England.
This leaves a sad, aching hole in my heart.
I spent four dollars on a blank notebook and some pens, and will fill that with the scores.
It won’t be the same.
Why, Jim? Why must you crush the dreams of me and countless other Australians who just want to fill in the scores?