I just wanted to say thanks and make sure that you got a chance to hear it.
I hope you take the following words in that spirit. I’m probably being clumsy here, perhaps even inappropriate. Apologies in advance if that’s the case.
I am not family of yours. I am not even a friend. I am at best a tenuous acquaintance. Someone you have bantered with on twitter. Someone you once let interview due to, I suspect, bad judgement on your behalf.
Although I have had almost no impact on your life, it is important that I let you know you have had impact on mine.
You probably had no idea, but, for a man that always communicates with purpose, perhaps you did?
Martin, when I first had the idea of interviewing you, it was your website I went to.
I giggled at the ‘3 stumps’ you elaborate about. I didn’t quite get it. Not that you should care what I thought.
Only after speaking with you did I get a clearer picture of what it represented. You had worked out what was important in life. When we chatted almost a year ago, my mind wasn’t in that space.
However, following your journey, reading your pieces and debating with you on twitter in the past 12 months, I’ve taken some stuff in.
See, I will never get the opportunity to feud with Ken Rutherford about who is a better captain or make 299 in a Test match. I’ll never have the world credit the ECB with inventing T20 instead of me or face Thommo in his prime.
I’ve got my own lesser cricketing dreams and will plow on with them despite history telling me success is unlikely.
You have shot me down on multiple occasions. However, I sense (pretend to myself) that most of it was tongue in cheek.
But hey, I’ve interviewed Martin Crowe. The confidence I got from that was huge. It’s helped me go again when many wiser targets have turned me down 🙂
How often does the average Joe get to have their thoughts challenged and debated by a master of the game? For some reason only known to yourself, you gave me some of your precious time. Not much. Hardly any really. But enough for me.
You gave a mere enthusiast moments. I always left a chat with you feeling both dumber and wiser at the same time.
Dumber in that I rarely (probably never) won an exchange with you. Wiser in that I wanted to beat you next time. To do that, I had to work harder and smarter.
I have yet to have this experience with any other great of cricket. Not on a semi consistent or public basis anyway.
I’m no longer scared of having a go. I mean having a real crack at anything in life.
Midnight Oil once sung, ‘it’s better to live on your feet than die on your knees.’ It’s clear that this is how you have played. I’m going to do the same if that’s ok?
Anyhow, here’s some of our encounters that I am thankful to you for.
1) The podcast.
Not only were you willing to come on the show, you were full of energy and shared amazing stories without any fear.
Two things you need to know from it.
One, you are my only guest to have ever asked for something to be removed after publishing. Why is that important? It’s not really, but it’s a story that makes me smile. I promise I will never tell Danny what you said about him 🙂
Secondly, despite doing 74 other episodes of the show, your interview is still the most downloaded podcast we have done. I just want you to know that our listeners wanted to listen to you more than any other guest we have had.
You usually had time for a chat with me on there. For that, I am grateful.
I once told you that I know I am being played like a fiddle by you, but for some reason I enjoy it. That was truth. It was if we had roles. You were the wise coach and I was the brash upstart getting slapped back down.
It’s also on twitter where you referred to me as ‘vorpal’. It took me a while to work out how sharp that word was. It will never leave my twitter bio.
Reckon we can entice you back on the platform for a while?
I could never win with you. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this from the day of the New Zealand v Sth Africa World Cup semi final.
You were also the first to help me with a concept I had to ask cricket legends XI Questions.
I still haven’t launched it, but your answers give an amazing insight into what is important in life.
1) What movie deserves a sequel? Godfather 32) Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? David Hasselhoff3) What is one thing a woman should never do? Man up4) Where’s Waldo? California5) If you were in a witness protection program, what would be your alias? Vincent Brightside (true story)6) If given complete freedom to start afresh, what profession would you choose? Husband to Lorraine7) What is one thing you refuse to share? Lorraine8) Who was the last person to knock/ring at your door? Lorraine’s client9) What do you think is the purpose of life? To live in peace10) What is your stress food? 85% Cacao dark chocolate11) What’s the worst advice that you have ever been given?Unprintable
Let’s leave the Vincent Brightside story for our imaginations.
Like you, I also have a family and kids that I love very much. I put my family first now. That never used to be the case. Other factors were major contributors, but you have unwittingly played a part in that.
I apologise if this has meandered a little but I wanted you to know the positive influence you have been on me.
Thank you Martin.
Not for a single act, but for many of them.
For choosing to play along with a random guy who once sent you an unsolicited email, for reading my articles and baiting me with the lure of your spare egg and bacon tie, for giving me the confidence to challenge ‘me too’ cricket thinking, for teaching me about life as you shared your journey with us all and for showing us what bravery really means.
All probably insignificant to you, but not for me.
For the record, I now agree that Ashwin should have been in India’s Test team from the start of the 2014 Australia tour.
Bastard, you were right again.
Martin has read this note.
After doing so, he sent me two emails trolling me, my use of his word ‘vorpal’ and attacking Australia’s ‘ugly mask’.
His third and final email did acknowledge that he had had fun too along the way.
You are a legend.