Michael Palin, whose comedic work and travel writing need no introduction, concluded his speech in the Long Room at Lord's on Wednesday night with the words: "Let our tribe be lbw - led by Wisden." It was an apt way to finish an evening that was equal parts tradition and nostalgia, and further illustration of the affection for the yellow book that is so much more than that.
Palin's oration had many high notes, but it was the warmth with which he spoke of his childhood hero, Keith Miller, that got me thinking. Like many cricket lovers, Palin too went down the I-wish-I-could-have road. In his case, it was the desire to have seen the innings that Miller played for the Dominions against England in 1945. He struck seven sixes, one of which landed on the roof of the Long Room.
Since the number five - Cricketers of the Year - is central to the Wisden dinner, I started thinking of my greatest sporting regrets. The Bill Shankly era at Liverpool preceded me. I didn't see Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers either. I never watched Bjorn Borg win a Grand Slam, and Barry John's magic at fly-half for Wales ended before I was born. I was four months old when Ali won the Rumble in the Jungle.