Happy birthday, Hitchhiker

A little later, however, is the bit that resonated the most personally. With Dent finding himself at Lord's and in possession of a cricket ball, he feels the irresistible urge to bowl one ball in the centre. The decision taken, Dent stands at the top of his run-up and, as Adams writes, "He was going to do this properly." The ball is polished against his hip, spat on, tossed lightly from one hand to the next, and the ground pawed before he runs in.

updated: March 21, 2013 14:26 IST
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In some ways, it was ironically appropriate that the latest headline-grabbing cricket incident should have occurred on what would have been Douglas Noel Adams's 61st birthday. As anyone who has read Adams's delightfully absurd and insightful humour will concur, four cricketers axed from a Test match for failing, in effect, to hand in a homework assignment that could have been sent via sms seemed a readymade sub-plot for one of his novels.

The axing of Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja initially drew plenty of titters, but as over-reaction piled on over-reaction (take Watson's 'considering his future in Test cricket' comment), the jokes and one-liners noticeably died down, only to be replaced by rhetoric, some angry, some bitter, some well-reasoned.

Had Adams written the script, the chronicle would be punctuated with wit, the ending would have you in splits and the writing would have struck a chord with cricket fans. That was the beauty of Adams's prose.

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