A few men dressed in white walking on a lawn. Some call it a passtime, others a sport, still others a burning passion. It is cricket. I do not know the slightest thing about cricket.
Somewhere in Africa I had an English colleague who introduced me to a bat. But the sporty date did not unfold very well. For a time I kept the bat underneath my bed, when students at school were getting very rowdy. Was that wicked or wicket? By the way, I never used it in this way. The riotpolice was more effective.
Part of the season in Sinji is spent on what ought to have been grass. There were wickets and bats and men to play. It was all on a RAF base in West Africa, during the second world war. There we meet three of the main characters of this book: mr. Flanders, who tells the story (and who knows cricket to the core), mr. Wakerly with whom he is bonding right from the days in training in England, and mr. Turton who is the bad guy, officer and bully and grabber of the lovely Caroline who worked in the pub in England where Flanders and Wakerley would meet her. Flanders is too shy to move forward in his longing for Caroline, even though he recites passages of ‘Song of Songs’.
It is the triangle of Flanders, Wakerly and Turton and the question who is the real sportsman in all of this. Flanders tries hard to win at cricket, but in the end Turton bullies him out of the game. Wakerly dies at a planecrash. But what about the end? Between Turton and Flanders? And to whom does Caroline declare her love?
The book has been written with a nice sense of humor.
J.L. Carr – A season in Sinji – 1967