A chance to rhyme and win tickets to the Ashes tour

As England’s cricketers await the announcement on whether or not they have been included in the squad for the Ashes tour to Australia later this year comes the news of a chance for us mere mortals to win an all-expenses trip of a lifetime, with tickets for two Test matches thrown in.

The Barmy Army has organised the Chance to Rhyme competition, to be judged by a panel chaired by Stephen Fry, but the closing date is approaching fast. To be in Australia to see Andrew Flintoff, the SJA’s Sportsman of the Year, and the team play, you’ll need to pen a brief chant to add to the Barmy Army song book.

David Fine, a poet who will following the whole Ashes tour with the aim of penning a poem a day, says, “Cricket and poetry have shared the same pitch for centuries. John Arlott was a poet before a commentator. Simon Rae, whose poem Spin, swing or seam is the public face of the Edgbaston Indoor Cricket School, has also written one of the best biographies of Grace. Amongst cricketers themselves, John Snow, wrote and had published a collection of poetry in the early 1970s.

“These authors have picked up the intrinsic poetic qualities of the game. A line is a ball, a rhyme perhaps a wicket.

“In the stands this is reflected by the 41 chants and songs in the Barmy Army’s Barmy Harmonies for last year’s Ashes tour.”

Now they are looking for another song to add to their collection, with entries open to professional sports journalists, too. Full entry details can be found here – the entry deadline has been extended.

And Fine offers up this Lords’ Prayer ahead of the tour:

Our Freddie, the heart of our eleven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
from Perth unto the Gabba.
Bowl each day your daily jaffas
and smite Warne mightily all your slog-swept sixes
as Warnie smites those who trespass against him.
But heed us when close to temptation
and shield the Ashes from evil:
for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory
for ever and ever.

This was first posted on September 12