1997 Onwards -
Below is the text of Sir John Major’s speech at the National Sporting Club Lunch, in honour of the South African touring team, held at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on Tuesday 8th July 2008.
SIR JOHN MAJOR:
Thank you, David, my book is available in all good book shops...
Let me first welcome the South African team to England. We're absolutely delighted to see them here -
From the few hours cricket our wretched weather has enabled them to have, it is regretfully evident their batsmen are in good form and I think everyone -
Over the years, we've come to value games against South Africa and the forthcoming series, albeit only three instead of five that I would wish it to be, promises to be vintage. Let’s hope for good cricket (likely), good crowds (certain), good weather (hugely problematic) and a good outcome to the Series although that, of course, may not mean the same thing to the two Teams. In any event -
By its very nature, cricket brings victory and defeat and delight and despair. Ironically, it was an Englishman with the unusual name -
I look about this room and see my generation reasonably represented.
One great regret for my generation is that -
South Africa’s Captain, of course, for this Tour is Graham Smith, well-
Aubrey Smith played only one Test whereas Graham has not only played a great many -
A few years after that first Tour, a trend began that has not yet ended. Over recent decades, several very fine South African cricketers have played for England -
In the early 1889 Tour, an Englishman, R. M. Poore, once ADC to cricket’s Lord Harris in India -
One of the delights of cricket is that you don’t have to be good at it to enjoy it. I have always loved cricket but was only an average player. My failure to pick in-
Once, I failed to pick the wrong people and questioned their parentage. With apologies, it was true. I was once forthright in private and off the record.
Nevertheless, cricket was always a solace, even in the most difficult days. I remember after having lost the 1997 Election rather comprehensively, I went to the West Indies to watch an England game and -
Hopefully, the weather won’t call off any of the games during this Tour and I wish the South African team a good Tour, free of injury -
It is, Graham -
[Indistinct, but anecdotes relating to cricket].
I don’t expect any instances like that but I do expect some wonderful cricket and I think a very large part of that wonderful cricket will be played by the South African team.