Is it possible to be a cricket lover and not be a traditionalist? Is it possible to be a cricket lover and not accept that cricket has to develop organically?
The ordinary form of cricket is increasingly one of limited over games which attract larger crowds and generate revenue. The extraordinary form is longer but is more subtle: a deeper game. Anybody can learn to understand cricket, but the rise of limited overs cricket, itself a response to the diminishing numbers of those attracted by the pure form of the game, has meant that many have remained faithful to cricket during the summer: not as many as in previous years, but enough to ensure that a structure was in place to attract and nurture young boys to dream of growing into the sort of men, their heroes, who could stride into the crease.
Many, of course, aspired to little more than the ordinary form of the game. Until, two years ago, the, well, the superiority of the extraordinary form, what had for many years been the only form, enraptured not just those who had remained faithful, but countless numbers of people who were only really interested in what had become the ordinary form. They were converted.
Is it a coincidence that His Holiness the Pope was elected right at the start of the 2005 season? Is it too fanciful to suggest that he pondered what happened in England that year?
Many thought that his Motu Proprio should have come out sooner, but he had possibly reflected on the fact that the Ashes Series was later than any series in living memory.
His Holiness has reflected on the fact that he was not particularly sporty as a boy: one of the joys of cricket is that there is room in the family for those who will never be team captain, and maybe who will never make even the third eleven. There is more to cricket than the team: there is the club. We need scorers, groundsmen, people to man the entrance: we even need archivists.
Analogies will only take us so far, but I trust that the RCC will take a lead in welcoming the embrace of the Church in England and Wales of an expanding sense of Tradition and an understanding that knowledge of old and new things enriches the way we enjoy our cricket, and live our Faith.