Ian Bell. Ian Ronald Bell. I spoke at length with one of Her Majesty’s press men with regards to your lack of testicles in big game situations about a month or so. Having seen your stoicism on the last day at Nagpur three months ago and having witnessed something equally heroic yesterday I must concede, happily, I was wrong.

You, sir, are a man of testicles the size of elephants’ and ones made of steel too. If I ever criticise you again in public I will undertake a heinous forfeit as a result of my treachery. Your series-saving innings was quite wonderful. The patience and resolve mixed in with the trademark class in your five hour, 75 run stand was of the highest order.


If I’m ever lucky enough to become a father, had you stayed there until the end, I would have named my first born after you. As it is, that honour instead befalls another hero of Eden Park.

Matthew James Prior. The world’s best, an inspiration. Yesterday’s unbeaten 102 is one of the best innings I’ve ever seen. Your arms-aloft celebration as you turned to the dressing room having blocked the last ball will stay with me for ever. Thank you, sincerely. I am naming my first child after you.

Even if it is a girl.