It is a sobering thought that, only a few months ago, there was a determination to spoil the upcoming Ashes party at Edgbaston.
Residents complained about plans for permanent floodlights that would secure a Test future for the ground, with 2,000 residents signing petitions and letters protesting at the scale of the ground improvement.
And there was uncertainty about plans for the City Council to make a £20 million loan to Warwickshire County Cricket Club, with concerns about car parking and crowd management becoming conditions attached to the loan. But now here we are. In the mood he was in at Lord’s, Freddie would have been enough to sweep away all the doubts.
But perhaps commonsense has prevailed, or perhaps it is a simple as this: We need Test cricket and we have to make sacrifices to make sure we keep it. The cheers that echoed around Lord’s during the second Test belong to us now and we must not let Aggers down.
But hold that thought . . . another great British institution has now come along in Ashes week. That of the Barmy Councillor. Poor old Coun Bob Piper meant well. He was getting into the spirit of the occasion, literally, by suggesting a very British way around the Edgbaston alcohol rules. Why not, he suggested, take a bit of good old British Tupperware in with you and hide your plonk under a good old British tomato. Why didn’t we all think of that? But let’s not. Coun Piper is wrong to suggest breaking licensing laws. but every loyal fan would cheer him when he arrives sans plonk on Thursday. Because he was swept up in the spirit of it all – and who can blame him?
We all hope that the rain and the Freddie play the game – and allow us all to raise a legal glass at the end of it all.