This day, one hundred years ago, Captain Scott and his team of plucky amateurs arrived at the South Pole – and saw that “the worst had happened”. Yes, the dashed pros, the cads, had beaten them to it by over a month. Amundsen got there on 14 December.
The memory lingers, and with it a grim and undimmed yen for revenge. It may yet happen.
Starting today in Oslo, where the temperature is a balmy daytime -2C, a cricket match is beginning between the Captain Scott’s Invitational XI and an Amundsen XI. It is being played out in Oslo’s city centre, and will be followed by, appropriately, dog sledding and ski challenges.
Scott would approve. As he observed at the time of his own demise in reputedly inclement climate of Antarctica, “We are showing that Englishmen can still die with a bold spirit, fighting it out to the end.”
A cricket sceptic here at the GFG Batesville Tower observes drily, also employing Scott’s words, “I can imagine few things more trying to the patience than the long wasted days of waiting.”