If there ever was a death wish, Piers Morgan had it. He put it up for display before the world and lived to tell his tale, with a broken rib.
The English journalist and TV show host with nearly 4 million followers on Twitter just could not take his team’s capitulation in the Ashes.
The self-admitted club cricketer goaded Australians during the Boxing Day Test as 2013 was coming to an end. Through Twitter, he ended up working out a scenario where he would face Brett Lee for an over.
England were keeling over, wilting under the onslaught from Mitchell Johnson, not Morgan.
Here’s are the CVs of the two. Morgan, 48, is an active keyboard warrior. Lee, 37, is a retired fast bowler.
Lee has quit international cricket, but he still hurls the ball fast and furious in domestic leagues and other avenues open to him across the cricketing world. Retired? Not really, Mr Morgan.
What’s more, Johnson at his prime is not even as quick as Lee was. Lee is among the select few bowlers to have broken the 100-mile-an-hour (160 kmph) barrier.
He can still bring it on, as Morgan must have realised during those six deliveries he faced in the nets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 27.
Lee has come in for criticism for going full throttle at Morgan, who did show a lot of courage under fire.
Video: Watch Piers Morgan take on Brett Lee in the MCG nets
Lee certainly wasn’t bowling at 160 kmph-level that day, but Morgan found ways to put body to ball while trying to avoid life-threatening blows.
The fast bowler has subsequently praised Morgan for backing up his words, but also made a point that it is easier to spew opinion than actually do it on the 22 yards.
There is a reason why only few play for their country. They are the best. Leave it to them.
A Sachin Tendulkar versus Lee or a Brian Lara versus Lee is a contest, a Morgan versus Lee is not.
All of us are entitled to our opinions, by virtue of having played or loved the game. But getting caught up in the moment and making “I could have played that” statements is easy.
Don’t take my word for it. If you are unlucky enough to get your wish like Morgan did, that can be your eye-opener.
Be a sport. Keep playing.