Cardinal Pell hails cricketing victory

Tongue-in-cheek message greets Ashes win

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has given way to ill-disguised glee over his country’s recent five-nil cricketing victory over England.

Following Australia’s gaining of the legendary Ashes, the cardinal issued a tongue-in-cheek message which took to task those who predicted a whitewash victory for England during the Test series.

“Revenge is sweet,” he wrote, quickly adding, “so runs the 16th-Century proverb.

“Nobody imagined that Australia would win the last Test in three days by nearly 300 runs, completing only the third Australian five-nil victory in Ashes history.” He added: “The fact that [England’s] Ian Botham predicted a five-nil whitewash for England is a special bonus.”

Turning more serious, he then stressed: “When we win, and Australians like winning, we should not forget that cricket is only a game, part of my summers for more than 60 years, a wonderful recreation, but no substitute for real life.”

However, in keeping with the jubilation ‘down under’, he concluded: “Test cricket is still alive and well. Thank God.”