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At the pavilion with Neil Hannon, Pugwash and the Irish cricket team
You know them as heartfelt songwriters. But when they’re not mucking about in the studio, Neil Hannon and Thomas Walsh enjoy nothing more than a game of cricket. And they’re not just in it for the cucumber sandwiches, either.
Paul Nolan, 15 Mar 2007
“When we played at Lord’s last year, I got lost trying to find my way onto the pitch,” he admits. “I was doing twelfth man and at one point I didn’t know where I was. All the rooms look the same!”
As talk turns to the World Cup, John outlines the team’s pre-tournament itinerary.
“We play South Africa in Trinidad, which is our first warm-up game, then we play Canada, and after that we head to Jamaica. The opening ceremony is actually the next day, I think.”
“Are you nervous?” asks Neil.
“We just want to get there and soak up the atmosphere,” replies John. “Once we’ve got used to our environs and acclimatised a bit, we’ll really be ready for it.”
“Fuck it, I wish I was going!” groans Neil.
Our conversation having come to an end, Neil and Thomas head outside with the cricketers to pose for photographs. Grabbing a bat, the Divine Comedy singer chuckles, “Surreal moments in my life – the latest instalment” and enthusiastically agrees to the suggestions of hotpress snapper Cathal Dawson. And watching Neil and Thomas lark around with John, Eoin and William, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that the musical duo don’t like cricket. They love it.
The Irish team’s opening game in the Cricket World Cup is against Zimbabwe on March 15. They then play Pakistan on March 17 and the West Indies on March 23.
Pics: Cathal Dawson