Cricketers might have joined Fantasy Bob in supposing that a computer game based on the careers of characters named Michael, Trevor and Franklyn would have something going for it in terms of cricket interest. For who else could these characters be but Michael Vaughan, Trevor Bailey and Franklyn Stephenson. An unlikely trio perhaps, but they could be brought together with a few leaps of the imagination. The highly developed skills that each would bring - Vaughan's sublime cover drive, Bailey's stonewall defence, and Stephenson's celebrated slower ball could give them an advantage in most tight circumstances.
But FB is sad to relate that the characters bear no resemblance to these real world heroes at all. Michael is a former bank robber in his early forties who lives with his dysfunctional family on the proceeds of his former life. Trevor his former partner lives alone in a trailer in the desert. Franklin makes a living as a repo man for an unscrupulous Armenian car dealership. And cricket is far from their minds as they career around their fictional world in a series of ever more frenetic heists, car chases and shoot outs.
|No place for real heroes in Grand Theft Auto V|
Fantasy Bob's faithful, if dwindling, worldwide readership will correctly infer that the chances of FB playing Grand Theft Auto V are less than of his successfully defending his wicket against leg spin bowling. That is considerably less than zero. Such games join the long list of those manifestations of the modern world that FB finds unnecessary - a list which daily grows in length but more recently has been extended by UKIP MEPs, the paintings of Jack Vettriano and above all the IPL.
But if a story involving Vaughan, Stephenson and Bailey was too much to hope for, the reference in the narrative to Edinburgh's trams suggests that all is not lost and had the creators of the game made a little more effort they could have got FB on board. Had Michael, Trevor or Franklyn at a crucial point in their adventures, instead of blasting everything in front of them with an automatic weapon or executing a series of hand-brake turns, simply sat down for a nice cup of tea and an empire biscuit, FB would have found something to commend. It would have been a start. It would have given him a bond with the juniors next season. A lost opportunity.