Fantasy Bob has established, through long years of meticulous research, that this is not a specifically Scottish failing. Even in the National Gallery in London, situated less than 2 miles from Lords or the Oval, cricket based works are absent.
It is nothing short of a national scandal.
Cricketers might not therefore find themselves filled with enthusiasm at the prospect of the National Galleries of Scotland's present exhibition No Foreign Lands. They should reconsider.
This exhibition features recent work of Peter Doig, born in Scotland but who has spent his life in London Canada and Trinidad. The paintings on display are drawn from his work since 2000 when he returned to Trinidad. It is a fine body of work with the heat and steam of the sub tropical environment well depicted in a series of original and arresting compositions. (FB apologises if he begins to sound like an art critic at this point. He will put the absinthe aside).
But as they move through the rooms cricketers will suddenly come face to face with 2 mighty canvases depicting a cricket scene. They may rub their eyes in disbelief. Cricket in the NGS? They may pinch themselves. Are they dreaming? Have they died an woken in a gallery in Heaven?
But no. It is so. There before them are the real thing. 2 huge paintings capturing different moods of the same scene. A bowler in his follow through; a batter about to step into his stroke; a wicket keeper standing almost transparent in the middle distance. Astounding work.
|Cricket Painting - Paragrand|
|Cricket Painting - Paragon|
Doig says he made these works after playing beach cricket in Trinidad. He may therefore have captured some future Test stars in his painting.
For the list of West Indies greats who started playing such games in Trinidad is long and prestigious. Here is a Trinidad XI (not in batting order)
Brian Lara - 131 Tests - 11953 runs
Larry Gomes - 60 Tests - 3171 runs
Gus Logie - 52 Tests - 2470 runs
Phil Simmons - 26 Test - 1002 runs
Darren Ganga 48 tests 2160 runs
Derryck Murray 62 Tests - 1993 runs - 189 dismissals
Dwayne Bravo - 40 Tests 2200 runs - 86 wkts
Bernard Julien 24 Tests 866 runs - 50 wkts
Sonny Ramadhin - 43 Tests -158 wkts
Ian Bishop - 43 Tests - 161 wickets
Sunil Narine - 5 Tests - 15 wickets
A team fit for any oil painting, orange wicket or not.