Such was the summation of the criminal character by Bruce Wayne, just before he decided that dressing like a giant bat would clearly strike fear into their hearts. Of course Mr Batman has made a terrible error here. He has mistaken criminals for sports fans (and even more likely sports players). For there is no-one more cowardly and superstitious than me watching cricket. Except possibly everyone else watching cricket.

This summer I have developed a number of rituals which are to ensure that I do not cause England to do badly in the tests. Foremost amongst these is that I cannot turn the television on whilst an over is being bowled. If England bat, a wicket will be lost. If Australia bat, then they will hit lots of runs. The problem is that it is rather difficult to gauge when they are changing ends without watching the cricket. (You could suggest listening to it on radio, but that is even has an even more complex shibboleth about it).

As far as I understand it, the chain of causation works like this. I turn on the television. Somehow this information is passed through the ether to the ground where the England players, please to hear I am taking an interest, try to impress. Unfortunately they overdo impressing me, and make an unforced error. Therefore for the good of the team I must not break this rule.

Oddly when I was at the ground, physically within 100 yards of the player, no such fear came upon me. I popped in and out of the ground constantly for beers, toilet and to procure some sun cream. Therefore it is the amplification effect of the television which causes this problem. Unexplained phenomena, but I am not the only person to believe it.