Suppose, as I suggested a couple of days ago, you managed to get a substantial part of the crowd at one of this summer’s venues to indulge in repeated episodes of focussed chant. In these days of Facebook and Twitter that would be quite possible to organize. You could have a tweet from a central co-ordinator to trigger it.
Every time (insert the name of any player here, but let’s just call him Stuart Broad) sets about facing up, walks back to his mark to bowl or handles the ball in the field up goes the chant.
For a while he’s going to be able to ignore it, but eventually, if it’s relentless enough, he’ll crack. By that point, of course, you’d have had the whole of the England team, their management, supporters, press corps and anyone else on the outskirts totally up in arms. They’d be calling for all sorts of preventive measures to quell what they’d describe as something approaching outright intimidation.
You can guess the response.
Oh, it’s just a bit of harmless fun.
Which it possibly is, but it’s harmless fun with the potential to destroy a player’s performance and influence the outcome of a series.
And, strangely, the more I think about it the more it seems to resemble something that happened to a certain Australian left-armer in the same series four years ago.