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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript - 23196

Remarks at the Prime Minister's XI Reception

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/01/2014

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 23196

Location: Canberra

Welcome to the Prime Minister’s Courtyard for this reception to honour the Prime Minister’s XI captained by Brett Lee and the England XI captained by Alastair Cook.

This is the 44th time a Prime Minister’s XI has taken to Manuka Oval to play a visiting international side.

I am the seventh prime minister to have the honour since 1951 to be associated with this game.

I want to thank Brett and the Prime Minister’s XI and I want to thank Alastair and the English XI for the pleasure that you will give so many Canberrans tomorrow.

I know it has been a long and – at times, for our visitors – frustrating summer of cricket.

I should remind our English visitors that in the Prime Minister’s sitting room just over there, is a bust of Sir Winston Churchill.

Winston Churchill belongs not just to England but to the world. Winston Churchill said many remarkable things but one of the remarkable things he said was that “in war you can be killed but once, in politics you can die many times.”

Sport is like that as well.

I dare say there must have been some occasions when England has felt flat and low this summer, but every time you have recommitted yourself to your  craft and you have gone out and given the best possible account of yourselves and I know you will do it again tomorrow.

It may be of some consolation to know that the English Women’s XI triumphed today in Perth.

Then again, it may not.

I am reminded of Evelyn Waugh’s biography of the famous cleric Ronald Knox who lay dying and one of his fellow clerics said to him, “would it be any consolation if I were to read to you some passages of sacred scripture?”

“No,” he said, “it wouldn’t. Thanks awfully, though, for making the suggestion.”

I know we will have a good game of cricket tomorrow and I want to say that Brett and the Prime Minister’s XI that beware of an opponent with a point to prove and I suspect that Alastair, you and your men will have a point to prove tomorrow.

Again, I want to thank everyone involved in this fixture.

I want to particularly thank my friend and guru in all things cricket, Cate McGregor, for the guidance that she has given me through this summer of cricket.

Cate and I go back a long way.

Cate has been a friend and a counsellor through all of the vicissitudes of both our lives for almost 30 years and it is great to have had your help in my involvement with this game.

Brett, you have dispatched one pesky English editor this summer. Let’s see what you can do with the English team tomorrow.

Alastair, good luck. I know it will be a great game of cricket.

Thank you.


Transcript - 23196