Don't be beaten
Bumble gets behind Zulqarnain Haider - and he backs Alastair Cook to find some form for the Ashes.
Last Updated: 10/11/10 3:45pm
I'll never forget the words spoken by Sachin Tendulkar shortly after the Mumbai bombings.
They came on a memorable day at Mohali when Tendulkar had scored a century against England to win a fabulous Test match. I was standing next to him as he did his post-match-interview and as someone who has spoken to the media thousands of times, he is often quite phlegmatic.
But on this occasion, so soon after those terrible atrocities, he looked right into the camera and said something very poignant: "We will not be beaten by these people."
Those are words I would like Zulqarnain Haider to apply to his situation.
The Pakistan wicket-keeper has made headlines this week by arriving in Britain to seek asylum, claiming he had received death threats for refusing to become involved in match-fixing.
It is clearly a serious situation and it is obviously difficult to comment without a clear idea of what has happened, but it doesn't seem right that he has found it necessary to retire from international cricket over this.
I'm not saying you should sacrifice yourself, but surely you have to fight these people? I fully understand how difficult it is, but he should be confident that he will be protected.
I hope he gets good advice and I hope he tells everything not only to the police authorities, but also to the cricket authorities in order to get that protection.
I hope he carries on. We're all behind him.
It's now only two weeks until the start of the Ashes and I'll be heading out to Australia on November 20.
I've decided I have time to pack a few things on the morning before I fly out in the afternoon. Whatever I forget I can get on the other side.
I just hope the aeroplanes are working by then. Come on Qantas, sort it out! They haven't been in touch, so I assume it's going to be ok.
Personally, I thought England looked brilliant in their warm-up game against a crack Western Australia outfit.
People were Tweeting me to complain that a few players looked out of sorts. What do you expect? They've only just got off a plane. I thought it was a stunning performance.
A few people are concerned about Alastair Cook's form, but I'm not worrying about him just yet. He's got a bit more time to get things together.
If he can't, then England have got a decision to make. There isn't another recognised opener in the party and the talk is that Jonathan Trott would open. That's high risk in my view.
There's a good argument to say that if Cook isn't getting runs then Trott's the opener anyway and pushing Trott up the order would allow England to get both Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan in the side - something I think they would like to do.
But Cook's a fighter, a real fighter. He has a great temperament and he'll work out ways to get runs.
On the road
My week has been spent on the road as the Start the Car tour continues to make its way around the country.
This week we've been from Tunbridge Wells to Norwich to Derby to Worthing. If we do this again next year - and there's a good chance that we will - I think the logistics will need to be sorted out a bit better.
I wasn't too impressed with one Premier Inn. We got down to breakfast at 8.45am to be informed we were "cutting it fine" if we wanted something to eat. I though this was supposed to be a service industry?
But we've just left the Premier Inn in Derby and they were really efficient and friendly. They've redeemed themselves!
On Tuesday, I enjoyed a nostalgic visit to The Crown at Old Dalby. I used to go in there 3,000 years ago so imagine my surprise when I went in and found it was owned by an old pal of mine, Chris Holmes - who also owns another of my favourite haunts, the Lincolnshire Poacher.
I had a pint of Harvest Pale, the Supreme Champion beer of Britain. It was a fine blonde beer - and I do like blondes.
See you on the road!