(Humming to themselves) "It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming…" Yes, that's right, sir. Cricket is coming home this summer!
Sorry, what's that? Cricket is coming home! England are favourites to win the World Cup for the first time, and in their own backyard (apologies, Wales), thus banishing the painful memories of when it was last held here 20 years ago and they went out before the tournament song had even been released… I assume that's why you are in such a jovial mood despite the pervading air of gloom above these Brexit Isles?
Actually, I was thinking about the upcoming women's football World Cup in France, where Phil Neville's brave Lionesses are gunning to bring back the trophy... Ah, okay. Well, that is another upcoming global sporting event, you're right. But I'm here to tell you about the men's cricket World Cup, the pinnacle of the game!
Do you have to? Now, don't be like that. England is the cradle of cricket, the guardian of its spirit and traditions, the birthplace of The Hundred… Plus, it's my job to pique your interest during the following informal/informative chat.
Hang on, wasn't there a World Cup here a couple of years ago, that England won…? Umm, yes. That was the women again. They have won it several times, in fact. But now the men have a good team too, so get ready for wall-to-wall coverage.
This isn't a test? No, don't worry, you're not being scored. It's just for fun!
No, I mean, this isn't Test cricket? Red ball, white clothing, background of indistinct chatter about cake… Oh, right. No, this is 50-over cricket, the one in the middle. All takes place in a day, bit more to chew on than T20.
Okay, I get the picture. So how long is this tournament on for? Sit back and strap in, because we have more than six weeks of crickety goodness to pour all over you. The first game is on Thursday, with England taking on South Africa, and the final will take place at Lord's on July 14.
Lord's - I've heard of that one. Sounds a bit hoity-toity… Yep, it's pretty famous. aka the Home of Cricket, or HQ (although the fancy moniker is actually a coincidence, since the ground is named after its original 19th century owner, Thomas Lord). It is one of 11 venues being used during the World Cup, the others being: The Oval (also London), Edgbaston (Birmingham), Trent Bridge (Nottingham), Headingley (Leeds), Old Trafford (Manchester), Southampton, Cardiff, Bristol, Taunton and Chester-le-Street.
The World Cup goes on for a month and a half? It must involve so many teams! Aahh, well… no, and that's kind of a sore point. There are only ten teams participating in this one, the smallest number since 1992. The format is everyone-plays-everyone, thereby guaranteeing India, cricket's most lucrative market, at least nine gam… (sound of ICC official clearing throat) Sorry, what I meant to say was it's a format in which we get all the best teams playing each other in a series of crunch matches with only the top four teams qualifying for the knockout stage.
And England are the favourites, you say? (puffs out chest) That's right! They are the No. 1-ranked team, on home soil (host teams have won the last two World Cups), and the bookies fancy them too. We've not quite got to the stage of the Sun newspaper printing an image of Eoin Morgan's fractured digit and asking us to pray for it to heal in time for the World Cup opener, but everyone is nevertheless pretty excited.
Really? Cheeky blighter. Okay, so the fact the football season is still going (there's some big game featuring a couple of English teams going on in Madrid this weekend), and the tournament will be shown on Sky (behind a paywall in the UK), and cricket is scrapping to live up to its "summer game" status may mean that not absolutely everyone knows the World Cup is about to start. The official song has been released in advance this time around, which is a plus (although it doesn't currently appear to be troubling the charts). But the Great British public will soon get into the swing of it, don't worry - just so long as there's beer/Pimms/champagne involved.
Which is the likeliest team to poop England's party? That would be India, whose following over here will ensure they feel pretty much at home too. If they manage to win it in England, as they did in 1983, don't be surprised if "Three Lions" gets co-opted by Virat Kohli's team, much in the manner of Germany at Euro '96 (sobs).
Any other contenders? You can never discount Australia, I suppose. And New Zealand could be handy in English conditions. South Africa have a strong side, even without the retired AB de Villiers, and West Indies seem to have hit form at the right time. This should actually be a really open tournament - although there won't be many people putting a bet on Sri Lanka, who will wear a kit made from recycled ocean plastic, and sadly, may play like rubbish too.
Okay. What about juicy subplots? We've got the return to international competition of Steven Smith and David Warner, after their 12-month bans for ball-tampering. Don't let the sandpaper gags wear you down. Can a team score 500? This country has been the home of huge ODI totals in recent years, and Kohli has suggested England are "obsessed" with becoming the first team to break that mark. Will the white Kookaburra ball swing? (Answer: no).
It would be nice if you could guarantee the weather too! We'll just have to cross our fingers and hope global warming helps us out there. Last summer was an absolute scorcher, so Sod's Law it will rain throughout June and July. But the semi-finals and final, at least, do have reserve days.
So, in summary, it's a global cricket tournament that England have a genuine chance of winning? Feels odd to me. You're right, but England's 44-year-old World Cup virgins have somehow morphed into the sexiest thing one-day cricket has seen. And if they don't win, just think how good the schadenfreude will be for neutrals.
Is there a German word for the feeling when you get stopped by a stranger in the street and force-fed information about the men's cricket World Cup? Ha. Ha. You don't get extra points for sarcasm.
But I can go now? Yes, you can. I've got some healing chants I need to do in front of a life-size effigy of Mark Wood.