As Kevin Pietersen emerges, rather touchingly, as cricket's most uxorious man, it's hard not to wish that Frederick Sewards Trueman were still here to offer a view from behind a cloud of pipesmoke.
When I was a kid, I had one of Fred's numerous autobiographies as an audiobook. He read it himself. It was called Ball Of Fire, a title that, given the contents, qualified only as a single entendre.
Fred had enjoyed a career renaissance in his middle years, mainly as a glorious, naysaying expert on Test Match Special, but also as the presenter of a lunchtime television programme called Indoor League, in which people played darts, billiards, skittles, arm-wrestling and other pub games in real pubs while Fred smoked his pipe, supped ale and added colour commentary. He closed each show with the catchphrase 'Ah'll sithee'.
Ball Of Fire was similarly rough-hewn. In a section about married life, he wrote about the six-month winter tours without wives that England undertook, and the strains they placed on him. Of Mrs Trueman, he said, 'she must have known that I'd had the odd bird'.
Well if she didn't, she did after Ball Of Fire came out.
The other part I remember clearly was Fred's disdainful comment on Lance Gibbs beating his world record of 307 Test wickets. 'I know that Gibbs crawled past it eventually,' he drawled, 'but he was an off-spinner'.
Which we all know doesn't count. Ah'll sithee.