Ashes 2009 June 29, 2009

Hair company boss sets council Ashes wager

He may not be playing for Australia any longer, but the shadow Shane Warne casts still looms large – as, indeed, does his face.

A six-foot high poster of Warne appeared on a bricked-up window of Advanced Hair Studios, the company to whom Warne is their now-hirsute ambassador. With depressing predictability, Camden Council have told them to take it down, but they hadn’t banked on the chairman of the company being an Australian, and a feverish cricket fan to boot.

So Carl Howell has set the council a charitable challenge. “I’m prepared to offer the council a wager,” he said. “If England win, we will take it down and pay £5,000 to the Camden Mayor’s Charity Trust Fund. If we [Australia] win, we can keep the poster up. The history between the Aussies and England is based upon having a good laugh together at the end of the series regardless of who wins.”

Councils are not, however, renowned for their sense of cheer and jollity, and it remains to be seen whether the poster will be pulled by the fun police.

Warne, never one to let a jibe pass, said: “Camden Council should be relieved I’m not playing”.

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

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