England August 18, 2010

Exclusive: Australia's seven-point winning plan leaked

And you thought Long Handle was just a fan's diary
36

Saturday, August 14th Today was Friends Provident Finally Finished Day; a thrilling eleven hours of cricket, featuring hovercrafts, cheerleaders and live white-line marking, played out in front of a typically English audience of transvestites, umbrellas and packed lunches.

Naturally, Dwayne Bravo was there; he can sniff a Twenty20 tournament from several thousand miles away and his compatriot, Kieron International was also in attendance, being a Somerset player again.

Neither enjoyed the best of days. Dwayne, unfortunately, had signed up for the wrong team and presumably will be speaking to his agent, whilst KP copped a horrible blow to the face that had the whole ground wincing.

And though the climax of this 151-game tournament was suitably exciting; rather like a Shoaib Akhtar delivery, it is not entirely clear that the final outcome necessitated quite such a long and exhausting build-up.

Sunday, August 15th Not so long ago the Aussie cricketer ruled the world with a simple philosophy. He had his plans and he executed them. But times have changed and Cricket Australia is determined not to get left behind. Modern cricket is not just about believing in your plans, executing your plans or sticking to your plans: these days, success is determined by how well you plan the planning of your plans.

So today 200 of Australia’s senior cricket bureaucrats met at a top-secret Conference Centre in Melbourne to come up with a blueprint for benchmarking and attaining realisable goals going forwards. And thanks to a well-positioned insider (just behind a water cooler outside the Bryce McGain Seminar Facility) the Long Handle can reveal the seven-point plan in its entirety:

1. Win back the Ashes
2. Don’t fail to win back the Ashes
3. Remember not to forget to go to India in October
4. World Cup, blah blah blah
5. A rolling vote of confidence for Ricky Ponting to be renewed weekly
6. To support the vital work of Team Australia’s backroom staff, their numbers will be increased to 187 and they will be redesignated as the Strategic Unit for Performance Evaluation, Reinforcing Facilitation of Long-term Upskilling Objectives and Underpinning Success
7. Continuing to hold the Tait and Nannes families hostage until Dirk and Shaun accede to Cricket Australia’s entirely reasonable demands regarding their availability for the first Test in Brisbane.

Monday, August 16th Following the unfortunate nocturnal difficulties of renowned cat lover Graeme Swann, it has emerged that Jesse Ryder has signed up with the RNZSPCA. A spokesman for Jesse claimed that the big left-hander had always been an animal lover and was prepared to go to any lengths to rescue his furry pals, regardless of his own or anyone’s else’s safety and no matter how tired and emotional he may be at the time.

Tuesday, August 17th As India prepare for their 700th game of the year, the BCCI has denied that any of the team’s fast bowlers have written to them complaining about the schedule. A BCCI spokesman said that bowlers are free to ask for time off, providing they are prepared to accept the consequences. Pressed on what those consequences might be, the spokesman arched one eyebrow, adopted a sinister voice and explained that once you have entered Team BCCI, you don’t leave. He then cackled maniacally for several minutes.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Paget Maynard on September 1, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    On Point 7: As a long time Austrailian fan (before any of the current players was born) I was hoping that the Austrailian Board could convince Shawn Tate to agree to come back to test cricket. I think, and know, that he will be the most formidable attack man in the lineup for the Ashes. I will use him in short spells. With a supporting field he will regain his confidence in no time.

  • akshay on August 25, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    Careful Andrew!! the BCCI might be reading this!! * cackles maniacally for several minutes * :P

  • TheBigFatFlapjack on August 22, 2010, 3:19 GMT

    Hi Andrew, you seem to be doing a better job with the fan diary. Keep it up, you're doing great.

  • Nick on August 19, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    Ryder is da mannn :D

  • Hardeep Singh on August 19, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    I dont think AUSTRALIA is no longer a strong contender to lift the WORLD CUP-2011.secondly sub continent Venue is not easy for RICKY PONTYING side to beat India, sri lanka and Pakistan at their venue.any way it will be great to see 2011 world cup.My opnion says, they dont have bowlers like MCGRATH, WARNE, GILESPIE WHO are really effective in subcontinent conditions.also they are well without explosive gilchrist.so get ready.this time we are all ready to lift the 2011 world cup.

  • Rohit on August 19, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Hahaha....!!!! Watch out for the ashes... England will trash aussies 5 nil..

  • Thyagarajan on August 19, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Retainer,Match fee etc are given even if you don't play!The God fathers ensure that.So can play tantrums like "overworked,burnt out etc. We saw Yuvraj Singh,Grimacing all through the innings while fielding after claiming he was "fully fit" during a recent match.What was the Physio doing and Team Medico doing Cannot they check the veracity?Pathetic. Cheating is the order of the day.Let us enjoy!

  • Ozbuck on August 19, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    Seven points? What a change for Australia, it used to be 3 points. 1 Belt the opposition into submission 2 Whinge when lose 3 Belt the opposition into submission. These are the points to which all the no.1 teams have adhered over the years. The West Indies were very good at it, although, point 2 did include violence such as stump bashing and umpire shouldering. No doubt India is working on a similar plan. In fact, I think point 2 is already in action. Well written food for thought.

  • Nathan on August 19, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    I remember the early days of cricinfo when they seemed to have less writers but more quality. Now any old idiot can write any old crap and I don't think it enhances cricinfo's reputation. Pretty much this whole 'page 2' concept is just a waste of space, but I guess I'm the fool for coming back here to see if things have improved.

    And if the Australian cricketers - international, well paid sportsmen who have reached the absolute pinnacle of their profession, and who have more than their fair share of success at that profession - are a 'bunch of no-hopers', as the photo caption states, how far below 'no-hoper' does the caption writer rank?

  • Humza on August 19, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Quote""

    Pathetic attempt at both humor and cricket journalism!

    Mr. Mirza what is it ? bad childhood ? no friends ? anti world ? its called "a sense of humor"

  • Paget Maynard on September 1, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    On Point 7: As a long time Austrailian fan (before any of the current players was born) I was hoping that the Austrailian Board could convince Shawn Tate to agree to come back to test cricket. I think, and know, that he will be the most formidable attack man in the lineup for the Ashes. I will use him in short spells. With a supporting field he will regain his confidence in no time.

  • akshay on August 25, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    Careful Andrew!! the BCCI might be reading this!! * cackles maniacally for several minutes * :P

  • TheBigFatFlapjack on August 22, 2010, 3:19 GMT

    Hi Andrew, you seem to be doing a better job with the fan diary. Keep it up, you're doing great.

  • Nick on August 19, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    Ryder is da mannn :D

  • Hardeep Singh on August 19, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    I dont think AUSTRALIA is no longer a strong contender to lift the WORLD CUP-2011.secondly sub continent Venue is not easy for RICKY PONTYING side to beat India, sri lanka and Pakistan at their venue.any way it will be great to see 2011 world cup.My opnion says, they dont have bowlers like MCGRATH, WARNE, GILESPIE WHO are really effective in subcontinent conditions.also they are well without explosive gilchrist.so get ready.this time we are all ready to lift the 2011 world cup.

  • Rohit on August 19, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Hahaha....!!!! Watch out for the ashes... England will trash aussies 5 nil..

  • Thyagarajan on August 19, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Retainer,Match fee etc are given even if you don't play!The God fathers ensure that.So can play tantrums like "overworked,burnt out etc. We saw Yuvraj Singh,Grimacing all through the innings while fielding after claiming he was "fully fit" during a recent match.What was the Physio doing and Team Medico doing Cannot they check the veracity?Pathetic. Cheating is the order of the day.Let us enjoy!

  • Ozbuck on August 19, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    Seven points? What a change for Australia, it used to be 3 points. 1 Belt the opposition into submission 2 Whinge when lose 3 Belt the opposition into submission. These are the points to which all the no.1 teams have adhered over the years. The West Indies were very good at it, although, point 2 did include violence such as stump bashing and umpire shouldering. No doubt India is working on a similar plan. In fact, I think point 2 is already in action. Well written food for thought.

  • Nathan on August 19, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    I remember the early days of cricinfo when they seemed to have less writers but more quality. Now any old idiot can write any old crap and I don't think it enhances cricinfo's reputation. Pretty much this whole 'page 2' concept is just a waste of space, but I guess I'm the fool for coming back here to see if things have improved.

    And if the Australian cricketers - international, well paid sportsmen who have reached the absolute pinnacle of their profession, and who have more than their fair share of success at that profession - are a 'bunch of no-hopers', as the photo caption states, how far below 'no-hoper' does the caption writer rank?

  • Humza on August 19, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Quote""

    Pathetic attempt at both humor and cricket journalism!

    Mr. Mirza what is it ? bad childhood ? no friends ? anti world ? its called "a sense of humor"

  • gav on August 19, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    India have played 32 games of cricket this year compared to 41 for Australia.

  • Anonymous on August 19, 2010, 0:25 GMT

    i think u forgot to mention another important thing, i.e in the coming ashes, the australian team will get dumped with a huge controversy.....that's for sure....paul octopus

  • P*B is a JOKE on August 18, 2010, 19:51 GMT

    Andrew you forgot 8th & 9th winning plan.

    8. Recall umpire Steve Bucknor from retirement to help Aussie win.

    9.Claim one bounce catches and swear by the sprit of the game that Ponting never cheats.

  • rahul on August 18, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    Looking forward to Englands 7 point plan, something on no ball incident, Cook, KP on county cricket. Llooking fwd. Can goalkeepers apply for specialist wicketkeeper in test when not selected for respective teams?

  • Michael Lewis on August 18, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    hahaaha!!looking forwatd to your articles..

  • Varun on August 18, 2010, 18:58 GMT

    Sleepy bears are so special!

  • Arshad on August 18, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    fantastically done......please write more about Australia because we love somebody comment on them specially when(currently) they are not winning any matches.....cause they have scared cricket for a long time.

  • Ranjeet on August 18, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    LOL - Wonderful writing!

  • Aslam Kazi on August 18, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    Simply another brilliant article from Andrew

  • Sher Ali Khan on August 18, 2010, 17:47 GMT

    Ricky!! Its time to go home now.

    England will win the ashes in Australia...

  • MHG on August 18, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    hmirza.... get a life mate

  • Anonymous on August 18, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    Loved the "Don't forget to go to India in October" part, but the bit about Tait and Nannes was silly. Nobody has asked or expected them to play test cricket, it's all just been hyped up by the media.

  • Anonymous on August 18, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    hahaha!!!

    always look forward to your articles and i think you might be spot-on not only for BCCI............but IPL bosses as well

  • Ahmed on August 18, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    S-U-P-E-R-F-L-U-O-US......genius hahahahaha

  • naren on August 18, 2010, 10:49 GMT

    Ricky as captain will win back ashes 4-1

  • Ahmad on August 18, 2010, 9:43 GMT

    duh...

  • chitha on August 18, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    The final two were really funny.....especially the part "take a break with consequences"

  • Mohan on August 18, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    SUPERFLOUS - classic.

  • hmirza on August 18, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Pathetic attempt at both humor and cricket journalism!

  • Akheel on August 18, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Andrew, Do you not get fined from time to time?

  • Somnath Mitra on August 18, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Andrew, #6 had me cracking up :-) You probably forgot to mention that out of the maniacal cackle of the BCCI spokesperson, only one word was discernible: Modi-fication.

  • Rohit on August 18, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    The caption + the last line made ME cackle maniacally for several minutes.

  • thianavi on August 18, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    "3. Remember not to forget to go to India in October" Haha! Priceless.

  • Amaresh on August 18, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    Hilarious as always

  • Umar Amin on August 18, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    Jesse Ryder rulz

  • rahul alamin on August 18, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    Well written specially the Indian part

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  • rahul alamin on August 18, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    Well written specially the Indian part

  • Umar Amin on August 18, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    Jesse Ryder rulz

  • Amaresh on August 18, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    Hilarious as always

  • thianavi on August 18, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    "3. Remember not to forget to go to India in October" Haha! Priceless.

  • Rohit on August 18, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    The caption + the last line made ME cackle maniacally for several minutes.

  • Somnath Mitra on August 18, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Andrew, #6 had me cracking up :-) You probably forgot to mention that out of the maniacal cackle of the BCCI spokesperson, only one word was discernible: Modi-fication.

  • Akheel on August 18, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Andrew, Do you not get fined from time to time?

  • hmirza on August 18, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Pathetic attempt at both humor and cricket journalism!

  • Mohan on August 18, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    SUPERFLOUS - classic.

  • chitha on August 18, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    The final two were really funny.....especially the part "take a break with consequences"