August 18, 2010

England

Exclusive: Australia's seven-point winning plan leaked

Andrew Hughes
Dirk Nannes spends time with his children after the game, West Indies v Australia, World Twenty20, Super Eights, Group F, St Lucia, May 11, 2010
Kids, daddy has to go and rescue a bunch no-hopers from the greatest ignominy of their lives. I hope you understand?  © AFP
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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

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Posted by 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.

Posted by akshay on (August 25, 2010, 13:12 GMT)

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

Posted by 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.

Posted by Nick on (August 19, 2010, 9:44 GMT)

Ryder is da mannn :D

Posted by 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.

Posted by Rohit on (August 19, 2010, 6:09 GMT)

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

Posted by 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!

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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?

Posted by 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"

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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