November 3, 2010

Ashes talk? Please, god, make it stop

Andrew Hughes
England's cricketers go for a run, Perth, October 31, 2010
England: they’re in the running, you know  © Getty Images
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Saturday, 30th October The Ashes build-up is a carnival of maddening irrelevance; a gigantic sack of junk mail pushed, one envelope at a time, into the letterbox of your consciousness, a carousel of pointlessness upon which the same players go round and round and round, being prompted to say the same things over and over again until we no longer feel like rational human beings, and start to get the strange urge to bludgeon Stuart Broad to death with an enormous haddock. Or perhaps that’s just me.

Anyway, today’s brain fluff came courtesy of Doug Bollinger, who, under pressure to entertain us with his thoughts, came up with the revelation that he might not swear at Kevin Pietersen. He couldn’t rule out swearing at the other English batsmen, or indeed their wives, girlfriends or extended families, but he is not going to swear at KP. Indeed, he hopes to “put him off his game by not saying anything”.

I have my doubts about this strategy. I’m not sure that KP will necessarily go to pieces just because a bowler doesn’t swear at him. In my experience, having people not swear at you is on the whole to be preferred. But Dougie’s plan might have a wider application. I suspect that our quality of life would be greatly improved if, for the next three weeks, everyone concerned with English or Australian cricket adhered rigidly to a “not saying anything” policy.

Sunday, 31st October Fortunately, in between the speculation about games that haven’t happened yet, there is some real cricket going on. I don’t think I’ve seen too many better demolitions than the one Abdul Razzaq visited on South Africa today. Once again Pakistan got themselves into a tangle, once again it was left to Abdul to extricate his team, and once again he pulled it off, lashing the ball to all parts with the lusty vigour of a farmer taking a scythe to a field of wheat. If he isn’t in the IPL, I won’t be watching.

Monday, 1st November The latest news from camp England - that Graeme Swann had bruised his thumb whilst trying to pick his nose - sparked pandemonium amongst the gentlemen of the press. With only three weeks to go before the start of that thing we are not going to mention, did this injury mean the team might as well come home right now? Would it traumatise his team-mates? Would Her Majesty react badly to the news and announce her abdication? Did it have any implications for global warming? How many words can we get out of this? What does his cat think…

Tuesday, 2nd November Herschelle Gibbs’ new autobiography has not gone down well in some quarters. For a start, To The Point is possibly the laziest cricket-related pun ever to feature on the front cover of a soon-to-be-former-sportsman’s collection of anecdotes. Worse than that, Herschelle has used this autobiographical tin opener of truth to crank open a container of non-athropodic invertebrates. He has alleged that there was a “clique” in the South African team. It appears that this clique was made up of “reliable” players who would deliberately attempt to intimidate their more talented colleagues by turning up on time, trying very hard and not getting out in a ridiculous fashion in the first over. And after just 361 internationals, this sinister cabal finally succeeded in removing a promising 36-year-old youngster from the national team on the flimsy grounds that he had only scored 12 or so runs in the preceding five years.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by Sathish on (November 6, 2010, 14:54 GMT)

Wonderful stuff, Andrew. Keep them coming.,

Posted by Sathish on (November 6, 2010, 14:53 GMT)

Wonderful stuff, Andrew. Keep them coming.,

Posted by Anonymous on (November 4, 2010, 5:54 GMT)

I'm really enjoying the 'fan' diary! The entry for Nov 3rd is a hoot. Bollinger's strategy of coming out and declaring his KP-specific game-plan will even give KP time to practise his already stunning I-give-a-damn look. This is all so exciting. Indeed.

Posted by jogesh99 on (November 4, 2010, 3:08 GMT)

Wanting to bash Broad's head in is rational.

Posted by Prince on (November 4, 2010, 2:39 GMT)

You’re a legend, and I’m a fan...each and every day I here over and over again about the ashes. I’m an avid Lankan supporter and watching the 1ST ODI at the MCG, the commentators couldn’t go 5 overs without mentioning the mistakes Australian’ were making and the relatable ‘what ifs’ to the Ashes. I honestly thought if Clarke started urinating on the ground, it would have been a comment about, ‘how that’s not going to help the Aussies in the Ashes. Whatever the Australian cricket team has done to strain their moral and people’s confidence in their ability to play good enough cricket to beat the English on home soil, will be a distant memory when they clean the series 5-0. So I agree, please stop talking about the ashes, its getting really really boring, especially when the game your commentating on doesn’t involve one of the two sides required to play the ashes, or come to think of it, seen as England will get cleaned out, it might be just one team that’s required to take the field.

Posted by Rogex on (November 3, 2010, 23:51 GMT)

"The latest news from camp England - that Graeme Swann had bruised his thumb whilst trying to pick his nose - sparked pandemonium amongst the gentlemen of the press. With only three weeks to go before the start of that thing we are not going to mention, did this injury mean the team might as well come home right now? Would it traumatise his team-mates? Would Her Majesty react badly to the news and announce her abdication? Did it have any implications for global warming? How many words can we get out of this? What does his cat think…" Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha aha ah sooo funny!

Posted by Jazzy_rampras on (November 3, 2010, 22:53 GMT)

Swann bruised his thumb while picking his nose???? Excellent hold on humor and sarcasm.. I too share the same views on the hype ppl create around ASHES just for the sake of talking some gibberish..

Keep writing andrew

Posted by patang on (November 3, 2010, 22:33 GMT)

Just read these before heading off the work, thanks for the laughs.

Posted by Jathie Kent on (November 3, 2010, 19:33 GMT)

Does Gibbs talk abt the world cup catch drop of 1999? what was he thinking?!? in the book? Maybe via his book he wants to get famous.

and why in the world would cricketers right autobiography? I can understand someone like Sir Don Bradman has one. Other than that...maybe Sachin can one... No one deserves to write a book and publish it if its nonsense.

Posted by Tapish Kushwaha on (November 3, 2010, 17:44 GMT)

Exactly, what did this 'clique' do wrong. They're the top performers in the side. Gibbs has been their most irresponsible character this past decade anyway.

This however does not mean the book wont be an interesting tabloid like read!

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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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