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Tuesday, March 8 It’s been a hell of a summer in Australian cricket. But after a dignified pause for sombre reflection and careful consideration, Cricket Australia have chosen to pretend that Andrew Hilditch is definitely the man for the job and he will remain as ringmaster of the Circus of Selection Horrors until August or possibly later.
Explaining their decisive non-decision, chairman Jack Clarke explained that they were all waiting for the result of the Big Review of Everything which is expected in August or maybe November, depending how long it takes AB to type it up and Tubby Taylor to colour in the pictures. But he had this reassuring message:
“We’re looking forward for sustained future success, we’re not looking with rearview mirrors.”
He means metaphorical rearview mirrors, of course. But as any metaphorical driving instructor will tell you, it is important to check your metaphorical mirrors before you change direction, lest the articulated lorry of the past catch up to you again and run your rusty old vehicle of administration off the motorway of sustained future success.
Wednesday, March 9 So Kevin Pietersen is going home and England must find a new temporary replacement opener. But Andrew Strauss confirmed that whilst the big man will be flying back to Blighty, KP’s ego will be staying on in India.
“KP will be a big loss, no question, but it will still be good to have his ego around the dressing room, looking at itself in the mirror, Tweeting rubbish and encouraging the other lads by reminding them how much poorer they are as cricketers.”
Thursday, March 10 Imagine a man who wakes up one day and wonders what would happen if he hit himself on the head with a frying pan. He tries it; it hurts. Fair enough, you live and learn. But then a little while later, he wonders if he made too hasty a judgement. So he does it again. It hurts again. Hmm. Its looking pretty conclusive, he thinks. One more try? Now his head hurts, his dinner is ruined and he is able to deduce from all this that hitting yourself on the head with a frying pan is both painful and pointless. Yet, for reasons impossible to fathom, the Pakistan cricket team continues to beat itself about the cranium with a pan called Kamran.
Friday, March 11 England’s entertaining defeat today appears to have been the final straw for the ICC who have announced that their Implausibility Department will be investigating the string of unusually nail-biting victories and suspiciously thrilling losses that England have produced since they arrived in India. An ICC spokesperson stressed that they did not believe the men in dingy blue had been doing deals with bookmakers.
“It’s much more sinister than that. We suspect that certain England players have been engineering close finishes in order to produce a more entertaining post-tournament review DVD. Perhaps they are hoping for an Oscar nomination.”
Speculation intensified when it was rumoured that Quentin Tarantino was spotted on the England’s team balcony during the brutal post-modernist defeat to Ireland and that Bruce Willis had been seen practising in Matt Prior’s place ahead of the Bangladesh game. But Bob Willis, a leading film critic, was unimpressed.
“The plots are totally unrealistic, the dialogue from behind the stumps is wooden and unconvincing and quite frankly, James Anderson is just not believable in the role of an international fast bowler.”
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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