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Tuesday, 22nd March When we first heard that this World Cup was going to last six weeks, we were all a little nonplussed, but I guess our questions have been answered. Six weeks? How on earth can they make it last six weeks? Oh, I see, that’s how.
But Mr Lorgat believes the thing is as long as it needs to be and not a minute longer.
“It should be remembered that we ICC officials need a break. The longer tournament means that we can go to the seaside, sample some of the excellent restaurants in this part of the world and just, you know, kind of chill, man.”
When asked whether he was enjoying the cricket, he replied,
“Cricket? Has there been some cricket?”
Wednesday, 23rd March Jade Dernbach is the latest call-up to the Travelling Circus of Replacements as Andy Flower continues to conscript the entire adult population of England one at a time. But the new guy does have something that the rest lack. Not a South African accent or a different flavour of slower ball or even a hint of androgyny in a squad full of boring names. No, I’m talking tattoos. Without KP, Team England have an inky-flesh deficit. And Jade’s skin scrawlings are not just there to look ugly.
“I’ve got the UDRS regulations and the ICC Code of Conduct on my forearms. On my bicep there’s a pie recipe that Jimmy really likes; my right calf has Belly’s address and phone number, in case he forgets them again, and my gluteus maximus is covered with a list of sledging suggestions, should Matt run out of stupid things to say.”
Thursday, 24th March Not since the publication of JK Rowling’s popular kiddies thriller, Chris Gayle and the Sulk of Doom has there been such excitement in Caribbean literary circles. The WICB are this weekend putting the finishing touches to their latest work of fiction, provisionally entitled: Strategic Plan 2011-2016. It is the long-awaited follow-up to their side-splitting 2007 best-seller What Do We Do Now! and the 2003 hit, What The Hell Are We Going To Do Without Brian!
The novels tell the story of a collection of hapless, but stylishly attired travellers who get into all manner of scrapes around the globe, whilst back home, a gang of bumbling amateurs in suits attempt to run a regional cricket organisation; with hilarious consequences! Described as “Dad’s Army meets Monty Python meets The Muppets” this slapstick series is sure to run and run. Unlike Chris.
Friday, 25th March One of cricket’s givers, Geoffrey Boycott has for many years dispensed free advice to professional cricketers through television, through regular newspaper columns and, if he happens to know where they live, through their letterboxes. He has been criticised in some quarters for his recent comments on Michael Yardy. But I wonder how many of his critics were aware of his research paper, published in the Lancet in 1994.
Entitled, Pull Theeself Together, Lad: Towards A Cure For Mental Illness, it was based on his time in a psychiatric ward in Barnsley. He discovered that teaching someone with a mental illness to play a proper forward defensive shot slightly increased their chances of opening the batting for England, thereby raising their self-esteem. Similar results were achieved when they were encouraged to wear a panama hat, develop a Yorkshire accent and argue loudly with people on the radio.
Since Dr Boycott’s credentials in this field are impeccable, I think we would all benefit from listening to his thoughts on depression. And his prescription? Be more like Geoffrey and you won’t be depressed. Though your family and friends may be.
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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