June 22, 2011


The odd jobs of England's players

Andrew Hughes
Kevin Pietersen cannot hide his delight, England v Australia, ICC World Twenty20 final, Barbados, May 16, 2010
KP rehearses his "I've-never-seen-so-much-money-but-that-doesn't-mean-I'm greedy" look for the musical  © Getty Images


Saturday, 18th June The ECB today confirmed that the recent unseasonal downpours have revealed a significant leakage issue associated with the roof of their head office, with the potential for unsightly stains and long-term damage to structural integrity. In order to address this problem, they have arranged a friendly game between the England cricket team and the Easy-Fit Roofing Company XI, for which tickets will soon go on sale to the public (£75 for adults or £74.50 for under-16s).

They have also let it be known that the England team is available at a reasonable rate for weddings, bar mitzvahs and impromptu barbeques; Jonathan Trott will spend the autumn on loan to the British Archaelogical Society, helping with their excavations at Stonehenge; Chris Tremlett is to assist the Hampshire Fire Service with their tree-focused kitten retrieval programme, and Kevin Pietersen will be treading the boards this winter in the touring production of 2008’s popular farce, Oops, Mr Stanford!

Monday, 20th June Out in the Caribbean, the war of the abbreviations is turning ugly. The WICB have alleged that at their latest meeting with the WIPA, President Ramnarine lost his temper, turned into a green-skinned tower of muscular rage, splitting his shirt in the process and threatened senior WICB executives with an easy chair. The WIPA dispute this version of events, claiming that Mr Ramnarine merely got out of his seat prematurely during a game of musical chairs.

We can’t be sure which version is correct and to be honest, we don’t really care. I’d like to imagine that the chair in question was one of those little red plastic ones you find in kindergartens. And, since the chair is the only participant at that meeting to have emerged from it with any dignity, perhaps it could take over at the WICB, with the table being voted in as WIPA leader. Their press conferences might not be very entertaining but they might bring some stability to West Indies cricket.

Tuesday, 21st June Like a low-fat, sugar-free dessert, this soggy Sri Lankan series has been unfulfilling and rather bland. The tourists were mostly ordinary without being completely awful, and England continued to do a reasonable impression of a very impressive team without actually achieving an awful lot. Indeed, had Dilshan and chums not developed an unfortunate case of collective agoraphobia on the last day in Cardiff we’d have been left with a stalemate staler than an ex-cricketer's after-dinner anecdotes.

Perhaps I’m just sulking because I’d been looking forward to watching Mendis and Randiv and instead I got Lakmal and Perera (and a limping Fernando). But really, why bring three spinners if you’re only going to use one? It’s like taking three hairdryers on holiday. And somehow at the end of all that rain and tedium, England have ended up as the second best Test team in the world. The ICC’s ranking system doesn’t lie, but it is perhaps a little economical with the truth.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by Datinder on (July 14, 2011, 12:00 GMT)

So true about this series. I was really looking forward to mendis and co and was dissapointed. Damn this series was BORING!

Bring on India!

Posted by Bibhash on (July 2, 2011, 6:16 GMT)

Jonathan Trott to the archaeological society took the cake in this one hahahaha! shame the west indies bit looked slightly pale in comparison, mind you, only slightly nice one as always Andrew!

Posted by Andrew Hughes on (June 23, 2011, 17:08 GMT)

Thanks all for the comments

Tom, you are right, but I'd leapt ahead and used the predictor thingy on the ICC website, which I think puts England 1 pt ahead of South Africa, though as I ever I stand to be corrected.

Malkesh, I'll accept simple and unoriginal in exchange for witty. Half a compliment is better than nothing.

And to the anonymous commenter, on reflection, I think you're right. Bumble is one of the more entertaining commentators around and it was a bit of a cheap shot.

Posted by Anonymous on (June 22, 2011, 22:58 GMT)

Making a dig at David Lloyd like that is pretty low. You can only dream of entertaining people in the way he does.

Posted by Malkesh on (June 22, 2011, 21:25 GMT)

Hilarious ? really ? I find it witty at the most, but very simple and unoriginal.

Posted by Andrew on (June 22, 2011, 16:32 GMT)

First two were priceless, Andrew. Keep 'em coming.

Posted by Tom on (June 22, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

The link at the top of the page shows England as #3 in Tests still, although only one point behind SA. The ICC rankings tend to take quite a long time to reflect a the current situation, though - England have realistically been at least the second-best Test side in the world since the winter at the latest (in fact, their win-loss record over the last two years is the best of anyone's). But in the rankings they're still paying the price for several matches with stand-in captains, coaches, Darren Pattinson, etc.. back in 2007-9.

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (June 22, 2011, 12:22 GMT)

Chris Tremlett consistently features in Andrew's column. I love his versatility, and focus on saving tree based kittens.

Posted by Siddhartha on (June 22, 2011, 12:18 GMT)

Not bad....could have been more funny!!

Posted by quadi on (June 22, 2011, 12:01 GMT)

"Jonathan Trott will spend the autumn on loan to the British Archaelogical Society, helping with their excavations at Stonehenge"..rofl!! this is one of the better articles by andrews..!!

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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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