February 25, 2012

What gets Finny’s goat

If you had to sit through Sky’s pre-match show, you’d be doing double teapots too

Wednesday, 22nd February Stung by accusations that they have been a tad complacent in light of their team’s somewhat less than triumphant excursion to the Antipodes, the BCCI has today announced a wide-ranging review. Entitled “What We Did on Our Holidays”, it will be headed by an experienced playground supervisor and will aim to get to the bottom of a number of key concerns raised by players, specifically:

1. The X-Box rotation policy limiting senior players to half an hour each 2. The way Ishant always has the volume of his iPod too high on the bus 3. Gautam’s reluctance to change his socks 4. Praveen’s annoying habit of slurping his tea 5. Viru’s refusal to sit in the front row at team meetings if Mahi is there 6. The amount of time Virat spends in the bathroom

The review will be complete by the time the players land in Delhi and is expected to conclude that after ten weeks of being cooped up in the same coaches, dressing rooms and hotel lifts it would be in the best interests of Indian cricket and the sanity of all concerned if they spent some quality time as far away from each other as possible.

Thursday, 23rd February England’s fast bowlers may look like nice young men who spend their spare time helping elderly ladies across busy roads and retrieving kittens from high branches, but sometimes they can be grumpier than Bob Willis at a Justin Bieber concert. Today it was Steven Finn who was wearing the angry trousers, heaping abuse on a slightly nonplussed Awais Zia, both before and after he took Zia’s wicket.

To the untrained eye, this carry-on might appear to be the petulance of a schoolboy who can’t cope when things don’t go his way. But Steven is 22, so that couldn’t be it. So what was his problem? Had his ECB underpants shrunk in the wash? Were his bunions playing up? Had he overdosed on the Daily Mail? And then I worked it out. Like me, he must have sat through Sky’s pre-match unpleasantries.

We all know the drill. Every viewer must pass through an initiation ceremony, an ordeal of inanity, in order to get to the thing for which they’ve paid. Today’s theme was KP’s confidence. First the chaps in Dubai informed us that he’d be full of it. They handed back to the studio, whereupon Ian Ward asked his first guest if KP would really be full of confidence. Yes, said Rob Key, Kevin would be full of confidence.

But Ward was leaving nothing to chance and brought in Robert Croft for the Celtic angle on Pietersen’s confidence. He concluded that KP would be full of confidence. At least I think he did. Croftie has a troubled relationship with vowels and his strenuous attempts to elucidate his opinions produced the kind of jaw arrangements you might associate with a snake trying unsuccessfully to regurgitate a mouse.

It went on. A quantam of waffle from Nasser Hussain; a light shower of drivel from David Lloyd and Aamer Sohail, including an anecdote about Lloyd having to borrow a tie*; adverts for deodorant, banks and cars; and an exchange of platitudes with a bored-looking Craig Kieswetter wearing a bored-looking baseball cap. After several minutes of this, my nerves were frayed, my mute button broken and my porcelain tea service in peril. No wonder Steven was so cross. Had I been expected to go out and play cricket after that, I might not have been able to restrain myself either.

*Turns out he didn’t have a tie so he had to borrow one

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on April 3, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    Hi India,You have done this in past and can do this again and again. Get addicted to niwning and you will definetly get success.My prediction for todays match is definetly India

  • testli5504537 on February 29, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    ....personally I think Stevie Finn has been building up his pectorals by taking Protein shake (remember what a skinny beanpole he used to be) and this has led to large measures of Incredible HULK syndrome where he starts steaming at the ears and spouting forth angry words in Latin, at all and sundry who care to listen to him...recently the verbals have been directed at the brave men of India and Pakistan....hmmmmm

  • testli5504537 on February 26, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    Absolutely hilarious Andrew. You have a style of your own

  • testli5504537 on February 25, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    Finn's one of the most popular members of the England team, a genuine nice guy, and what a year he's had with the ball.

  • testli5504537 on February 25, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    There you go off again Andrew. I haven't forgotten Chris Tremlett being selected for tree-focussed kitten retrieval. Ha Ha.

  • testli5504537 on February 25, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    common finny i'm with u if u win or loss doen't matter for me n love u always <3

  • testli5504537 on February 25, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    He is way overconfident about himself..... He shuld try nd abuse Shahid Afridi and i'm sure he will destroy him within a sec... I think he tried it in the Odi's and got hit by a four or a six on the very next ball.

  • testli5504537 on February 25, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    This is the funniest "Long Handle" article I have ever read and Believe me, I have read them all. It took me 20 mins to finish this article just because I was laughing so much.

  • testli5504537 on February 25, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    Steve fInn is a disgrace .how can you abuse some body like this on his debut .I really thought he is good bowler but i can assure you now he is the most unpleasant person in the english team after stuart broad .The old english players were gem.

  • testli5504537 on February 25, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    hahaha...it. So what was his problem? Had his ECB underpants shrunk in the wash? ?? yeah really one wonders .. :P

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