August 8, 2013

Why Monty did it

Alex Bowden
Monty Panesar appeals for a wicket, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 2nd day, December 6, 2012
"What do you mean have I heard of holding it in?"  © BCCI

I have a cat called Monty who suffers from bladder-control problems. Actually that's misleading. I've every reason to believe he is in full control of what happens. I still recall the look in his eye as he firmly held my gaze while drenching the DVD player. It said: "Here's my review of season three of Breaking Bad", or something like that.

I always assumed that he did this because he is a cat. I never for one minute considered that he might do it because he is a Monty. I am now questioning my reasoning after my cat's namesake, sometime England spinner Monty Panesar, also found himself in trouble for the way in which he chooses to discharge urine.

Panesar did his own idiosyncratic version of the sprinkler from atop Brighton promenade down onto the heads of some nightclub bouncers. Unlike Monty the cat (I'd call him Monty Bowden if that wouldn't risk confusion with the 19th-century England captain of that name, with whose urinary habits I am far less familiar), Panesar had been thrown out prior to relieving himself, rather than immediately afterwards. It seems the act was a consequence of his ejection, not a cause.

Perhaps we should look to feline Monty for reasons why human Monty might take this course of action. One reason why cats spray is to display their sexuality. Reports indicate that Panesar had been bothering some women inside the club and that this had led to his removal from the premises. Could he perhaps have been making one last bid to display his availability? Doubtless his wife wouldn't be too happy if that were the case. Hopefully she is also sufficiently aware of the status of her husband's libido that she doesn't require liquid updates.

That type of behaviour is more commonly displayed by female cats anyway, so perhaps we should discount it. That leaves us with scent marking, the process by which cats communicate with each other to indicate the scope of their territory amongst other things.

Here perhaps we see Panesar's true motivation for micturition. After years and years of being told he is a limited bowler lacking in subtlety and variation, he has attempted to expand his repertoire by laying claim to a bouncer.

Cats spray more when they are stressed, so Sussex and England need to find a way of making Panesar feel more comfortable in his environment. Perhaps he feels anxious due to the introduction of other spinners. If they block the figurative cat flap that allows entry into England one-day squads, perhaps he will begin to feel more secure.

Or maybe they need to empty or move his litter tray. I'm not exactly sure what that metaphor might mean, but I'm not entrusted with Panesar's care, so I'm not the one who needs to work it out.

If the right conditions can be created and Panesar can again be made to feel relaxed and at home, there is every reason to believe he will follow in the footsteps of that other great spin bowling moggy, Phil "The Cat" Tufnell. Tuffers lived up to his feline nature primarily through his sleeping exploits, which is much more socially acceptable.

Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket

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Posted by WasimGh on (August 8, 2013, 21:05 GMT)

I made a mistake by reading this article at work, and paid with embarrassingly loud laughter. First Monty cracked me up by peeing on the bouncers, now this article. Brilliant stuff, Alex.

Posted by CricStraightTalker on (August 8, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

"After years and years of being told he is a limited bowler lacking in subtlety and variation, he has attempted to expand his repertoire by laying claim to a bouncer." - hahahahaha...couldn't stop laughing !!!

Posted by Thefakebook on (August 8, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

Oh dear every now and then poms do things that make Davo Warner look like a legend!

Posted by cloudmess on (August 8, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

This was a very funny article. But I felt guilty laughing, because the Monty incident is also very sad. The guy is obviously frustrated and at the end of his tether. England lacked a spin bowler of international class for so long, and then 2 came along at once. Monty would walk into most other sides in the world... including Australia.

Posted by Diaz54 on (August 8, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

Very hilarious article. However underlying Montys behaviour is something very tragic. I personally think his behaviour has lot to do with his his failure in cricket. I heard he had been struggling lately....far cry from when I saw him below against Pakistan which England got decimated 3 - 0, an England team that was ranked no 1 in the world. In that tour he was the leading bowler, Swann was never in contention. Yet got dropped in the home series. Self doubt frustration creepers in...with no support system in place to handle being dropped. Professional sports is very hard place, particularly when you are never considered to be one of your own boys! Just think about it!

Posted by Devadatta_Rajadhyaksha on (August 8, 2013, 14:13 GMT)

He couldn't hook, he couldn't duck, he couldn't sway.. so this was the only way left to deal with a bouncer. BTW, would you know about the habits of Monty Python?

Posted by Philip_Gnana on (August 8, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

I could not believe what I was I understood the situation to be per the headlines before reading the story. I assumed that Monty had been peeing in his pants at the sight of the fast bowlers hurling their bouncers. What a pratt, I thought. How further I had been from the truth. Monty doing a different kind of peeing.. What a way to draw attention, did he think that he could replicate this on another nation?.... PG, Surrey.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

Well, he has been known to spray his balls all over the place...

Posted by   on (August 8, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

"Panesar did his own idiosyncratic version of the sprinkler from atop Brighton promenade".....hahahahaha

Posted by Dirk_L on (August 8, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

Apparently someone in the club said to Monty: Piss off, mate. That person must bear the blame for the incident.

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