December 9, 2013

England in crisis: experts offer their solutions

We canvassed the thoughts and suggestions of some of cricket's finest minds about England's Ashes nightmare
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England finally voted against an infant sacrifice to Beelzebub to improve their chances on day five
England finally voted against an infant sacrifice to Beelzebub to improve their chances on day five © PA Photos

Bob Willis: "Well, Charles, I suggest boiling them in oil, and if that doesn't work, chopping all their heads off and then boiling them in oil again just to make sure."

Rob Key: "That sounds delicious, maybe with a bit of chilli sauce on the side."

Sir Ian Botham: "I just don't understand what's going on out there. If they'd had five slips and three gullies in all the time, as I said they should, then none of this would have happened."

Henry Blofeld: "I say my dear old thing, haven't South Africa played brilliantly, I mean Tanganyika, no Ceylon, no, ah yes, Australia. Hats off to Clarke Mitchell for his marvellous bowling, and oh look, there's a splendid jolly old red bus."

Mitchell Johnson: "I was sad before but now I am happy and now the wickets come in the Brisbane game I took four wickets and then five wickets which makes… some wickets. I believe it was the power of my moustache that helped me to take the some wickets and the other some wickets at Adelaide too. Soon comes Perth where the moustache says I will also take some wickets."

Geoffrey Boycott: "Roooobish…. rhubarb… my mum… etc"

Steve Harmison: "I just feel sorry for them lads thousands of miles away from home and with Christmas coming up. People don't realise how hard it can be to get a good mince pie in Foreign, thinking of wor bairns back home all eating a turkey and that, and it's no wonder the lads' minds are elsewhere."

Shane Watson: "Aw, look. **** ****ing Pommie **** ****ing ****. Mate."

David Gower: "It puts me in mind of a tour here in the 1980s when Gooch wanted us to get up at 3am and go on an assault course, but I of course had got myself on a catamaran with Prince Andrew and Kiki Dee, and to cut a long story short, Gooch was livid, but you have to understand that not all players are the same. It's up to these players to find their own individual ways of relaxing and getting on board luxury vessels when they should have been doing boring old keep-fit."

Andrew Flintoff: "Never mind about the cricket, what about my new reality TV show were I fight a bear on a unicycle?"

Alastair Cook: "Help me!"

Everyone: "It is definitely high time for another root-and-branch review of the England cricket set-up."

All quotes and "facts" here are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)
Read an extract from Alan's new book Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects, here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 10, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    A team selected on the basis of past glories and preconceived ideas of what works down under. Onions should be called in immediately, then all the bowlers should be locked in a room for two hours with a DVD player showing nothing but footage of Glen McGrath bowling. If they still don't know where to put the ball, remind them of a wise WestI Indian captain's sagacious words to his bowlers after they had a rare bad day: if they want to drive let them get in their cars, if they want to hook let them go fishing and if they want to cut send them to the kitchen. If they still don't know where to put the ball after that, send the whole lot home. As for the batsmen, They need a good shot of whiskey before going out to bat at the WACA. Oh, and by the way, Ballance should play.

  • on December 9, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    Is Michael Holden holding the batsman's Willey ? Lighten up mate, Alan Tyers' job is to put a humourous twist on cricket news, and in my book he's brilliant at it.

  • bobmartin on December 9, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    A good laugh... except the Gower one was too short... He's the only commentator I've heard who can make something as simple a remark as "He should have played forward to the delivery"... last about 10 minutes non-stop.

  • on December 9, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Joe Root: "Everyone needs a hit on the jaw. Once that is done, you'll play more sensibly, trust me."

  • on December 9, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Ian Bell: "Obiviously, what we need to do is obvious. We just have to go out there and do the obvious. Obviously we've failed to do that obvious thing but it's obvious we'll bounce back."

  • Thuram3 on December 9, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Hahahahahaha! Shane Watson!

  • Biggus on December 9, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Henry Bloefeld's was priceless, "and oh look, there's a splendid jolly old red bus." I dips me lid to you Alan. Still convulsing with laughter. God I love British humour.

  • Rawal on December 9, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    The Bob Willis statement was funny I think!

  • on December 9, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    alan mate, it's totally hilarious for those who can relate. specially the mitch, geoffrey, gower & freddy quotes had me cracking to bits! 'roobish-rhubarb ...!' absolutely hilarious. watto swearing, gower cutting a long story short, how no one ever listens to sir beefy & henry blofeld reminding me of my funny old uncle. good work.

  • ramli on December 9, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Sir Ian Botham: "I just don't understand what's going on out there. If they'd had five slips and three gullies in all the time, as I said they should, then none of this would have happened ... enjoyed it very much

  • on December 10, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    A team selected on the basis of past glories and preconceived ideas of what works down under. Onions should be called in immediately, then all the bowlers should be locked in a room for two hours with a DVD player showing nothing but footage of Glen McGrath bowling. If they still don't know where to put the ball, remind them of a wise WestI Indian captain's sagacious words to his bowlers after they had a rare bad day: if they want to drive let them get in their cars, if they want to hook let them go fishing and if they want to cut send them to the kitchen. If they still don't know where to put the ball after that, send the whole lot home. As for the batsmen, They need a good shot of whiskey before going out to bat at the WACA. Oh, and by the way, Ballance should play.

  • on December 9, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    Is Michael Holden holding the batsman's Willey ? Lighten up mate, Alan Tyers' job is to put a humourous twist on cricket news, and in my book he's brilliant at it.

  • bobmartin on December 9, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    A good laugh... except the Gower one was too short... He's the only commentator I've heard who can make something as simple a remark as "He should have played forward to the delivery"... last about 10 minutes non-stop.

  • on December 9, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Joe Root: "Everyone needs a hit on the jaw. Once that is done, you'll play more sensibly, trust me."

  • on December 9, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Ian Bell: "Obiviously, what we need to do is obvious. We just have to go out there and do the obvious. Obviously we've failed to do that obvious thing but it's obvious we'll bounce back."

  • Thuram3 on December 9, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Hahahahahaha! Shane Watson!

  • Biggus on December 9, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Henry Bloefeld's was priceless, "and oh look, there's a splendid jolly old red bus." I dips me lid to you Alan. Still convulsing with laughter. God I love British humour.

  • Rawal on December 9, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    The Bob Willis statement was funny I think!

  • on December 9, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    alan mate, it's totally hilarious for those who can relate. specially the mitch, geoffrey, gower & freddy quotes had me cracking to bits! 'roobish-rhubarb ...!' absolutely hilarious. watto swearing, gower cutting a long story short, how no one ever listens to sir beefy & henry blofeld reminding me of my funny old uncle. good work.

  • ramli on December 9, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Sir Ian Botham: "I just don't understand what's going on out there. If they'd had five slips and three gullies in all the time, as I said they should, then none of this would have happened ... enjoyed it very much

  • on December 9, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    Its not that England is not having a game plan, I am sure they have discussed about it as much as they can, but they are unable to execute that plan.

    There body language is also terrible.

    Regards Umar

  • on December 9, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    I actually didn't find this funny in the slightest. Sorry guys. Love your work [usually], but I think you're trying too hard.

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  • on December 9, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    I actually didn't find this funny in the slightest. Sorry guys. Love your work [usually], but I think you're trying too hard.

  • on December 9, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    Its not that England is not having a game plan, I am sure they have discussed about it as much as they can, but they are unable to execute that plan.

    There body language is also terrible.

    Regards Umar

  • ramli on December 9, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Sir Ian Botham: "I just don't understand what's going on out there. If they'd had five slips and three gullies in all the time, as I said they should, then none of this would have happened ... enjoyed it very much

  • on December 9, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    alan mate, it's totally hilarious for those who can relate. specially the mitch, geoffrey, gower & freddy quotes had me cracking to bits! 'roobish-rhubarb ...!' absolutely hilarious. watto swearing, gower cutting a long story short, how no one ever listens to sir beefy & henry blofeld reminding me of my funny old uncle. good work.

  • Rawal on December 9, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    The Bob Willis statement was funny I think!

  • Biggus on December 9, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Henry Bloefeld's was priceless, "and oh look, there's a splendid jolly old red bus." I dips me lid to you Alan. Still convulsing with laughter. God I love British humour.

  • Thuram3 on December 9, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Hahahahahaha! Shane Watson!

  • on December 9, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Ian Bell: "Obiviously, what we need to do is obvious. We just have to go out there and do the obvious. Obviously we've failed to do that obvious thing but it's obvious we'll bounce back."

  • on December 9, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Joe Root: "Everyone needs a hit on the jaw. Once that is done, you'll play more sensibly, trust me."

  • bobmartin on December 9, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    A good laugh... except the Gower one was too short... He's the only commentator I've heard who can make something as simple a remark as "He should have played forward to the delivery"... last about 10 minutes non-stop.