December 31, 2013

Cricket crystal ball: 2014 foretold

What does the year ahead hold for the game? We know, and so will you now

Which of these men will be tried and found guilty of being the devil? Hint: not the ones to the left or right of KP © AFP

On the flight back from Australia, England's team get drunk and trash the plane. But it is Kevin Pietersen who bears the brunt of the media flak once it is established that, although he had not participated in the incident, he had brazenly requested an extra packet of pretzels from the flight attendant.

After a shocking batting display in the Ashes, England's selectors are not afraid to take the hard choices. "Graham Onions will never play for England again," they vow.

South Africa and India play an intense one-Test series, although the BCCI is obliged to cancel the last three days to fit in an ODI tournament.

Chasing 987 in the fourth innings to win against a World XI, South Africa see out 23 maidens to secure a draw with the imposing total of one run needed.

However, the English media ignores the match and instead focuses its full attention on an England Lions player's cousin's friend's brother tweeting something naughty.

Jacques Kallis moves into media work and becomes the world's best all-round pundit. However, most people find him a bit dry.

England's seamers win gold, silver and bronze in the prestigious The Great British Tallest Drinks Waiter of the Year contest on the BBC with Gregg Wallace.

Despite being retired, Sachin Tendulkar is voted Indian Cricketer of the Year. He polls 105% of the vote.

With the county cricket season looming, the newspaper photographer who took the inevitable picture of the stand with just one OAP in it adds another wing to his mansion.

The entire cricket world is left reeling in shock as an England tailender scores a run against a fast bowler.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul releases his autobiography, entitled Why Do I Bother?. Literary critics describe it as "stylistically unpleasant, but an effective read nevertheless".

In response to an underwhelming public absence of demand, a ten-match Ashes is arranged to be fitted in around England's Tests with India.

Billy Bowden is still umpiring. Nobody is quite sure why.

Kevin Pietersen and Piers Morgan are at last joined together in cricket's first civil partnership.

Alastair Cook moves down the England batting order to No. 5, saying: "At least I will still get to face the new ball."

ITV2 launches a new show: Number Six Reunion, in which Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel and James Taylor get together as a boyband in an attempt to put themselves back in the shop window.

On a visit to Downing Street after being awarded OBEs, some of the England squad cause a huge scandal when they are caught urinating on Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith. Pietersen takes most of the heat when it emerges that he may have poured glasses of water for some of the culprits.

After an indifferent paso doble on Strictly Come Dancing, Graeme Swann finds himself in the bottom two and facing elimination. He announces his retirement from competitive celebrity reality shows with immediate effect.

After winning a wrestling match against a shark, TV's Freddie Flintoff takes on his most outrageous, dangerous stunt yet: surviving an over from Mitchell Johnson. "Please don't put yourself through it, Fred," plead his currently active former team-mates. "It just can't be done."

English cricket launches a root-and-branch review into the failing national side. It is concluded that illegal streaming websites are to blame.

A slew of articles in the English press see Kevin Pietersen accused of being personally responsible for global warming.

The England cricket team win Team of Year on the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year. In a close two-horse race, they get the nod despite not having won a game, but the British public still reckon they did a better job than their football counterparts in Brazil.

There is a sad end to the year when the England side, who have not scored more than 120 in a first innings in 12 months, take swift action to sort their team out. Jimmy Anderson is boiled down and sold for glue.

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

  • ESPN on January 4, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    "...and for the fifteenth Ashes series in a row, England failed to beat Boon's UK-Oz inflight beer consumption record. The ECB blamed BA for "under catering", as the airline "were informed of the team's dietary requirements some time ago."

  • John on January 1, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Superb article JUST when I thought Page 2 was becoming boring. First time I ever felt sorry for KP. Perhaps you could follow it up with Part 2 with something about BCCI and the T20 WC and something about DRS.Once again GREAT article I just cant stop Laughing after reading it over and over again.

  • sumanth on December 31, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    Good piece. But you missed out the part where Sherlock, in his premier tomorrow, with all his superior skills, show us reasons why Swann and Trott moved away from the team. He also, will assist ECB and flower with the reasons on which KP will be made to retire.. ;) ........

  • Hemant on December 31, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    @Kalaele -- nice one -- why not retire Yuvaraj, Zak and Ishant while you are at it?

  • Morapeli on December 31, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    Hahahaha, very entertaining. The Saffa one was a bit harsh. They were effectively nine down. Tahir is an accomplished batsman and Morkel was not fit. How about a hastily arranged series against West Indies in Nagpur and Jaipur for Dhoni to retire from tests?

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